After my rottweiler Quincy , who lived with me for 8.5 years died and after Buck, the dog I adopted after her, passed away after only two months and a week of living here, I chose for a working line Belgian shepherd (a Malinois to be precise) with lots of behavioral issues, including severe agression towards strangers and people in general. I found her in a local shelter when she was 7.5 months old and named her Dixie.
At first, people who came closer than 2-3 meter were at a high risk, she would have bitten them and injured them if she had had the chance, no doubt about that. Many people told me that Dixie would have been put down in other hands, but that ofcourse was the last thing I was thinking about.
For months it was a very scary thought that I was in fact the only person who could approach her and handle her.
But last weekend - finally- I was able to introduce her to two German shepherds and their owners in the dog park - without any problems!
Not only did she learn to speak proper doggy language last weekend, but most important of all: for the first time since I got her, she was having FUN with other people. It was such a RELIEF to see her playing fetch with the man , he had her on his side immediately.
Thank god for these two people (one of them is my hairdresser) who had the guts to do what NOONE , not even the dog club I was training in for a while, dared to do: meet an unleashed and non-muzzled Dixie on a field.
I just wanted to share this off topic story here, because I gained a lot of hope since last weekend , and I am no longer convinced that the unwanted behavior might be hard to change. In the right hands, this is a world dog, proof has been delivered.
This weekend we will meet again and continue to work on her resocialization.
Edited by - Quincy on 09/15/2021 14:10:09
congratulations and I hope she continues to do well with her socialization and manners. We had a border collie like that once...apparently lived an absolutely horrible life before we got her...she did make some advancements but we always had to be careful because she was never reliable sociable.
@groundhogpeggy: I'm glad the problem came in Belgian shepherd form , not in the form of for example a rottweiler or a border collie!
Many people told me after Buck passed away: if you like training dogs, why not choose for a border collie, which made me laugh out loud, because I have seen how unstoppable and demanding these dogs can be. A border collie with problems like Dixie must be for sure total craziness. But I bet you did a great job!
I doubt Dixie will ever be reliable sociable, but she is for sure a top guarding dog.
Her fear became more of a guarding bark , her body language changed.
Last weekend she proved that the right people , who can understand her desire to constantly work and play ., have a great training partner in her. She was a totally different dog and looked completely normal <3
Definitely don't get a full on border collie with any problems. Only have a puppy, from a good breeder and be careful which switches you switch. Full on Collies with a problem are to much to handle (unless you have thousands of sheep or cattle to work, and know what you are doing). But if you get a Shepherd cross collie they can be the most tractable loving house dogs out there, but they are very clever and sensitive, our dogs will cower if yo say "Oh Dear", and they can bare a grudge for years.
'Guitars at Irish sessions?' 14 hrs
'Years of IN-experience' 4 days