Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My Mali, Dutch, is a very well behaved dog with people especially with myself. He is amazing with kids and listens when spoken too. We believe he is about a year old, we were not provided with any sort of certification. I have had him for almost a week but he is very affectionate towards me. I walk him take him to the park and give it hours to run on its own at the park. He just gets home and lies down tiredly. His first owner was a cop who was a K-9 Training Officer. I believe he must have failed some kind of exam because he was taken to a shelter. His second owner was someone who wasn't financially stable and had a pitbull. The pitbull was extremely aggressive and constantly aggravated Dutch. So he offered me Dutch because of it. Today I took it to the vet and he was walking very well with me. Mildly distracted with grass, cars, etc. Just the usual. But when he sees a dog he gets very aggressive. When I took him inside the office he was okay with the smaller dogs. He just tries smell them and whatnot but very anxiously. When he saw a larger dog or just some aggressive looking dog he attempts to attack, growls, and barks viciously. Everyone there were saying what a bad and aggressive dog. It really made me angry because I know he is not that way. I had to leave because of his behavior. I believe that behavior is due to the pitbull from his previous owner and not from himself. Maybe he is just afraid and does it out of fear. I really need to get this fixed and learn how to control the action. I just wont feel safe taking him anywhere anymore even though I have too. Please tell me what I can do I need a legit answer and solution. I love him very mush and would hate him to get hurt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
Your dog is likely dog aggressive (DA). It could have been triggered by being attacked by another dog, but most of the time, DA is genetic. A dog is born DA or not. Nothing a person does or does not do controls a genetic tendency to DA.

DA does NOT make a dog bad. DA does not make a dog dangerous to humans. DA and other types of aggression are entirely separate.

My old GSD mix was severely DA. He loved all people, never even growled at a person, but he wanted kill every dog he saw. He jumped through a glass window to kill another dog, and wasn't even slowed down by the glass sticking out of his nose and eye socket. One of the first times I walked him, he dislocated my shoulder to get at another dog.

You can, with much work and patience, keep Dutch from acting like a jerk around other dogs. You can, with much effort and dedication, train him to behave reasonably. You cannot "cure" DA. Nothing you will do will make him like other dogs. There may be dogs he does like. Most dogs aren't as DA as my old dog. But, don't ever think for a second that Dutch is going to be safe at a dog park or around other dogs without a leash on. You could end up killing someone else's dog and then Dutch will be put to sleep.

I would recommend a behaviorist. A POSITIVE behaviorist. No "balanced" or "traditional" people. If they use a choke chain or a shock collar, run away. I trained my old dog using counter condition and desensitization techniques and treats, no prong collar, no choke chain, no leash pops, no alpha rolls, no "tsst" sounds. It took about a year. But the remaining 11 years of his life were great. Now that he's gone, I treasure that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
Also, what did they say about Dutch's hind end? Is he just weak from over crating, or is there some disease at work?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,851 Posts
Mals are highly reactive dogs. The above advice is great. Most LE dogs are not allowed to interact with other dogs to post, so they can become reactive easily.

The nervousness he is showing around small dogs is not something to take lightly. If he acts uncomfortable in a situation, don't assume all is well. If he gets over threshold he can easily react.

The nerve issue sounds like the exact reason he was given up by the officer. Please get with someone experienced with dog behaviors, and reactive breeds. I would honestly hate to see this dog put in the wrong situation, then be labelled aggressive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,193 Posts
It's too soon for you to know if he is dog aggressive or not.

This is a new dog that has been through a ton of recent changes and you are a new owner. This dog needs time to settle in, time to adjust, time to bond. This dog also needs training. You are going to know so much more about him after you have time to form a relationship.

Don't push new experinces on him right now. Form a foundation with him.

And I don't know if this will help you at all or not, but it's food for thought. It might be time to let go of his "back story." All of the crap that happened to him is in the past. Now it's time to move forward. I owned a dog that was full of birdshot and was found tied to a tree in the woods starving to death. She got an ear torn off by another dog while at the shelter. I treated her like a normal dog and had normal expectations of her and she had a good and normal life and was a working/certified therapy dog. Sometimes I think owners of tragic-story dogs get too concerned about "causes" which become "excuses" which become a way of staying stuck and cheating a dog out of a full life.

For now, build a relationship with your dog. Walk in quiet places. Teach simple commands. Tug. Play fetch. Sit quietly and pet him. Watch TV with him. Take him for car rides if he likes them. Feed the foundation. If possible, find a kennel club and ask if you can watch a couple of classes without your dog. This is usually free. Pick up some ideas. Meet some dog people. Move forward thoughtfully.

And at the risk of sounding ugly, no washed-out K-9 ends up in a shelter. These dogs are either reassigned, thoughtfully placed, or destroyed. Just because a person is a cop and gets a dog that he wants to train doesn't mean that the dog was in a K-9 program. This officer may have privately purchased a dog, messed with it, and given up. This doesn't mean that the dog was really street trained. Let that all go. Try to move forward. And really give thought to whether or not this is the right dog for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,511 Posts
I walk him take him to the park and give it hours to run on its own at the park. He just gets home and lies down tiredly.

Now that you know he is dog aggressive you can NOT let him off leash in the park EVER. If he attack another dog in the park you are fully responsible for that and your dog may very well be put to sleep after that. Have you gotten him inside your house yet or is he still having to stay outside in a yard he can escape? If he isn't properly contained he could hurt another dog and again you'd be responsible for that.

As was said multiple times in your other thread you really should find a Mali rescue to take him because you really aren't ready to handle this dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
And at the risk of sounding ugly, no washed-out K-9 ends up in a shelter. These dogs are either reassigned, thoughtfully placed, or destroyed. Just because a person is a cop and gets a dog that he wants to train doesn't mean that the dog was in a K-9 program. This officer may have privately purchased a dog, messed with it, and given up. This doesn't mean that the dog was really street trained. Let that all go. Try to move forward. And really give thought to whether or not this is the right dog for you.
That bothered me, too. There is a breeder/trainer for the state police where I live. Most of the dogs don't make it all the way to being K-9 officers, but none of them end up in the shelters. They're placed as pets with people who have been carefully screened. I live down the street from one. He's a nervous, neurotic GSD, but his owners are great with him and he behaves like a model citizen.

As to letting go of the past, don't forget it entirely. It helps to understand where a dog has come from, but don't let his past excuse his present behavior. No matter what he's gone through, it's not okay for Dutch to attack other dogs. That has to be dealt with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,932 Posts
I still say he is not the dog for you. I suggested a trainer that can train him, keep him until the proper home can be found.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
For now, build a relationship with your dog. Walk in quiet places. Teach simple commands. Tug. Play fetch. Sit quietly and pet him. Watch TV with him. Take him for car rides if he likes them. Feed the foundation. If possible, find a kennel club and ask if you can watch a couple of classes without your dog. This is usually free. Pick up some ideas. Meet some dog people. Move forward thoughtfully.
I spend most of my day with him playing tug o war, petting him, playing with him, talking to him etc. I've been trying to bond with him a lot. No matter who he is with when I call him he comes to me.

I will probably find an obedience training class where I can watch without him being there. There is only one place where I live and they said "no aggressive dogs for the sake of safety and training for others."

Thanks for your advice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Now that you know he is dog aggressive you can NOT let him off leash in the park EVER. If he attack another dog in the park you are fully responsible for that and your dog may very well be put to sleep after that. Have you gotten him inside your house yet or is he still having to stay outside in a yard he can escape? If he isn't properly contained he could hurt another dog and again you'd be responsible for that.
He has not tried to get out anymore. But just to be safe we fixed up the yard from any hazards and anyway he can get out. I've invested a lot of time towards him and I plan on training him myself. I do not plan on letting him go and giving up on him like the others have. All I needed was advice on how to stop the aggressiveness. Not what I can do to get rid of him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,350 Posts
Just on the chance that he's NOT dog aggressive, but rather "reactive", I will add my input. Reactive dogs behave that way out of fear. If he is new to your home, and he's not sure of YOU, he may react because he's not sure that YOU will take care of HIM if the need arose.

That can be a problem for reactive dogs, I know, I have one. If you do not behave in a confident way when you are with your dog and you see other dogs, your dog might believe that HE has to take care of the situation, this may be why he behaves aggressively. It's kind of a "I'll get you before you get me" kind of idea.

I was a very timid dog owner when I got my first dog as an adult, years ago. When he was a puppy and we met other dogs on our walks, I was nervous, and timid, and afraid of the situation (maybe because he was so small compared to other dogs). My pup picked up on this, and started behaving aggressively, so HE could take care of himself, since I wasn't acting like I could.

Now that I know better, I always put myself between him and other dogs, showing him that I have the situation under control. We've done other things to work on this, but, just showing that you are confident, and expressing your expectations clearly can help.

So, if you were afraid because of his aggressiveness, or if you were worried about how he would behave, or if you were upset about his behavior, he could pick up on all that and it could make it worse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,193 Posts
I admire your committment and I understand your frustration about people telling you to give up the dog.

I have a wicked evil parrot. I posted on a parrot forum to try to learn how to better manage her. Everyone initially told me to rehome my bird. That's wasn't an option. No one tried to help me until it was clear that the bird wasn't going anywhere. So I think I can imagine your frustration.

On the other hand, my parrot isn't going to hurt anyone other than people in my home. She isn't a risk to the public in any regard. Your mal could be a different story.

Containment is absolutely essential. This dog can not be off leash anywhere in the world, especially since you know that there may be issues with dogs. Owning a dicey dog is very, very difficult. Owning a very high energy dicey dog is 10 times worse. Owning one when you aren't in control of your own house/house rules makes this even harder.

There are people here who will help you along. I am one of them. But please place a very high priority on keeping other people and other dogs safe. This needs to be your primary value. Then, bonding with your dog is your next priority.

Consider "Control Unleashed." If the kennel club will let you attend alone, please do. Watching handlers, good and bad, is so educational. Meet some doggy friends. This can help you so much. Tawzer Videos is a place where you can watch as many training videos as you would like for 10 bucks a month. You only get them 1 disc at a time, but it's a great way to learn. I have loved it.

Very best of luck. For real.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
You absolutely can manage and train DA or reactive dogs. I did it without help because I couldn't find anyone willing to forego punitive methods. The thing is, it is hard to describe online and the dangers make it foolish to attempt.

Here's my advice for now: it takes a minimum of 6 weeks to see a rescue's true personality. I've had kabota 4 months and I'm just now seeing his. So for now, build a good relationship. Build trust. Be kind and gentle. Teach Dutch that you are the source of good things and no bad things. See what happens when he comes out of his shell.

In a couple of weeks, try clicker training. Basic obedience stuff. Short fun sessions. Build your bond.

For his hips, assuming no HD, feed a high quality high protein food like Wellness Core. 3-4 short walks per day, increasing slowly. A few stairs per day, increase slowly.

I admire your commitment, I do. But love doesn't fix everything. Be careful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,851 Posts
Reactivity is not only fear. Swing a rope tug by a mals face, most will bite before it sees what it is. That's not fear, its reactive.

Fear based actions are different, may be what this dog is doing, but not necessarily. If the dog is seeming uncomfortable it is probably nervy and fearful.

I think its great that you are determined to keep the dog. The only reason so many are for you finding a more appropriate home is because its in the dogs best interest.

The same reason many husky owners don't recommend them for most pet people. They take a lot of time, energy, training, exercise, handling, to have happy safe relationships for all involved.

A malinois will react fast. If you are in the park, the dog is focused on a passing dog, and a child runs past after a ball, the dog reacts, snaps at kid..... Now what? The dog isn't aggressive and normally would never bite a person. Yet if not handled and trained, this can very easily happen, with well bred and stable dogs.
The reason many suggest breed research is because certain breeds are created for certain traits. This breed makes such a good police/military/working dog, because the are so fast to react. They can stay intensely focused on what they think is a toy, prey, a threat, whatever they think they should focus on.

You can train and manage DA. It's a constant job, and if the dog is fearful it makes things harder. I really hope this is the worse problem you will have with this guy. Unfortunately, I see way too many where situations get worse without proper training and understanding.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top