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We have been looking for GSD a puppy. We have a Lab and a GSD, both around 7 years old. We hired a trainer to work with them a little before we bring a new dog into the household. We went to a GSD rescue event and fell in love with a female Shepard/Malinois cross. She gets along with kids and other dogs well but our trainer is very concerned with the high energy level the Malinois breed is known for. We have no way of knowing what the parents were like. Our Lab and shepherd have always been very mellow and I'm afraid of getting more dog than I can handle. We are taking our dogs for a meet and greet and our trainer has offered to come with us to see how they get along. Anyone have any experience with Malinois or any advice they would care to share?
 

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Haha I have very personal experience with getting a GSD/Malinois rescue puppy. I was looking for a GSD mix to be a companion dog while waiting for my IPO puppy in 2016, and I ended up with a crack puppy. He was 4 months old when I adopted him in August and he's 7 months old now.

I found him on Petfinder listed as a GSD/Golden mix and I had barely heard of the Malinois before getting him, so while I knew he wasn't Golden, I didn't know what else he was mixed with besides having a purebred GSD mom. The first two weeks were AWFUL. As in I was seriously considering taking him back to the vet because he was crazy and needed so much constant work and attention. And I've had two working-line GSDs before this, so I'm not totally new to the idea of a high-maintenance, very active dog. But I knew I was way over my head with this guy and I hunted down a trainer after 2 weeks of super-hyper crazy terror.

I went to a trainer who has a GSD and Mal of her own and one of the first things she said about him was that she thinks he's part Mal (he has the face of a GSD and the body of a Mal, along with some other mutt breeds). And then everything made sense! Now, after adopting him in August, he has become my best friend, activity buddy, and cuddlebug. However, I think my living situation, dog experience, and willingness to spend an insane amount of time and energy and money on him was extremely conducive and I'm not sure how his sister is doing with her adopted family (especially if they think she's a GSD/Golden!). It was a complete lifestyle change for me, far more than I was expecting when getting a dog, but with that being said, I love him to pieces and am super happy that I have him.

If you are used to mellow dogs, a Mal mix will be a huge change. I can go way more in depth about everything I do with him and plan to do with him, but honestly unless you're ready to spend hours upon hours working him (both physically and mentally) and always supervising, it will be a lot of dog for the average person to handle. I won't say that I work him as much as a working dog or what some of the people do here (especially the ones with actual purebred Malinois), but I think that ultimately he would thrive on that much, or almost that much, activity and intense work when he's ready and all grown up.
 

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Haha I have very personal experience with getting a GSD/Malinois rescue puppy. I was looking for a GSD mix to be a companion dog while waiting for my IPO puppy in 2016, and I ended up with a crack puppy. He was 4 months old when I adopted him in August and he's 7 months old now.

I found him on Petfinder listed as a GSD/Golden mix and I had barely heard of the Malinois before getting him, so while I knew he wasn't Golden, I didn't know what else he was mixed with besides having a purebred GSD mom. The first two weeks were AWFUL. As in I was seriously considering taking him back to the vet because he was crazy and needed so much constant work and attention. And I've had two working-line GSDs before this, so I'm not totally new to the idea of a high-maintenance, very active dog. But I knew I was way over my head with this guy and I hunted down a trainer after 2 weeks of super-hyper crazy terror.

I went to a trainer who has a GSD and Mal of her own and one of the first things she said about him was that she thinks he's part Mal (he has the face of a GSD and the body of a Mal, along with some other mutt breeds). And then everything made sense! Now, after adopting him in August, he has become my best friend, activity buddy, and cuddlebug. However, I think my living situation, dog experience, and willingness to spend an insane amount of time and energy and money on him was extremely conducive and I'm not sure how his sister is doing with her adopted family (especially if they think she's a GSD/Golden!). It was a complete lifestyle change for me, far more than I was expecting when getting a dog, but with that being said, I love him to pieces and am super happy that I have him.

If you are used to mellow dogs, a Mal mix will be a huge change. I can go way more in depth about everything I do with him and plan to do with him, but honestly unless you're ready to spend hours upon hours working him (both physically and mentally) and always supervising, it will be a lot of dog for the average person to handle. I won't say that I work him as much as a working dog or what some of the people do here (especially the ones with actual purebred Malinois), but I think that ultimately he would thrive on that much, or almost that much, activity and intense work when he's ready and all grown up.
So true, my experiencing as well. And your older dogs will be left in the back ground.
 

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The (shepinois) are all over the place in terms of temperament and drive and energy levels. More often than not they are more dog than a typical person can handle. Some people are into that kind of thing so who knows. If it shows any kind of nervousness or fear steer clear.

Theyre usually trainers dogs and really usually not even that as a typical trainer goes for the full blooded mal. Shepinois can be nice though I like mine he wouldnt have done well outside of the hands of a trainer though.
 

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The (shepinois) are all over the place in terms of temperament and drive and energy levels. More often than not they are more dog than a typical person can handle. Some people are into that kind of thing so who knows. If it shows any kind of nervousness or fear steer clear.

Theyre usually trainers dogs and really usually not even that as a typical trainer goes for the full blooded mal. Shepinois can be nice though I like mine he wouldnt have done well outside of the hands of a trainer though.
"Shepinois" is a fun nickname. I've never heard that one before!
 

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Thank you all very much for your responses. Please keep them coming. We are going to go do the meet-and-greet with our dogs Sunday. If our trainer disapproves we'll find another pup. She knows someone else looking for a Mal so things may work out well for everyone.
Jim
 

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It's not their high energy that is the reason malinois do not make good pets. Plenty of breeds and dogs have similar energy levels, or even higher energy levels including vizsla, German shorthaired pointers, Jack Russell terriers, huskies, border collies, Brittany spaniels, and so on.

Certainly, if you are not active or don't have the time or means to meet the energy needs of a high energy dog, don't get one, but I don't think the energy is what sets a malinois apart from other dogs.

The malinois is a dog bred primarily (modern) for "hard" sports. Protection, police work, military. That means malinois often carry real aggression, love to bite and often not maliciously but because it is enjoyable, will fight and challenge a man for "funsies", and also bring reactivity, lightning fast reflexes, and extreme dedication to whatever activity they choose, or are trained, to focus on.

The malinois is different from most GSDs in that they can be very hard in many ways- tolerate high level corrections and bounce back, show handler aggression- but on the other hand are very sensitive to handler errors and may be less forgiving of novice trainer mistakes. It's complicated to explain unless you work malinios, but that's the best way I can describe it on this forum.

Malinois can do great at flyball, agility, dock diving, nose work but the "core" of the breed and what sets them apart is their ability to do bite work, protection, police, military. Especially their willingness to fight the man, their high drives and their high sensitivity and awareness of environment.

Malinois, like many GSDs now, also can go very wrong if they start with a poor nerve base. Shyness, nervousness, and fear biting are all very very bad for this breed in particular.

There is no way to know what this puppy is like, I think getting a trainer to evaluate it is a great start, but if the pup is under12 weeks you may not be seeing what you will be getting. Many malinois are totally sweet and "easy" until around 12 weeks when the real dog starts to emerge.

On the other hand, malinois are dogs and can be trained to extremely high levels. They are super fun to work, so fast and eager to please. But, they are not easy and do need plenty of exercise and thoughtful training to succeed. I work malinois so much I sometimes lack understanding of what most people expect of a pet. Under the general public's definition, a working malinios makes a terrible pet.
 

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Here is a Tyson kid,
He mated with a Mal before we adopted him.
They were adorable happy fat liitle puppies that grew into stunning dogs.
I have talked to an owner of one of the pups. They are incredibly happy with him.
 

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IME Malinois are "typically" a lot softer correction wise and more handler sensitive than sport GSD. The IPO lines of GSD got their asses kicked in Germany for centuries and they typically end up on the harder side. The good mals do have very good bounce back though.

If I had to pin down the one thing that makes a mal harder to work for most people it's that they will naturally start to load without you ever having to create it. For example, you take a dog and you teach it to stay before you open the door to its crate so it doesn't bolt out when you open the door and then you release it with the word "free." That dog will probably do it and come out normally and go on about its business.

On the other hand if you have a mal and you teach it the same thing the dog will load with anticipation with the entire body tense waiting for your lips to just look like it will form the words "free" and when that happens the mal will launch from the crate like a missile. They do that pretty much everywhere, and if you don't know how to manage that sort of thing they blow through open doors like that, they fly out of any position you release them from like that, and if you don't specifically take steps to condition calmness in places like your house they will go flying around all over the place. Certain spun up GSD can be the same way but its pretty freakin common in mals.

But yes if that puppy is showing any kind of fear or nervousness run the other way. Nerve bag mals are a pain.
 

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Haha I have very personal experience with getting a GSD/Malinois rescue puppy. I was looking for a GSD mix to be a companion dog while waiting for my IPO puppy in 2016, and I ended up with a crack puppy. He was 4 months old when I adopted him in August and he's 7 months old now.

I found him on Petfinder listed as a GSD/Golden mix and I had barely heard of the Malinois before getting him, so while I knew he wasn't Golden, I didn't know what else he was mixed with besides having a purebred GSD mom. The first two weeks were AWFUL. As in I was seriously considering taking him back to the vet because he was crazy and needed so much constant work and attention. And I've had two working-line GSDs before this, so I'm not totally new to the idea of a high-maintenance, very active dog. But I knew I was way over my head with this guy and I hunted down a trainer after 2 weeks of super-hyper crazy terror.

I went to a trainer who has a GSD and Mal of her own and one of the first things she said about him was that she thinks he's part Mal (he has the face of a GSD and the body of a Mal, along with some other mutt breeds). And then everything made sense! Now, after adopting him in August, he has become my best friend, activity buddy, and cuddlebug. However, I think my living situation, dog experience, and willingness to spend an insane amount of time and energy and money on him was extremely conducive and I'm not sure how his sister is doing with her adopted family (especially if they think she's a GSD/Golden!). It was a complete lifestyle change for me, far more than I was expecting when getting a dog, but with that being said, I love him to pieces and am super happy that I have him.

If you are used to mellow dogs, a Mal mix will be a huge change. I can go way more in depth about everything I do with him and plan to do with him, but honestly unless you're ready to spend hours upon hours working him (both physically and mentally) and always supervising, it will be a lot of dog for the average person to handle. I won't say that I work him as much as a working dog or what some of the people do here (especially the ones with actual purebred Malinois), but I think that ultimately he would thrive on that much, or almost that much, activity and intense work when he's ready and all grown up.
That is about what has happened to me. I am used to GSDs, had 4. This one was labeled as a pure GSD. I didn't care if he had a little mixture but turned out to be a Shepinois. SAME thing as you. We are ending week 2 and it was been like living with a psychotic, bounce off the walls, on speed, 5 minute time span on each toy before he is bored with those, and constantly in my face. I am used to landsharks and loved them but this one is going to a K9 ranch for 3 weeks for some aggression ( stranger), counters surfing, chewing up 5 pillows, eating tissues, everything, you name it). They are used to taking and specialize in GSDs and Mals as they train for the police etc also. I am not wasting our money on experienced trainers when these are ultra experienced and I had gotten references on the guy that would train him. I love him so much but he needs this badly, as do we. $2,700 bucks worth but all of mine were trained, this one is a few levels up. He plays about 3 hours of ball with us a day, takes walks, plus about 140 bucks worth of "indestructable toys" that he destroyed. He is only 11 mo old and combined with the long puppyhood, we all need direction. IT will be worth it. Got him at a rescue.
 

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I love Mals.

I would never own one.

That's not just a dog that's a whole lifestyle. God bless the people who can handle them. I absolutely cannot and will not.

Still amazing dogs, I'm so stunned by their athletic ability.
 

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Can you take the dog on a trial basis. A trial is sure worth trying if the dog and family have a connection that’s a good sign and if you seem to see what you like in the dog - only this can answer your questions -you want to make sure that you have the amount of time the dog needs.
 

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That's not just a dog that's a whole lifestyle. God bless the people who can handle them. I absolutely cannot and will not.
I always thought they were cool, but to much athleticism. GSD’s need exercise, but not that much. GSD’s are easier to handle I think.
 

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There is a youtube video (sorry, can't find it) where an owner of two mals says that their energy level varies from dog to dog...both of them were very high energy, but one of them settled down at around 4 years old...the 7 year old never has.
 
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