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Haven’t had time to read all the posts yet but I read the original post and good luck. A pure bred gsd will absolutely protect you. My guy has protected me from another dog before and I know if anyone broke in my house late at night I honestly feel bad for them because they will probably lose a finger at the minimum
 

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Discussion Starter #62
Ended up with a Mal pup. Not what I had in mind at the time but kinda got talked into the puppy idea by a couple of breeders. There is a pic on one of the pages. Thanks for the kind words.
 

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Discussion Starter #63
He is still showing some fear. Snapped at a couple of people at the vet. Not really surprised but I want to make sure I handle it correctly. Been trying to read a lot about it and getting some mixed messages.
so, questions:
Does his age mean he should naturally grow out of it (he is ~14weeks)? Ive read Mals go through a long fear stage normally, is this true? Will the obedience training be enough (once a week with k9 instructor plus what I do daily)? Do I need to socialize more (he has a calm reserved reaction to other dogs, people, and new cars parked along the road when we go for walks)? Should I focus solely on the pack leader responsibility and less on the playmate (Im his only source for everything)?

Any input is appreciated.
 

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Someone with more experience can chime in but I’ve recently been around a mal around the same age as yours and she was a little feisty thing. Tagged me in the finger. Pretty good bite too. I would say as a generalization, they’re not calm dogs. I’d try to get control of some of it. But you wanted a pp dog so idk if you’d want to shut that down? Not sure. And how much would be due to teething?


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You can't train it out of them. You can manage them, and work on focus, but this is never going to be a social, confident about it all dog.

I have malinois. I was extremely selective with my most recent one- I knew what I wanted, I followed the breeder and what she produced, I was extremely specific about what I was looking for- no human issues, no dog issues- that wasn't something I wanted to have to work on. She's still all malinois, but she is a confident, friendly girl who is a joy at the vet- one of their favorites. I've never seen her snap at anyone in fear, she has terrific grips and drives but was never bitey on human skin. She is super responsive and easy to train. She is friendly to other dogs but easily ignores them, too. She settles perfectly in the crate. Her energy levels are super high but she's not hyper.

You wanted a PPD but I'm afraid you've acquired a project.

It's OK, live and learn, but malinois are not for everyone, and there is a reason for that.

Sorry to be a downer, but it sounded like you were looking for a family PPD and were led astray.
 

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Discussion Starter #67
The trainer feels he is quite confident and has pointed out various things that show that to be true. He seems to feel good about the dog and his potential. His fear stage, I am hoping, is just a stage. I will keep trying my best to get on top of it. However, I recognize there is a confidence issue here for sure.
 

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Sorry I didn't follow your entire thread, but can you go into more detail (give some examples) about signs of confidence, and then about the issues you are seeing?

How old is he?
 

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Discussion Starter #69
about 14 weeks.
He has been confident within the training space. Ignoring barking dogs and reacting well to loud noises. The trainer has experience with Mals and has mentioned his confidence on a few occasions. His prey and treat drive, in my estimation, seems to overcome his fear quite quickly. For example, a bundle of plastic bottles, made to be as noisy as possible, was ran at within seconds.
My observations regarding fear started with trying to walk him. He doesnt want to leave the driveway. He always stops me. Still does. But some operant conditioning has helped get us moving more quickly. Then, right up the road he always has to take a dump or two. After all that, we are mostly good to go. I do half mile walks with him up to 3 times a day. I still dont have his full attention though. Always torn between forcing him to walk and allowing him to be a curious puppy.
Your input and questions are welcomed and appreciated.
 

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Why are you forcing him to walk? I prefer to let puppies explore as much as possible. He can learn to heel and walk nicely a little at a time. If he doesn’t want to walk, he’s telling you something. Let him tell you what he needs. If he needs to go, let him do that first. It may not be the walk he is resisting but being forced to do something else when he needs to poop first. Even though you have big plans for him, he’s young and he needs time to learn to be a dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #71
Yeah I get that. I try and give him that puppy time too. I think I feel that the walk is something we both need and once we get going it seems ok. Mostly a loose leash. However, this is one area I am torn. Should I let the initial apprehension stop us or coerce him through it and get our walks in? Does getting him out there build his confidence? or make it worse?
 

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I have never had a Mal or a PPD, so others will be able to help you more than I can. I was making an observation based on my experience with GSD puppies.
 

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I’m going through this a little bit with my dog but it’s really my fault because he’s my first dog and I’m inexperienced.

If I were you I’d get a reputable trainer, someone who works with this kind of dog

I think it’s way too early in this dogs life to decide if it could be a ppd or not. I know my gsd has changed drastically since he was a pup. He got a LOT more protective once he hit like 8 months old

Good luck tho! The whole reason I got a gsd was because I fell in love with a hugeeee mal years ago and ultimately it led me to love those dogs as well as gsd’s
 

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What do you see as the purpose of these walks? A puppy that age doesn't need it, and if he doesn't seem to like it, what are you trying to accomplish by forcing, or coercing him?

From my perspective THE most important thing for you to focus on at his age is building a strong bond and dialogue with your puppy. Everything else, all training, builds on that. And I don't think coercing the puppy to do something he doesn't want to do will help your relationship or build confidence.

When I brought my puppy home I gave her 3-4 days to just get acclimated. Then started shaping with play. Training should be fun, not serious. And it's minimal, one or two quick commands, then playtime! Generally speaking, at that age it's more about laying a fun-filled foundation for more serious obedience later on. Think in terms of motivation, your puppy should eagerly follow you anywhere! Maybe teach a sit, practice loose- leash walking at home in your yard or in the house. And play, play, play.

On the fear and reactivity, IMHO recovery time is much more important than the initial reaction. For example, take two puppies with similar temperments and genetics, and expose one of them to other dogs, cats, buildings with different floor coverings etc. But withhold that exposure from the other. The first puppy will later on walk into any building with confidence, he's seen it all before. The second puppy will very likely show some hesitance, may need to carefully investigate first, but given a chance to do that should also enter with confidence down the road. The hesitancy doesn't mean he's genetically fearful, it may mean he just didn't get that exposure when little. Help him "get over it" by exposing him to things, using distance so he's not getting too uncomfortable and freaking out or lunging at people. Time and exposure builds confidence! But it's important not to overwhelm the puppy by exposing him to more than he can handle or too quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #75
Thanks everyone for the input.
Tim, my idea with the walks was the whole exposure thing. Keeping good distances from other dogs and humans, stopping for a few seconds when something is amiss (he recognizes every new car parked on the street), and just getting used to smells and traffic. It is a mellow area (to humans) where a lot of people walk their dogs, but we avoid them. I was thinking it would be good exposure with me leading him and hopefully showing its all good in the hood.
As for his fear today at the vet. Im just taking it in stride. Not worried too much I guess. Going to do some random visits just to get him over what happened. If that means not getting out of the car then fine. One step at a time.
Going to chill on the walks I think.
thanks for the input.
 

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Does he like tug? Perhaps instead of going for a regular walk for exposure try taking him out and about keeping distractions at a distance and play tug in random places. Keep his interest on you and let the outside world become background noise. He will still get enough of what's going on around through his senses without being fully focused on everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #77
Actually Ive been doing that a bit more. Basically just doing some of our indoor fun, outside. Took him for one walk today. Again he is fine once we get going. However I turned around once too. Just not going to push it as much.

Went to the pet store today. Its a small, local place, with little traffic. He did fine. No other pets inside. Surprisingly he didnt try to steal anything! I think it was good for him to go inside somewhere that wasnt the vet. And, he didnt get much attention once I told them to give him space.

Stopped by the vet too. Just let him walk around outside. Didnt even try to take him in yet. Baby steps.
 

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Discussion Starter #78
He did really good today. Maybe its a one off maybe not. I made some slight changes, per the conversations, and maybe its made an impact already. I think the taking baby steps has made a big impact. Took him to a different pet store yesterday but didnt go in, just let him check the area, then today we went in. He picked out a new ball too. Wasnt much of a hassle at all. Short walk today and he responded really well to "leave it" and "on me" (what I use when its time to get moving). Good times. Thanks all.
 

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Discussion Starter #80
Well, sounds like him and I have at least one thing in common. It's funny to think a radio DJ went by redbeard just because where I'm from they were Bob, Tom, and whatever else slightly made up but slightly normal name they came up with.
 
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