Training question: Impulse control - Page 1

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by casualfornow on 27 January 2019 - 18:01

Thanks for checking this post.

I acquired a Malinois about a year ago from a gal who tried to do protection work with him. I used him  as a guard dog for the back yard. He did a very good job keeping folks out of the area with no training from me. After I moved I no longer needed a guard dog, but was fond of him and thought he was smart enough to do whatever I wanted such, as a companion dog. He is about 2.5 years now and have done some of Ivan Balabanov 's "The Game" training and some of Michael Ellis's marker training as well. He picks up quick and does the exercises to my satisfaction.


I am reluctant to take him out in public much as he can occasionally "Go for" strangers. Lots of lunging, serious barking, etc. Forceful corrections (choke chains, pinch collars, remote collars)have basically no effect. Sorry folks, but even treats falling from heaven will not dissuade him. Of course the remote collar will get his attention if set to stun, but I think that might only convince him that the object of his desire is supplying the stimulation, which encourages him to fight more after his recovers from the correction. The strength of the corrections as been adjusted to get his attention, but I feel his is still too excited by distractions.

Recently I have started the Koehler Method of dog training. Yes everyone seems to think it is Old School, but the corrections suggested has improved his focus somewhat. And he is now more careful about lunging for things now, which seems like progress to me. Yes of course obedience training is the key, however it seems like a long row to hoe to have him calm down. He will comply now if we see a distraction, but still is very stimulated with other people, animals, cars, etc. I would be nice to seem him settle down. To me he is quite affectionate and friendly.  Some Ring guys and other trainers like him and will happily work with him for a fee that could buy an amazing replacement. (too much $$) Ideas? Feel free to be brutal if necessary. Smile. Thanks!


PLEASE DONT BE SHY.....Share your thoughts.



by Koots on 27 January 2019 - 18:01

Does he like to pack/carry things around in his mouth?

It sounds like you need to 'reprogram' him to change how he perceives strangers/dogs/distractions. Think about how you can get him to pay attention to you, despite outside influences/environment, and use that method to re-focus his attention whenever there is outside stimulus. Start in a controlled environment first, with low-level stimulus, and mold his behaviour with methods that will not create conflict either between you and him, or between him and what he may perceive to be the source of the correction (e-collar corrections making him think the distraction is the source of the stim). You may need to experiment to see what motivates him to re-focus on you and keep his focus on you, without heavy-handed re-direction from you, as you need him to WANT to keep his attention on you and disregard the distractions. This will take some innovation/thinking from you, and this method will take longer but I believe it will make for a better result and relationship between you and him.

As you can see, I have not provided any specifics of training, but more methodology, as one cannot provide absolute solutions over the net without seeing/analyzing the problem in person. Good luck, and please let us know if you find a method to help.

by casualfornow on 27 January 2019 - 19:01

Dear Koots,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with me. Well put comment. I truly appreciate it.

Yes I do give him a ball so he can entertain himself while I am away.

I do like the attention on the handler type of training. I agree this would provide the best result. Reprogramming sounds correct. As his handler I hope I have the patience to do so. (Between me and you it seems like a big job.)

Thank you again!

by ValK on 27 January 2019 - 19:01

doesn't make sense to use dog for something, for what that dog doesn't fit due to innate temperament.
if he does good guarding, then use him as watchdog.
if you do not need watchdog, then re-home him to someone who need such dog.
there are no way to change dog's temperament other than keep that dog under permanent control and oppression.
that wouldn't do any good for either side.

by casualfornow on 27 January 2019 - 19:01

Dear Mr. Valk,

That seems to be a keen insight as well.

Thank you!


by BlackMalinois on 27 January 2019 - 20:01


This can,t be true I have learned on this forum Malinois are crap as watch/guard dog they are only high prey junkies.........Shades Smile

But serious it would be more easy to see the dog in real live  but it looks like a socialisation problem start @ young age


Did you train by Michael or Ivan themselves   ?? Don,t buy dvds  or books that sucks   .....train in a group or trainer and experience people IMO who can read the dog proper.


by casualfornow on 27 January 2019 - 21:01

Dear Mr. BlackMalinois,

Thanks for the humor! Yes socialization at a young age is the root problem. Just Dvds. I did buy a GSD from Ivan once, a Yoschy von der Döllenwiese granddaughter through Tarzan. I think he received it as a gift for a seminar he had done.


by apple on 28 January 2019 - 12:01

The dog has insecurity issues. You can mask them with compulsion, but he will never be a dog that can be safe around other people. He doesn't sound like a good candidate for ring sport due to his low threshold for aggression. The aggression could be related to socialization issues, but I have heard of dogs that were totally isolated except from their owner who had ideal temperament.

by casualfornow on 29 January 2019 - 01:01

Dear Apple,

Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it.

I value your insight as well.




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