Belgian Malinois > New member. Hello to the forum. (7 replies)
New member. Hello to the forum.
by Wildbill7145 on 19 January 2012 - 21:03
Just found this forum today and it looks like there is a wealth of information to be had.
Some fun hopefully as well.
My wife and I are two months into ownership of a four month old Mal pup named Ace (pic below):
I am not necessarily new to the breed as my first dog Bob was a GSD/Mal cross. Sadly, Bob passed away last year from bone cancer at the age of 8. His appearance was more Mal than GSD, as was his demeanor. Bob was a rescue dog from British Columbia and I had him from approximately 6mo old. A few years ago we rescued another dog Queenie who is a GSD and Husky cross. After Bob's passing we quickly recognized that Queenie needed a companion.
I have known for a very long time that I was in love with the Belgian Malinois breed. We decided that for once in our lives we would get a purebread pup and it would be a Mal.
We're having some issues and we're working on them with our trainer. Hopefully I'll get some advice from the more experienced Mal owners on the forum.
Anyhoo, thanks for reading.
by Wufpack on 19 January 2012 - 23:00
|What a beautiful baby! I hope you have many happy years with him.|
by Wildbill7145 on 25 January 2012 - 15:47
|Thanks Wufpack. He's ALOT bigger now just two months after that was taken, and a handfull but we're managing.|
So, just out of curiousity is the Malinois section of this forum primarily an area for breeding discussion, etc.?
I've noticed there is a huge number of views on each thread which is very interesting and thought I would ask.
by BHutch on 25 January 2012 - 21:08
|Wildbill, Welcome, I think you will find there are a lot of breeders on here and some trainers as well. Probably not as many just owners. The forums may not be real active, but if you have a question, maybe somebody will answer. There are some very knowledgeable people who check in here periodically. What problems are you having? Did you get back with the breeder and ask for their help?|
by Wildbill7145 on 25 January 2012 - 22:01
|Well, that's the interesting thing. From the number of views on each thread, it looks really active, but there are very few responses. I'm on a few different forums (non-dog related), and the numbers are just surprising on here.|
Anyhoo, not really having problems out of the ordinary ones all puppy owners have. That's one interesting thing. We sit here and stew over issues....think we must be the only ones this is happening to....go to puppy class....and everyone's dealing with similar stuff. Makes us feel like we're not total idiots.
I guess one thing that is becoming, or has the potential to become a more serious struggle is Ace has no inhibition to bite. Hands, coat, sleeve, pantleg, etc. This happens moreso with my wife than myself. I've never tolerated this with any dog I've ever had. Within a week, I had my boy Bob trained to never put his teeth on my skin or anyone elses. I could put my hand in his mouth, fiddle around, look at stuff, etc. and he wouldn't struggle or go aggro.
Ace on the otherhand goes into these weird states of mind at times. If he's doing something you don't want him to and you tell him "no", he'll go aggro and pull his lips back and bare teeth. Sometimes it's not even when you're telling him to stop doing something. He'll nip at your hands and pull away. You correct him and he doesn't back down. Eventually I've had to down him. Not physically hold him down, but using dominant energy (body posture, staring into his eyes, etc.). I do put my hands (carefully) within a quarter inch or so of his head and rear, moreso to control his movement. As soon as he calms, I slowly withdraw. This tends to occur very quickly.
My wife tries to perform this same roll when he misbehaves in this regard and he completely disregards her as a dominant figure in his life. He does not allow her to physically or in the capacity of dominant energy have any impact on him. He physically struggles and squirms his way out of her hands and bites at her. She takes him in the backyard to play with the chuckit and he just bites at her hands, winter coat, etc.
Her and I have been talking about her mental state when she's dealing with him. That is, does she believe herself when she's attempting to control him physically or verbally. When she's giving him a command is she asking him or ordering him.
This is the first time we've bought a pooch from a breeder, so we really weren't sure what her role was after the transaction was complete. I've stayed in touch with her (breeder), but to a very limited degree. Do most breeders offer post 'sale' support in these regards?
We just started watching the Leerburg videos, and they are very informative. We're realizing some mistakes we've made along the way and are working on those.
Anyhoo, time to take the pooches for a spin. I'll check back here this evening to see if anyone has any ideas.
by BHutch on 26 January 2012 - 04:39
|As a breeder, I always offer ongoing help to my customers. Not to say I train their dogs for them, but I am always available for questions and encourage them to stay in touch and call with any questions. I would say from your description that you have a fairly high drive dog. A puppy class may be a good start, but you might want to seek a trainer in your area who specializes in high drive working type dogs. Where are you located? I am not a fan of "alpha rolls" if that is what you are doing. They can be very dangerous. I believe leerburg has a forum where you could seek some help, and I know that he has an article about alpha rolls in particular. You might also want to look up Ivan balbanov's dvd series "Obedience without conflict" I think it is really good. Another source to check would be to get with a local sport club, Schutzhund etc. A lot of the clubs have very knowledgeable people and it can help give the dog an outlet, help the dog / owner bond and also teach the dog some needed control. As far as training issues, I think the German shepherd forum on here is quite a bit more active on here. Some of what you are describing can get better as a puppy gets a little older and they get through teething, but I think you are probably on the right track with your wife needing to establish that she is in charge right now. When I have puppies and they want to bite I will just grab there bottom jaw when they do bite from inside their mouth. I then hold it until they are trying to get away. They do not like having their mouth and freedom restricted. There is no need to squeeze or cause pain, it is just uncomfortable for them. If this is done everytime, it does not take them long to realize that it is no fun biting dads hands. Those sharp little puppy teeth don't feel good when doing this method, but not near as bad as an adult dog taking a chunk of flesh. Hopefully that helps you some and maybe some others will chime in and help you out. Like most things there is more than one mean's to an end, but that is the method I use. Good luck! Brad|
by Wufpack on 26 January 2012 - 16:40
|Ditto on everything Brad said. I give lifetime support to my pup buyers, and always am happy to answer any questions and help out when I can. On the biting, Brad is spot on, that is also what I do and reccomend. As he said it's uncomfortable for them, but it doesn't hurt them in any way. And defintiely find a trainer or a training group to help out. What city and state are you in? There may even be someone on here close to you that could help you or recommend a good trainer.|
by Wildbill7145 on 26 January 2012 - 21:00
|Thanks for the great info folks. We just started watching Leerburg's vid on dominant dogs last night and will be starting Balbanov's Obedience without conflict tonight. Probably going to watch both series several times. Never hurts.|
Will try the alternative to the alpha roll you mentioned (ie. grabbing the bottom jaw). I have been pretty successful with the alpha roll thusfar, and I'm being very non-restrictive in the sense I'm not holding him down. For some reason he's not getting the same energy from my wife that he gets from me.
Our friend who is doing the puppy training course is also a trainer who specializes in aggression in dogs. We've been talking to him about setting up some private sessions here at home. He appears to have taken a special interest in Ace as he's generally more of a GSD guy (he owns 5 himself) and hasn't had any experience with Malinois.
We actually live in a very small town in Southern Ontario, Canada so training options are somewhat limited without significant travel which can be tricky at this time of year. If serious snow happens (which it hasn't this year), they close the highways down around here and you can't leave town or get back in.
Anyhoo, thanks again for the info. Will keep you both updated as things progress. Hopefully positively.
Here's Ace on the River (his soon to be CKC name) at 3.5 months: