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Hi all,

My husband and I have a wonderful 3 year old belgian malinois who is very well trained and pretty much the perfect dog for us (she keeps us active). We are thinking about getting another mal puppy from the same parents, but I'm wondering if anyone on this forum has experience with owning two Mals? Does anyone have any input on whether or not two mals is better than one?
 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXqNl5bTCMU
link is to, "So you think you want a high drive puppy" it's a delightful Mal pup tearing it up, hilarious and educational for anyone wondering what 'high drive' can mean.

Ready to do it all over again? Then go for it. Not for me, though, so I have no first hand experience.

In all seriousness, have a chat with the breeder to see where your current wonderful girl fits in in terms of drive. Since she's mature and trained, it's not a bad time to add a puppy if you are up to it.
 
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We have one Malinois and two working-line German shepherds. We have club members that have multiple Mals or Dutch shepherds, some do great, some have to crate/rotate because the dogs don't get along.

Like Artdog suggested, I would talk to the breeder and go from there =)

Best of luck!
 

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We had two Tervuerens but they did not have the most intense temperaments. Both were bitches. They got along fine, the older was aggressive towards non-family dogs. Mostly barking and growling and tackling other dogs if given a chance, she did not bite hard or kill though. But I mention this because when she started acting up on leash towards passing by dogs our younger Terv supported her although alone the younger dog was fairly social.

With breeds like this I would not enter another dog until the first one is properly trained and matured. Then you can focus on teaching the puppy some manners without worrying about the older dog. 3 years old should be fine. Ours had 3 year gap.

Do you have time and energy to exercise two energetic dogs? Especially when the other one is a puppy and cannot join your longer or more exhausting walks? Adult dogs can be walked together and they can play together off-leash if they get well along but what about mental exercise like training or sports where you are working with one dog at a time?

I have a rough collie and I dream of adding a BSD to my household in the future although my common sense says that another collie or a smaller dog would be better. Alva will be fine with a puppy as long as it does not get too rambunctious but although she is calm and social and soft-looking and so, she won't be pushed over and will defend herself if someone tries to step on her toes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you everyone! Since both parents are the same I am hoping the new puppy's nature will be similar to our Nala, but I agree that it is a good idea to talk to our breeder about temperament and drive when we choose which puppy we want!

My husband worked with Mals in the military so he knew what we were getting into, and he worked very hard to train Nala right away. We also put her in puppy play classes for socialization and she has always been great with other dogs, we will do the same for the new puppy. We live in a house that's on a trail leading to an 8-acre dog park so giving them plenty of exercise is fairly easy.

I give a lot a credit to my husband for how well behaved Nala is, but I feel like we also got lucky because she is not nearly as hyperactive as I my research on Mals suggest, in fact at times she can be quite lazy.

I really would love Nala to have a companion that she can play with when we are too busy, but I've never seen her interact with another Malinois so I just hope that they will get along well!
 

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And Artdog thank you for the link! When that puppy got in the box my heart kind of melted a little lol, but I do think it's a good demonstration of what high-drive entails. That is the kind of hyperactiveness I was expecting when we got a mal but Nala wasn't quite that energetic, she would have quick bursts of energy and then fall asleep lol. Maybe girls are just less hyper than boys?
 

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And Artdog thank you for the link! When that puppy got in the box my heart kind of melted a little lol, but I do think it's a good demonstration of what high-drive entails. That is the kind of hyperactiveness I was expecting when we got a mal but Nala wasn't quite that energetic, she would have quick bursts of energy and then fall asleep lol. Maybe girls are just less hyper than boys?

Maybe you are ready, then!
I use that video to cure temporary "I wish I had a puppy" thoughts--I always get adult/adolescent dogs.
The pup in the video is a serious competition/working prospect, so, not all mals, or all in one litter would be like that.
Next, you'll be posting your own puppy video's and then I'll be jealous! :)
 
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Maybe you are ready, then!
I use that video to cure temporary "I wish I had a puppy" thoughts--I always get adult/adolescent dogs.
It's so funny what people look for when getting a new dog. For me, that puppy screams amazing fun and awesome training potential. Buuuut, that's easy to say for someone who works as a dog trainer and is home all day. :p

I can't imagine NOT getting a puppy!
 
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I am trying to talk myself into NOT having a Belgian by watching my parents' 8 months old BSD/GSD mix who is a lovely monster. Although I cannot keep away from wondering what that puppy might be if she was trained and socialized properly from day one. Also, Alva, who is a slow motion picture compared to any working dog, has let me too easy.
 

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It's so funny what people look for when getting a new dog. For me, that puppy screams amazing fun and awesome training potential. Buuuut, that's easy to say for someone who works as a dog trainer and is home all day. :p

I can't imagine NOT getting a puppy!

I have shy cats, a tiny yard, no fence (yard too small to be worth fencing), tiny house, would be VERY difficult to keep everyone happy, and happy critters make me happy, unhappy critters make me cry...and I like high drive dogs--a high drive puppy would drive my cats nuts, literally, and the management involved in preventing that would not be fair to such a puppy.

so I'll just ogle everyone else's puppy ... :)
 

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oooh, I love Mals- I'm really itching to get one once I see what my next few years start looking like, after I'm done with school. I'm going to be working as a Dog Trainer (I have an interview at PetSmart tomorrow for a pet care job, possibly turning into a dog training job down the road, since the trainer at this location is probably going to retire in the next few years, according to the hiring manager!!), but figuring out the liability aspect and all the minute details before going into business, and once I'm more settled/ready financially I am thinking a Mal would be a great drive-y dog to satisfy my want for a high drive, high energy training partner. It's between a Mal and a Border Collie, maybe a Working Line GSD, but leaning pretty heavily to a Mal- I'm just so attracted to them.

I also see a fun dog to train in that video, LOL, but again- that's the dog trainer in me talking.

It sounds like your husband has a pretty good experience base with Mals, and understands what you might be in for if the dog isn't as chilled out as your current one. It also sounds like he is the primary trainer of the dog. I've heard of people with really off-the-wall type Mals that need to be on a crate and rotate schedule and can't be trusted alone, but most of those people got the dog specifically as a bite work/bite sport/protection/police prospect, not primarily as a pet. Do you know what lines/type of lines (ie, French/Belgian, French Ring vs Schuthund, KPNV, even bench or show line vs working line etc) are behind the parents of your dog? You could totally talk with your breeder and explain you're looking for a more laid back pup; it seems like (good) Mal breeders do tend to be pros at matching the pup to the home. I wouldn't count on getting another super laid back dog, even if you were looking at show and not working lines, just because that is really not the typical temperament, but you could totally ask the breeder for the least energetic/drive-y pup in the litter. Be prepared for the pup to turn your life upside down for a little while, more so than a pup of a less intense breed, but unless you're getting a dog out of a very intense line that focuses mostly on working and less on the minute details of temperament (for example, I do know some real working kennels breed dogs with dog aggression/same sex aggression issues because they're spectacular workers, which is something I would not want in a dog that is primarily a pet), I wouldn't be too worried about getting a super crazy dog that can't live with your current dog, and it doesn't sound like you're looking for a cutting edge work prospect, just a pet quality dog.
 

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Your girl does not sound like the typical Mal :p

Our Mal is now 2 years 3 months of age, before the age of 2, regardless of how much we exercised her (physically and mentally), she only settled down if we put her in her puppy pen or in a crate. Outside of training, the longest she had ever laid still was 20 seconds (literally), if she was not in a pen/crate, she had to be doing something, or else she would find things for herself to do.

We've been actively training her in Mondioring since 2 months of age, we took her to puppy/beginner OB classes for socialization, dabbled in agility to give her extra outlet, and now taking nosework classes (on top of Mondioring) to keep her busy.

In the last couple of months, she started to occasionally lay down by us (for up to 15 minutes )when we were busy, first time she did it, I checked her all over 'cuz I thought she was sick :rofl:

In another year or so, she should have a functional "off button." We've seen a good number of Mals in different dog clubs, I think ours is only "medium" in terms of intensity and energy level :D
 

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@San would love to see some video of her work. Wow! And yep, just one mal would be 'too much dog' (as in 'way' too much) dog for me.
It's good to know your limit...
I wonder if Mals are like other 'working' dog breeds. Those bred for work are 'different' from pet & show lines? Are there 'pet' and 'showline' mals?
 

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There is a definitely a divide between working line Mals and bench bred (show line) Mals, for sure. I would say a similar divide between the bench bred and working border collies (maybe a little less extreme, though maybe just as much, depending on perspective), maybe even similar to some of the bench/working gun dogs, like Goldens, Labs or Cockers. The main thing is that confirmation is only important so far as it allows the dog to do their job well, their can be a much wider range in appearance and size depending on line and specific purpose.

I have heard that show line Mals tend to be more nerve-y, and they don't have the same drive that working line dogs have. That said, this is from lurking on a hardcore working dog forum, so I take it with a grain of salt. I definitely believe they don't have the same drive as working line dogs, but don't know about the nerve aspect. I will say, I was not super impressed with the Mals I saw in the breed ring at Westminster when I was there, and without fail the Mals I think "wow how fun!" are working line and not bench/show bred. The bench line kennels are just valuing something different, IMO, and that something has a lot to do with looks, which to me is not something that should be the focus of a Mal breeding program. I do also tend to have a bias against bench line dogs and show bred dogs in general, though- I will always prefer a health tested hobby breeder who competes in some kind of sport, doe therapy work, or something like that with the dogs, or a working line, if those exist in the breed.

I have seen it suggested if you're looking for just a pet, a show line dog might be preferable. Even for a non-bitework-sport, like agility, a show line dog could be an OK fit. If you're getting a dog for bite work (sport, protection) or police work, a working line Mal is what you want. A working line dog is definitely not the go-to choice if you're just looking for a pet, unless you're looking for a really intense pet and dog training is your hobby and you are very clear with your breeder as to what you're looking for. Even within the working lines, their is distinct lines that produce very different dogs- some are KPNV (police force) bred, some are bred for schutzhund, some for french ring, some for the newer sport of mondioring, some are mixed lines with a bit of everything in it. I'm still new enough to the breed I haven't fully sorted the differences in the lines, though, LOL. It is really fascinating stuff, though. I am curious as to how true the nerviness issues in show lines holds, though.
 

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@San would love to see some video of her work. Wow! And yep, just one mal would be 'too much dog' (as in 'way' too much) dog for me.
It's good to know your limit...
I wonder if Mals are like other 'working' dog breeds. Those bred for work are 'different' from pet & show lines? Are there 'pet' and 'showline' mals?
Serious Mal breeders breed for working abilities (and a lot of them do not sell to pet homes), but there are breeders who focus on confirmation or breed lower drive dogs as pets.

If someone is looking for a pet that is smart, fun to train, and has good drives, I would go with a German shepherd. Within the breed itself, like Moonstream mentioned, temperaments vary a lot. The "nervy" part, I've seen it in a good number of working line Mals, a lot of it is genetics, the other part depends on the handler, proper socialization and upbringing are especially important for Mals. When a high drive Mal is working, he is focused on his reward, nothing phases him, he seems brave and invincible, but once off the field and calm, all the nerviness surfaces, so a Mal that looks great when training or competing is not necessarily one with strong nerves.

A breeder that know his/her lines should be able to match an interested buyer with the right dog (or at least re-direct them to the right breeder).
@Artdog I don't want to hijack OP's thread, I will post some training videos of our dogs (one is a GSD rescue, both are training for Mondioring) in the next couple of days :D
 
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