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Working GSD, Mal, other? Doing homework. :)

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

  
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Ace

Mischief is my- middle name
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 9, '12 9:23am PST 
I'm about 80% sure Ace is part Belgian Malinois - partly on looks, partly on temperament (mellowed a bit by what I think is part Husky). I have not done any serious training with her, but from what I've read researching the breed, Mals are wonderful Schutzhund dogs.

You can probably find a Mal that didn't have quite enough drive to be a real working dog, but would probably be fun to train for your personal purposes.

Ace isn't always super-velcro when I'm home, but boy, does she let me know it after I've been out of the house without her. And she's got the energy to keep up with anything I want to do. I think I bore her a little though.
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Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 9, '12 4:48pm PST 
I'm going to caution you against a mal or Dutch as well. Both have can be Too focused and are not at all forgiving to training mistakes.

I would also recommend Dobe's highly, they are Very handler focused and I think that's something you really want. Working lined dogs Can be found it just takes a bit of looking. Try one of the doberman forums or someone might groan but over on the Leerburg forums someone might know a good breeder to look into. They make wonderful dabbler type dogs. As of course do GSD's which are really a great family type dog. Dobe's do have some health concerns to watch for, try to find a breeder who is actively working on the longevity of their lines. Mulder and Tiller said everything I would have about shepherds.

Tiller.. out of curiosity what would you say about a Giant Schnauzer? They're one of those breeds I dream of owning, and have worked with many years ago but don't know how well they would do at the kind of active sports I enjoy.
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Niki

1229379
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 9, '12 5:19pm PST 
Totally think Dobermans are worth looking into. They are a breed I've admired for being flashy at shows ... but once I met a few and spent a lot of time with them, I was in LOVE. I like dogs that are on the clingy side and Dobermans fit perfectly. There is something about them that is very human-like, thats I've also noticed in standard poodles. Perhaps it's just high intelligence without the exuberant energy .... focused, loyal, and such sweethearts! They have a lot of character and personality. They can have some issues that others breeds aren't as predisposed to, such as DA (especially males living with other males), but I'm not sure if it would be that much different than with an Akita. I don't think I would recommend a male Doberman with a male Akita though ... just a bit riskier than a female. Health issues can be more prominent too. I have a colleague that works in Doberman rescue and says the oldies are absolute mushes ... so I would look into reputable, well-researched, Doberman-specific rescues if this dog is a pet-only. But if you are truly interested in performance, obviously a well-breed young dog would serve you better. Advanced obedience also requires a high level of owner-dog relationship and just seems less severe than Schutzhund. I admire good working Schutzhund dogs .... but unless I can commit 200% to do the sport with absolute, lifetime dedication and knowledgable trainers, its not a sport I'd recommend pursuing.
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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 9, '12 5:26pm PST 
but unless I can commit 200% to do the sport with absolute, lifetime dedication and knowledgable trainers, its not a sport I'd recommend pursuing

Well, ok, I wouldn't really take it that far.

I agree that you NEED knowledgeable trainers.

But I never dedicated my life to Schutzhund. Frankly, the ones that do, are probably the ones most likely to fall into that category I mentioned of the people who take it TOO seriously. Its a sport, guys. One you need to have a good grasp of to do correctly, but not one you have to give up your day job for.
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Niki

1229379
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 9, '12 7:38pm PST 
Well when you're training a dog for protection work ... it should be taken very,very seriously and not done half-as*ed.
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Bianca CGC- TT HIC Thd- ♥

What big ears- you have...
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 9, '12 8:12pm PST 
I agree I don't think GSDs are necessarily clingy, but it may depend on your frame of reference. They are handler oriented for sure and they love to be with "their" people, very attached to their owners, but not the most clingy dogs ever. It depends what you are comparing them to, though.
For an example, my previous two dogs were on the opposite ends as far as "clingy" went, I had a Golden (velcro dogs) and a terrier (totally independent) and I'd say my GSD was closer to the Golden end or the spectrum then the terrier, but not as clingy for sure, she did not solicit attention all the time the way my Golden did but wanted to be in the same room as me and was very attached to me. I got my Shepherd as a 4 year old dog and she bonded to me VERY quickly even though I had trouble feeling bonded to her (I think I got her too soon after losing my heart dog).
Then again she may not have been typical for a GSD because she was also quite friendly with people and would go up and lean on a stranger who asked to pet her, if I told her it was ok for her to "say hi" (GSDs are supposed to be "aloof with strangers" so...)

Edited by author Fri Nov 9, '12 8:13pm PST

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Nikolai

1233302
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 9, '12 8:20pm PST 
I'm aware of the dedication requirement. That is the intention. I'm planning on an every day practicing and multiple trips out for training per week thing.

At the point in my life where I have the time to give that, that's what I want to do. If I don't have the time or resources to commit, I'm not going to start. Maybe that's a year from now, maybe that's 20 years from now.

Looking at dobes.. I wish they came in long coat. wink
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Kodiak CGC

WOOoooOOoo
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 9, '12 9:00pm PST 
ha.. oh. After saying that I googled it and apparently they DO. :| I was just making a joke. A coated doberman is strange.

Also, I posted under the wrong dog.

Edited by author Fri Nov 9, '12 9:04pm PST

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Bianca CGC- TT HIC Thd- ♥

What big ears- you have...
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 9, '12 9:14pm PST 
Yeah they do! I know someone who was fostering a long-coated Doberman, they called her "werewolf" (nickname). smile
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Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 10, '12 3:43am PST 
Well when you're training a dog for protection work ... it should be taken very,very seriously and not done half-as*ed.

Nikki... you seem to have some sort of misconception about the sport... Schutzhund isn't protection training. I don't care how you swing it. It's a sport like any other. A dog with correct drives and started correctly is not looking at biting the person, for the most part sport dogs are fixated on the equipment which as a general rule without other training makes them unsuitable for protection work Anyway. A dog with incorrect drives has no business doing Any sport that puts them in contact with the public.

People see the dog engaging with the decoy and think automatically that the dog is 'attacking'. But in reality 9 times out of 10 the dog is simply playing an enthusiastic and high end game of tug.

That isn't to say that idiots should take it lightly, but no sport should be taken lightly because done weekend warrior style you can hurt your dog because it is an Active and evolved sport. But no... you don't have to devote your life to it and it doesn't make your dog anymore unsafe than the average tug crazy agility dog.
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