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My family and I own a gorgeous Malinois puppy who will be two in November. Until recently, he's been rather well behaved. He'd only get aggressive around us when trying to play or when my mom (the boss) would leave him alone. Honestly I would rather he be aggressive towards me than anyone else. Unfortunately, I took him on a walk last Sunday (28-07-13) like we normally do (he gets between 3 to 4 one hour walks a day) and unlike my mom, I keep him on the leash when walking him.

Austin and I were very relaxed, playing with his ball as I was making my way home. Suddenly a couple of jogging women appeared behind us startling me, and therefore making Austin lunge at the one woman. He broke skin at her waist. This was the first time he had EVER become aggressive in such a manner to ANYONE.

Today, my mother took him out for his morning walk around seven. There were little to no people around so she took him off the leash to throw his ball far. A cycler came by and Austin lunged at him, getting him on rear-end. This man as you would guess became very angry by the reaction of our dog and has gotten the police involved in the case.

Austin has honestly never been so aggressive as he has been in the past couple of weeks. He goes on regular dog walks with the dog walker where he enjoys days with a large pack of dogs. On his normal walks he plays with other dogs too. He has never reacted poorly to children, but is sporadically aggressive towards individuals.

9/10 he doesn't react to anyone be it walking, running, or cycling, but there will be one time where he will suddenly attack someone. And we live in an area where dogs are let off the leash often. (The Dutch don't really have rules about dogs needing to be tied up unless in a park.)

My mother and I have no idea how to gain control of Austin anymore and are terrified that he may react towards a stranger again. What on earth can we do to help him and us for a better future?

Someone please help!
 

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He needs a complete vet check, including bloodwork for thyroid, kidney, liver, and other such problems, check of joints, ears/hearing, eyes/eyesight....everything.

If that comes back clear you then need a behaviorist who's worked with that sort of breed before.

Yes all that costs money, but trying to cope with a dog who appears to be randomly aggressive on your own is a really bad idea.
 

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It's not that unusual for a dog to be fine with 98% of people, but scared or aggressive with the remaining ones. Has anything really changed with him, or does he not meet that many new people & just happened to catch a few who scared him? If the former, are there any other recent behavioral changes? Is he still generally fine with people cycling by, etc? That will tell you if some new factor may be involved here.

The other area is how he deals with people in general. Other than close friends, does he just tolerate people or is he friendly? For this issue I often see the former case, and teaching him how to better relate to people in general is one component of the solution.

Much more could be said, but its relevance depends on his other behavior & training, which we don't know. The other issue you hinted at is his startle response if he's surprised, but we can only guess if that's a large part of the issue. In a very few dogs, that can be the entire issue by itself.
 

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If that comes back clear you then need a behaviorist who's worked with that sort of breed before.
I will question the breed comment here. Granted that I do refer scent hounds with scent-related issues to speciality groups, but there's nothing here that's breed distinctive.

As it happens, I'll be picking up a yr. old Malinois this afternoon. On his 2nd visit now, his initial issue was becoming scared by & acting aggressive when meeting new people. A little more work & I'll be turning him over to a dog trainer, but rapid progress requires both initial conditioning then controlled exposure to problem situations.
 

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Since he's bitten multiple people it's really against forum rules for us to give you training advice for him.

What we can do is tell you where you can go to find help, I'd start here International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) . Let them know the breed of dog you have.

I agree with getting him a full vet workup. There's no point in trying to work on his behavior if there's something medical going on. Always rule out medical first.

For now please prevent anymore bites by getting him used to wearing a basket muzzle in public, and don't let him off leash off your property.
 
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You need help, more help than we can provide on a forum (although this was a good place to seek advice on where to go for help!). Go the the link Rain provided.

Malinois are not a beginner's dog. They are a working breed, very sensitive to stimuli and used a lot for police duties. You will have your hands full, now that your boy is reaching maturity. This is when their true nature starts to come out, so get a good behaviorist to work with. And as Rain says, you need to start managing your dog so he cannot hurt anyone. That means keeping him on leash and being aware of your surroundings to prevent any possibility he can get to a stranger and bite.
 

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A dog forum is not where you will find help to deal with a aggressive dog thats bitten several times & broken the skin.
You need real help, someone who can see how the dog responds to certain stimuli in a controlled environment.
I would be walking the dog muzzled at this point as he has already bitten on lead so thats no enough to keep both your dog & the public safe.
If you do not get this dog professional help the odds are that he will end up declared dangerous or worse.
 

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Welcome to owning an adult malinois. Is this dog doing anything other than walking each day? Mals are working dogs. This often happens when kept as pets only. (So often in fact, I have two coming this week).

The dog needs a breed experienced trainer. Yes this behavior can happen with any breed. Mals arekknown for it though.

Keep the dog muzzled in public until he can safely be around them again. This can be a death sentence if he bites again. I'm not sure of dog laws there, but I know there should be many experienced handlers/trainers to help with your dog.
 

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I will also add this is not a sudden thing, unless medical. I can assure you its been coming, its just not so easily seen unless you are quite experienced with dogs of this nature.
 
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