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Thread: Is the Belgian Malinois replacing the German shepherd dog? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-31-2013 10:52 AM
benjdow I have 2 GSD and 1 Dutch/Mal.

One of the GSD's my girlfriend got from a backyard breeder before we met (she didn't know any better). He's the sweetest dog at home and very smart, easy to train, but a very sharp dog with terribly weak nerves.

My GSD was a MWD that was medically rejected for allergies as a green dog. He's on the smallest GSD's I've seen at 55lbs. He has incredible drive, lightning fast, and has nerves of steel. When I train at my friends house I put him in the kennels, out of all the different GSD's and resident Mals that have occupied those kennels, my GSD is the only who needs a roof. If there's a dog working he will promptly jump over the 7ft fence. The downside (IMO), he's a hard dog, stubborn, needs tough corrections, and requires an experienced handler...he works way better for my friend who has 30 years more experience than me.

The mal is a 10 month old puppy who I haven't had that long. He comes from KNPV lines (his dad was a KNPV champ). He's big, and dwarfs his littermates. He's 26" and will probably weigh around 80-90lbs. He has stellar prey drive, and seems to be handler sensitive. I don't think I'll ever need a pinch collar with him. He can be a handful at home. Put it this way, if I were to go out of town, I'd be perfectly comfortable leaving the GSD's with my parents...the mal I would not.

Doing decoy work with both GSD's and Mals, from my experience most mals will hit you like a freight train, whereas only some GSD's will come in with the same level of intensity and commitment.

I'm friends with the evaluator who purchases the MWD's. He said they'd prefer all of their MWD's be mals, but the vendors simply can't accomadate a couple hundred mals at once. He personally prefers GSD's. I think a mal is typically easier to get through the 120 training course. A lot of their GSD's seem to need a little more time and a more experienced handler.
12-31-2013 10:09 AM
benjdow
Quote:
Originally Posted by brembo View Post
My worry is that due to the Osama take down and the typical media hype over the dog that helped(a Mal) the breed will get a bit too much attention. Double edged sword really, it's great that such a feisty and exciting breed is getting some limelight, but at the same time lots of folks are going to find out they are not capable of handling the little fireballs.
I have the same concerns and made a similar comment (below) a while back in this thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisy&Lucky's Mom View Post
I really would like to see the MWD monuement and see the 341st training.thanks for sharing your pictures. Arnold looks very handsome.iknow three of the dogs ,GSD ,Lab,Dobie what breed is the 4th?
Quote:
Originally Posted by benjdow View Post
Thank you. The 4th dog is a Belgian Malinois, like the one in the videos I posted.

I have mixed feelings about the monument naming the breeds, particularly the Malinios. Obviously all the breeds deserve the respect, but I think the Mals would be better off without the attention. Unlike the GSD, Lab, and Dobie, the general population is largely unfamiliar with the Malinois breed...which IMO is a good thing. With the monument on the parade ground where the Air Force troops graduate, thousands of people visit it each week. Just like what had happened when the media publicized a Malinois used for the Bin Laden raid, you end up with an influx of people deciding they want a Malinois. The majority of these people don't realize that Mals usually do not make great pets (especially for the typical busy American family) and find out that they can't handle the dog...consequently they end up in shelters and/or are euthanized.
12-26-2013 02:31 PM
Coastie01 The police departments that I have been around dont have a breed standard. They go to a kennel that imports dogs and they test the available dogs until they find the best one based on a series of tests they run the dogs through. If that dog happens to be a mal, they take a mal. If its a GSD, they take the GSD. Mals, Dutchies, and GSD are all able to do the work so it isnt about finding the best of a breed it is about finding the best dog period.
I see nothing wrong with departments pick breeds other than the GSD. The best dog I have ever worked with was a 50 lbs Dutchie that came from the California Dutch Shepherd rescue. That dog was the hardest dog I have ever seen, not to mention one of the most trainable. There is also something to be said for only having to throw a 50 lbs dog over a 7 foot fence instead of a 85lbs GSD.
12-26-2013 02:14 PM
Wodinaz
Quote:
Originally Posted by selzer View Post
135# shepherd is not really something to compare to. Really. That is a huge shepherd. They aren't supposed to be that big, and no wonder it isn't all that agile. It sounds like a pretty super-sized mal too. But even an 85 pound shepherd may not be agile and quick. On the other hand, if you are out there with the dog every day, running, jumping, going over obstacles, swimming, riding a bike, that 85 pound shepherd could be 85 pounds of solid, lean muscle, and very agile. Still might not be as fast as a mal.
He is a big boy, no doubt. It is a bad comparison, but they are both very fit. We run up and down hills, over and under logs and stuff. Not so much swimming though, the Malinois can't swim she sinks. They're both big happy healthy dogs. Of course she's more agile then him, cause of the size difference, and he is way more stronger than she is. And that's where I see how one breed can be better in certain situations.
12-26-2013 02:07 PM
brembo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baillif View Post
A good mal is faster than any dog has business being.
Yeah, they are housefly quick. I tossed a Kong down a hallway and my older Mal(she was 9 at the time) went after it. it bounced all sorts of ways as Kongs do and her ability to change direction and track it was sobering. Mals have built-in Parkour ability, their focus is scary too. Peppy was old and I wasn't on her training near as hard as when she was young and prime, but even in her dotage she was laser fast and nimble as all get out.

It's hard to describe just how quickly and totally a Mal commits to a task. It took me months of de-programming to get Pappy to understand that relaxing was okay. She would complete her commands in concurrence with the spoken command. It was like commands short-circuited anything else that might have been going on. She just did, and did it with the quickness. Fly-by-wire, no effort , she was ready at all times. Fun fun fun dog, just a bit much for someone looking for a companion and occasional working dog. I will never have a young Mal, I just don't have the necessary work to be done, I like dogs that can be couch taters when I'm bushed.
12-26-2013 01:48 PM
Baillif A good mal is faster than any dog has business being.
12-26-2013 01:22 PM
selzer 135# shepherd is not really something to compare to. Really. That is a huge shepherd. They aren't supposed to be that big, and no wonder it isn't all that agile. It sounds like a pretty super-sized mal too. But even an 85 pound shepherd may not be agile and quick. On the other hand, if you are out there with the dog every day, running, jumping, going over obstacles, swimming, riding a bike, that 85 pound shepherd could be 85 pounds of solid, lean muscle, and very agile. Still might not be as fast as a mal.
12-26-2013 01:00 PM
Wodinaz
Quote:
Originally Posted by brembo View Post
Mals have some advantages over the GSD in some areas, vice versa applies too. Mals are typically more compact and can fit in smaller places for drug search and the like. They tend to be a bit more agile due to size as well. Conjure up situations where a bigger, stronger dog suits the situation better and you have a GSD oriented job.

My worry is that due to the Osama take down and the typical media hype over the dog that helped(a Mal) the breed will get a bit too much attention. Double edged sword really, it's great that such a feisty and exciting breed is getting some limelight, but at the same time lots of folks are going to find out they are not capable of handling the little fireballs. My Mal was pretty laid back(K9 retiree) and she was still a handful if you borked up commands.I thought for sure I was going to lose fingers once when I grabbed her training Kong and forgot the Dutch word for "drop", we both grabbed it at the same time. I had forgotten two things really. I had not given her a down, so the Kong was "live" and I forgot the release command. I fortunately had my written cheat sheet on the table nearby and was able to scoot both of us over there.
This.

As an owner of both breeds, my 80 pound Malinois is hands down faster, more agile, and more driven then my 135 pound Shepherd. I can see just from my two why someone would pick one over the other.
12-26-2013 11:31 AM
selzer
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitzkrieg1 View Post
Here are a few more favorites.

We have already agreed that our shepherd dog is a service dog, and that he must only be bred as a service dog. He must therefore ... only be judged as a service dog. With service dogs, suitability ranks higher than beauty

The coloring of the dog has no significance whatever for service; our shepherd dog accordingly is not bred for color. Coloring therefore is only a fad of the amateur and as such is often liable to changes of whim.

Even the most perfectly built dog is of no use if he does not possess the incentive to give of his best and of his uttermost.

We abominate overbreeding because it makes both body and soul unsuitable for work.

****When it comes to breeding for business - which is never effected by dealers, at least not by official dealers -, the dog is only a business commodity and nothing more, and is bred and treated as such. There again we encounger another danger for the race. The dog is no longer bred from the point of view of his services to the race, but only because he has a certain market value. In other words, the direction of the breed is influenced no longer by the experts, but by the buyers. The buyer, however, is mostly an unsuspecting novice,....


Its like he predicted what was going to happen...oh wait, he did!
Maybe he predicted it because he caused it?

Truly, why require various elements passing, and then judge the structure and beauty as the sieger? Why not require a show rating of V or VA and then select the sieger by a combination of points earned by 1, having successful working progeny; 2, a summary of the dog's accomplishments; and 3, a competition on the day of the show between the various candidates? Wouldn't this then promote a working dog, and only a working dog which is supposedly what Von Stephanitz wanted?

Too bad he was more concerned with the structure and beauty of the dogs he judged, and so long as they met the requirements and passed a protection test and endurance test, they could hold the top spot. But the top spot was selected, rated by the beauty of the candidates. Not the workability. This is how the man set it up. Hindsight is 20/20, but he was no fool. Not really. He predicted it, because he set it up that way, and was not willing to change it before he handed the whole works over and stepped down.

Frankly, I am not fussed about how many times he turns over in his grave because of what the breed has become. He himself realized his herding dog would have to do more than sheep, or it would be history. So he developed training that proved their suitability to other types of work. Some of those jobs may have required a shift in character, so that some drives are bred for more than others. I think it is equally ridiculous that the breed retain the form that it originally had. And in his choices for Sieger, he caused the actual shape to change over the years.

I think that the different lines of dogs were inevitable, just because of how much weight VA dogs and siegers are given. I think that Von Stephanitz wanted to avoid that. But he set that up that way. For a number of years they did not name siegers/siegerins, but I don't think that had the results they wanted either, and they went back to naming them.

I think at this point if you were going to go back and name the top working dog of the year as the sieger, it would not go over at all. The big kennels are already set up in the show scene. But if it had begun that way, I think that you could have had a single line. Perhaps other breeds have learned from how GSDs have changed over the years, and have better systems for rating top dogs. However, it is also true that the mindset of the people who are showing the dogs, and the mindset of the people that work the dogs are often not one and the same, and never will be. Lots of breeds have different lines, show lines and field lines. Some of them barely resemble the other. Look at the English Setter. The show dogs are way bigger than the Llewlyn line. So different are they, that they are trying or have created a new breed for Llewlyn Setters. I am not sure how it is today, but years ago, if you wanted a dog for hunting, you would go with a Llewlyn.

We can quote him all we want, but we can say lots of things, it is what we do that matters. If I set a contest for some type of dish and said that I want it to be healthy first, but judged it totally on its palitablity, how many of the contestents are going to focus on how healthy the ingredients and processing was? What is the likelihood that the most healthy dish would get the blue ribbon?
12-26-2013 10:39 AM
brembo Mals have some advantages over the GSD in some areas, vice versa applies too. Mals are typically more compact and can fit in smaller places for drug search and the like. They tend to be a bit more agile due to size as well. Conjure up situations where a bigger, stronger dog suits the situation better and you have a GSD oriented job.

My worry is that due to the Osama take down and the typical media hype over the dog that helped(a Mal) the breed will get a bit too much attention. Double edged sword really, it's great that such a feisty and exciting breed is getting some limelight, but at the same time lots of folks are going to find out they are not capable of handling the little fireballs. My Mal was pretty laid back(K9 retiree) and she was still a handful if you borked up commands.I thought for sure I was going to lose fingers once when I grabbed her training Kong and forgot the Dutch word for "drop", we both grabbed it at the same time. I had forgotten two things really. I had not given her a down, so the Kong was "live" and I forgot the release command. I fortunately had my written cheat sheet on the table nearby and was able to scoot both of us over there.
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