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Hi all! This is actually the first time I have ever posted on a forum (despite scouring them for years). I hope you will have some patience while potentially providing me with some much needed advice.

As far as dog experience goes, I have had miniature schnauzers all of my life. Last year, my beloved schnauzer passed away from old age. In attempt to fill the void, we (husband and I) brought home a Doberman Pinscher pup a couple of months later. (Why doberman: my family owned them before I was born and they always had great things to say. When we moved to the states however, we had to downsize from ranch to apartment, we could only bring along our miniature schnauzer and left the dobermans with the rest of our family overseas to guard the ranch. Fast forward, husband and I live now in a house with ample space.) We brought him home at about 10 weeks and have tended to him since then. During this time he has grown to be a wonderful addition to our little family. We have decided that we would like to get him a little sister. Alongside the Doberman, I have admired the Belgian Malinois. However all of the research that I have done tells people to steer clear of this dog. That it should only be used strictly for police/military. Because of this, we have been on the fence about considering bringing a Belgian, and instead reaching out to other Doberman/ Min. Schnauzer breeders. Our Doberman has done just fine. He has undergone obedience classes, gets exercise every day, and is trained every day by us. My husband works full time and I work part time. Our Doberman gets a run in the morning with dad, then a walk by me before I head out to work, then another walk and training when I get home, playtime, and then another walk when my husband gets home. Then we work on further training and playtime with toys. Our dobe is in excellent shape, and is greatly socialized. I am scared that I won’t be giving the Belgian the type of stimulation it needs to strive and will give it a horrible life. I have done extensive research but fear that perhaps this dog will run circles around us and make us potentially regret our decision. Can anyone perhaps offer insight between the relationships the Belgian had with their other dogs, if they found that, coming from experience with a Doberman, the Belgian was increasingly difficult to satiate? Should we instead, in your opinion, get another dobe or a miniature schnauzer? And something that is important more to me than my husband: I’d like a loving dog. Our dobe for example will come and place his forehead on my knees so that I may stroke his head. When he stays still (the rare times he does, ha) I will lay on him or we will just sit together and enjoy each other’s company while he mauls one of his toys. I had read that many Malinois are hard dogs. Some will work to work, as opposed to other breeds who will work to please.

FYI: We are considering miniature schnauzer solely because it is a breed that we have a great deal of love and respect for, not because it is smaller or easier to handle. My old pup Maggie would have put our Doberman in his place. She was a firecracker, ha. ;)

Another important point to consider: husband's parents family have young aged children and Alaskan Malamute mix puppies. My mom has cats. We also have a squirrel. It is important to us that our next dog can get along with everyone as our dogs usually come with us everywhere we go. The puppy will be socialized with all sorts of creatures from the start but I prefer not to live in fear of finding a gruesome sight.

Thank you for your responses!
 

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Ignore the hate, Belgian Malinois make great companions with the right training and socialization. Greyhounds also make great dogs that are calm, lazy, and good with children. They were rated the number one dog adequate for apartment living.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks animallover56! It sounds funny, but every time I tell myself "forget it, let's just stick with another Dobie or Min. Schnauzer", a physical one pops up in my life, whether walking with a man who you can tell doesn't get much exercise or like this morning there was a puppy at my husband's gym! I wonder if it's a sign or if coincidence is in overdrive.
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Go with your hearth

As far as I see you both take a lot of care about your dog and its training and happiness. I think that as long as you will dog the same with the second dog and you train it to integrate with your dobe I see no reason to have big issues or unhappy incidents. I see that you are already used with handling some "firecracker" behavior so what could be the worst?
My advice would be to go with your hearth and choose what will make you happy. Maybe "ask" your doberman what he wants by observing how he acts around the breeds you target, assuming you can find this breeds and let them play together.
 

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Go out and meet some mals. I've met some fab ones I would take in a heartbeat. I've also met some you couldn't pay me to take. Seems a lot depends on the breeder/lines, same as other breeds.

If wanting a more laid back mal (still likely to be high energy and needing lots of mental stim. but not quite to the extent of a working line) you could check out conformation line dogs. Also check out the other Belgian and Dutch herding breeds. Similar but from what I have seen, often less ''edge.''
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I second Dutch shepherds. They are waaaay less intense than Mals, but have plenty of drive. Far more manageable. They look similar too. Don't get me wrong, you're going to have to do a lot of work, but they may be a better fit especially if you're looking for kid/non-canine friendliness.
 
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Malinois are often used as police and military dogs because they are very easy to train. The problems come if you're not able or willing to give them training.
 

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Since you have a fondness for schnauzers, what about a standard or giant schnauzer? Could be a good partner for your dobe.

In the right hands, these are magnificent dogs. You sound like you can provide the training, socialization, exercise, and discipline required for a great schnauzer.
 

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If you fancy a breed, research it enough, and feel like you can commit to lots of training and mental/physcial exercise then I say go for it. The problem with people judging others about owning breeds like the mal, or even a border collie, is that they feel no one other than a working household will be committed enough to train them and exercise them enough to make them good dogs.

While this is true of many clueless people who just buy a dog for how popular or how pretty it is, it isn't true for dog owners as a hole. Dobermans can also be a danger in the wrong hands, but you've proved that your capable of owning a happy healthy, well-trained one. In my opinion there's no reason you shouldn't go for a mal if you feel capable.
 
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This is a little bit old but, from my experience as a first time Mal owner, it takes a lot of work! Literally 3-5 hours a day. He is my buddy and wants to go everywhere with me (and he does, trust me), and I'd imagine it would be easier to give him a lot of attention with two people.


Be advised, my Mal has never bonded with my girlfriend, no matter how hard I try. He isn't mean or protective or jealous. He's just ambivalent. I'm starting to suspect a lot of these guys are one dog one person types.

If you get a Mal be prepared for a LOT OF WORK. It's like having a very large and smart 6 year old thunder around the house.
 
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