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Adopting A Protection Dog

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By Adam Katz

Mackie writes:

My good friend who is a dog trainer offered me his 5 year old Belgian Malinois for adoption. He is trained as a protection dog so he can guard his master, bite on command, release the bite on command, stay until released and others. He has a trophy as third placer in Level 1 protection in a protection dog competition. I have two dogs at present: A one year-old and a nine month-old Labrador... both are females, obedience trained and not neutered.

I would like to adopt him and I know I can take care of him. Will he accept me after being my friend's favorite dog for 5 years? My friend assured me that he can transfer the loyalty of the dog to me. He is a fierce dog when in competition but a very quiet dog when outside the training ring. In fact my friend brings the dog with him all the time and I know of several occasions that the dog is off leash. He is giving him up because he wants to replace him with a younger dog.

Should I take him up on his offer?

Dear Mackie:

Yes... the dog will transfer his loyalty to you.

Here are two major issues you should consider before adopting this dog:

1. The Belgian Malinois (especially one that is bred and trained for bite work and protection dog sports) will require a lot of work ON YOUR PART to learn how to handle this dog. You're going to need a lot of training... one-on-one style... to successfully integrate this dog into your life. It's like driving a Ferrari or a race car. The car already runs great, but if you don't learn the right way to drive it, you'll end up killing yourself. And just because you already know how to drive a Subaru doesn't cut it... we're talking Ferrari, here. And the Belgian Malinois is a Ferrari with the tricked out Turbo engine.

2. The breed is an extremely HIGH DRIVE breed. This dog needs TONS of exercise and mental stimulation. TONS. Please take the time to recognize that adopting this dog will be a major responsibility.

If you decide to do it, and you are successful, you'll have an amazing companion. The breed is quite healthy and you can be content in knowing that you own a KING OF KINGS as far as working dogs are concerned.

Part of me has always wanted what you're thinking about getting. But my lifestyle and dedication to the exercise and training requirements are something I do not have at this current point in my life.

P.S. Make sure that the dog isn't dog aggressive before you decide to take ownership.

That's all for now, folks! Adam

About The Author: Adam G. Katz is the author of the book, "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer: An Insider's Guide To The Most Jealously Guarded Dog Training Secrets In History." Get a free copy of his report "Games To Play With Your Dog" when you sign up for his free weekly dog training tips e-zine at: www.dogproblems.com