Dalton is a 1 year old male German Shepherd Cross. He has come on so well in the weeks that we have had him. You’d never now know what a sheltered life he led previously. He loves his walks and walks with any person or dog from little puppies to huge Lurchers with no issue. He is still a little strong on the lead but only because he is keen to get going. Any of our volunteers can walk him now though. He is very responsive and will sit when asked and respond to his name. When cars come down the lane he moves to the side and waits for his treat. Dalton is inquisitive but not reactive out on his walks. Cars, bikes, other dogs, joggers etc are not an issue, they just mean treats are coming to Dalton! Horses are still a work in progress but we rarely see them so it’s difficult to condition him to them.
Dalton definately is quite Malinois like, however he is not the sort to make a police dog or compete in ipo etc. He has quite low drive and a sensitive personality. He does not have a strong character. Rather than play games in the paddock he’d just rather roll around at your feet hoping for a belly rub! If you get too animated he becomes a little worried. He is athletic though and does require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation and training. He is very, very intelligent. Some of the things he works out or does are seriously impressive. He likes to be with you and given the chance he’d like to hang out with his people much of the time. Mals are famous for having powerful jaws and can destroy even the most robust strong toys.
Dalton has never destroyed a non stuffed toy here. He’s had the same red Kong’s since he came and they’re all still intact. As are the rubber sticks and rope toys. Much of his food is given in the red Kong’s and similar interactive toys. He’s never chewed up his vet bed (although he does drag it into his run to sunbathe!) Another Mali trait is mouthing. Dalton only does this open mouthed. I’m not even sure rubbing his head against you gently with his mouth open can be called mouthing but that is his version.
Dalton responds well to kind, positive training methods. He understands clicker training, although sadly we don’t have enough time to do this enough with him. We take him into the kennel kitchen regularly to get him used to it. He has a crate in there and is very good in it. He just lays down quietly as he knows when he does this treats fall through the bars! We have left him alone in the crate in the kitchen and he was fine. He has not attempted to chew the bars or open the door. He just waits patiently. Malinois types are special dogs and they require more time than many other dogs.
Although to a malinois person Dalton would seem pretty tame compared to the high drive ones that have serious jobs. He would still like a job but something like canicross, agility, scent work (he loves using his nose!). He is very food motivated but currently not toy motivated. I hope Dalton can find his perfect person/people soon. He is such a fantastic dog. With an experienced person who can provide all the mental and physical activity that he needs he will be awesome! Vaccinated, wormed, neutered, micro chipped and vet checked.