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Which of these dogs is the most drivey, charged, crazy, willing-to-do-whatever-you-want workaholic? I know the Border collie is smarter, but which of the two is easier trained? I heard Mal can be quite stubborn at first. I really want a dog that can get up and go, 0-1000 mph whenever you want it to for whatever reason, and who will do and think everything with full heart. I really want to do all sorts of dog sports, and that includes teaching silly tricks to my dog. I want a dog that will never tire, and which one of the two bonds more closely with it's owner?

Thanks!
 

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It's dangerous and ignorant for us to pick a certain breed for you. As Tofu said you need to meet some yourself to see what your preference is. The breeds themselves have typical characteristics but every dog is an individual that may or may not have those characteristics. There are dogs in both breeds that are charged, crazy, high drive, and bonds strongly.

The border collies I've seen and met (which is at agility trials, so take this in that perspective) is insanely hyper, active, attentive, and closely (sometimes too closely) bonded with their owner. I've only met a few mals, they've also been alert and attentive, and a bit more stoic and less crazy/neurotic but still charged up and ready to go at all times.
 

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The type of dog you're after is the type that ends up in shelters a lot. Have you checked out your local shelters? With an adult dog you know what you get, if you get a puppy, even from a good breeder with tested parents, there is no guarantee you will get the drive you're after.
 

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Just gonna say this, asking for a Mal with insane drive is in my opinion ,stupid, unless your going to be putting it in a working everyday situation and I mean everyday. both of these breeds need to work, they need a job to do all the time.
People ask for this quite often, get a driven puppy and then can't handle it. I think it would be wise to stay away from working lines. You will get exactly what you want from a breeder who breeds for pets. The breeder will give you the puppy that fits your everyday needs. They are both great choices, but I am bias, I love Mals I would own one in a heartbeat, but you cannot go past a border collie either.
However neither of these dogs are for the faint hearted, they are both a HUGE commitment, more so then getting any other breed. I would be inclined to go more border based on your OP. But you really have to meet both breeds and decide for yourself.
 

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Of course I choose the mals, and think they are smarter too lol. Biggest differences I see, mals tend to be more aloof, can be aggressive, and don't HAVE to herd everything.

Stubborn, maybe, definitely more stoic, not as neurotic, but need to work all the time.

Ditto mashlee. Be careful what you wish for in a high drive dog. They seriously need work several hours everyday!
 

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Yes... be careful. Asking for 'high drive' in border collies or Mals is likely to get you way more dog than you'd ever want. The most drivey dog may not be the best choice for a sports dog. Trust me, I've trained with some insanely driven and out of control dogs whose owners call it 'drive'. Drive without control has you ending up with the dog crashing through the agility course knocking bars and flying off course. Or the dog that redirects onto its owner when frustrated. Or the dog that slams its face into the box every time in flyball. I've seen all that before.

I think for most sports the better dogs tend to be a little toned down. The supersuper high drive can be flashy but the moderately driven dogs are easier to harness and more reliable. ESPECIALLY if you have never participated in dogs sports before, I'd be wary of going all out. The dog will be your pet most the time, find a dog you like to live with. Learn on a good ol' reliable dog, imo. Especially in agility. Less room for errors and when you do get a high drive dog, you'll be much more prepared.

Also keep in mind the average dog sports person only sticks with sports for 2 years or less. If you're not already involved, WAIT. Seriously.

I think border collies are the easier breed. They're softer dogs usually and usually a little less aloof. Not as prone to bite first, ask later. I like both breeds but am not the right owner for a mal. Maybe a fuzzy show-bred belgian one day.
 

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Both tend to be drivy, charged, crazy workaholics. I would think BCs are more willing-to-do. I keep telling myself I don't have enough for a BC to do - which is the only reason I don't own one. I owned a Malinois once. I wouldn't own another. But even though she came from working lines I don't think she was totally typical. She didn't have much of a work ethic and wasn't very bright (but sweet as pie.) I think if I trained then like I do now, I probably would have gotten more out of her, but still, not a breed I'd like to invest my time in. If you are wanting an over-the-top drivey dog, you need to ask yourself if you are willing/able to hold up your end of the bargain. Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it. I found that out when I finally got my dreamed-for totally cattle-working line Aussie, in my 50s. She's been a wonderful dog and is multiple titled in 4 sports and several different venues. She's terrific. And I haven't been a slacker - have done more with her than many people do. But I would have done her more justice if I'd gotten that much talent when I was younger. (IE, she'd have a WTCH instead of started working titles and an OTCH instead of a couple of CDXs. She went all the way in Rally, and we are still working on advancing our freestyle titles) So you need to look at how your lifestyle meshes with that kind of commitment and if you have time to do the work the dog needs. Getting the dog who has the potential is just a start. The rest is up to you.
 

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It's dangerous and ignorant for us to pick a certain breed for you. As Tofu said you need to meet some yourself to see what your preference is. The breeds themselves have typical characteristics but every dog is an individual that may or may not have those characteristics. There are dogs in both breeds that are charged, crazy, high drive, and bonds strongly.

The border collies I've seen and met (which is at agility trials, so take this in that perspective) is insanely hyper, active, attentive, and closely (sometimes too closely) bonded with their owner. I've only met a few mals, they've also been alert and attentive, and a bit more stoic and less crazy/neurotic but still charged up and ready to go at all times.
I agree with you that it's not possible to pick out the best dog for someone you don't even know. I will say that many of the BCs I've met are capable of lying quietly and watching another dog work. But those would be Border collies at stock trials. You really don't see the other kind of dog trialing. It would be frowned upon. I really think that some people (certainly not all) doing Agility and Flyball mistake over-arousal for drive and encourage that sort of behavior. Stockdog handlers recognize that a good dog can be full of drive and still control themselves, and so that's the sort of dog they choose and develop.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the answers. I do know the difference between drive and hyperness. I don't want a dog that will be bouncing off the walls inside. And no, I don't think I am interested in any protection work. I'm more into agility, obedience, sulky, and that sort of stuff.
 

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You may want to read this article by Bay Area Dog Trainer. Note to the American Public: Belgian Malinois Look Don't Touch. I don't agree with everything he says but it's worth looking at in terms of the commitment to this breed. There is the "sharpness" factor more present with these dogs more than the collies and I think they require more intensive people socializing than the collies to keep them from becoming agressive toward people that they don't know. I have one and as a younger pup she let everyone at the vet clinic handle her without batting an eye. I have now trained her to comfortably wear a muzzle at the vets because she would not be reliable anymore without it. Even highly trained police and military mals often wear muzzles in certain situations. Something to bear in mind. That being said, if you dedicate time to them, I found her to be a loving companion and lightning quick to learn, physically tireless and always ready to go. Plan on 3 hours a day for physical activity and training at least depending what you want to do. I would meet a number of both breeds, they are VERY DIFFERENT and there are lots of them needing new homes because they are HIGH MAINTENANCE.
 

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I wanted to add that I don't do any formal dog sports with her but that is the amount of time it takes for her to be happy and good to live with and I can see that I need to tailor her training time even more to bring out the best in her.

Also wanted to add re: the "look but don't touch article" (granted the person who wrote it sounds like a deeply opinionated dude and the "tempered steel" stuff can't help but make you smirk) look at the bottom after the article because the feed-back from people who own and train malinois is even more useful than the article because it is more balanced. I hope you find a good match for you!
 

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The Border COllie is your best bet if your looking for tricks, dog sports, agility and lots and lots of go. :) I had a malinois once and it was absolutely insane, and a real painn because it *never* listened. It was a pack of one.
 

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I would go check out both breeds. See them working in the venues you are interested in. I think bc are definitely easier to handle. Mals are more intense, but once you learn how to deal with them, you just can't beat their work drives.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I read on a border collie forum that the border collies can't compete in ringsport because it's too intense for them, but Mals dominate. Does that mean the Malinois is a better overall sporting breed? I know they compete and do great in a lot of other sports too, but which breed tends to do better?
 

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It's a pretty broad generalization to say that ALL BCs can't compete in ringsport. It's not the best breed to choose if that's your area of focus but a stable BC can do pretty much anything you put its mind to. The "better" breed is in the eyes of the beholder. If you're not interested in bite work/protection than this "fact" doesn't make a Malinois any better or worse for you personally.
 

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I read on a border collie forum that the border collies can't compete in ringsport because it's too intense for them, but Mals dominate. Does that mean the Malinois is a better overall sporting breed?
Short answer is NO.

Remember when we talk about breed characteristics, we are looking at general expectations around a norm, and that individual dogs can vary considerably from the norm. Also, beyond the breed, there is the line - and breeding lines matter a lot.

That having been said, both breeds tend to do exceptionally well in the activities that you mentioned you are interested in. That is, they show up in the title lists out of proportion to their registration numbers. And from my personal experience, I can say that both breeds are well represented at the appropriate trials.

Remember too that these are team sports and that you have to train your dog AND train tourself as a handler. Nothing is automatic and if you want to participate in these activities, anticipate doing a LOT of work with your dog.

They can be very rewarding if you go into them with a positive attitude and very frustrating if you don't.

Whichever dog you choose, I wish you the best.
 

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Have you done any dog sports before?
Really you need to answer this. You need to realize how much money and time you can sink into these things. Also, have you had experience with either breed? I really really really don't recommend people get either breed without meeting a bunch first.

You should be looking at the dog FAR beyond what does best in sports. Sports are fun but you have to live with this dog otherwise. Pick a dog that has the characteristics you want to live with.

Go to sports trials, herding trials, dog shows, work in rescue to get hands on time with the breeds. Get experience first. You don't sound like you have much experience with these kinds of dogs.

Mals dominate ringsport because that's what they were bred to do. Border collies are bred for other tasks. They're generally a softer breed than a mal.
 
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