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The doctor my wife works with is looking at Belgian malinois. He is an avid hiker and wants dog that can handle long hikes in rough terrain. He had an Akita, but he passed last year at the age of 12 after a battle with cancer. I have no doubt that a malinois can keep up, but I'm not sure why he is looking for one with this level of training. Here's a link to the dog he gave us.

Dogs for sale -Belgian Malinois
What do you think of this dog/breeder?
 

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Whoops, just went through the rest of the site and it is not a breeder, its a training facility. Also spoke with the doc and he said he wants the dog protection trained. It is unlikely he'd be robbed/attacked while roaming the mountains, but it does happen.
 

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First off, the is a German shepherd forum not a Mali forum.

Secondly, their "level 3 protection dog" I consider to be the bare minimum... "The level 3 dog has all the training of the level 2 dog, but has the option of being able to be deployed off leash to pursue and capture a fleeing person or a threat from a distance. This dog will also release its bite on command from a distance."

Uuhhh. That's not what I would consider to be high level training. Any ipo1 dog can do this lol
 

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I'm always a little hesitant when I see a pet owner looking for a "protection trained" dog. (I am assuming that the prospective owner is a pet owner and not a sport/working dog person, of course, and this may be wrong!) It just seems like the possibility of error is so great there -- that the owner won't be able to accurately evaluate the dog before buying, or handle it afterward.

I'm further hesitant when the pet owner is looking to import from overseas. It seems to increase the possibility of an imprudent blind buy, and the difficulty of getting good support or returning the dog if needed.

And, finally, while this may just be a translation issue, it did cause me to raise my eyebrows when I saw "Woman Protection" and "Child Protection" listed as separate selling points. I mean... really?

So... I don't know your acquaintance, or the breeder/seller in question. But if it were my friend, I would counsel against going this road.
 

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I'm always a little hesitant when I see a pet owner looking for a "protection trained" dog. (I am assuming that the prospective owner is a pet owner and not a sport/working dog person, of course, and this may be wrong!) It just seems like the possibility of error is so great there -- that the owner won't be able to accurately evaluate the dog before buying, or handle it afterward.

I'm further hesitant when the pet owner is looking to import from overseas. It seems to increase the possibility of an imprudent blind buy, and the difficulty of getting good support or returning the dog if needed.

And, finally, while this may just be a translation issue, it did cause me to raise my eyebrows when I saw "Woman Protection" and "Child Protection" listed as separate selling points. I mean... really?

So... I don't know your acquaintance, or the breeder/seller in question. But if it were my friend, I would counsel against going this road.
These are my thoughts almost exactly. He is a "pet owner" He owns the office my wife works at and he is a very determined guy, but doesn't like to be pushed. When he first suggested mal, my wife tried explaining what the dog would require, he seemed to take offense, kind of like "I can handle it". I'll give him credit, he does appear to be the kind of person to finish what he starts. He just started looking and asked us for help. The wife and I have a very limited knowledge of gsds and even less about mals. I am hoping for some info that I can pass on to him, maybe he will change his mind, but the wife doesn't think so.

I'm going to encourage him to talk to nick at I-guard international, might at least give him some insight on what he is getting himself into.
 

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I'd also suggest he go visit some mali's and see if they are the type of dog he wants to live with.

Fine and dandy he want's a hiking buddy and a protection dog, however, whats he going to do with the dog when it's not hiking?

Does he think the dog would hang out all day waiting for him to 'do' something ??

Bad idea..but to each his own I guess.

I think he should foster one for a bit see if he'd want to "live" with one..
 

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Even some of the most successful PPD trainers & suppliers steer people towards GSDs rather than mals. Mals can do the work great, infact I'd guess you have better odds of any given working mal pup turning out to be a good prospect than any given GSD, but they are generally harder to have in public or in the home.

Besides, actually being involved in the training yourself develops an intense bond for dog and handler, lets you understand what the dog can and cannot do or is capable of, and will greatly help in keeping the dogs skills sharp over its life.
 

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Besides, actually being involved in the training yourself develops an intense bond for dog and handler, lets you understand what the dog can and cannot do or is capable of, and will greatly help in keeping the dogs skills sharp over its life.
This goes to the heart of why I'm leery of pet owners acquiring PPDs.

In my experience, a large swath of the general public seems to believe that once a dog is trained, it'll always be completely perfect thereafter. It'll never have off days, it'll never make mistakes, it'll never get hot or tired or distracted and not want to work, and above all, it'll never forget anything.

Anybody who has spent any amount of time seriously working or training dogs knows otherwise. My dogs start falling out of competition shape within weeks on some things, and other skills need constant sharpening. And we make mistakes in the ring to infinity, and that is a much lower-pressure situation than an actual real-life attack. But in my experience, the kind of person who wants to buy a dog, sight unseen, that somebody else has already trained up to "completion" (not started, but finished) doesn't know what they're doing, doesn't particularly care to learn, and doesn't have realistic expectations.

Admittedly my experience with this was in the context of pet dog training. I didn't even do board and train, but people would ask all the time if I could just train their dogs for them, and they were invariably disappointed to hear that even if I did (which I wouldn't), the dog would still need lifelong practice and maintenance to retain those skills, and the owner would need to be able and willing to do that, or else it would all just be wasted time.

I can't remember trigonometry because I haven't had to use it since high school. I can't even read those equations anymore. Dogs lose skills just like people do. I've had fosters who went to their adoptive homes with pretty good skills that have since been totally unpractice and have probably deteriorated down to nothing by now. But what they lost was just "Down" and "Go to Mat" -- a lot less serious.

And I realize I'm preaching to the choir by saying that here, but whenever I see somebody wanting to buy a ready-made PPD, I can't help but think that maybe their best case scenario is that the dog has forgotten all its skills and will live out its life like a normal untrained dog of its breed. In that case, the owner is just paying for expensive bragging rights that he has a special superbad dog. Fine, whatever.

To me the worst case scenario is that the dog does retain its skills but they get rusty and the dog gets confused and hey that overweight neighbor wearing a snowsuit and waving around an ice scraper while cussing at his car sure looks like a helper in a padded suit yelling and waving a stick, let's go take him out.

And what does a pet owner do then?
 

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I have a malinois and am also an avid hiker and mountain runner.

I am not saying malinois don't make great hiking and running dogs- they do. My dog is incredibly athletic, fearless, and very wilderness savvy. But the types of situations you encounter when hiking are NOT included in PPD training and the doctor needs to realize that he will need to step up to the plate and train his dog. For example, how will the dog react to a mountain biker coming up behind you on narrow singletrack, or a mule train, a large male dog running up to say "hello" on the trail, or a deer running across the trail? I guess some malinois might be just fine, but from what I know of malinois, most would not be neutral without training and if bite-trained you may have a real situation on your hands.

I have learned more about dogs and dog training from my malinois than I did over 15 years of owning large dogs previous to my malinois. They are very quick- physically and mentally, somewhat "sharp" and very devoted to what they do.

Unless the doctor gets a real wash-out he is probably getting a dog that would not be suitable for hiking companion- at all- without further training. PPDs are very mis-understood.

If the doctor is really serious about importing a PPD trained malinois, please have him contact me via PM.
 

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I have 2 mals and one is not suited to long hikes, etc. at all. He is a fabulous dog, except for some dog reactivity/aggression, but he is done after about an hour of hiking. Both are similar KNPV lines. Not all mals are high energy and suited for the lifestyle he wants. Now my other mal and my WL GSD will go and go forever.......
 

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Well, he ordered his malinois. Not from Hungary, this one will be coming from Seattle. My wife and I, breeders, and trainers tried to convince him to look at other breeds, but he was set on one, we'll see how it turns out I guess.
 

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I have 2 mals and one is not suited to long hikes, etc. at all. He is a fabulous dog, except for some dog reactivity/aggression, but he is done after about an hour of hiking. Both are similar KNPV lines. Not all mals are high energy and suited for the lifestyle he wants. Now my other mal and my WL GSD will go and go forever.......
My female will go full bore for short stints... my male I did an AD on, on a whim b/c Katya wasn't ready. Someone explained it to me as "fast twitch muscle" vs "slow twitch"... ones made for speed, the other for endurance.
 

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Hopefully it goes well. Lets give it the benefit of the doubt. We rescued one not knowing what he was or much about the breed at the time (could be a gsd/mal mix but he's shaping up to be very malinois-y). It's been quite the learning curve and an adjustment in our lives to keep up with him, but all for the better.


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Hope it works out for him.
I'm not in favor of buying Protection trained dogs also..
1)buyer needs a lot of consistent training to maintain the level/control of the dog
2)Some of the trainers still using old school method to train.(tie them up to a pole, make them so fear so they'll bite, hard jerking etc.....) , they'll teach you those method to train the dog, but will you do it???
3) Pretty big liability issue , insurance company will freak out when they hear you have a protection trained dog(a dog that train to bite).
 

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I'm curious to know how it all turns out. My malinois is shaping up to become the best dog I've ever owned- and all I wanted in a trail running companion- but not without training effort on my part.

If he gets a dog with solid nerves and good physical ability he may end up with a great dog for him- as long as he is willing to put in the work.
 

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I have a malinois and am also an avid hiker and mountain runner.

I am not saying malinois don't make great hiking and running dogs- they do. My dog is incredibly athletic, fearless, and very wilderness savvy. But the types of situations you encounter when hiking are NOT included in PPD training and the doctor needs to realize that he will need to step up to the plate and train his dog. For example, how will the dog react to a mountain biker coming up behind you on narrow singletrack, or a mule train, a large male dog running up to say "hello" on the trail, or a deer running across the trail? I guess some malinois might be just fine, but from what I know of malinois, most would not be neutral without training and if bite-trained you may have a real situation on your hands.

I have learned more about dogs and dog training from my malinois than I did over 15 years of owning large dogs previous to my malinois. They are very quick- physically and mentally, somewhat "sharp" and very devoted to what they do.

Unless the doctor gets a real wash-out he is probably getting a dog that would not be suitable for hiking companion- at all- without further training. PPDs are very mis-understood.

If the doctor is really serious about importing a PPD trained malinois, please have him contact me via PM.
You have described my Mal.
There is a lot more sharpness in her than my Shepherds. She is much quicker to judge too.

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I hope it works out, also. I have a Malinois and would never recommend one to somebody who is not dog savvy.

Though a good breeder will make sure the owner and dog match up.
 
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