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  • I’m failing my Belgian Malinois rescue .. 911 Please help!

     Tommy updated 2 weeks, 4 days ago 9 Members · 11 Posts
  • Claudia

    September 1, 2021 at 3:43 AM

    Hi everyone! I just got him no more that two weeks ago.. He is a very sweet one year old male, It breaks my heart to say this I’m not a good handler for him I’m willing to put the time and the effort… Like I said he is loving.. But I don’t think he sees me as ALPHA some times or he senses my stress plus I’m very petite 5’1 110 lbs or less .. I did tried to hired a trainer but I don’t think I trust him I think he just wanted to sell me a product.

    I love him already so much brings me to tears every time I think about have to give him up.. So please if anyone have any resources either knows a someone that could give me an honest opinion or a potential good and experience owner in here in the state of Colorado.

    I don’t think is a lost cause, I just a little anxious at the moment. I just became a member on 08/31/2021.

    I don’t know how this works feel free to ask me any questions.. English is my second language so if I’m not making any sense please ask for clarification.

    Thank you and have a great day!

  • Ed (RoninDog)

    September 1, 2021 at 8:15 AM

    There is a lot of material on the site. What I found most helpful was to dive in and listen to dozens, perhaps over 100, chats, Q&As, etc. It kind of reshapes the way you think about it. On being the alpha… perhaps another perspective is being his/her rock, everything may be going to all sort of extremes and he/she knows that you are there as solid as can be. You provide him/her with leadership, protection, development, the skills to succeed in a human world, and the primary motivation for your actions are in his/her best interest. I had the same weird feeling about the first good 1-on-1 trainer we hired — he pitched a 5-session package, etc. Turns out he was what I needed at that time. I think most of the dog training that goes on are for the easy dogs. So perhaps you can ask for references where he/she has addressed similar issues with high drive dogs. It is awkward to call references up ourselves, but if these are the best he/she can come up with and they are not very happy to take your call, that in itself would be valuable info.

  • Takoda

    September 1, 2021 at 8:51 AM

    You didn’t indicate how old he is. This site is filled with puppy stuff. There is an organization called the Malinois K9 Association which you might consider joining. They may be able to set you up with a reputable trainer. They also have info and training tools relating to the Mali. Stick with it. No crying. Wish you the best.

  • Stacey

    September 1, 2021 at 11:14 AM

    I adopted a GSD/Mal mix when he was 7 months old. I went through exactly what you are going through now. My advice is similar to the first comment… training videos, read about reactive dogs and training techniques, and try to find a good trainer you feel comfortable with. Get the proper tools. We eventually moved from a prong collar to an e-collar with lots of training. Train every day with your dog. It is going to take a lot of your time and resources, so get comfortable with that fact. Make the dog a priority.

    We have had our dog for 9 months now, and he has blossomed. You have only had your dog for 2 weeks, that is not enough time to fully get to know a dog, IMO. The more time that goes by, the more you will trust each other. Unless he is dangerous and is biting people, don’t give up. It’s ok to feel this way, but turn your feelings into action. The resources are out there……Robert has so many helpful videos. And you can do private training sessions with him!

    Don’t give up. We are all here to support you.🙂

  • Riggan

    September 2, 2021 at 6:17 AM

    Claudia, First of all, welcome to the site! You will find lots of very supportive people here, many with a wealth of knowledge about dogs and dog training. Second, you have only had your dog 2 weeks, so you should expect it to be a bit of a rocky start. You don’t say what your dog’s background is, but it is quite possible he has already been through quite a lot in his 1 year of life. He needs time to adjust and get used to you just as you need time to get used to him. The rule of thumb is that a rescue takes about 3 months to settle into a new home, and then will continue to show enormous change for the first year. So don’t give up on him or you yet!

    Lastly, you don’t say what types of issues you are having so we can only offer very general suggestions. The top thing that you need to build with your new dog is trust. I love the comment about being his “rock.” That is certainly a good start! Patience and consistency are key. Setting reasonable expectations is also important. Remember that in some way, your dog has already been traumatized and in some form abandoned by those who should have provided for him (even if it was for a good reason – the dog doesn’t understand any of that, and just knows his world has changed drastically).

    Robert has some excellent resources related to rescue dogs and bringing them into the home. Here are a few:

    How to Rescue a Shelter Dog – Podcast Episode 67 – Robert Cabral

    SHELTER DOG RESCUE Dog Q&A LIVE Understanding What is Best for Rescue Dogs – YouTube

    He also has several good articles about bringing a shelter dog home on the Bound Angels website, but for some reason none of the links are working right now. (#Alin – can you help us get access to that material? I don’t see the articles I am thinking about on the Resources page. Thanks!)

    Hang in there for a while, Claudia. Let us know more specifically what the issues you are encountering are. And don’t worry about your English. You did great!


  • Riggan

    September 2, 2021 at 6:20 AM

    Oops – I didn’t tag Alin correctly. Trying again!

    Robert also has several good articles about bringing a shelter dog home on the Bound Angels website, but for some reason none of the links are working right now. (@alin – can you help us get access to that material? I don’t see the articles I am thinking about on the Resources page. Thanks!)

    • Alin

      September 2, 2021 at 8:08 AM

      I don’t see an issue with the links. Were they returning a 404 error?

      • Takoda

        September 2, 2021 at 8:28 AM

        I get “Hmmm… can’t find page,” has been this way for awhile

  • Aniko

    September 4, 2021 at 5:44 PM

    Hi Claudia,

    Throughout my life I have given home to about 10 rescue dogs. You say your dog is loving. Go with that. Your dog experienced a lot of change in its life and probably lost hope of finding permanency.

    In my experience these dogs are loving and easy to handle but it takes them about 2 months to look at you with love in their eyes. You only had your dog for a short time so give it time and be kind to him. Don’t worry about being the alpha, give him structure, train him and the rest will come as a result. He will love you and consider you as number 1 in his life.

  • melvin

    October 5, 2021 at 4:53 AM

    Hi Claudia,

    If you are committed to putting your emotions aside and you have ended up with a super high drive dog, I think you can try the following:

    – For training: Join a working dog club with experienced trainers who will know how to handle a high drive dog.

    – For home: STRUCTURE & MANAGEMENT, 100% of the time. Buy a crate, an expen, and have a clear plan as to potty time / training / food. No free/unplanned time until you get this under controle. Your home is your home, if you find the peace of mind and clarity to think and execute in your home then you might find a path 🙂

    Good lucK!

  • Tommy

    October 5, 2021 at 10:27 PM

    Hi Claudia

    You say you ar a small person, I don’t think you should put too much into this.

    I think it is more about how you think of your self.

    I am also pretty small 5,5 (165cm) newer been a problem with dogs.

    a woman I know is a bit smaller than you, she and her husband have about 45 high drive sleddogs and they absolutely respect her.

    The only problem with being a small sized person in regards to dog’s is if you think it is.

    It will affect the way you act and dog’s sense this.

    I don’t first and foremost see myself as Tommy the small person, I focus more on Tommy the pack leader.

    Just convince yourself you are the boss of the entaier world and try to think that ofcourse he is going to listen to you

    I hope this gives you one less thing to worry about

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