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Hi! I am new to this group. I am not sure if you have actual dog trainers or just people with experience, but it is worth a shot to hear any advice.

I have a 7 month old female Belgian Malinois. Since she was younger, she likes to take things like a sock, paper, pillow... pretty much whatever she can find. She wants me to chase her. I don't run after her, but I do follow her and tell her to "drop it". She knows the command, because if I had a treat in my hand and told her to she would in a minute. When I catch her, I grab her by the collar and tell her to drop it and I put pressure on the collar and she releases whatever it is and immediately turns to bite me. This isn't a daily situation, and it happens less now than when she was younger. I am at my wits end trying to figure out how to stop it. I can't just let her run off and expect not to be corrected, but the bigger she gets and the more she thinks she is winning this game the more dangerous she will become. She never "wins" - it is usually a stalemate, but to a malinois that is a win. She is ONLY aggressive at this time..It ONLY happens with me and 99.9% the time it is on a work day. I work at home, but she knows I will be busy. She is always following me, if I leave without her she lays by the garage door for my car to pull in, she lays outside my bathroom door while I am in the shower etc... she sleeps in a kennel in my bedroom at night and not in my bed and is not allowed to run free in the house when she is alone. She is super fast as a malinois is and knows right where to go to dodge me.. so it is a game clearly and she is getting amped up by the chase. My husband suggested I move her away from the "possession" before she has a chance to come at me.. thinking it is retaliation so she can grab it back... that works part of the time..

This is not our first malinois, so I am very familiar with the breed and the high energy, intelligence and stubbornness.. She is wicked smart, and I work with her regularly on obedience. We take one or more walks daily as long as weather permits. This is just a behavior I have never dealt with and I don't want it to escalate. We have an E collar and I am not opposed to using one, because I know how to use it... BUT I don't want her to only stop the behavior when she is wearing it. Any suggestions would be helpful. I am having a consultation with a trainer next weekend in my area, but I wanted to get other perspectives and see if maybe I am not the only one who has this experience.

I love my dog, but this has to stop.

Thanks for any suggestions I may have not thought of.


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Ok, imagine you were in a lovely restaurant eating a favourite meal and someone tried to take it from you. You would do everything you could to keep it, even more so if it happened repeatedly, or forcibly. I would probably stab the person with my fork,but maybe that's just me! The sure fire way to make a dog protective of her ”possessions” is to take them from her. The harder you try to take things, the harder she will try to keep them. And she has teeth at the pointy end.

So, why not just swap for a treat if that works? No fuss, no drama, everybody wins.

And, if there are things you really don't want her to have, that comes down to management - a dog that steals treasures is the best incentive to have a tidy home!

You will find more tips here.


Please don't use an e-collar on her - if you use that you risk causing damage to your relationship and that isn't likely to end well. As a forum, we don't condone the use of aversive tools or techniques.

Do please also make sure your trainer used force free reinforcement and doesn't promote dominance. A dog like a Mal will make a wonderful partner if you can create that partnership - because that's what the relationship should be, a dog that partners you, not one who does things because she is anticipating the consequences of not doing them. There is a lot of evidence of positive reinforcement being far more successful in training.

She is a very good looking girl.
 

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George would steal everything if he could I never just take things from him. I always exchange, always tell him he's a good boy giving it back ...to be honest if you snatched from me Id bite you.
 
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