My dog and K9 experience:
I was a K9 handler in US Air Force, where I handled two German Shepherds GSDs) and was a back up handler on a Malinois. Since getting out of the Air Force, I have had two working line GSDs (one DDR and the other Czech working lines). Both dogs were high drives but also eager to please (while a bit rambunctious at times, they were dogs you could live with). Unfortunately both developed degenerative myelopathy (DM), which is common in GSDs, (they lose the use of their muscles starting with their back legs and it moves forward) which hit both at 9 years old, drastically cutting their life span short. I did Schutzhund and IPO with both (protection, tracking and obedience). My first one got his level 3 IPO and my second got her level 2 IPO.
Currently I have a 15 month old female Czech working line German Shepherd (GSD). I got her when she was 8 months old, it was a perfect fit and time for both of us. She is a very sweet dog and I am working her in tracking and agility right now. I am also thinking nose work too for her. She could probably do protection work but it is not her forte. So second dog has to be a male who can get along with other dogs.
I have a large fenced backyard and spend a lot of time with my dogs via training, walking, or hikes.
I want to add a male to do protection and IPO (I think tracking is great for all dogs). As one of my former Air Force trainers said, “the perfect working dog has the 3 Cs: Calm, Controlled, and Confident. Here in order are the ONLY breeds of dogs that I am interested in:
1.Belgian Malinois: I am thinking of going with Malinois Ot Vitosha based on recommendations from several breeders and trainers. Ot Vitosha dogs have excellent drives to d anything as far as dog sports and training is concerned, and they also great social drives, eagerness to please. Pros: easy to train, a lot less shedding and grooming upkeep. Cons: High drives, need a “job”, can be high strung. Also has the most handler bites of any breed. Due to their high driver, they will work until they drop with heat exhaustion, very hard to know when the dog has had enough. In the last month or so, a couple Malinois have died of heat exhaustion while on tracks. Dog was fine one moment, and then collapsed the next.
2.Dutch Shepherd: Very similar to Malinois but supposedly has an off switch. A couple breeders I am considering: Impact K9 (relatively close to me), Vrijheid Dutch Shepherds, Cher Car Kennels, and others. Pros: easy to train, eager to please (not as much as a Malinois, sometimes more aloof or hard headed), and supposedly has an off switch, less shedding and grooming upkeep. Cons: I have never handled one, seen only a few; some were good and some were horrible (bad genes and bad socialization).
3.German Shepherd: The breed I have the most experience with. All my previous dogs worked hard outside but were couch potatoes inside. The thing that concerns me is the degenerative myelopathy (there are tests for it now, GSD is either clear, has it or is a carrier). Some breeders are checking for it, others aren’t. Hey I know a dog will eventually have to die of something but degenerative myelopathy is heart breaking to watch as it progresses. Also the breed's danger of getting torsion and bloat (in the last year both a relative’s and a friend’s GSDs have died from it). Pros: As one of my trainers said, “GSDs aren’t first in anything, but they are second in everything.” He was right, they are a very good at all aspects of sport and work, and very adaptable. Cons: Health concerns such as degenerative myelopathy and torsion. Sheds….a lot, aka German Shedders. Breeder I am considering is Weberhaus German Shepherds. I have talked to Malinda several times, good person, excellent reputation. She does test her dogs for DM.
Thanks for taking the time to read and posting any advice.
I can't be much help,for decades I have just let dogs adopt me.
my home is filled with love with two poodles a yellow lab and a german shepard that jumped in the yard and adopted us.
This dog was somebody move away and left to live of dead run over squirrels for months.
I walk the dog around the neighbor [hood] and the shepard would trail us.May two years ago he jumped the back fence and would not leave.
Vet checkup ,shots and new collar and lease and he is right with the rest of the pack,all are males,not fixed and never any aggression with anyone,that has been the norm with all my rescues.
Best of luck on what ever you select
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I don't feel quite right in voting since I only have experience with GSDs. We have two, a large male and a small female, plus our daughter has an unrelated "grand-kid" GSD who visits frequently.
You did a very good job spelling out the advantages and disadvantages (German Shedders is exactly right!) with the breed and you're quite experienced with them. If you can screen out DM and have an industrial strength vacuum cleaner/VW-sized Roomba, you might be better off taking advantage of your experience with the breed.
Whatever you decide, best wishes to you, your current girl, and your new friend.
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The training director of the SchH club I belonged to was the head trainer for Tom Rose, a DVG judge. He personally owned and trained GSDs, Mals and Giant Schnauzers.
I asked him the same question when I was looking for a second SchH dog. Without hesitation, he said stick with GSDs because the mals are crazy.
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You know more about dogs, especially these, than I do, and probably a lot more than most of us. The only thing I can offer is that, if you can get around the Dutch Shepards, especially in a training environment, and spend considerable time getting to know them, you will be able to make an informed choice between the three. I wouldn't adopt the DS just based on reputation, or what you have only heard.
Hmmmm. I don't know if Mals are crazy but I will say a lot of the Malinois breeders are assholes. I have called, emailed, and facebook messaged them with questions, all I got back were two emails from two different breeders with about two short sentences which consisted of how much their dogs were and you had to pay a $500 deposit to be placed on a waiting list and move to the next phase (I guess that is where they answer your questions). They really act like their shit don't stink and it is beneath them to talk with you. I guess it is popularity of the breed, a seller's market.
The Dutch Shepherd and German Shepherd breeders have been wonderful to talk with. I have had several long emails and phone conversations from them. They asked questions and answered questions.
I am leaning toward a GSD from Malinda at Weberhaus, she has a couple interesting breedings coming up.
My plan after retiring in 3 years is to go through the Tom Rose Master Trainer course.
I have had all 3. The GS was by far the most calm of the bunch. She was a great dog, would be the best of the 3 if I was wanting a family dog that worked a side job. It seems that Mal’s and DS are really almost the same breed now a days with the exception of the coat. From what I read, breeders were using Mal bloodlines to bring the DS back. I have also heard that you can get brindle pups in a litter with traditional mal colored parents. My Mal was the most intelligent, constantly on the prowl for something to do. Would spring into action at a moments notice. Action could be a walk, a car ride, or a trip to the fridge. Definitely the most serious of the group and glued to my hip 24/7. My last dog was a DS. Almost as high drive as the Mal, but a little goofier. I was able to find the DS off switch. It involved a Chuck-it toy, a ball, a 200 yard stretch of open grass and 5-6 trips a day for 20-30 mins each. As you are well aware, the energy level is like a 4 year old with a fist full of pixie sticks at a Chuck E. Cheese.
All I've had all day is like six gummy bears and some scotch...
I love the Chuck-It thrower. My GSD likes to play keep away ( since it is play time I let her, she knows when it is obedience time and to bring it to me), so I follow the 2 ball concept but expanded. I usually use 3 to 5 balls, and wear a weighted vest so I get my workout too as I walk from one end of the backyard to the other end.
The reason I was the back up handler for the female Malinois when I was in the Air force was I was the the only other person the base that she liked besides her very pretty female handler. Of course maybe the only reason the female Malinois liked me was because I was dating her handler.
I am going to talk with Malinda at Weberhaus German Shepherds and see which breedings or anything she has available that she would recommend for me. I will post the results. Thanks to all who voted and posted.
I didn’t vote either, as only experience is with German Shepherds too. But I have never had one with that disease. The worst I had was one who developed spondylosis, after he was about 12 though. That was heartbreaking too.
I have have breeder dogs, and rescue dogs. Yes, shedder is accurate, ha, but I like the fact that they have an off switch, and listen extremely well. Only knowledge of Malinois is secondhand from other people. Very high strung, active and hard headed is what I hear. Your description of them not knowing when to quit sounds accurate.
Don’t know anything about Dutch shepherds. My preference is GSD, but I know my likes and dislikes, and you will have to review some dogs and decide if the pros outweigh the cons. Good luck, would like to know what you decide on, and how it turns out,
I was in Schutzhund, many years ago. I had a GSD and a Dobe.
I would think the Malnois would not do as calm does not fit that breed.
My son has a part Malnois and she is still pretty hyper most of the time.
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All are good dogs and all come with their risks. I will always have a GSD. They are smarter than most of my friends and I like a dog that you can look at and see the light bulb go on as they figure things out.
I have never met a low drive mal. Ever.
I don't know much about the Dutchie.
All purebred dog are inbred dogs. They can all have a wide variety of genetic illnesses.
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And some people listen to the quiet.
I didn’t vote either as I’ve always had Dobermans.
But of those you listed I would lean towards the Dutch Shephard. Its the more obscure breed of the three and may be less likely to have as many genetic or personality issues.
My belief, witchcraft or not, has been that whenever a dog breed gets really popular then the bloodlines tend to go downhill for a while until the general public moves on to something else.
Chihuahuas and other toy breeds
They all have suffered while in their heyday.
Heck, I’ve been tempted to try something like a Beauceron just for the difference and rarity of it for that reason alone.
I just spent a half hour talking dogs with Malinda from Weberhaus (unlike the Malinois breeders she answers her phone and returns phone calls). She is putting me down for a male medium drive pup from either of these two litters:
Weberhaus Current Litters
SG- Kim vom Klodiner Riss IPO1 x V- Arek von der Wedeme IPO3 KKL
Previous pups from this pairing have been medium drives, eager to please, happy go lucky. Very balanced to do a variety of dog sports and are excellent dogs in the house.
V- Darka Jipo me IPO3, APR1,KKL x V-1 Cesar z Jirkova Dvora IPO3 KKL*
Darka is a crazy high drive female but Cesar is very laid back, calm and confident.
Malinda is going to recommend the best male pup for me. If nothing is in these two breedings, she has another one in a few months that I am interested in:
Weberhaus Planned Breedings
Xena's Warrior z vom Weberhaus IPO3 x SG Tom Neresnicka Dolina VS3
Looking at around October or early November but once I get a pup, I will update with photos.
One consideration is testing for degenerative myelopathy (DM). It’s a horrible disease as you’ve discovered.
Our breeder, and good friend, is committed to producing a clear line. (The dogs will never get DM) she gets a lot of harassment by those breeders that refuse to teat, rationalizing that it’s “an old dog disease.” The truth is the breeders don’t want to confront that they are breeding at risk dogs and know that they will be long gone by the time a dog develops DM.
Ask to see the parents and ask what their DM status it. It’s a cheap, fast test ($60) and you will know the risk.
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Exactly!!! Lots of the breeders are not going to throw out years of work and breeding stock. Their philosophy is a dog has to die of something eventually so they don't care, as long as they get 5=7 years of competition and breedings out of a dog. Weberhaus dogs are tested: All of our breeding dogs are titled, OFA or A stamped, and DM tested.
Weberhaus German Shepherds Home Page
V Arek von der Wedeme (Germany) is clear of DM. I have been told that Kim is also clear but it wouldn't matter as at worse, any pups would be carriers (I have no plans of breeding). This will be a second litter for these two. The first was very easy going pups capable of doing any dog sports.
Our department has a number of mals... those jokers are like German Shepherds with a meth habit. I personally have GSDs, both are wonderful to have around the house and do great with the baby. YRMV
Get a furminator! They always shed.
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