Malinois puppy

  • Malinois puppy

     Misty updated 1 month, 1 week ago 3 Members · 5 Posts
  • Misty

    September 16, 2021 at 9:16 AM

    Hi, I was hoping someone here could help me with a mal problem :). I tried searching but couldn’t find a similar problem. My boy is 15 weeks so still quite mouthy. He knows his basic sit, down, place, and we are working on stay. He is EXTREMELY food motivated. My problem (I think) is the food motivation. When working on recall he comes at me and starts biting hard and ripping at my treat pouch and coat trying to get more. He will actually hang from my jacket. I tried popping on his collar to get him to stop but it doesn’t even phase him. I’m not quite sure how to handle this. When he does this, I struggle but I am able to get him into his kennel to calm down. So I’m wondering if anyone has had these issues and if putting him right into the crate is the right way to handle this?

  • Takoda

    September 16, 2021 at 4:05 PM

    So that is what this breed does. At this age you want to be careful with corrections because he does not understand what he is being corrected for, he is probably trying to initiate play and he may start thinking that you are the fun police. At this age most of the “training” I think should still be luring and shaping. An actual training session should be 10/15 minutes 3/4 times a day, that is about it for puppies. I will reward for doing what I ask(at this point I am not demanding) and lure and shape him to do what I want as opposed to a correction.

    As for the recall sometimes you are between a rock and a hard place as they say. He has done what you asked, then when he does he is corrected. Sometimes you have to wait them out. I would invest in a nice thick pair of gardening gloves and when he grabs on to something get your fingers in there, no correction, no interaction, just wait. At some point he will become bored and release When he calms down THEN you put him in the crate, if you put him in the crate when he is riled up or frustrated that just adds to the frustration because now he is confined. The crate is always good place

  • Misty

    September 16, 2021 at 5:39 PM

    Thanks so much for the help. Ok I think I’m probably the problem then. He does great for 5-10 min, after that he just wants the treats with no work. I will grab my gloves and maybe shorten the training.

    • Riggan

      September 17, 2021 at 6:59 AM

      Excellent advice by Takoda. You might also try using lower value treats. Often for dogs who are strongly food motivated, a piece of their kibble is enough. Using higher value treats can get these dogs really worked up and excited.

      Also watch your body language. Keep your movements slow and calm and your voice low and firm (NOT angry – just a bit lower in pitch). Especially for us women, sometimes our higher pitched voices can be stimulating for dogs. Learn to use body pressure to help the pup understand what you want. For example, leaning forward slightly or taking a step towards the dog claims your personal space. When the young pup is running toward us and we know those shark-teeth are about to latch onto us (or our clothes), our instinctive reaction is to step back. This just encourages the dog to jump on us or latch onto the clothes. Some dogs are most naturally aware of human body language than others. For the sensitive ones, the change can be dramatic. I visited my daughter shortly after she had gotten her 10-mo Mal / Husky cross. She wanted help with the dog jumping on everyone. I walked in the door and Lily raced towards me preparing to launch. I leaned forward just a bit, and she immediately stopped in front of me and sat! You could almost read the expression on her face: “Finally – someone who speaks dog!” She was unusually responsive, but you get the idea. For less responsive dogs, taking a step or two towards them might be necessary. For the oblivious lout, I just keep walking into them (not kicking them or doing anything aversive; just keep moving forward) until they give way. This is done silently. I want them to learn that this is MY space – not theirs. As soon as they back off, even a tiny bit, I praise them. Give it a try!

  • Misty

    September 17, 2021 at 7:37 AM

    Thank you so much! He does try and “herd” me, so I’ll just try walking into him 🙂

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