Mal Vs Dutchie

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by mrose_s, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    I think it takes a very special type of dog to be able to be exposed to reactive dogs repeatedly without developing some sort of anxiety/stress induced behavior. I would be looking at overall stability and individuals rather than a breed for that job. I wouldn't get a puppy to raise to fill the role specifically, rather utilize the dog if they fit that role as an adult.
     
  2. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    I have to echo a few sentiments:

    -I don't think of any of the breeds being discussed as "easy" in the sense that it's being used. Some individuals are but in general the basic make up of these breeds means that "go anywhere, do anything" dogs are created with lots of hard work on top of correct genetics. But they all tend to not be simple, straight-forward dogs and are instead rather complicated, at least IME. If I were looking for a "break" after having a difficult or demanding dog, I would not be looking for a Mal, Dutch, or GSD. I really love this type of dog but easy they are not. I'm not at all saying "You can't handle one" because I'm sure you can, I just don't know if that's what you're looking for right now.

    -I can't see a dog from those breeds being suitable for repeated reactive dog exposure, for the reasons other have said. They're quite "moldable" IME and could easily become reactive themselves after repeated exposures to a dog that's threatening or antagonizing them. They're designed to respond accordingly to threats, not look the other way. I think in general they're too responsive and confrontational for reactive dog work.

    -Public access can be challenging depending on the dog's temperament and the idiocy levels of the public at any given time, as others have said. :lol-sign: IME the vast majority of the working shepherd types are just fine with out in public with neutral strangers, but that's assuming neutrality and respect from the strangers... which can be a lot to ask these days. Most people have an idea of what dogs "should be" and act on it, and these dogs (and others too, obviously, but especially these dogs) don't always fit into that.

    Also, on a different note, I think it's extremely obvious that mouthing/biting in an adult dog and mouthing/biting in a 7 week old puppy are not comparable. That seems obvious to me, but since the comparison was made, apparently it's not? I have little comment on the issue; I would be appalled at an adult dog of any breed doing that and I admit that dog would not exactly be seeing my happy face or my patient side right there and then, but I also haven't trained every dog and I certainly know how these dogs in particular can be. I still get bit sometimes, it happens, mostly sloppy targeting but sometimes plain frustration or stupidity (mouth first, brain later... or never) on the dog's part. I'm not exactly lax about it or very forgiving of bites that don't come from honest targeting error, and I admit I think that plays a part in keeping those events relatively isolated, but like I said, I haven't trained every dog in every situation.

    My last thought is that if I was personally looking for a reactive dog helper, I'd probably look at adults and be looking the right individual, with breed not really being a big part of my consideration.
     
  3. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I don't think that's the main goal, a reactive dog helper, but the dog being tolerant and not reactive itself was a big perk. At least that's how I read it.

    Again, I don't think the behaviors being mentioned are being understood. Redirection, grabbiness, impulse issues, and drive leaking can be managed but presuming a [hard] correction from a lack of patience actually nulls the issue is not correct ime.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
  4. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    If that's what you got from my post, I must have communicated very poorly. My "harsh" corrections are rarely physical and more involve a total disruption of interaction and training privileges. My dog has her own leaking issues and I'm no stranger to it. I was working with her on wrapping skills and she took a flying leap and bit my bicep because I had my arm out to cue her and she wanted to do something, anything with her mouth. My correction was a stern verbal no and putting her in a down stay for a few minutes to cool off. Then we went to practice hand targeting while in drive and not using our teeth (that is a work in progress but her impulse control is improving), and other relevant exercises.

    I didn't used to be able to move my hands around her head during bite work (couldn't use hand signals for obedience) because she would grab at them - not hard, thankfully, considering what she's capable of, but she was so wired she would grab at what moved past her head. She had... several other impulse control and drive-leaking related issues during bite work that we have worked through, as well. She's honestly not as clear-headed of a dog as I would like ideally but I find it tolerable because her sheer drive makes her a pleasure to work. My experience with her and with other dogs is that impulse control and foundation work play a big role but so do deterrent consequences and a (relatively) severe attitude towards it, if that matters to that particular dog. Then again, my severe is "shame on you, what were you thinking" not swinging the dog around by the collar.

    Like I said, I haven't trained every dog and I know how these dogs can be and often are. So *shrug*. Just sharing my experience thus far. Not a stranger to drive leaking issues.

    ETA: I will say that without a foundation of impulse control (which something we work on daily here), I don't think a correction of any kind will be very effective.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
  5. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Well, my post was in response to the assumption Erin is standing by with a smile while Aeri grabs at her in some drive safeguarding. While everything is trainable not every dog is as easy (nor as hard) to train in every aspect.

    ie: Phelan was a breeze to start a bark on command with, Sloan is still a headache. Sloan was a breeze to train a back stall with, Backup was a trial of my patience due to his born in touch and proximity issues. Phelan has been rather easy to train a off switch on, Backup was downright impossible. It's easy to theorize but my dogs are so sweet about teaching me its not always that easy in action. lol
     
  6. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    Oh I can agree to that. Everything's simple in theory. Then dogs come around to stick that in your eye socket. I'd say this - they largely reflect their handling in those regards but there are certainly some dogs who are far more difficult than others and I understand that. (I would talk about Blossom's adventures in learning how to walk on a leash without freaking the **** out BECAUSE THERE MIGHT BE SQUIRRELS AND WHERE ARE WE GOING AND ARE WE THERE YET WILL THERE BE SQUIRRELS but that's another thread entire.)

    I consider myself fortunate that while on the hectic side and not super clearheaded, Blossom is very biddable and honest to the core, and responds well to reward-based impulse control work. If she wasn't so **** eager and earnest she would be quite difficult to train.

    Also, while she normally settles if I make it clear nothing fun is happening, today she's pacing away behind me. :rofl1: Case in point. She says I can stuff my theories and my precious off switch.
     
  7. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    Thank you Adrianne. The idea that I'm just letting my dog rev up and mouth me or that I even encouraged the behavior is laughable. She was in CU classes at 5 months and we've worked on the grabbiness since then, but sometimes it's about knowing your dog's limits and setting them up for success as you can and managing behavior or using well thought out consequences as needed/appropriate.

    I can pretty much guarantee that I've tried everything, including physical correction when I was insanely frustrated myself, and the only thing that has made obvious progress was a combination of calm training, clear instructions/guidance, and having absolutely no reaction to the grabbiness when it occurred. Taking breaks and keeping things short certainly help, but are not solutions in and of themselves. Retraining my SELF to react differently has been one of my biggest hurdles, too.

    At 3, I'm happy with where she is, but she does still have her moments when she gets a 'lie down' to pre-empt something or she gets a shirt grab in before I can clarify something. Like I said, she's teaching me a lot. ;)

    I added my example in, and added the detail above, as something to show the OP that while these sorts of dogs may be 'easy' in some respects (they do train up scary fast in a lot of situations and omg the flashiness that's built in to so much of their performance is awesome), they can be challenging in ways you don't really understand until you're in the middle of it.

    I swore I was ready for a mouthy dog after Kestrel's puppyhood, but Aeri was/is a TOTALLY different ball of wax; I will fully admit that there have been days where I felt totally out of my element and overwhelmed, but I had a TON of support from those who had been there, done that and understood where I was and could offer support or suggestions as needed. I would not trade this dog for the world; she and I are very much on a journey together.
     
  8. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    No problem, I think you're a superb trainer and a great match for Aeri. Any assumption that you're forgoing some easy fix in an effort to build drive is just silly.

    Like I said every dog and every task is trainable but to presume people aren't working on something because its taking longer or they're taking a different path is very often incorrect.
     
  9. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    Who said there's an easy fix for anyone's training or behavioral issues? I think most trainers can agree that while dog training is "simple", at least in theory, it's never all that easy.

    Different people have different tolerance levels for various behaviors. I tend to agree with Emily that while there may be occasional exceptions, things like biting you when over aroused are generally able to be addressed by simply not tolerating it from the start. Roust very much is genetically predisposed to that behavior but it's just not allowed. Just like door dashing, grabbing a sandwich out of my hand while I'm walking around or resource guarding isn't allowed. My comment is not intended to pick on anyone but to point out that despite popular opinion (not from anyone in specific) you don't have to expect or accept your dog acting that way into adulthood just because they're working bred, driven and impulsive. Are such dogs more likely to act that way? Of course. But it's also a training issue and not helped by telling people it's something they just need to learn to live with. But if starting from day one, you don't tolerate it and have a plan to not only deal with but prevent it, it's probably not going to be a massive problem. I say probably cause you know, there's always that one dog out there...
     
  10. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    I don't think I've seen anyone tell anyone else that some behaviors just have to be lived with?!

    Several folks HAVE said that there are some dogs that may take more work than others and some behaviors that are more common in the breeds being discussed. Both points are something someone should consider if looking into Mals/Dutchies/working GSDs and similar.
     
  11. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Actually, pacing and panting was something I had to live with with Backup.

    I think you're missing a key point here, some behaviors take *years* to fix.

    So, yes, while working on said behaviors one is living with them, one must be comfortable living with them.

    Jack is careful with strangers and I see the potential for social anxieties, problem barking, and low food drive paired with extreme-lacking-clarity toy drive. His potential home will need to be comfortable with living with these behaviors *while* they work on them.

    Again, just because its not done yet doesn't mean it's not a work in progress. The point is people are making their best effort to not sugar coat the issues associated with these dogs, in actuality attempting to not have someone shocked when they're not as easy to live with as they are to train flash to.
     
  12. Red Chrome

    Red Chrome New Member

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    My point was that it starts young in these breeds and continues for their whole life usually. For a lot of these dogs, naughtiness and grabiness is a never ending cycle and needs to be continually worked on normally. I'm leaving all the rest alone. These are a different type of dog.
     
  13. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    Yes, and I own and work this type of dog and have many friends who do as well. I understand what they're like.

    But all 7 week old puppies play bite and mouth. Yorkies to GSDs. All of 'em. Sorry, but I had a really hard time seeing that as relevant to the conversation, frankly.
     
  14. Red Chrome

    Red Chrome New Member

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    Different strokes for different folks. I explained why I mentioned that and I don't see all puppies having the intensity and drive that any working bred puppy does.

    Interestingly enough, I have placed 5 GSDs in working K9 programs and know that the kind of dog it takes to do that would not be good for most people......sport people included.

    Too many people are getting Mals cause they're the new "it" breed for sport, to have and they don't realize what they're really getting until it's too late. Too many people are sugar coating what these dogs are and that's sad.
     
  15. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    Well, no, clearly they're not going to be the same as a working bred puppy. I'm not suggesting these dogs aren't different, they are. But I don't think the example of a tiny puppy biting really proves anything.

    Not sure about the relevance of the rest. Could talk about the working K9's I train with, some impressive, some not so much, but again I'm not sure it's entirely relevant.

    I'm not a fan of sugar-coating in general, personally. If anyone wants to hear about my dog's own public access challenges and daily insane shenanigans I'll gladly share them.

    They're not for most people. But that was never really the question in this thread, from what I can see.
     
  16. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    All dogs do present their own challenges. Roust can't be touched by strangers. It's something I have been working with him on since I got him. We're now at the point where people he does nose touches to strangers and can be touched lightly (muzzled). Honestly, he could be a lot further along in other training if I wasn't spending so much time on solving his stranger issues and making sure his foundation is super solid. But then again, without those things it's going to be hard to get anywhere in competition anyway.

    I have a friend who breeds working GSDs and her dogs are also family pets. They live with her little girl, her little girl "works" the old dogs Schutzhund (which is adorable) and they are expected to be sound, trustworthy dogs. In every litter she's had, puppies are placed in homes for all purposes - k9s, detection dogs, SAR, service dogs (sometimes for children), performance/obedience dogs and pets. And a good GSD should be able to do all of those things. Do you sometimes get more difficult dogs even with the best breedings? Of course. But that's true in any breed too. If you want a shepherd breed that is driven, sound, versatile and suited for multiple tasks you should be able to find one by researching breeders, seeing enough dogs and talking to enough people. And being aware of the potential problems before they appear and being proactive with training and management.

    Which brings us back to the reactive dog thing. That is the sticking point for me. Of everything on the "wanted" list, that's the one that makes me uncertain a dog of one of these breeds is going to be suitable. IME if you want a dog of these breeds who's good with other dogs, your best bet is to avoid allowing too much interaction with strange dogs, especially when they are developmentally immature. I've known many GSDs and Belgians who developed reactivity issues after repeated exposure to rude, pushy dogs in class, dog park or daycare settings. And those were not even dogs who were showing aggression to them, just dogs who weren't respectful of their space or initial "back off" cues. Using one for reactive dog work IMO is not being proactive with your training and management, it's setting your dog up to have a potential issue with other dogs. I would think the best suited breeds for something like that would be the stoic pack hounds, who have been bred since forever to be extremely tolerant of other dogs. Shepherd breeds are by nature, wired to react to perceived threats. That isn't to say some wouldn't be suitable but the ones who would be IMO are going to be the really well trained, well socialized mature dogs who won't react because they are so well behaved and experienced they know there's no real threat.
     
  17. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    We may own very different dogs. That's okay, but to presume we are encouraging our dogs to be inappropriate in some offensive attempt to safeguard drive is the kicker.

    Your dog has issues, you work on them and simultaneously live with them. It's the idea that people see the finished product and assume that's what it's like to live with a Malinois or Dutch that frightens me, hence the blunt honesty of issues faced.
     
  18. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    That mindset isn't as uncommon as you seem to think. I actually known a lot of people who put up with all sorts of things in their young dogs (bitesport people and performance people) because they worry that teaching the dog to control their impulses will "ruin the drive". I see it all the time actually and usually the problem is only addressed once the dog is older and it has become an issue with competition. I have actually heard people bragging about how much their young dogs bite them due to over stimulation as some sort of reference to how super driven their dogs are (again not just bitesports people but performance sport people too). I don't know, different people have different mindsets. To me biting me due to over stimulation falls in the same category as resource guarding from me, which is also something that tends to be hardwired and more common in the sorts of dogs I have. And that category is, it's just not acceptable to me and if I get a young dog who shows signs of it it's addressed immediately and repeatedly until it becomes no longer worth discussing. That doesn't mean I think a super harsh correction is all it takes. While I'm not beyond correcting one of my dogs for using their mouth on me inappropriately, I also really, really stress impulse control. And I really do think sometimes it is about people's expectations and what they're willing to accept. That may not be a popular opinion but it is what it is. I'm not saying that is the case with any one here but it certainly does happen that people sometimes encourage these sorts of behaviors, accidentally or otherwise. I remember reading a thread on a forum populated with working Mal saying Mals are unsuitable for agility because one could never expect such a driven dog to not bite you while you're running them. Seriously!
     
  19. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I am not referring to anything beyond your post here which did single out a post and use it as an example. There are plenty of fools in the world, "don't teach a show dog a sit", but this thread isn't filled with fools and their preaching.

    Again, no one here encouraged such behaviors nor did they say it happens to be inevitable with all Malinois.

    Just because you've needed to muzzle Roo for now to take him in public doesn't mean I need to do the same for my dogs, nor have any of mine have been as bad as Aeri on clothing grabbing, and I would bet money none except Harry have been as bad as Backup in pacing, but these are all common issues within the breed(s).

    These posts were made in an effort to assist an educated choice on what the OP may or may not consider easy to live with. These dogs are easy to train in many settings, easy to manage and live with is far from a label I would give to them.
     
  20. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I hope the point I was trying to make is these posts have been made by Malinois and shepherd owners with experience and good intentions. These posts are not made by people who encourage behaviors for sporting.

    It only fair to the dogs to inform prospective Malinois (or Dutch or GSD) owners know what they could end up with and let them choose if they *want* to live with these behaviors *while* working on them.
     

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