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Old 12-30-2013, 08:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Convince me I don't want a Mal

So I just got word from the breeder that I have a deposit in with that the breeding I put my deposit on isn't taking place. I am now torn as to what I want to do. I can stay with this breeder who I really like and wait and see if the 2 other upcoming breedings have enough males to accomodate me or I can seek out another breeder. This got me thinking that maybe I want a Mal. I have worked a lot with Mals in the past but have never owned one. I love how hard they are and their over the top drive. This dog is going to be a Sch/IPO dog so the above attrbutes are what are making me think Mal. I need some honest input from people who have owned Mals so I can make the best choice for my family and me. What are your guy's thoughts?
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Old 12-30-2013, 09:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i have no experience with mals but if part of you wants one then get one. you're only gonna get older so why not get what you want now? you could get hit by a bus tomorrow. thats my reasoning for everything and is the reason why i'm usually broke.....
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Old 12-30-2013, 09:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i have no experience with mals but if part of you wants one then get one. you're only gonna get older so why not get what you want now? you could get hit by a bus tomorrow. thats my reasoning for everything and is the reason why i'm usually broke.....
OMG thats me. When i am faced with a crazy expensive purse...and when i weaseled in the 3rd dog. It sounded like this "babe listen we only live once and whats the point of not adopting this dog" lol
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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IME, Mals are different. They are more "operant" dogs and super quick. They think less and react more. This can be good or bad, depending on your ability and timing as a trainer. If you are as quick as the dog and are able to stay ahead of the dog mechanically, then they can be a blast and super flashy!

If your experience level is lower and you still struggle with the mechanics of training, a Mal may learn lots of bad habits and end up being difficult for you. They also get frustrated easily if your communication and timing are off. Don't get me wrong, there are GSDs out there that are pretty quick, but they tend to be more forgiving of a novice trainer.

Dogs are all individuals. I would spend some time with the parents of the litter if available and see what they are like off the field. A solid Mal with no nerve issues and an off switch can be a load of fun to train and work. The same can be said for a good GSD. They are just different in how they work.

I'm not trying to discourage you at all. I enjoy training Mals as they usually have the drive necessary to do many reps of the same behavior and not get bored, especially when mature. You can move pretty quick with a Mal on positions and detection because they will put up with a lot to get their toy. At the end of the day, I would rather hang out with a GSD because they are more about the relationship with the handler and less about getting to the toy. The tightly bonded relationship and individual partnership can be found more prevalently in the GSD. Most Mals will work for anybody as long as the toy is there IME.

As a disclaimer, YMMV. I have met some very Mal like GSDs, and some very GSD like Mals. IMHO, a good dog (for the individual handler) is a good dog, regardless of breed. I think there is no "Dark Side" in the world of working dogs There are also some great Shepinois (GSDxMal) dogs out there!
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have an internship with Jonathan Katz of the Chicago Canine Company where they do a wide variety of activities, including PSA and detection work and decoy for French Ring enthusiasts as well. Many of these activities are dominated by Mals and as a result I have been able to work with, around and observe an a lot of Mals in the last few months. I have a good amount of respect for their working ability - Mals tend to charge into the task like a barrel of monkeys, get there and go "ok what am I doing now? oh yeah!" whereas the GSDs tend to charge to the task and get to work more methodically. My GSD Frank is much admired for his "drive of a Malinois with the intelligence and looks of a GSD" and I'm very proud of that amidst a sea of Malinois.

If you want that, remember dogs are individuals and genetics will tip in your favor if you choose well. So you can go with a Malinois or a GSD, whichever you prefer because either way you are going to have to do your research on breeders, their lines and what their dogs are doing and have done. I am absolutely in awe of mine, and his genetics weren't just luck. I did my best in finding what it was I wanted for what I wanted to do and my breeder matched exactly the right puppy for me. He's amazing. Okay really I have to stop bragging about him.
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My best friend searched high and low for a good Mal breeder. She wanted a dog that would work, but not be "over the top"...... She found one and he is now 2. She bought him for show and working and he does both. He is super neat, easy to be around, not real hyper and an absolute blast to show and train.
They are out there. I love the Mals that come from this breeder, she has done her homework and produces working and show Mals with awesome temperaments.
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My best friend searched high and low for a good Mal breeder. She wanted a dog that would work, but not be "over the top"...... She found one and he is now 2. She bought him for show and working and he does both. He is super neat, easy to be around, not real hyper and an absolute blast to show and train.
They are out there. I love the Mals that come from this breeder, she has done her homework and produces working and show Mals with awesome temperaments.
Who is the breeder?
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I love malinois. I'm not going to be a good one to convince you. I truly admire the sweetness, drive and athleticism of a well-bred malinois. I also love the look of red sables... chose what you want. It is your decision and what you like, others may not. And there are malinois that think and don't just work for the toy (although working for a toy is one of their best traits, too). Puppyhood can be a challenge- they are quick and usually reactive- but a nicely trained, well-bred adult malinois can't be beat in performance, looks, or attachment and sweetness to their owner and family. They LOVE their people and show it.
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Maybe you do want a Mal. Maybe I do too.

Smaller size, greater athleticism (for sport purposes, anyhow, which is mainly what I care about), longer working life, fewer health problems in the breed, easy to get flashy obedience, much easier to hit top speeds in agility... what's not to love?

The only thing that holds me back is the personality (well, and the energy level, but I think careful selection + early training will render that semi-manageable). I've seen the same thing David describes where the Mal just wants the tug and doesn't seem to care too much about who's on the other end. Some of that is training (some dogs are purposefully trained that way so they'll be easier to switch off to other handlers), but I am inclined to think that some is breed predisposition, too.

And I really, really value that intense bond. That's the whole reason I like dog sports so much: because that means building and working with that bond.

I don't know where to find it in Mals. I'm not saying it isn't out there, I just don't know where to find it. I sure would like to, though.
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Maybe you do want a Mal. Maybe I do too.

Smaller size, greater athleticism (for sport purposes, anyhow, which is mainly what I care about), longer working life, fewer health problems in the breed, easy to get flashy obedience, much easier to hit top speeds in agility... what's not to love?

The only thing that holds me back is the personality (well, and the energy level, but I think careful selection + early training will render that semi-manageable). I've seen the same thing David describes where the Mal just wants the tug and doesn't seem to care too much about who's on the other end. Some of that is training (some dogs are purposefully trained that way so they'll be easier to switch off to other handlers), but I am inclined to think that some is breed predisposition, too.

And I really, really value that intense bond. That's the whole reason I like dog sports so much: because that means building and working with that bond.

I don't know where to find it in Mals. I'm not saying it isn't out there, I just don't know where to find it. I sure would like to, though.
I agree that some of the detachment comes from training styles. If you encourage interaction with the handler instead of simply rewarding and checking out the dog will have a different attitude in the work and relationship. The toy is such a high value reward that it is easy to get lazy and simply allow the dog to check out. This can happen with any dog, but because of the ADD nature the mal it happens easier.

My experience has been primarily with adult dogs, not dogs raised through their lives with one handler. I have seen some pretty sweet mals for sure

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