Calling Belgian Malinois Owners

Aug 23, 2013
303
4
18
South Western Indiana
#1
Anyone in the group have Mals? I have currently have a Redbone Coonhound who is a pretty awesome dog. However there are times I feel she needs a companion. This past summer I have started to want a second dog and fell in love with the Mal breed. Can anyone give me some insight to the breed? introducing a mal pup to an older dog etc. I know Mals or Maligators require A LOT they are a HIGH Drive dog and require work. My furniture might be cringing as I type this. I have done a lot of reading about the breed. I have looked into a lot of training facilities to work with. And I am willing to put in the time and work. I am single and other than my RBCH it is just me. Anyone have have Mals and any advice? would you do it again? Suggestions on breeders or even a young rescue? Male would be preferred. And yes I have been around the breed and seen them first hand.
 
Likes: kindabitey

Rthur

Philomath
Apr 16, 2010
6,780
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Not Chicago, Illinios
#2
My bro had a pair.
Very intelligent and aggressive.
They had a linage from europe of some sort.
He lived in town and really didn't have the time or area to exercise these dogs.
One fed on the others hyper personality.
After a few close calls he finally listened to me and sent them to a training facility.
My Border collie is hyper but these dogs had hyper plus aggression.
Like all powerful tools/dogs they'll require a very dominate owner.
Good luck.

R
 
Dec 13, 2017
237
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28
Catskill Mountains NY
#3
Best used for Law Enforcement might not be the best choice for a family pet unless you can give it the time and attention they require. Had 1 here on the farm last week with his partner my long time friend and colleague while they were on duty. Well he was too quiet just waiting for a command.... Goodluck, we have some lab pups ready to go in NY.
 

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Likes: BW64
Jan 6, 2012
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#4
Never had a Mal.

Is the redbone male or female and how old? IMHO, you should get a female if the redbone is male and the opposite if female. The new dog will be the dominant one and that will cause major problems if they're both male or female.

BTW, the difference between a redbone and high drive (read as nuts) GSD is like going from a Honda Accord to a big block Chevelle. I'd imagine a Mal would be that times 5.
 

MarinePMI

Battery Operated Grunt
Jun 3, 2010
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San Diego, Ca
#5
Not to get cross with Rthur, but my experience has been slightly different.

My daughter (who lives with us currently) has a Mali, and while definitely high energy, dominance is not an issue with her at all (in fact, quite the opposite...she's a big whimp within the family). She will get aggressive with people "outside the pack", but generally only if they are displaying an aggressive behavior.

There used to be a couple breeders/importers on this board a few years back, and they both mentioned that with Mali's, it really depends on the dog's breeding as to whether it will be dominantly aggressive, or if it will be more of "the family pet, that think's they're a person" type of personality.

I will agree, they are some of the smartest friggin' dogs I've seen. Ours can now open the back door to let herself back in (we thought it would be impossible to train her, but she figured it out pretty quickly). Sasha (the dog) was house broken as a puppy in like 3-4 days. She catches on really quick, as long as the commands are short, consistent, and followed by positive reinforcement.

The other thing that surprised me about them, was that they do not bark excessively (rarely actually), unless they're in defense mode (someone on the front porch, approaching her safe space boundary, etc.). In fact, when she needs to go outside, she doesn't bark or whine. She just comes up to you and nuzzles your hand, and then either faces the door, or runs towards it and looks back.

Also surprising, was how sensitive she was to discipline. A gentle, but firm hand, is needed with her or she get's this brow beat face and attitude, and acts as if she's afraid of being disciplined again. They thrive on being given tasks and being kept occupied (whether it be playing, training or what not).

One thing is for sure, when you look into her eyes, you'd swear you could almost see the gears turning. She's a damned smart dog.
 
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Nov 18, 2008
17
16
3
USA
#6
My experience reflects yours. A friend has a male that was bred and trained in the Czech Republic. He was trained as an LE/Mil type dog. Super smart, a lot of energy but they can be pretty calm. They like to play and will be very good with the family and familiar people. Barks are rare unless they are on alert or doing some training. Very intelligent. My friends dog knows hand commands as well as verbal in two languages.

It was a lot of fun wearing the bite suit or sleeve. It's impressive how much power and speed they have. This dog was trained to grab whatever it can should it lose it's bite on a limb. The local trainer my friend now works with took a mouthful of teeth to his nut sack with a big tear that needed several stitches because of the previous training. Needless to say he updated his suit with some junk protection just for working with my buddy's dog here in the states.

It made me really want to get one some day. Such bad ass dogs while being really cool for a family at the same time.
 
Likes: MarinePMI
Mar 29, 2013
749
535
93
Wisconsin
#7
Have someone that knows the breed and good breeders help you find one. When I asked for help, I was looking for a German Shepard. I was told whatever you do dont get a Mal. Well, I ended up with one after not finding a GSD I liked. I really couldn't be happier with him. He goes everywhere with me including work. I dont think he would be a good fit for our family if I had to leave him home. Socialization is critical.

Good luck, but be prepared, and take your time finding the right one for you. They are a handful, but I wouldn't trade mine for the world. 20181206_105932.jpg
 

THEIS

Hi, Sincerely
Nov 27, 2017
1,501
2,615
113
#8
Hi,

Ahh...Mals Mals Mals

When you hear people discuss Mals not being suitable for pets vs them being suitable you should realize that IMO less than 5% of them have ever owned, much less actually worked/trained a Mal.

Can Mals be what is referred to as handler aggressive? Absolutely YES but and that is a big BUT....I can pinpoint those dogs down to 3 dogs within their 5 generation pedigree in regards to if they will be or will not be handler aggressive.

Can Mals make family pets? Absolutely YES but they require more work than every other dog breed in the world except a Caucasian Ovcharka.

Key to your success: Find not only the right pedigree but the right breeder.

So lets start with what training center are you thinking of?

Sincerely,
Theis
 

Rthur

Philomath
Apr 16, 2010
6,780
3,686
113
50
Not Chicago, Illinios
#9
Not to get cross with Rthur, but my experience has been slightly different.

My daughter (who lives with us currently) has a Mali, and while definitely high energy, dominance is not an issue with her at all (in fact, quite the opposite...she's a big whimp within the family). She will get aggressive with people "outside the pack", but generally only if they are displaying an aggressive behavior.

There used to be a couple breeders/importers on this board a few years back, and they both mentioned that with Mali's, it really depends on the dog's breeding as to whether it will be dominantly aggressive, or if it will be more of "the family pet, that think's they're a person" type of personality.

I will agree, they are some of the smartest friggin' dogs I've seen. Ours can now open the back door to let herself back in (we thought it would be impossible to train her, but she figured it out pretty quickly). Sasha (the dog) was house broken as a puppy in like 3-4 days. She catches on really quick, as long as the commands are short, consistent, and followed by positive reinforcement.

The other thing that surprised me about them, was that they do not bark excessively (rarely actually), unless they're in defense mode (someone on the front porch, approaching her safe space boundary, etc.). In fact, when she needs to go outside, she doesn't bark or whine. She just comes up to you and nuzzles your hand, and then either faces the door, or runs towards it and looks back.

Also surprising, was how sensitive she was to discipline. A gentle, but firm hand, is needed with her or she get's this brow beat face and attitude, and acts as if she's afraid of being disciplined again. They thrive on being given tasks and being kept occupied (whether it be playing, training or what not).

One thing is for sure, when you look into her eyes, you'd swear you could almost see the gears turning. She's a damned smart dog.
The above is just my experience with two.
You're not going to hurt my feelings, Lol
His were kenneled much of the day.

R
 
Likes: MarinePMI
Aug 23, 2013
303
4
18
South Western Indiana
#10
Hi,

Ahh...Mals Mals Mals

When you hear people discuss Mals not being suitable for pets vs them being suitable you should realize that IMO less than 5% of them have ever owned, much less actually worked/trained a Mal.

Can Mals be what is referred to as handler aggressive? Absolutely YES but and that is a big BUT....I can pinpoint those dogs down to 3 dogs within their 5 generation pedigree in regards to if they will be or will not be handler aggressive.

Can Mals make family pets? Absolutely YES but they require more work than every other dog breed in the world except a Caucasian Ovcharka.

Key to your success: Find not only the right pedigree but the right breeder.

So lets start with what training center are you thinking of?

Sincerely,
Theis
Liberty K9 in Hawesville is an option
Off Leash K9 in Indy is an option
Also waiting on contact info for another who trains LE dogs in the area but I have not yet got his info.
 

MarinePMI

Battery Operated Grunt
Jun 3, 2010
2,981
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113
San Diego, Ca
#11
My friends dog knows hand commands as well as verbal in two languages.

Yes. Our Sasha also responds to hand signals as well. I'm not sure if it is just inherent to the breed or what (I've never had a dog before that responded to them so easily as this one). When training her, we always include a hand signal with the verbal command. She learned early on to associate the two, so now many times, I just look at her and give her the hand signal for "sit", "stay" or "Heel" and she responds accordingly.

Amazing dogs.
 

THEIS

Hi, Sincerely
Nov 27, 2017
1,501
2,615
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#13
Hi,

Ok, so....
Do not get caught up in the "Trains LE dogs" thing....Departments purchase either pre-qualified K9 candidates or fully trained dogs. They typically would not know when to transition a puppy from tug toy to bite wedge to compression sleeve.

What requirements do you have for the dog?

From your list: Liberty K9 hands down. They have a very nice facility and focus on handler to dog bonding. Their obstacle course is designed to prove to the dog he can trust you, not prove to you what the dog can do. There is a big difference....especially with a mal.

See if he has any upcoming pups from the same lines as his Carlos and Duncan breeding he had a few years ago.

Sincerely,
Theis
 
Nov 10, 2010
3,628
2,503
113
UT
#14
Hi,

Ok, so....
Do not get caught up in the "Trains LE dogs" thing....Departments purchase either pre-qualified K9 candidates or fully trained dogs. They typically would not know when to transition a puppy from tug toy to bite wedge to compression sleeve.

What requirements do you have for the dog?

From your list: Liberty K9 hands down. They have a very nice facility and focus on handler to dog bonding. Their obstacle course is designed to prove to the dog he can trust you, not prove to you what the dog can do. There is a big difference....especially with a mal.

See if he has any upcoming pups from the same lines as his Carlos and Duncan breeding he had a few years ago.

Sincerely,
Theis
That is some nice inside info right there, why this site is the best!!
 

THEIS

Hi, Sincerely
Nov 27, 2017
1,501
2,615
113
#16
Hi,

Here is biggest issue with Abshire's operation. This quote is from his website: All of our trainers are certified police officers, not civilians. They are experienced police dog handlers who have worked in the trenches and know the dogs and training required for effective law enforcement.

The problem with that is...There has only been 1 USA born person to be invited to bring their dog and compete in the KNPV Level II Championships and he is NOT a police officer nor has he ever been one. But is the only USA born person to be respected enough in regards to his training and dogs abilities to get invited to the KNPV Level II Championships.

As I mentioned above..Police Departments purchase (Typically 30K for dual purpose) trained dogs so just because someone was/is a K9 Officer does not mean shit in regards to their ability to train a green puppy.

Sincerely,
Theis
 
Jul 13, 2012
301
62
28
28
Baton Rouge, LA
#17
Hi,

Here is biggest issue with Abshire's operation. This quote is from his website: All of our trainers are certified police officers, not civilians. They are experienced police dog handlers who have worked in the trenches and know the dogs and training required for effective law enforcement.

The problem with that is...There has only been 1 USA born person to be invited to bring their dog and compete in the KNPV Level II Championships and he is NOT a police officer nor has he ever been one. But is the only USA born person to be respected enough in regards to his training and dogs abilities to get invited to the KNPV Level II Championships.

As I mentioned above..Police Departments purchase (Typically 30K for dual purpose) trained dogs so just because someone was/is a K9 Officer does not mean shit in regards to their ability to train a green puppy.

Sincerely,
Theis
You seem more knowledgeable on the subject than me so I trust what you say. I just know he is local to me and highly regarded here. He also has trainers that are not LEO for regular obedience type training.
 

THEIS

Hi, Sincerely
Nov 27, 2017
1,501
2,615
113
#18
Hi,

We all know different things and different details. That is what makes the forum great :) (Luckily for me..I only know 2-3 different type of things so it makes it easy to remember most of it lol).

He puts out some nice dogs but it is not like he is breeding them..he purchases prequaled from other kennels as do a MAJORITY of the USA Kennels. It is just easier that way. They bring in 25 potentials...keep 5 and others go back. Real easy to have good dogs that way and is reason for 30-60k price tags. Someone has to account for that shipping cost and time.

As you mention..he is highly regarded in the Kaplan and surrounding areas :) Bayou Bengals stick together for good or bad.

Sincerely,
Theis
 

THEIS

Hi, Sincerely
Nov 27, 2017
1,501
2,615
113
#19
Hi,

OP..If you have not done so yet..browse Liberty K9 facebook page (it can be browsed without FB account) and view the pictures. Particularly the ones with dogs on the obstacle course. If you have any questions as to "why" of any of those pictures please feel free to ask. I will give my take on them.

Sincerely,
Theis
 
May 14, 2013
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#20
If I remember correctly, couple years back, Bogie Brown had a Mali service dog. I believe he did some training also. I used his wisdom and advice in getting my dog.
 

cattleman99

Sergeant of the Herd
Mar 28, 2018
560
188
43
United States
#21
I had a Mal x German Shepherd Cross. The Mal parent was apparently a retired Mil or LE dog, and was viciousl as hell. My dog, the cross, spent all day every day walking up and down the tree lines looking for varmints to kill. She killed just about every rabbit, squirrel, Coon, opossum, and badger on the place. At least once a week she’d come home cut up and bloody from being in a fight.

Aside from her wild side, she was a very sweet and loveable dog. Amazing around kids.
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Aug 24, 2010
4,952
2,173
113
Northeast Wyoming
#22
First, @bogeybrown is probably the best source on the Hide to answer your questions. He's busy and a bit hit or miss these days here, but hopefully he will see the tag.

Second, I (or rather my ex wife) had a Mal for about a year, pup was about four months old when I got her and from good lineage of active police working dogs, but was the last pick of the litter for a reason. I was working overseas and had very little time to work with her, and right off the bat she had some sort of problem where she would shit in her own kennel daily if not more. It was really weird to say the least. Hyper like most mals, my ex was lazy and didn't do the daily work with her. It got along great with my other dog that's a boxer/lab mutt as well as my two kids who were pre-school and elementary age at the time, no problems there. She did some training but nothing mal/shepherd specific, more basic discipline classes. My ex who wouldn't shut up the first time about getting the dog, then wouldn't shut up about how much she hated dealing with her. I ended up giving her to a co-worker who had decades of training and working time with mals, that dog under the right ownership ended up becoming an actual work dog. Never did stop shitting her kennel though...

Long story short, if you have the time and energy, they're awesome dogs, but you will have plenty of times where you will hate the fucker too. Don't leave anything out you're not willing to have teeth and/or paw marks on, they don't give a shit what you think is yours because you're wrong and they will prove it to you daily.
 
Likes: schmi015
Nov 25, 2013
20
2
3
#23
Dutch Shepherds are another "Mal" to look at. Out of the same litter, tan dogs may be referred to as a "Mal" while the striped ones could be called "dutchies." Either way, find a local club and go to watch someone else train. Take advice from those that don't gain financially from it. And then go to a reputable person and buy a 2 year old that has been started in training. You could also consider a "washout," depending on your needs. Trust me, there is no free ride or "cheap" dog. Pay once and get what you like.
 

DavidK

Sergeant
Jul 27, 2006
911
99
28
#24
I have owned Mals and trained them for obedience and bite work

While all breeds have generalities, every dog is different, and the same goes for Mals. Some male are aggressive some are not. Some can be calm others can not. etc, etc.

You may have the time and desire now to deal with the high drives and needs of a Mal, but what happens if your situation changes?

While I agree some Mals make great house dogs, most Mals don't. It will be harder to find a Mal that will make a great pet than just about any other breed. Problem is you won't know it until you already own it. I would recommend against it. I suggest a German Shep.
 
Likes: jmackey

MarinePMI

Battery Operated Grunt
Jun 3, 2010
2,981
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113
San Diego, Ca
#25
These are pics from when she was still a puppy (about a year old I guess)....

Her hearing a box of Cheese-its being opened (the wife, regrettably, allowed her to have one, and now whenever a box gets opened, she gets real attentive).
Sasha1.jpg
Her begging from the wife... Sasha2.jpg

She's probably about 15-20lbs heavier now and (finally) transitioning out of the puppy phase (Malis tend to exhibit "puppy like" behavior far longer than most breeds).
 
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Dec 24, 2013
101
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Colorado
#30
I don’t have any first hand experience with the breed, but I know a fellow who spent a fair amount of time in SEAL 1 with them, and continued to breed them after he left the teams. We were talking about them one day and he mentioned that he just lost his because his stomach turned and they didn’t catch it in time. I commented that I didn’t know they had that issue. He assured me as much and that .mil would stitch their stomach to their side to keep it from turning.
 

MarinePMI

Battery Operated Grunt
Jun 3, 2010
2,981
1,448
113
San Diego, Ca
#31
Yes, the breed has issues with being too active after feeding. You have to keep an eye on them if they feed and then get really active right afterwards.
 

Rutter

New Hide Member
Nov 19, 2018
7
0
1
#32
Clint Barnet
Trainer and breeder for the Mals give him a call great guy knows his stuff.
+1 (509) 998-9567
 
#34
I wouldn't get a Mal again. Ours is almost 9 and is just starting to slow down a bit. They can be super hyper / neurotic, ours was a shadow chaser for the first 3-4years, she nibbled socks for the first two. I actually watched her one day get a green army sock out of the hamper to chew on, that was probably the hardest habit to break, wife lost a good victorias secret bra too. I've never met a mal that isn't intelligent, they're the velociraptor of dogs. Ours with no training when she saw a bite sleeve nailed it, i mean just clamped down and wouldn't let go until someone picked her up off the ground, then she released. They need lots of exercise, I'd take her swimming in a nearby lake for about an hour and a half everyday to tire her out.
We got ours to listen to verbal command and hand signals. For whatever reason she took a liking to my wife more than me, but since it will just be you that shouldn't be an issue.

If you're looking for a companion for you and your current dog I would look for a more docile breed. If you're looking for a dog that will disregard its own safety and fuck up an intruder get a Mal.
 

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THEIS

Hi, Sincerely
Nov 27, 2017
1,501
2,615
113
#36
Hi,

Sometimes but it is a pretty severe version of bloat:
https://www.acvs.org/small-animal/gastric-dilatation-volvulus

We always crate the dogs in our programs after they eat.
Crates are used for sleeping, not punishment. So the dog due to how the crate was trained in and used will rest/sleep after eating to let food "settle".

Also train your dog to eat slower..YES that can be a huge undertaking with a mal, especially if you feed once a day but some lines..particularly dogs down from Elgos du Chemin des Plaines seem to eat faster than they run. So we literally feed them 1 piece of dry food at a time in order to get them to slow down.

Also try not to let them get too thirsty..If a shepherd breed (any breed but shepherds seem to be worse) gets too thirsty they tend to take in a lot of air while drinking. At that point they need burping.

Sincerely,
Theis
 
May 16, 2013
231
51
28
Austin, TX
#37
I know a lot of guys are saying find the right pedigree and trainer. But I kind of went an opposite way. We were originally looking for another GSD after mine passed while I was deployed. So we found the Good Shepherd Rescue out of the DFW area. After looking at all their dogs we found Falco who's a Mal. We were kinda nervous but since the rescue uses foster homes you get to talk to the parents and ask about dispositions and other stuff. So we brought Falco home and he's been great. We run or chuck'it in the morning for at least 30 minutes and then he goes to work with me. I think Mals are great if your looking for an everyday go with you everywhere type of dog. Just don't leave them at home by themselves. Ours is even getting along with the cat.
 
Mar 29, 2013
749
535
93
Wisconsin
#38
I know a lot of guys are saying find the right pedigree and trainer. But I kind of went an opposite way. We were originally looking for another GSD after mine passed while I was deployed. So we found the Good Shepherd Rescue out of the DFW area. After looking at all their dogs we found Falco who's a Mal. We were kinda nervous but since the rescue uses foster homes you get to talk to the parents and ask about dispositions and other stuff. So we brought Falco home and he's been great. We run or chuck'it in the morning for at least 30 minutes and then he goes to work with me. I think Mals are great if your looking for an everyday go with you everywhere type of dog. Just don't leave them at home by themselves. Ours is even getting along with the cat.
Mine is still a puppy, but we have an outdoor cat that was picked up as a kitten at the same time frame as our dog. My cousin brought his dog over one day (border collie/ Shepard mix, and his dog took of after the cat. Well my dog instantly hit his dog in mid stride and ripped into him. Guess he didn't want anyone messing with his buddy. Pretty good for a 9 month old puppy at the time.
 

Strykervet

Resident Phoenix Eye and Dim Mak Instructor
Jun 5, 2011
3,104
1,266
113
42
Pierce County, WA
#39
After my Llewellyn setter, I'm done with the usual breeds. The AKC breeds. There are dogs not mentioned much that haven't been around long (100years or less) that have very strong and unique drives and personalities and even senses (Russia bred a super sniffer --smallish dog but it reportedly can smell better than any other dog). My Llewellyn was pointing birds at 5 weeks old and he's just an amazing dog. Gentle but driven. Typical setter but with much stronger drive. Also has a soft mouth by nature.

I'd look around for these new breeds and check them out. Most have a lot of promise and some were scientifically bred using today's knowledge and not just mixing this with this, backcrossing to that, etc.

Whatever you do, get dogs that have been registered through Chicago Field Dog Stud Book and not AKC. They require DNA to be registered and have to have eye and hip inspections at a certain age. That all gets graded and the dogs are listed from best to worst by name in a database. You can also trace back the lineage (I've traced my dog all the way back to Purcell Llewelyn). You have an idea of the propensity of hip dysplasia or eye problems before breeding. AKC does NONE of this shit and puppy mill dogs are welcome there. Because of the cost and hassle of CFDSB, it keeps the greedy fucks and immoral fucks out of the mix. You're left with mostly people who greatly respect the dog and breed them for different reasons. Usually you have to find someone. I lucked out and found mine via a CL ad. Dogs hadn't even met yet, let alone fucked, and all the females were paid for ($600 down). I got first pick of the males. A month or so later the litter was born and two months after that I had my pup. Amazing they sold out from one CL ad in less than a few days at that price with no puppies born yet. That gives you an idea of how valuable and rare these dogs are. They're totally worth it too.

Can't speak for attack dogs, though there are new breeds of that too, you just have to look and ask around. Maybe call CFDSB. They do more than just field dogs now. Even if you stick with a Mal, you should check with them for breeders. Any dogs registered there will have a higher chance to be healthier and you know what you're getting. AKC is shit, I learned that the hard way.

Good luck, nothing better than a good dog at your side.
 
Nov 10, 2010
3,628
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UT
#40
Ok as an observer I have a couple questions. mal's are beautiful dogs. I dont have a frame of reference other than a German short hair pointer.

In reference to Schmi015's post. My GSP was almost 11 before I noticed her laying down once in awhile. She pasted about 4 months later. Trying to get a gauge on energy level. Obviously a GSP is not as aggressive (at least to humans). Their prey drive is pretty high though.

And also, in reference to @schmi015 's sock eating dog, I have a cat that wil chew on almost anything made of plastic. Fucking retarded cat, funny as hell though.
 

THEIS

Hi, Sincerely
Nov 27, 2017
1,501
2,615
113
#49
Hi,

Ahh Now we get into the real conversations about working dogs lol.

@BLKWLFK9
Was that during an Out, Call-Off, Agitation or Correction?

And how old is the dog?

Edited To Add:
The Russian Dog (Volkosoby) Stryker is referring to...The founding Russian Kennel/Breeder cannot get the dogs to carry on the traits during multi-generation span of time. They are constantly having to revert back to an F1 breeding to keep the traits. So "New" breeds are not always "Better" breeds.

Sincerely,
Theis
 
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W54/XM-388

Online Training Member
Oct 1, 2005
3,301
3,350
113
Dallas, TX
#50
No. I choked him with the leash until his lights went out. Not the 1st time, ain't the last either. he put his 1st handler in the hospital for 5 days before I got him.
I understand how some of the "enforcement" types really like their dog weapons, but it seems pretty insane to be "working" with a dog that will actually attack their owner / handler viciously. If the dog is as likely to attack you as it is to attack someone else, I'm not sure it's actually worth having. There are a lot of other weapons available that are less likely to turn on you.

I am assuming however that none of these dogs have ever been actually shown that they can lose, which might explain their willingness to attack their handlers.