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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2006, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
 
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Shepherds & Malinois'

I was curious about these breeds. I see them a lot listed in the local shelters. It seems around here they are the most popular breeds to be given up/abandoned.

My boyfriend and I have talked a bit about adopting a second dog in a few years once Loki is a bit older and I have considered adopting one of these breeds.

I've heard that Shephards and Malinois' are more "high strung", I was wondering about any truth behind this? Are they breeds that tend to bark a lot? I don't mind taking in a so called "problem dog" you know the ones who's owners never gave them a chance and taught them how to behave (of course they will be a problem if you don't teach them *doh*).

Anyway I was just wondering about other people's experiences with these breeds, any special needs (I know Rotties need a lot of socialization and structure, especially dominate ones). Do they do well in apartments if properly exercised? (We have a big park right outside the apartment). etc. I always like to be well informed before I make any mental decisions.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2006, 08:18 AM
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right now i only have 1 hand (feeding delta) but i wanted to let you know i saw your post and i will reply to it when i get a chance. (i have a shepherd.)


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2006, 08:31 AM
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my pop has always hade german shephards and they have been the best dogs, I have not noticed that they are high strung, and his only bark at coyotes and strangers, I have an aussie shephard and he is simply the best hes not high strung or a barker, I have to do everything I can think of to get him to bark lol, but hes amazing...I only know about shephards that have been around me and all of them have been well tempered and just the sweetest most loyal babies

Carie
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2006, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Mallory and HappyDancer for the replies.

Do they also require a lot of socialization and structure? I know all dogs need this but I know with my Rotties (especially Loki) we have had to do more than the norm for him to learn and apply proper behavior. Even now we have a lot to teach him but I am proud of how far he has come.

What are the common health problems for Shepherds and Malinois'? I'm guessing hip dysplasia (spelling?) that seems to be a norm for larger breeds, anything else one needs to look out for?
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2006, 08:54 AM
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Still holding Delta but I will try to reply now.

Dakota, my GSD, is a fairly high strung dog. She has her moments when she does laps around the dining room table (oh like this morning)... But its often curbed with a run outside playing catch.

We got her as a puppy, so we don't really have too many behavorial issues with heras far as needing over the top socialization and structure, but for a shelter dog, as you can probably guess, this might not be the case since you won't know the dogs history.

As far as barking goes, Dakota isn't much of a barker. If she barks there is reason for it. The doorbell on tv (since we don't have our hooked up haha), a knock at the door, another dog in the yard, etc.

As far as health problems hips are usually a big concern. So if you're buying a puppy, you'd want to see if the sire and dam have certified hips/a health guarentee. But you said you are planning on adopting right? So really, who knows what you might get, but I understand why you're asking.

They're a bigger chested dog, and like other barrel chested dogs, like Danes, Bull Dogs, Boxers, etc... you have to be careful about Bloat.

I'm kinda at a loss for their other big health problems that most dogs don't have.... Sorry!

Let us know how your search goes and have I missed pictures of your Rotties??


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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2006, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you Mallory for your reply (give snuggles to your little Delta she's adorable)

Okay so the "high strung" really is just a matter of them getting out and getting a good play/exercise like we all need.

It was definitely easier training my last Rottie as I got him as a puppy. From now on though I will always adopt my dogs from the shelter. There are just too many that need homes and I love puppies but I am not in to having a pet for the "Oh so cute puppy" days. I just want a friend for life.

Loki being a shelter dog (and having a bit of a dominance issue) has been more of a handful but I've enjoyed learning right along with him. So I am guessing that having a Shepherd or Malinois wouldn't be much different in the long run.

Did you crate train your shepherd? If so how did that go? (I know you said you've had your dog since a puppy and every dog is different in behavior)

One thing I have noticed with a lot of my friends dogs is seperation anxiety. Friend leaves, dog goes crazy barking, tearing things up. And with crating, dog barks, whines, frantically tries to get out of the crate. I never had that trouble with Loki. He whined a little but not much and now he hardly ever has to go in the crate. Don't know if Shepherds and Malinois' have any more/less trouble with these things.

I'll adopt a dog even if it has health issues, I just like knowing what health issues we might end up having to deal with. I'm defective so I certainly would never turn away an animal just because they might be as well.

I posted some pictures of Loki on here some time ago *looks for link* Ah just one, I'll just give some links to photos of him.

http://www.sheezyart.com/view/634697/
http://www.sheezyart.com/view/634694/
http://www.sheezyart.com/view/634693/

Thanks again!
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2006, 09:29 AM
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I missed the pictures before! He is SO cute!! And I love his name!

To answer your question, Dakota was crate trained right from the start. She did really well with it, actually. She didn't mind the crate at all, and grew up loving it. Now she has two, one on our enclosed front porch and one in the kitchen. Right now, because its chilly outside she only gets one, but she loves both. When it gets warmer she'll probably choose to lay out in her crate out front more often.

As far as seperation anxiety, I can't say Kota has none, but she isn't like some dogs can be. When Ben goes outside and leaves her inside with me, she'll run back and forth for a few minutes hoping he's going to the other door to let her out with him. She calms down soon afterwards and I honestly don't mind it that much so I haven't bothered to stop her from doing it.

She hardly ever cries when you leave her and shes in her crate... after the initial puppyhood, she did this for awhile and wouldn't even sleep through the night in her crate if her crate was in another room. She'd howl and cry all night long. We just had to be consistant with her, and she grew out of it. Now, the only time she cries like that is if you're returning home and she see's you and you haven't had a chance to let her out yet, (say you're unloading groceries) so you have to walk past her crate numerous times ...

Either way, I prefer crate training... Not only was it a heaven send for house training, but it keeps them from hurting themselves when you're away or at night... (Dakota rarely uses her crate at night anymore, most of the time she sleeps at the foot of the bed.) And its not just a matter of whether the dog will destroy things, but an issue of preventing them from getting into chemicals on the lower shelves and stuff...


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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2006, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
 
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I too am a believer in crate training for the safety of the house and the dog. Though Loki doesn't seem to have a real destructive side to him (except with his toys which is just fine) but we crate trained him anyway in the beginning.

Now 1 1/2 years later we are to a point where he can sleep in his own bed (no crate at all) and stay out of the crate for short periods if we leave the house. Now only longer periods require he go in the crate.

So it appears that I've heard mostly "myths" about Shepherds like I had about Rotties. Sad that people will say such things but ignorance breeds stupidity I guess which is exactly why I went for owning a Rottie. To show the world that they are wonderful dogs not vicious killers. It's just all in how you raise them. (and that is the case with any breed)

I can't believe how many people would comment about breeds like Rotties or Shepherds saying the make terrible pets. Or the horror stories they would pass along about the breeds (Pits as well, sadly though Pitts are outlawed here in Holland otherwise I would have looked into owning one of them).

What made you guys decide to take a shepherd? Was there something imparticular about Dakota or was it something with the breed in general?

edit:

Oh and thanks for the compliments on Loki. He's a doll (of course we all think that about our pets) and I have a thing for naming my Rotties after Norse Gods LOL my last one was Odin. But really Loki is half breed (1/2 Rottweiler and 1/2 Lab) but his personality is ALL Rottie so I tend to refer to him as one.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2006, 09:47 AM
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my pop has always gotten GSD's....ever since I was small, his first one was given to him as a gift to take care of my grandma when he was on the truck and all the others have come because he loved the first one so much, he has had 7 in my lifetime, always multiple...he loves their playfullness, loyalty and their love...my pop tells me all the time that no other dog cuddles the way his Germans do lol...

I got my Aussie from my brother, hes terminally ill and felt he couldn't give Puppers the home he deserved...He got him as a tiny puppy from the SPCA just cause he was cute and when David walked by Puppers would put a paw on the cage and tilt his head, David was sold...I have had him 3 years, hes not crate trained...he was Davids constant companion, so he now sleeps on my bed with me and when we leave most times he can go with us, but if we know he would ever have to stay in the car we leave him home...he has twice in 3 years gotten in the garbage, but that was it, he didn't tear it up just ate the Orange that was in there both times lol...

The other day we saw a german/aussie mix at the SPCA and were considering getting it, I love shephards, not sure if I can say why or if its just cause of all the dogs I have loved lol I have 2 small dogs as well, and people say horrible things about their breeds as well (yorkie and cockerspaniel) if I had listened I would have missed out...

Good luck on the search for a new friend

Carie
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2006, 09:53 AM
 
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They are definitely more noisy, energetic, and highly strung than many dogs, though I think this applies more to working bred GSDs and to all Mals. They're good dogs, though!
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2006, 10:25 AM
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i fell in love with shepherds with my old dog bean. (white shepherd yellow lab mix.) like you say with loki... she was all shepherd when it came to personality.

sry--1 hand again/feeding delta again


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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2006, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
 
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HappyDancer: It must be nice you never had to worry about crate training. I've known a few others than never did and never had trouble. I'd never had survived had I not crate trained my first dog Odin. As it was he destroyed the bathroom floor and broke the bathroom sink into pieces :O

I was really nervous leaving Loki out the first few times until I'd come home and find he hadn't touched anything he wasn't supposed to.

I had a friend with a German Shepherd when I was little. He was a really nice dog and didn't seem to have too many issues though he did bark a lot.

Thanks for all the advice and input.

How do you all feel about large breed dogs and apartments? Do you think a smaller space could cause any kind of problems? Like I said in an earlier post we do have a park right outside the apartment and we don't have any trouble with Loki, he seems just fine in the apartment. Would two be too many in a small 2 bedroom apartment? (well 2 large breeds that is)

Some silly questions I know but Loki is only the second dog I have ever owned so I'd rather ask the stupid questions and know for sure than do something that could hurt the animal later because I wasn't informed on an issue.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2006, 11:57 AM
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Its not a stupid question.

I got Dakota when we lived in a small one bedroom apartment and she did okay. I just love having a yard now, I don't know how I ever dealt with NOT having one.... We managed just fine though.

I think its do able, but you have to know what you're getting into...

You know how I said that sometimes Dakota is just really wired? Like my example of this morning doing circles around the table? When you have two dogs, its even crazier. My mom owned two rotts for awhile and ended up getting rid of one (against my requests to deal with it) because they were such big dogs and always roughhousing. Outside or inside, they'd be so rambunctious. They were more bonded with each other I think, but that was sorta our fault for adopting two sister rotts at the same time. Anyways... Now Audrey is more attached to my parents (I've obviously since moved out) and its much easier on my parents, I can tell.

Really I think you're only HUGE problem with having two dogs in a small apartment is days that its just awful out and they're cooped up inside. Not only will they dying to have some more space, but you'll be going nuts because they're chasing each other back and forth, and I know how small apartments can be, .... they get doing that and everything on the coffe table/end tables goes flying through the air. (My mom brought Audrey over for a short visit once while we were still at the apartment.)

I honestly wouldn't advise having two big dogs while living in a small apartment. However, I can tell from your posts and how you say things that you're dedicated to offering a great home for a needy animal, and if you're willing to deal with those rough days, you should do just fine.

Let us know what you decide and how things progress!


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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2006, 04:10 PM
 
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You are so in luck, I have one of each, well the GSD is mixed with blue heeler so it's not like she is any lower in the energy category. LOL

Since you got lots of good stuff on the GSD I'll fill in the blanks on the Mals.....

While they are a lot alike they are also very different, how I describe a Mal to people who don't know what they are, is that you take a GSD, toss it in the dryer to shrink it some, give it 3 shots of espresso and let it loose. They aren't high strung, but they are high energy and can have a very high prey drive. They need lots of training and a job, now the job can be as simple as picking up things on the floor but they need to have a job. If you ask one to do something it is more than willing to hurt itself to accomplish the task.

They tend to not be barkers and when they do bark it's something worth barking at, they take their job as protector very seriously, so you have to socialize them tons with all kinds of people. What is interesting is every Mal I know LOVES kids and is wary of strange adults (not aggressive just watchful). I can't keep Sherpa away from the neighbor kids yet he will avoid letting a stranger pet him.

They are super versatile, Sherpa does water retrieving, agility, obedience, "therapy dog" activities like retrieving my purse by name, tricks, and anything else I can come up with to work his brain. An average day for him is a 5 mile run, 30 minutes of formal obedience, and 15-20 min of fun stuff like the retrieving or tricks.

I live in an apartment, but as you can see we do plenty to keep him busy, the thing is if his brain isn't kept busy he finds way to learn new things he shouldn't like how to push the pedal on the trash can to lift the lid.

They are lean strong dogs with very few genetic problems because they have not caught on with the back yard breeders like the GSD has, but I know it is just a matter of time.

This is one breed along with the Dutch Shepherd (almost the same dog just different colored fur) that I would never recommed to people. I have had Sherpa 8 months and it feels like 10 years, he was a rescue and the 1st 3 months almost killed me (oh him one of us was going to die) while we were training him and working him to learn non-distructive ways to express his energy. So do your research and if you are ready for the challenge, you will discover a breed that will give back to you 10x what you put in.

Here is a great website that really discribes this breed well. http://www.malinut.com


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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2006, 06:43 PM
 
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Large dogs can be BETTER in apartments. It depends on the breed. I'd have any breed I wanted in an apartment, b/c I'd give it what it needed.
I have a Borzoi, one of the largest of all dog breeds, but they are also one of the laziest. She's a perfect apartment dog!
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border collie, breed dogs, crate trained, crate training, german shepherd, hip dysplasia, lab mix, local shelter, yellow lab, yellow lab mix


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