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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Kodiak CGC

Barked: Sat Nov 10, '12 6:29am PST 
Happy- Agree with your post. :>
Kodiak CGC

Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 8:19am PST 
Met another little Mal girl out tonight, at Kodi's CGC test (He passed, I knew he would. He was ready to take it a year ago.). Her handler was waiting for their class to start and was happy to give her some socializing, so I got to sit with her. Two years old and soooo tiny. Wouldn't take a treat from me but would allow me to pet and dote on her. laugh out loud

I hear the feedback, I accept that I shouldn't want one, and then I stumble across another and it starts right back up. red face

Spooky Mulder
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 8:58am PST 
Are you against rescuing?

Not necessarily from an actual shelter or rescue situation, but there are many working dog programs who start out with dogs of good breeding, but who don't quite make the cut and are released or resold to pet homes (which keep in mind this is a Malinois here... "pet" home is still going to mean someone who will work the snot out of this dog!).

If you are really heart set on a Mal, that may be the way to go. Get a dog who is a little older, already has some training behind it, and who you can reasonably assess if they will be a good fit for you and your situation or not.

Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 9:20am PST 
Ok, fine....let me put on breed matchers cap smile Why do you like them so?
Kodiak CGC

Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 10:25am PST 
Mulder- I'm certainly open to the idea, absolutely.
I also make it a general rule to foster or at least spend a LOT of time hands-on with a breed before taking the ownership plunge.
Huskies I grew up with and then fostered, Basenjis I fostered first (and I doubt my 'basenji mix' foster failure is even a B, but he makes up for it in spirit, haha), Akitas I just met a handful, talked to rescues, and then kind've jumped and never looked back. I was actually told I shouldn't get an Akita, they're too much dog. silenced In turn, I tell anyone that asks ME about Akitas not to get one. I guess I figure that they're not a breed that anyone needs to be encouraged to get: You either want one bad enough that no amount of discouraging will get in the way, or you don't need one.

My concern with rescuing a shepherd or a mal or similar is the same concern I had when I got my Akita. MY Akita is amazing and I trust him absolutely. I know he's never been hit or kicked or dropped or strangled or starved and he's never been given a reason to lash out. The one Akita I fostered was extremely DA, very guarding of everything she liked, and was rather spooky overall.. if that had been my first experience with the breed, I would have never got one.

The one GSD I've fostered was DA to the point of chewing off a muzzle like it was paper then tearing through a metal crate to get at a closed door where my dogs were passing by to get rotated outside. That makes me nervous. I've met enough charming shepherds to counter my experience, but they've all been sort've iffy with dogs.

A dog with heightened protective instinct, raised wrong, is a dangerous dog.
I'll rescue huskies and basenjis and other such breeds without a second thought, and if they have troubles I'll fix them- always have before. Shepherds, mals, akitas, etc.. I feel less confidant that I'll be able to find a dog that was started the way I want my dog to be started. I might be able to find that from a training program dog that just didn't quite make the cut, I don't even know where to look for such a dog.

Tiller- Mals seem like BC energy and sensitivity paired with GSD protectiveness. Perfect size, perfect look, aesthetically ideal. Wary of strange people but I haven't seen a single one that had an issue with non-aggressive dogs. They seem to have exactly the work ethic I want (Quick, bright, wants a positive and playful training atmosphere and doesn't tire within that.) and they don't seem to need or tolerate harshness.

In pondering what I want to do with my next dog, I was torn between either really pouring myself into Agility with a BC (Lived with one and known many, know what I'd be getting into there, love it. If I wasn't under my ex's thumb and had say in my own life at the time, I'd have kept that dog forever. Stupid youth, will never allow myself to be put in that situation again.) or Sch with a.. ____. More interested in Sch, so if I can get that BC aura in a protection dog package, that's precisely what I want.

Now, don't get me wrong. It's LIKELY that I'll find out more, meet more outside of working, and wind up changing my mind. Just because I have a crush on them now doesn't mean for sure I'll be falling in love with them. wink
For now, though, they do impress me.

Also! Realize I'm just picking you guys' brains and making conversation, not actually trying to shift the responsibility of breed matching onto you! All in light spirits and good fun. :]
Talk me down! Haha.

Dobies.. I've been trying to get excited about them! They just don't do it for me. :[

Edited by author Wed Nov 14, '12 10:37am PST

Bianca CGC- TT HIC Thd- ♥

What big ears- you have...
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 10:51am PST 
I'm not into Mals but I just saw a litter of Mal/Boxer pups in rescue...so sweet (the mother was a purebred Malinois that came into rescue either pregnant or with the pups.)

Edited by author Wed Nov 14, '12 10:53am PST

Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 11:16am PST 
You first have to start with the jazz factor. If you don't have the Doberman jazz, you don't and really that's fine. If you have to press yourself into liking a breed, you need to keep looking.

I am not doing your work for you, but getting you to think and maybe articulate more what you'd like. Bring you closer to a very well thought out, god match. Trust your Tiller! laugh out loud I know what I am doing.

One thing about the jazz factor is that these dogs do give you problems. If you want to Sch train, they will give you even more. I mean like these headache-y, mind twisting challenges that bat your frustration around like a cat to your mouse. Sometimes, it seems they wake up every day with designs on how they will drive you batty TODAY! laugh out loud In these instances, if you love your breed, it's like water off a ducks back. It only makes you more into them. This is a consistency I find. Whereas, if you got on a breed because it was "practical"....I mean, let's say I took another breed because the GSD was "not healthy." Well then, I would endure far less well, because that love affair was not there. This is a consistency I find. Take that AB thread over on the B&T. The dog has attacked everyone in the house, is causing family division, isn't like the one before, has cost them buckets of money....and still, she is all about loving this dog. It really has a LOT to do with it. Because she is an AB freak.

So it is a very important consideration.

Ah, but then the paradox. It's like you see this person, you are SO into them, then you go on a date where you are actually in their space, subjected to it. And alllll you can think is WTF! Or, you go on a sympathy date with someone you didn't connect with, and have the time of your life!

This is where I can help you smile

So, here is my first question. Can you tell me about your individual dogs and list the three things for each you love most, and the the three things you like the least?
Kodiak CGC

Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 1:05pm PST 
Tiller- I've been watching that AB thread. I'm impressed at her perseverance and agree that is definitely some breed love.

I was just talking to my partner about this last night, actually. If I find myself gone for a Mal, and go with a practical shepherd, I'm going to be looking at that dog for its whole life as 'the breed I got instead of a Mal', and that's not fair at all. If I'd gotten another breed besides my Akita, I'd still be pining for the breed and unconsciously holding it against whatever breed I got instead (I was looking at shepherds then, too, and thinking the Malinois was probably too much for me.) Meanwhile, my Akita can do no wrong, even when he does wrong. wink

Current dog pros and cons, this is going to be fun (and wordy)!

Kodiak (American Akita)

- Handler-soft. (His emotions float on the current of my demeanor. If my tone or body language are harsh, he is SO SORRY, if I'm happy, he's elated. He is very into me and doesn't care much about anyone else.)

- Suspicious of strange strangers. (He's socialized well enough to be a sap for attention, but he's keen: He's taken issue with a few people and they've all been creepy.)

- Protective but not vicious. (We had a prowler at the back of our property once, just outside of the fence. All the dogs alerted, but only Kodiak actually stepped up. I'd been shining a flashlight around looking but couldn't see him. Kodiak found the man and stayed RIGHT on him, hackled, silent, and hard staring until the man showed himself, hands up. Kodiak walked with him off the property and then refused to come inside so he could make sure he stayed gone. Alternately, neighbors and lawncare people can reach into our yard and pet our dogs, and he barks, makes sure I'm ok with it, and then goes to be pet. That is absolutely invaluable to me.)

- Bored VERY quickly with training (Training is fun the very first time I ask for something, and after that he's miserably bored and is tossing his head around, huffing, flopping over and refusing to budge until I YAYAYAY LETS DO THIS THING ramp it up and then he's with me through another couple commands.)

- Low drive, low motivation, sloooow (He works at his own pace. Doesn't care about food, doesn't care about toys, doesn't have a prey drive, doesn't do anything particularly enthusiastically. Never been trouble, never really wanted to play, happy to just lie around all day.)

- Strange dog intolerant (He is MARVELOUS.. for an Akita. He is an obedient boy who wants to do right so he graciously tolerates new dogs for my benefit, as long as they don't challenge him in any way. Very expected with the breed, not a huge issue, but something that I wish was different.)

Nikolai (Siberian Husky)

- Bright and eager (LOVES training, as long as it's very positive. Willing to go much longer than the Akita, and willing to do several training sessions per day. FUN to train and learns QUICK, though his over-eagerness sometimes turns into spazzy EVERYTHING IS GOOD HERE HAVE A SIT-LAY-ROLL-SIT-JUMP-BARK-ROLL!.. lol)

- Drivey and motivated (Willing to do whatever as long as food or toys are at the other end of it. Understands that if he's quick he gets rewarded quick and can get pumped about training games.)

- Very lovey with me and social with dogs (Kissy and snuggly with me, amazing with even the rudest dogs. Knows how to tell a dog no without having to fly into FULL ON pinning attack.. which is very nice, since I spend a lot of time around groups of dogs and dog people.)

- Loves everyone (Eeeeveryone. During that prowler episode, this one barked a couple times and then ran around the yard pouncing and hopping and squeaking a ball. laugh out loud No loyalty, no protectiveness, every person is as OMGWONDERFUL as the last.)

- Before I 'got' him, he drove me up the wall (Before I understood how he needed to be worked, he drove me CRAZY. He took many months to housetrain, chewed everything, tore up carpets, shredded couches, snarled and snapped and escaped and stole and generally was a little white demon. Now he's crazy fun, but for a while there.. DEEP BREATHS, WALK AWAY.)

- He's so ugly!! (big laugh laugh out loud I don't know, I'm out of things to dislike.)

Pharaoh (Basenji / Manchester terrier Supposedly. JRT/Brussels Griffon/St Bernard according to his breed test, haha.)

- Overflowing with personality (Super sensitive, super in-tune with our emotions, pushy, bold, willing to bite you up if he needs to but knows that growls pretty much always suffice. VERY playful, very energetic, alert and thoughtful. Can be playing HARD with me one minute, full on teeth bared, nastiest sounds, and then I ask for a kiss and he's wiggly and kissy.)

- Smart (Clever enough to be a brat. I once caught him digging at the fenceline. I went out, told him no, and went back in to watch him through the window. He frowned at the door and then went back to digging. I went back out, told him no again more sternly, and this time led him off to an appropriate area to dig, dug a little, and he was like ':] Yeah, ok!' so I went back in...
Watched him through the window as he waited to be sure I was inside and then BOLTED back to the fence spot, dug FURIOUSLY for a moment, kicked off the spot like a turd, and then zoomed away before I could catch him. applause He'll do things like get a bone and lay it against something he wants to chew but isn't supposed to, so he can chew on the bad thing but when caught can chew the bone. Trouble, but in a mostly harmless way.)

- Clingy (Has to be underfoot at all times, has to be touching someone when he sleeps. He's figured out exactly what buttons to push to make me turn all my attention on him and pushes them constantly-- As I type this he's rolling upside down at me squeaking a toy and kicking my seat.)

- Loves everyone (He's not as SUPERSOCIAL as the husky, but if a stranger talks sweet to him he's trying to climb in their lap. I may be doing this myself with the amount of socializing I do, haha.)

- Very easily frustrated by training (I'm guessing he was started harshly because he shuts down if he doesn't know what's being asked. Trying to lure and free-shape with him leads to him automatically sitting and worrying at me, as if he'd get in trouble for being creative. We're working on it, and I'm sure he'll come out of this shell eventually..)

-Wrong size (Just a bit too small!)

PHEW. Hopefully that covers everything. That was a lot of thinking and typing. :] I'm sure that's full of typos, so hopefully everything is understandable.

Edited by author Wed Nov 14, '12 1:11pm PST


The Boy Wonder
Barked: Thu Nov 15, '12 8:45am PST 
Just putting it out there... you like border collies... you realize border collies Can do Schutzhund? You just have to find the right breeder who caters to a working drive. A good sport breeder (as opposed to a show breeder or a stock dog breeder) would get you the border collie you want with the ability to do any of the protection sports you want.

I've done it with a border collie, they Have the drive and are wicked little dogs. The only difference in the breeds is that it Is a sport for them, They just aren't big enough to feasibly do real protection work, and if all you want to do is dabble in the sport world then they're a good way to get your feet wet. It sounds like you're looking for a dog like a border collie that can do X... which leads me to believe you'd be happier finding a border collie that can do X
Kodiak CGC

Barked: Thu Nov 15, '12 10:15am PST 
Happy- It's hard for me to envision a BC doing Sch.. :x

I would like to have another BC some day, but I wouldn't want to do Sch with him, I just don't think it's where they excel. I'm unwilling to start a dog with Sch training if it's not going to be our daily focus and something the dog can REALLY get into and bloom within. I'm sure they CAN do it- They can do just about anything, they're Border Collies! wink

That's not to say my mind is made up that my next choice dog won't be a BC. Maybe a year from now I decide Sch isn't for me and shift gears entirely.

ATM focusing on daily training with my current dogs, finishing up everyone's cgcs and getting my husky in some kind of sport, weekend sch club visits, breed research, visiting individual dogs (Talking with a couple atm that have raised and trained K9 mals for several years and they're going to let me come to their house, visit their dogs, and chat about the breed).
If that fire dies at some point through this preparation then so be it, it wasn't meant to be. If NOT, I know exactly where I am and have no doubts about what I want. :]

Edited by author Thu Nov 15, '12 10:24am PST

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