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by BigSwill on 03 February 2010 - 16:02

I agree, Phil. I think that the term "extreme" is used WAY to loosely. What the vast majority of people call extreme I call normal. Of all the dogs I've seen, regardless of breed, I can count on one hand and not use all my fingers the dogs I would say are extreme. And the fact that one or both of the parents are working K9's doesn't mean much these days. Most of the K9's I've seen  have to be "easy to handle" due to the inability of most K9 handlers. I've met VERY few handlers who could deal with a truly extreme dog. But then again what I consider exteme would probably be a liability to most PD's. That type of dog is better suited for Special Ops in the military.

It is possible to have a dog that can compete in both the working and show venues, but you're going to be average at best in each venue; the dog won't be a show stopper in either. The Belgian Tervuren is another example. 20 Years ago this breed was considered a more sport type breed. Now to get it in the show ring, it's been tempered through breeding for a more laid back attitude. I train with a guy that has one that he shows, and you can forget quality bitework out of that dog. He's more apt to bring the decoy his ball than anything.There will always be the segregation between the 2 worlds because each breeds for different things. I don't think showing in the ring is really a job. I can train anything to stand still while some old blue blood feels it up and watches it trot. I can't train just any dog to search for dope or maul a tree stump on command. It's got to have that potential genectically. 

I go back to what I said in an earlier post. High drive dogs are not for everyone. So instead of breeding the drive out so the thing will stand still in the show ring, people who can't handle the drive need to move to another breed.  
Phil Behun

by Phil Behun on 03 February 2010 - 17:02


by malinoid on 03 February 2010 - 20:02

"I personally have seen many good show working lines being able to do the job as pure working lines...the idiotic notion that one can not do the other shows the irresponsibility of the breeders, and the slow destruction of yet another good breed ...I see it first hand with many shame on both worlds for making the start of the destruction of a good breed.

by making it what they think it should be to suit them and not keeping what it is a healthy solid dog"

Rarely, if ever, have I seen a showline dog of any breed be able to compete with a workingline dog of the same breed in a performance event. Up into the late 1980's, virtually no one outside of Holland, Begium and France even knew what a Malinois was. The breed did just fine with the majority of people breeding the dogs for work, the proof is in the pudding. I mean, up until 20 years ago no one was breeding mals for show, but all of a sudden in the last 20 years breeding for conformation has become acceptable, when for the last 100 years everyone intimately involved with the breed was working them in KNPV, NVBK and French Ring. The whole thought process is backwards. As was said earlier, there is little to no evidence that the Malinois was used in any great capacity as a herding dog since its inception as a breed (late 1800's). I understand that before that time the dogs that pre-dated the breed were herders in many cases. The destruction of the working breeds doesn't come from those who continue to work the dogs. I've heard the same rationalization that you're using applied to the Dobe, Rottweiler, Giant Schnauzer, GSD, etc. Those breeds are largely under-represented in working venues BECAUSE a large portion of breeders & fanciers have convinced themselves that their dogs can do work by virtue of their ancestry. I don't have a huge problem with people showing their dogs in conformation, but there is a huge difference between showing your working-bred & worked dog and showing your show-bred dog or breeding dogs based on a subjective conformation standard and attempting to work them and then tell the rest of us that function follows form, instead of form following function. I agree that some of the IPO and French Ring lines can be very hectic and have crazy prey drive that is hard to live with, but this is less common in the KNPV and NVBK lines, that's the beauty of it. I know this is the case in the Border Collie as well, the Flyball bred dogs are often very driven and hard to live with, while the traditional herding lines are not so much. The thing is you can choose and have a choice, but nowhere in the equation is the notion of breeding to a subjective conformation standard, that quite frankly does not take into consideration trainability.

by DeeBee on 04 February 2010 - 03:02


all I hear from the above comments is about "bite work" I do think I have said this before that the mal has MANY areas of working jobs they do other than just show or bite work this is why I made the comment that some breeders are too focused in the one area of work and not seeing what the dogs are used for in other areas of the question is left to the ones own perception of what the definition of "work" is.

and that is the reason I mentioned that when we focus on one area of breeding(which bite work is only one area) we forget to breed for everything the dog was originally we then are breeding and changing and diversifying genetics to suit our own needs and wants . and guess what that is the sole cause of how working breeds have been destroyed in  he first place.

!There is almost
nothing a Malinois won't try if encouraged by his master. These dogs
excel at obedience, tracking, agility, flyball, herding, showing,
Schutzhund and other protection sports, search and rescue, police
work, and just about anything else a dog can do. There are even
Malinois who lure course and dog sled

now take the other working breeds that have over the centuries been bred to make a standard for one purpose you wreck the very thing that makes them a solid working dog..the diversity of abilities.  So in fact with only breeding for bite work the working breeder is producing a dog that no longer genetic represents a dog that could possible be used in sars or herding or detection as they have genetically altered through breeding programs a dog more specialized in areas for just bite work dulling the other natural abilities and enhance just one area.

now over time what do you think will happen to the dogs abilities in other areas if we Just focus on the one ability ?
I see in searching kennels 3 areas

dogs that can do bite work
show dogs
other-herding sars, sledding,therapy etc
now which areas do you think have the most breeders? not the other category yet the bred EXCELS in anything it is introduced to so why are we narrowing the breed to better suit a few areas

by DeeBee on 04 February 2010 - 03:02

 I wanted to add I am all for a well bred working dog but after being in a few dog shows and pushed aside for the dogs being TOO much working and then being pushed aside from working people when I do not have the extreme dog...yet they can work and achieve the same as the working dogs in comparison and yes it may take longer but the working dog can gain titles in conformation.

the problem ...not the dogs or the lines but what each group perceive the "best" type of dog.
so we in fact are working against ourselves take a look at the Siberian. A good working sibe take forever to gain titles in conformation due to lack of coat head structure etc not a high point on working kennels interpretation of the breed they want a serious dog that will do the dog and do it well. Then the show sibe has a amazing coat good structure but could not work a day in its life other than pull around the kiddies in the yard but have good temperments and have health testing unlike the working lines that do not see that a huge part of the breeding program.

the mal world has to only look at other breeds and see how when the breed is split up into defined groups how it makes the dog no longer a working dog but a dog that can only do one thing

by BigSwill on 04 February 2010 - 04:02

There is a gentleman in Cal. that breeds Airdale terriers. He breeds them to hunt hogs. He's been doing it forever. The first bitch he got was out of showlines, but had basically been culled by the show people because all she wanted to do was hunt. As he got deeper into his breeding, he started to breed all of the working ability back into his dogs. He bred them for larger structure, high hunt and prey drive, a body structure that would allow them to fly through the brush after the hog. After a few years of this, the showline folks that came out to look at purchasing one of his pups told him that by breeding the working drives back into the dogs he was ruining the breed. Just a few years ago, the showline people started coming out to look at his dogs because, after many generations of breeding them to work, his were now closer to the "book standard" than anything else they could find. I found that to be very eye opening. Mals can and do excel in many venues; it's a mal that has the world record for height in dock diving. And any dog that has the ability to do K9 work is typically good at pretty much everything mentioned above. But when coat thickness and the perfect wither height starts to take precedence over how well that animal can function in the herding ring or on the SCH. field, someone, somewhere has lost sight of what a dog was supposed to do. NO dog was originally bred or created to stand in the show ring. If people want to show their dog of choice I think that's great; it beats just leaving it sitting in the back yard. What most people don't understand about breeding is that when you're breeding for working ability, it's pretty near impossible to breed for just ONE thing. If you breed for good genetically full grips, what comes with that every time is a dog that has good prey drive, which makes them easier to train due to the fact that they will do anything to get that toy in their mouth, and those are the ones that usually have good OB. I do understand what you're saying, believe it or not. But like I said earlier, a dog that CAN do both is going to be average at best in both venues. If a person is content with average that's great. But I want my dogs to be better than that.

by DeeBee on 04 February 2010 - 05:02

 very good post thank you
I am so glad you have made that it speaks volumes to what can be done to bring a breed back to what they are. but is it just the show world doing the issues. ( I am more of a a working gal and less show) but are they the only ones to blame ?

and I do see what you are saying about doing well at both but not great at either. but like you said if the breeders pull up their socks they can have both cause lets face it the original mal is very capable of excelling in both.I have seen it done in some breeds and in some breeds I do think it is too late the genetics have been altered so much the possibility is just no longer there.

but a question I have is this ,and this is just thinking outside the box. if I am looking for a sars dog and determined to get a mal for it, but on the search for working kennels  I only find working kennels that breed for excellence in bite work protection etc how is that going to help me? as sars needs a dog NOT to bite ever.

so then where does that leave a person in their leads them to the showlines to try and get a dog that is not so instinctively born to have a more desire to be mouthy or too intense that it ends up living with a kennel dog because if it were to live in the home pack it would be impossible to do due to extreme hyperactivity...I am not saying some get up and go and general working drives I mean extreme day to day living.

so what advice would you give to that person looking.

good debate I am enjoying hearing all angles of this, I am glad people love the breed this much 

by Storms Malis on 04 February 2010 - 05:02

I get what you are saying also but seems to me someone one here said if you want to herd get a BC, are you friggin kidding me wow, that is the most redicules statement I have ever heard. They may not not be the absolute best in every field they do but most fields they are certainly a contender. A "G" dog also hold the world record for the weave poles. They can be great at so many things.
Keep in mind I said I have no issues with the working line people doing what they do as I am for both worlds to a certain degree. I don't like to see really aggressive in working lines and I don't like to see a couch potato in the show lines as a working ability is a must, to me it doesn't matter what the job it is as long as there is one, who cares as long as they are working,
They may not ever be a champion herder but they can do it well enough to get my chores done.
If your sport is schutzhund that great get a dog bred for that so you can kick everyones butt, but what is wrong with me wanting a dog who can do a whole bunch of stuff really well, if not do exceptional at it.
My Last litter I had,  one pup in SAR and possible confirmation, three pups in confirmation, agility and obedience, dock dogs, utility, and flyball. 4 in wonderful pet homes,. One doing confirmation and schutzhund, and one doing confirmation and therapy. And out of them the mother of them and two of her pups stay in shape by recreational dog sledding. No they will likely ever run the idirod but it sure doesn't mean they can't enjoy it.  What the frig is wrong with that. They are all excelling in the chosen fields. Ya cause that is all terrible stuff for them to be doing. Now to me those are great homes and great dogs. They are capable so why the heck not. They are certainly never going to burn out by being able to do all those things.  

by Storms Malis on 04 February 2010 - 06:02

In reply to you DB, if you want a good SAR dog, according to some opinions here( certainly not my own) get a different breed, Bother

by malinoid on 04 February 2010 - 15:02

DeeBee & Storms,

I think you are missing my point, there is so much more to the biting sports, like KNPV, than just biting. There is much more to a Police Dog than just biting. The biting (and quality thereof) is a big deal, but it is far from the only thing these venues select for. At the same time, I think you are missing the other qualities of a dog that are revealed through bite work. Like I stated before, when you breed for solid work, you will inevitably end up with a range of qualities in the pups. Many will be good workers for sport & police, some may be no so strong in the bite work...but they may excel in something else like SAR, single purpose detection, competitive obedience, herding, etc. Even in herding, depending on the style, a full, calm grip is desirable because it reflects power, security & can be less damaging to the hide of a sheep, for example, than a nip.
I’ll use my own litter from last year as an example ( The father is a very strong Police Dog; great prey, balance with great aggression, very sound & stable temperament. The mother is very driven, athletic, great hunt, very high prey, good aggression, good handler hardness, can be hectic. Out of 7 pups; four went to Police, SchH/IPO or ringsport homes, one is going to an Urban Search & Rescue handler, one is doing Obedience/Agility & probably Conformation, and the final pup is a pet/active companion. My goal is to produce dogs capable of excelling at Police Work. I know that if that is my goal, even the pups that aren’t cut out as police dogs, or I can’t find police homes for, could do good Ring, IPO or SAR work….and even ones that may lack the drive, bite, hunt, etc will still end up being better companions than dogs bred for generations with the goal of Conformation Champion or AKC Obedience Champion. SAR, if trained for & worked seriously, is very difficult work and many of the same qualities that would make a great police dog are also found in a great SAR dog; confidence, strength, mental stability, etc.

John Haudenshield

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