Belgian Malinois > Asking, no begging, for sincere Belgian Malinois advice (72 replies)
Asking, no begging, for sincere Belgian Malinois advice
by Jivan on 19 July 2012 - 13:16
by RellikMalinois on 19 July 2012 - 13:48
|My advice to you is adopt a mature mal from the mal rescue who has been temperment tested and is proven to be good with kids, dogs, cats ect. Or be VERY selective when buying a puppy.|
To answer your question, yes a mal can be a housepet, good with animals and family. But remember certain traits (like the high drive) is something that does not come out fully till a mal is a bit older than your typical 8 week old puppy and depending on the dog there may be little to nothing you can do to discourage behaviors that come with this (like chasing cats). I reccomend your find a good breeder, probably breeding show line not working line Mals and tell them you are looking for a calmer mal who can be a house dog. A good breeder should be able to pair you up with a dog you can handle. Or like i said before contact the AMBC Rescue they do a great job matching dogs up with what owners are looking for and are a great resource to any of your questions. If you are on Facebook they have a very active FB page.
Best of luck. I hope this helped a bit.
by asomich on 19 July 2012 - 14:33
|My two little girls (8, would be 9 when puppy arrives) always have friend over and are running, playing wrestling in the yard. They have always been around animals and are respectful, but they are kids. Would they, or their friends, be in danger w/ a mal's protective instinct? I hear because of the mal's prey drive the cats, especially the outdoor one, would be in danger---And even the 10 yr old male westie may get hurt. I am sure any parents understand I would be DEVASTATED if anything happened to my sweet family, pets included. |
A cat running outside stimulating prey drive is very different from the cat inside the house that a mal learns to respect his boundaries. Yes, you could have a dead cat.
Running and wrestling are most probably going to trigger prey (to chase or join in) or defense (to protect).
Assuming you get a pup or adult with a good temperament for YOUR environment. I would not recommend leaving the mal loose around your kids unless you are there to monitor. Mals can do well around kids and small dogs, but if they get excited (to play, go outside the door, go on a walk, meal time, cool weather makes them feel spanky) they tend to get rough, bang into people, and step on little dogs. They really don't mean to hurt, they are so in drive they don't realize it. So you would just have to change your rules - the mal would have to be put up when the kids are playing, etc. Also, I would never trust a dog to be alone with kids inside or out. You don't know what the kids will do around or to the dog when you are not there. And I would not have the mal loose around their friends period. Most of the folks I know who have mals and kids have raised the mal around the kids. They have also taught the kids how to responsibly act around the mal. With a pup, you are going to go thru a lot of mouthy, pushy, teething behavior before he settles down.
The worst case scenario would be if you were not home and your kids and their friends let the mal out and it bite one of them. I guess you would have to put a padlock on the dog's crate or kennel. So you're talking about more responsibility if you were to get this breed.
Just my opinion.
by Jivan on 19 July 2012 - 17:17
|Thank you, RellikMalinois and asomich, for your prompt and helpful responses. |
Man, that shows what I know! I was thinking that a puppy was a much better ideal since we would be certain of its past---or lack there-of. I did first contact a Mal rescue facility. (My wife is very active with the local Humane Society and wasn't digging the notion of a breeder--All of our pets have always been from a shelter) We then kind of ruled out a Mal rescue since presumably we would have no clue as to the dog's past and that seems to be where alot of the nightmare stories stem from. (Abused, abandoned, etc.)
Then my 16 yr old son's girlfriend told us the other day how her family had a mal. (What are the odds?) She said they got it when he was about two and had it for over a year. She said it was a great dog but then one day she was petting it when someone slammed a basement door and the Mal. bit her in the face. Turns out they discover the Mal. was a failed police dog. They got rid of the dog, sued the person who sold it because he knew this and didn't reveal it, and so on and so on. So, RellikMalinois, even though what you are saying makes perfect sense I am afraid my wife is not real receptive to bringing a mature Mal. in the home.
And asomich, if you don't mind a follow-up question: Do you feel that the Mal. couldn't EVER be left alone with my own kids, even when trained and no longer a puppy--not simply when their friends are over? I ask this because I was hoping when it was trained and no longer in the puppy phase he/she would sleep with me or the kids at night. (The westie does) I was really looking at this to be a family dog. I might be upstairs and the my kids might be playing downstairs and placing the dog in the kennel/pen the entire time unless I am in the room would be tough. Don't get me wrong: I wanted your candid opinions and appreciate them--I am just trying to clarify. It sounds like the walls are closing in on my Mal. dream---at least until the kids are older and other pets are gone.
Last thing, I spoke to a lovely women yesterday from Idaho who is expecting a litter around January/February, where the pup would be shipped around March 2013. I explained my needs to her and she seemed pretty confident these particular Mals. are suited for my needs--not working or protection dogs. We spoke for about an hour and she was very kind and knowledgable. (was once President of ABMC and extensive Mal. experience)
Does that change at all what either of you feel or is it pretty much a "that's how it is" type scenario? Thanks again!
by laura271 on 19 July 2012 - 18:08
|"Do you feel that the Mal. couldn't EVER be left alone with my own kids, even when trained and no longer a puppy--not simply when their friends are over?"|
Perhaps I am overly cautious but I don't think children should ever be left unsupervised around any dog. Here is a recent thread on this topic.
Can I gently ask what it is about the Mal breed that attracts you so much? Do the attributes of this working breed truly fit into your real (ie. non-idealized) lifestyle? You've read the "a Mal needs a job" mantra but I'm not sure you truly understand what this means.
I'm not being unkind here, just wondering if you've thought things through.
by BabyEagle4U on 19 July 2012 - 18:53
|I don't think this is a good idea.|
Just too much going on in the house for a Mal. Any and all kinds of sound or movement triggers them. My Mal is a farm dog and has alot of acres and chores outside. I have a 14 year old son and my Mal could care less unless I'm not around or he specifically wants her for something and demands her attention.
My Malinois while inside the house .. has the outdoors on her mind (and I have a dog door she can come and go as she wishes - I lock it at bedtime though) she runs the stairs, goes door to door, room to room, window to window - stops to get petted, sniffs the cats - then does it all over again constantly while in the house. She barely sleeps and when she does she's not even sleeping she's watching - listening to whatever I'm doing even if I'm trying to sleeping. The only time she does sleep is when I'm sound alseep, and that's just a guess. LOL
I dunno, your house sounds hectic now. Put a Mal in there with people who have never had a Mal and I see nothing but no sleep till .. (edit) but, I say this from a big house, one adult, one child, 2 cats and 1 Malinois.
I think your getting yourself into something your gonna regret later on. JMO.
by asomich on 19 July 2012 - 20:57
Do you feel that the Mal. couldn't EVER be left alone with my own kids, even when trained and no longer a puppy--not simply when their friends are over?
NO NEVER NEVER NEVER
I just had a litter. I would not have sold you a pup with you having this expectation.
Can I gently ask what it is about the Mal breed that attracts you so much? Do the attributes of this working breed truly fit into your real (ie. non-idealized) lifestyle?
I think the Malinois is a breed that you just need to admire from afar - like I admire hunter jumper horses. It is probably their athleticism that you are attracted to. If so, I might suggest a lab - and there are even people who are breeding them specifically for dock diving. Here is a good breeder Fernando Somoza in my home town who breeds a mixture of field and show. He is very good about selecting puppies to fit owners lifestyles. I mentioned him because he really knows his lines and makes excellent selections http://www.watercrosskennels.com/ Now a lab is going to be a larger dog, but its the temperament that you are looking for.
He H Last thing, I spoke to a lovely women yesterday from Idaho who is expecting a litter around January/February, where the pup would be shipped around March 2013. I explained my needs to her and she seemed pretty confident these particular Mals. are suited for my needs--not working or protection dogs. We spoke for about an hour and she was very kind and knowledgable. (was once President of ABMC and extensive Mal. experience)
The people on this board have working malinois lines. The lady who you talked to breeds show lines. Yes, there is a difference - her dogs may not be that reactive, but they may not have that spark that a pet quality pup from working lines would have. The show line mals that I have seen act like duds. Working dog folks think that show line mals are a total waste. But that is a whole different thread! You would just have to check out the adult dogs from her previous breedings and see if that is what you want. I still don't know if you really have figured out what you want in you new dog.
Also, lines of mals are different. My lines have off switches. As long as they have gotten out of the house each day for a run, then they are very good about crashing and just laying about - especially if it's next to me!
OP I think you would be better off with a different breed.
by Jivan on 19 July 2012 - 21:00
No offense taken; those are all good points/questions. Thanks for the thread. I read it. I am attracted by the breed's athleticism (A dog to run + train with) their beauty, courage, strength, intelligence, etc. You are absolutely correct in stating that I've read "that the mal needs a job mantra but may not understand it." Not understanding it is part of the reason that I wrote on the forum. I wanted to speak to ACTUAL Mal. owners--not just dog owners who keep saying "don't worry--it's the owner that counts, not the breed." (And I've heard that LOTS) Unlike BabyEagle4u the dog would not be on a farm and would have no direct chores. I was wondering if an active home, three acres of yard, jogging every day, riding around with me, and playing with the kids and other dog would be enough. Based on what I've heard thus far it sounds like it would not. I have thought this through, though, perhaps too much! It feels like I might have wasted a month of non-stop research, calls, even filling out pup questionnaire forms regarding adoption! Thanks for your input.
And thanks for your thoughts, BabyEagle4u. As I read your note about sounds/movement triggering a Mal I sat here watching my two girls and their friend play tennis with badminton rackets and a balloon. The balloon popped, their friend screamed and the dog barked. What would a Mal. have done with that?! I guess I was hoping that a Mal. puppy from a proper/reputable breeder who knew my situation combined with my exercising, big yard, obedience school and willingness to train/socialize it would get a resounding "yes, it will make a great housepet" from the Mal. community. It sounds like I was dreaming. On one forum a guy posted that "anyone who wants a Mal. for a housepet and not a working dog is a f***ing idiot." It sounded harsh, but........
It's disappointing, as I was excited about the Idaho breeder's litter in 2013, but I guess it is better to be disappointed now that be in a long term horrible situation . Thanks again for everyone's input. If there are any other Mal. owners out there that have other thoughts or experiences I would appreciate them. Until then it looks like Project Mal is on hold.
by asomich on 19 July 2012 - 21:17
I sat here watching my two girls and their friend play tennis with badminton rackets and a balloon. The balloon popped, their friend screamed and the dog barked. What would a Mal. have done with that?! I guess I was hoping that a Mal. puppy from a proper/reputable breeder who knew my situation combined with my exercising, big yard, obedience school and willingness to train/socialize it would get a resounding "yes, it will make a great housepet" from the Mal. community.
by Jivan on 19 July 2012 - 21:35
(Guess I am OP???)
I think we posted a minute away from each other so I didn't actually see your post till I put up my last one. I have absolutely figured out what I want in my new dog. That was never the question. The question was can a Mal. be that dog. As you see from my last post it is dawning on me that the answer is probably no.
But...when I saw your line about "working dog folks think show line mals are a total waste" it made me wonder if it is not so much whether or not any Mal. suits my needs as it is whether or not YOUR type of Mal. suit my needs. You're right...could be that I am simply on the wrong thread. The answer is to probably wait a long while before any Mal. Who knows.....kind of a frustrating situation.
And thanks for the lab suggestions but I am not a big Lab. or Retriever fan.
Again, I appreciate the input.
by Jivan on 19 July 2012 - 21:39
Again we crossed posts! I read what you wrote about the dog and my girls with the balloon tennis...If that is really what all or most mals would do then you are absolutely right. It is not the breed for me!
by BabyEagle4U on 19 July 2012 - 21:53
|Another thing ... there are alot of folks here who know bloodlines very well. If you post a link to the breeder and dam an sire - I'm sure some great people here could give you an understanding of your choice in Malinois bloodlines. If known. Maybe even direct you to a more layed back house pet type Malinois, if there is such a thing. lol|
Good Luck to you.
by Jivan on 19 July 2012 - 23:13
I don't think the breeder would mind me mentioning her since I have nothing but good things to say about her. She and one other breeder were the only two (of many that I contacted) that took the time and trouble to talk with me. She was very helpful, informative and patient. It would be from Bull Mountains/Desert Mountain---Echo: from GCH Bull MTNS Echo of Laughter CDX RE and Fang: from Multi/Int CH BISS CH FANG du Hameau Saint Blaise. At one point tied in with Fyre?? (Hope that is what you meant--The lingo is kind of new to me) The woman I spoke with Suzanne Belger, and you could tell she was very caring and knowledgable of the breed.
The other person I spoke with was Ivan Balabonov from Florida, breed line Ot Vitosha?? He also seemed like a great guy with tons of knowledge and passion. Ivan and Suzanne's breed at one point were connected?? Those are the two who seemed more interested in sharing their knowledge and experience rather than just selling a dog.
I am confused though, BabyEagle4u: Do you not share asomich's opinion that pretty much ANY Mal. is unacceptable for my needs? I was kind of ruling it out but I am still open to input and feedback! What are your thoughts???
by asomich on 20 July 2012 - 00:08
|Looked at Bull Desert Mountain Malinois - mixture of working and show. The working pedigree part is nice 2 generations back.|
OP, I still think that you have unrealistic expectations of leaving a mal unattended. If it doesn't nip/bite a kid or chew your house up.
The show lines tend to have straight shoulders and narrow chests. Watch out for shoulder angulation if you want to do alot of activity with your dog.
So I'm done with this thread.
by Jenni78 on 20 July 2012 - 00:23
|I know nothing of showline Mals...though even the sound of that seems odd. LOL My only experience with Mals is working lines, and pretty hardcore ones at that, so take what I say with a grain of salt; I'm sure there are more laid back Mals out there. Mals are absolutely not what I would ever want for a family pet. I like them. I respect them. If I were in a different point in my life (nothing to do but train and work a dog) I would maybe have one. But as a mom with a job and other dogs and commitments, NO WAY would I want a Malinois, though that is a bit hypocritical because I have bred/owned GSDs that people have said were "worse than a Mal." |
Not to be a downer, but might I suggest a really well-balanced working line GSD as a compromise? My issue is with most Mals, you're not going to have many guests with the common sense needed to interact well with a teeth-clattering pup who's just itching to bite something, anything. Your kids' friends are going to be chew toys if you aren't 110% vigilant and that just isn't something that is going to be appreciated by most parents. I'm just thinking in terms of a liability standpoint, as in today's society, your dog doesn't really have to do much wrong to land itself in a lot of trouble.
by Jivan on 20 July 2012 - 01:09
Great points. Thanks Jenni78!
You too, asomich. (although still trying to figure out who the hell OP is)
by BabyEagle4U on 20 July 2012 - 01:24
|* "Do you not share asomich's opinion that pretty much ANY Mal. is unacceptable for my needs?" *|
Yes, unfortunately I do. I personally have never met a calm at all times Malinois. (edit) the only time my Mal was ever self collected and calm was as a young pup the first 3-4 days after flight here. That I figured later to be jet-lag.
My dog can be calm and collected but only when I have my hands on her.
Example : standing watching a parade or just standing anywhere for that matter (lol) .. I must at all times have my hand on her head .. if I take my hand off her head for any reason, she would freak out, hate everyone around us, bark at everyone, total 360 kinda thing. Granted we go to political rally's, marches and parades for hours all the time .. as long as I have my hand on her head while standing still .. she is fine for hours, lovable, quiet, calm and collected cute big dog everyone and anyone can pet. But, I must keep one hand on her at all times .. it's just the way she is. Now if we are walking and don't stop for any reason she is also fine .. we cannot stop and chat without my hand on her head .. without my hand on her head there wouldn't be any chatting not even from a short distance. (lol) She listens the same way for my son in public.
I love her, I think she's perfect for me and the best. But, it took alot of work and training for her to even be this way in public. Knowing what I did to get her all around personality and behavior the way it is right now @ almost 6 years old .. I doubt the average person could have done it any better. Most would have given up or had a crisis situation in the first year.
I didn't want to sound harsh or I know everything, because I don't know anything really except for my Malinois... so I mentioned posting the breeder and bloodlines for others to see. Alot of great people here who know stuff. I can only tell you what I know about my Malinois - I have a A'Tim daughter import.
by BabyEagle4U on 20 July 2012 - 01:49
|OP is Original Post(er) = that would be the thread starter or you Jivan.|
by Jivan on 20 July 2012 - 02:23
Funny! I've never posted anything on any forum and therefore didn't know the "op" abbreviation. (The fact that i posted something shows how desperate I was for info.) Thanks for clearing that up, BabyEagle4u! And thanks for the additional information. It all makes sense.
I was hoping to hear from at least one family that got their mal from a breeder and had a family with young kids and whose only job was being part of an active family---(in other words a situation exactly parallel to mine) but perhaps that scenario is non-existant.
I suppose this has been beaten to death and I do appreciate all the input. The fact that not ONE person chimed in and said that a Mal. could be an active family pet and not a working dog if everything was done perfectly is very telling. Thanks again.....
Your mal sounds sweet...You should post a pic of her! Good luck with everything.
by BabyEagle4U on 20 July 2012 - 02:47