Need reality check for new owner,

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Need reality check for new owner,

This is a discussion on Need reality check for new owner, within the Working Dogs forums, part of the Dog Shows and Performance category; After several months of looking into various protection dog breeds, we thought we made the right choice of a Belgian Malinois. I made contact with ...

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Old 10-26-2016, 11:27 AM
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Exclamation Need reality check for new owner,

After several months of looking into various protection dog breeds, we thought we made the right choice of a Belgian Malinois. I made contact with breeder/importer who told me about their dog; 3 years old, certified protection dog, obedience training certificate, crate trained and had excellent in-house manners. The pics and videos of the dog looked really good. Through several conversations I told them my concerns; specifically about work schedules, other animals, etc. They said that the dog would be a great fit for our family. They also offered a X day money back guarantee. Everything sounded good.

After having the dog for two weeks, his indoor manners are not as expected. He has incredibly too much drive; much more than time allows. It seems as if the dog needs 26 hours of activity a day. The seller mentioned the dog could get use to other animals, but as time passes, that does not appear to be the case; always having to keep the dog on a leash while outdoors at our house. Off-leash in an open field he seems to be great and mostly listens to commands. I have talked with the people and mentioned a few of the problems. They did offer suggestions and I've used some. Other options they mentioned are cost prohibited at this time. Other issues, they say is part of the dogs trait and will not go away (one specifically was unexpected and not desired in our home). Needless to say, the past two weeks have been hell and caused a lot of stress in our household. It seems that when we correct one issue, others come up. The dog requires constant supervision in the house and we are unable to let it roam without being supervised. I would expect/accept certain behaviors out of an untrained dog. However, this dog has certifications, highly trained in personal protection and they assure me "this dog wouldn't do that".

I feel I was misguided by the seller. There was no official contract or signed agreements, other than the advertisement on their webpage. Due to behaviors, I had hesitations after the first few days and now when I ask about returning the dog, they avoid providing a direct answer to their guarantee or start saying I'm the problem. I'm not having buyers remorse due to the expense, but regretting the dog because it has caused breaking-point stress in our home. My partner wants the dog gone and I'm at my breaking point. This dog does not appear to working out in our home.

While some of this may come across as a vent, I'm really looking for suggestions on the best course of action; while trying keep the best interest of my family and dog in mind. I don't want to just "dump the dog" if the seller does not want to honor their advertisement, but if it's going to be a constant miserable environment, it's not in the best interest for any of us.
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Old 10-26-2016, 11:31 AM
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We need more information. How many hours/times a day are you exercising the dog? What exactly is he doing in the home that is troublesome?
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Old 10-26-2016, 11:48 AM
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Biggest issue now is "nipping" at faces due to lack of attention and getting along with an outside cat when going outside. The dog is wanting to tug at everything and has already chewed/ripped some of our furniture. When I give the commands to sit/stay/place, it is only done for a short while. During the week, most mornings and evenings we walk for 15-30 minutes or run for 30-60 minutes. The past two weekends, I've spent several hours outside on both days and have taken the dog to social areas. It seems to be very social and good around strangers. Please do not take me as saying the dog is bad. It has a lot of good traits. I'm just really thinking it is not the best fit for our family. Plus with having to keep it crated while unsupervised, what good does it really do to have a personal protection dog.

Last edited by jasonale; 10-26-2016 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 10-26-2016, 12:16 PM
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Malinois are a lot of dog for most people from what I have read
I'm confused...do you want training advice or rehoming advice?
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Old 10-26-2016, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jasonale View Post
Biggest issue now is "nipping" at faces due to lack of attention and getting along with an outside cat when going outside. The dog is wanting to tug at everything and has already chewed/ripped some of our furniture. When I give the commands to sit/stay/place, it is only done for a short while. During the week, most mornings and evenings we walk for 15-30 minutes or run for 30-60 minutes. The past two weekends, I've spent several hours outside on both days and have taken the dog to social areas. It seems to be very social and good around strangers. Please do not take me as saying the dog is bad. It has a lot of good traits. I'm just really thinking it is not the best fit for our family. Plus with having to keep it crated while unsupervised, what good does it really do to have a personal protection dog.
Hubby and I have a 2.5-year-old Malinois. We've been involved in protection sports for 7 years so we are familiar with working-line GSDs and Mals.

I think I have an idea of what is going on in your household. Going forward, it really depends on what you want to do. Make your big decision first, do you want to keep the dog or return him?

If you want to keep him, consider finding someone who is familiar with protection sports/Mals and train with him/her. You will get a much better idea of how to work with and handle your dog. It will be a long and somewhat bumpy journey, however, if you are willing to persist, you will probably end up enjoying the process.

Dogs that are trained in protection sports are not the same as personal protection dogs. But someone who has a good understanding of Mal/working drives will be able to guide you in the right direction. I don't know how much training he has actually had, but there is no standardized way of categorizing personal protection dogs (level 1,2,or 3), a seller can claim whatever he wants. A good decoy/trainer can test the dog out for you and give you suggestions accordingly.

A working-line Mal needs a job. He is not going to be content with just physical exercises. You can put him in protection sports, agility, nose-work, but he needs to be constantly learning and doing something. If he is bored, he is going to develop behavior problems/become destructive. Not his fault, it's just the way Mals are.

At this point, I would recommend you not to let your dog off leash outside, especially in public areas. You may or may not be able to recall him if his prey drive kicks in. Not being able to recall a dog that is trained in bite-work is not a good thing.
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Old 10-26-2016, 12:26 PM
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By the way, can you tell us what state or city you are in?
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Old 10-26-2016, 12:45 PM
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Yes, BM's are a lot of dog. More than we expected. After last night, my partner and children have no more interest in keeping him. I partly do not want to give up on the dog, but I also don't want my home to be conflicted for weeks on end. It appears that I cannot do this by myself. If the dog cannot be returned, reselling is my last option. Right now, I would like recoup some of my costs. Dumping is not an option.

I guess I wasn't aware there was a difference between protection dog and dog active in protection dog sport. The dog was sold as a protection dog, but all the training was in the sport; where competed and earned a protection dog certificate. They said it would easily be able to go to the next level with a little more training.

I've looked into local trainers. There was one guy, but he primarily trains police dogs. The next closest trainer (who did most of the training) is 4 hours away. There were some locals that did obedience training; just not protection training and do not have the equipment for it.
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Old 10-26-2016, 12:51 PM
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Yes, once his prey-drive kicks in, he is strong and sturborn. He had a cat up a tree last week while on a leash and took a ton of effort to get his attention back. He salivated for almost an hour when we got back in.
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Old 10-26-2016, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jasonale View Post
Yes, BM's are a lot of dog. More than we expected. After last night, my partner and children have no more interest in keeping him. I partly do not want to give up on the dog, but I also don't want my home to be conflicted for weeks on end. It appears that I cannot do this by myself. If the dog cannot be returned, reselling is my last option. Right now, I would like recoup some of my costs. Dumping is not an option.

I guess I wasn't aware there was a difference between protection dog and dog active in protection dog sport. The dog was sold as a protection dog, but all the training was in the sport; where competed and earned a protection dog certificate. They said it would easily be able to go to the next level with a little more training.

I've looked into local trainers. There was one guy, but he primarily trains police dogs. The next closest trainer (who did most of the training) is 4 hours away. There were some locals that did obedience training; just not protection training and do not have the equipment for it.
If you are talking about a protection dog certificate from PSA (PSA PDC), I am familiar with it, our retired GSD has a PDC. We were in a PSA club for 4 years. Among all the major protection sports, PSA is probably closest to personal protection, however, there are still big differences. A PSA dog may or may not be a good PPD, it really depends on the dog, and what other training the dog has had.

If your family does not want to keep the dog, then definitely, talk to the seller and see if you can return him. If you are undecided, sit down with your family, talk it over. Do you know if there is a PSA club in your area?
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Old 10-26-2016, 01:27 PM
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Yes, it is PSA. Closest PSA club is 4 hours away.
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