Comparing the German Shepherd Dog to the Belgian Malinois.
If you ever had to source a trained dog for your Security Company, or look for a new puppy to raise and train as a personal protection dog for you and your family, you might have been confronted with the choice between the oh so famous German Shepherd Dog (GSD) and the newly risen hero of the working dog class: the Belgian Malinois.
The choice is difficult, especially considering that the working breeds have so many similarities that it is quite difficult to choose between them, so let us give you the basic information needed:
The Laid-Back GSD or The Energetic Malinois?
Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy uses both the GSD and Malinois breeds in the training of our working dogs, using the unique traits of each to our advantage when applying them to the speciality best suited to their different abilities and behavioural traits.
One of the differences between the German Shepherd Dog and the Belgian Malinois is the energy level of the two breeds. Plainly put, the Malinois is your Duracell compared to other batteries – being considered one of the most energetic dog breeds in the world. Their energy levels paired with traits like confidence, aggression and being hard working makes this breed one of the most recognized working dog breeds in various countries worldwide.
Their German counterpart, the German Shepherd Dog is considered more laid back than the Malinois, and it is a common opinion that they are better suited to a family environment – not needing as much exercise and stimulation as the supercharged Malinois. It is also the more self-assured between the two breeds, meaning it can tolerate being alone better than the Malinois.
Although a mostly laid back dog, the German Shepherd Dog is not world famous for its chill – traits like strength, intelligence and obedience has made the GSD famous since World War 1 for patrolling, guarding and protection work as well as disability assistance.
Although the GSD is famous, the Malinois has recently become the security field’s preferred breed, due to agility, high energy, alertness and quick response, as compared to the GSD.
Both the Malinois and GSD are very protective towards their owners/handlers, and are known to have a particularly strong bond with their human families. They are both easily trained because of their high drive for rewards, willingness to learn, and eagerness to have a purpose.
This is an excellent personality trait for any working dog, but in a domestic environment without the right amount of exercise and stimulation, this can cause the breeds to become destructive, and develop negative neurotic behaviour.
One of the similarities between the GSD and the Malinois is the fact that they are both actually softies at heart. Both breeds respond best to positive training methods; and research by various institutions has proven that harsh training methods and treatment have caused very negative behaviour in the dogs.
Between the two, the Malinois is the more sensitive breed, and is known to suffer from anxiety disorders when neglected. These dogs need constant positive reinforcement when it comes to training; and the training also needs to be on a continuous basis for the dog not to get bored and develop bad behaviour.
The GSD also loves social interaction. They need positive reinforcement as opposed to harsh punishment or treatment. Their high intelligence and their performance drive make it necessary to do continuous training to provide the needed mental stimulation the GSD requires.
Features of the GSD and Malinois:
The two shepherd breeds hail from the same basic part of the dog family tree, yet being bred in different locations for different working situations there are a couple of features that set them apart:
German Shepherd Dog (GSD)
Country of Origin
Groenendael, Mechelaar, Tervuren
Medium to Large
Medium to Large
The Malinois size and lightweight has a big advantage in the security industry – being light and small enough to be picked up and carried by its handler when necessary, but still big enough to control human aggressors.
The heavier mass means that the GSD is more commonly used in riot control due to their intimidating appearance and historical background for being used by the Police in riot control.
Another visible difference between the two breeds is seen when looking at their backs: some GSDs still have a distinct curve in their backs, with hind legs that look too small for their bodies, whereas the Malinois does not have this distinct feature.
Another obvious difference apart from their size is the different coats of the two breeds.
The Malinois has a short haired coat of neutral colouring. Their short coat and neutral colours are better adapted to warm conditions and less prone to induce heatstroke. The shorter hair also means shedding less hair than the average German Shepherd Dog.
The German Shepherd Dog has a double coat consisting of either long or medium hair as well as a think dense undercoat, which makes this breed very adaptable to colder climates. The colour of the coat is either black and tan or black and red. Sable and white is a rare variety of colours found in the GSD.
Like with all the rest medical problems suffered by the individual breeds are very similar in nature. The most common of these medical problems is hip dysplasia. In short, hip and elbow dysplasia is an abnormal formation of the hip and elbow sockets that can cause crippling, arthritis and lameness in the legs. It is a condition that is worsened by age and environmental factors.
The severity of this condition differs between the two breeds, as the GSD’s with the distinct curve of the back are more prone to hip dysplasia than their counterpart the Malinois.
Common problems suffered by the GSD are exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and osteoarthritis; while the Belgian Malinois suffers from problems such as epilepsy and cataracts.
When you rent or buy a trained dog from Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy, special care is taken to get the hips checked and analysed, and the dog goes for a complete medical veterinary examination.
Both breeds are excellent working dogs and can adapt to either the security life, or the life of a family pet if placed with the right family.
Both breeds are good trackers, and have also attained fame because of their substance detection skills.
Both breeds have individually won numerous noteworthy awards for devotion to duty and animal bravery.
While the GSD is great for police work and guarding, the Malinois has been noted as a game changer in South Africa’s fight against rhino poaching in the National Game Reserves – most arrests being made because of the Malinois stopping poachers in their tracks.
The breeds are so similar that when it comes to choosing you should rather look at the application of the dog: The Malinois is better at agility and patrol work because of its light weight and high energy levels; while the GSD would be better suited for your personal protection at home – not needing as much exercise and especially because of the fact that they are very protective of their owners.
Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy can help with training your Malinois or GSD for personal protection or as a security guard dog, depending on your needs. We also offer socialization for your puppy to get the brain stimulation and obedience going. Whichever one you choose, we are here to help you achieve a harmonious relationship with your shepherd dog.
K9 Training International Transfer of Technology
K9 Dog Training International Transfer of Technology by Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy is the key to establishing and/or operating successful and sustainable independent dog centres anywhere in the world.
Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy’s contribution to K9 Dog Training International Transfer of Technology
As part of their quest for excellence in the field of security dog and handler related training and aids, Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy does extensive ongoing research over a wide spectrum to find the best holistic approach to the training of security dogs and handlers; scientifically based training methods and material as well as assessing techniques; and the development of scientific aids for the training of substance (drugs and explosives) and eco-products detection dogs and handlers.
The combination of these above services, techniques, and products form the basis of the quest to ensure that all our services and dog and handler training techniques as well as aiding products are of the highest international standard. This is made possible by the K9 Dog Training International Transfer of technology.
K9 Dog Training International Transfer of Technology is The Key to Sustainability
Rather than merely supplying products and training aids to international clients via the execution of recurring orders, Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy transfers the complete technology on a commercial basis, because K9 Dog Training International Transfer of Technology enables clients to execute the entire process regarding dog and handler training completely on their own. An important aspect of Braveheart’s offer is that the company can assist South-African as well as international clients (both Government and Private) to establish and run a professional Dog Centre that incorporates all the above-mentioned techniques, documentation and aids in a sustainable fashion. The philosophical point of departure when establishing Dog Units internationally is to ensure that the unit will be able to operate independently with the capacity to provide career opportunities for citizens of its own country.
The advantages of K9 Dog Training International Transfer of Technology
K9 Dog Training International Transfer of Technology by Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy is comprehensive:
Braveheart has its own internal research unit and fully equipped laboratory on its campus in which it develops and manufactures the Braveheart Bio-Strips enabling detection dogs to detect narcotics,
explosives, and eco-products. Narcotics that can be detected include Cocaine, Ecstasy, Heroin, Mandrax, Cannabis, Tik, CAT (Khat), and combination drugs like Nayope and Whoonga. Explosives which can be detected include the new generation of “Mother of Satan” explosives that cannot be detected by conventional devices like X-ray machines, because they contain no metal whatsoever. Eco-products detected include fresh and dried meat of various species as well as live animals of various species – including species in danger of extinction. Since 2005, Braveheart’s combination of Bio-Strips and training has been receiving wide positive media (especially television) coverage internationally. An important part of the transfer of technology is that Braveheart shares the technology to manufacture their own Braveheart Bio-Strips with international buyers, rather than continuously having to sell Bio-Strips to these entities. In this way continuity and sustainability is achieved through the transfer of knowledge, skills, technology, and the implementation of quality management systems and procedures.
NB: the owner of Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy, John Greyvenstein is not only internationally recognized as a world authority on the training of working dogs, but also on establishing independent Dog Centres internationally; as well as evaluating existing Dog Centres and other security systems making use of dogs and handlers, with specific emphasis on application and cost control.
Going on Holiday can be a nightmare for responsible dog owners whose dog(s) are an integral part of the family – how can one ensure that the establishment providing kennelling will take proper care of the apple(s) of your eye?
Let Us Allay Your Fears About Your Dog’s Well-Being While In Our Care:
- The well-being of dogs left in our care is of paramount concern to us.
- The people looking after the dogs are all highly qualified dog trainers and handlers – and they really love dogs.
- A unique feature of kenneling at Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy is the fact that the dogs do not spend the entire period of their stay in kennels – they are taken for walks every day, under strict supervision by trained handlers and minders.
- Every dog is kenneled in its own separate Bio-Hut™*, a unique, patented dog home developed by the owner of Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy to meet every need of dogs, big and small.
- Strict control is exercised at all times to ensure that there is ample opportunity to develop the dogs’ self-confidence.
*More About The Patented Braveheart Bio-Hut
- The unique Bio-Hut in which the dogs are kennelled at Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy was developed by the owner, John Greyvenstein – an internationally acclaimed expert on dog behaviour and needs. He did extensive research to ensure that the Bio-Hut would create a calm environment for the dog.
- The Bio-Hut was designed such that dogs in adjoining huts cannot see one another. This is a key feature in keeping the dogs calm.
- The Bio-Hut has an elevated sleeping area that gives the dog a safe place, should it feel threatened in its new environment.
- The sleeping area is multi-purpose – with airflow that helps to create a warm air cushion in winter (hot air rises).
- Underneath the sleeping area is a double insulated cool area, facilitated by the roof and sleeping board, with cold air moving down (in summer).
- When cleaning the kennel, the dog has a place where it can avoid the water – preventing anxiety.
- The self-feeder installed in the Bio-Hut is topped up from outside, eliminating the dog expecting meals, and avoiding jumping.
- The roof completely encloses the kennel, eliminating radiation heat from the sun, and prevents the walls from attributing to rising temperatures in the kennel.
- Kennels facing north facilitates the sun shining at a researched unique angle on the entire floor during winter – eliminating pathogens, and facilitating heat regulation.
- With the dog calm and not jumping, it also prevents wrong exercise that might lead to the development of Hip-Dysplasia.
The Practicalities Of Kennelling Your Dog at Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy:
- The dog must be de-wormed and inoculated (also against rabies) at least two weeks before it is brought to us – and you must provide its inoculation certificate as well.
- You can bring in and fetch the dog any day of the week, and also on Saturdays until 12 noon.
- Top dog food and daily exercise and play are included for the kennelling period
Dog Trainer vs Dog Handler – different roles
There is often confusion about the difference between the role of a Dog Trainer versus a Dog Handler. A Dog trainer is responsible for “shaping” (formatting) the dog via the training process. A good example is that the Dog Trainer must not work from the perspective of creating a vicious, dangerous dog that should be kept behind walls or fences, and should not be allowed to come into contact with children.
His challenge is to bring to the fore the dog’s natural aggression. This results in a dog that can be a Nemesis to criminals or other intruders; but at the same time a trusted family friend and a caring companion for children.
Environmental requirements for Dog Trainer vs Dog Handler
In the utilization of specialized dog and handler teams in different operational environments, it is of paramount importance to create a training environment that facilitates achieving the highest possible accuracy in the tasks of both the Dog Trainer and the Dog Handler. For this reason, Braveheart created a training environment at their Academy simulating various environments in which Dog and Handler teams might be deployed. These include a warehouse; vehicles; environments with people around (like airports, shopping centers etc); different containers (like crates, bags and/or suitcases); and more.
The basic foundation for Dog Trainer Success
A dogs training process starts at a very early stage, when the trainer socializes a young dog (puppy training) to lay the foundation for becoming a Star Service Dog for one or more specialized applications.
Clear distinction between Dog Handler vs Dog Handler responsibilities
Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy’s philosophy is to make a clear distinction between a Dog Trainer and Dog Handler. They extensively researched the roles of the Dog Trainer and Dog Handler; and developed training programs for dog handlers and dogs. Relevant professional training materials and training aids ensure top class results.
The importance of the approach to Dog Trainer vs Dog Handler
The roles of a Dog Trainer vs Dog Handler in the quality of Dog and Handler teams are both of high importance. It should however be noted that a trained dog as part of a Dog and Handler team can only be as good as the quality of its Handler: a good Dog Handler can enhance the capabilities of the dog, but not vice versa.
K9 Service Dog training for a Human Environment
It can easily happen that a most important factor in training a dog for specialized applications is overlooked: The K9 Service Dog has to be integrated into a specific human environment. Every dog should uniquely be integrated into its Human System. Systems can be as widely apart as being a family pet cum personal protection dog, or being a key element of a security company’s services. Other specialized systems could include substance detection units like Explosives, Narcotics and Eco-products. Add to this dog being used for humanitarian assistance like search and rescue operations, and guide dog applications for the blind or deaf. Service dogs are also utilized for identifying medical conditions like different forms of cancer; and for therapeutically assistance for the elderly, autistic people, and other physiological conditions.
K9 Service Dog Training Approach
These applications require a scientific approach. In the training phase, outdated negative and/or forceful methods of training should be totally avoided. Training should be a structured scientific and positive process, aimed at uplifting and integrating the dog into its human surroundings. The scientific training approach enhances the human/dog interaction, resulting in a professional outcome.
K9 Service Dog Training Research
Research around K9 Service Dogs in a Human Environment dates back to the late 19th/early 20th Century – but in our complex modern society service dogs for specialized applications cannot be trained according to systems and techniques used during that era. Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy’s training techniques incorporate the role of both the Dog and Humans. Interaction between the Dog and its Humans plays a very important role in the training of the Dog – irrespective of whether it is being trained for Personal Protection, Security Applications, or other purposes mentioned supra. The Dog must become part of the system within which its Humans operate.
Quantum Leap for Professional K9 Dog and Handler Teams for International and Local Application
In our previous blog we shared the approach used to train specialist dogs for International and local application. We mentioned that a Professional K9 Dog and Handler Team for International and Local Application – on which the spotlight will fall in this blog – is a quantum leap forward by Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy through their research into both dogs and dog handlers.
Professional K9 Dog and Handler Team for International and Local Application
It is an accepted fact that one team consisting of a Professional K9 Dog and Handler team for International and Local Application is more effective and awe inspiring than a number of Security Officers without dogs being present. The articulation between the Dog and Handler in a Professional K9 Dog and Handler Team for International and Local Application boosts the effectiveness of the unit exponentially to much higher levels.
Ongoing research on Professional K9 Dog and Handler Teams for International and Local Application
Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy does ongoing research over a wide spectrum to assure the best holistic approach to the training of Professional K9 Dog and Handler teams for International and Local Application. This includes scientifically assessed training methods, material, and assessing techniques.
As a result, Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy trained K9 Dog and Handler teams for International and Local Application are widely deployed for a variety of security applications. Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy Professional K9 Dog and Handler Teams for International and Local Application do not only consistently meet the highest norm for training, but actually often exceeds it.
Look out for our next blog..
Braveheart leads in International and Local K9 Dog Training
Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy, situated near Pretoria, the Capital City of South Africa is the world leader in International and Local K9 Dog Training.
Approach to International and Local K9 Dog Training
Central in our approach to International and Local K9 Dog Training is the fact that our scientists conduct extensive ongoing research in our own fully equipped, professionally staffed laboratory situated in the grounds of Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy. This research does not only facilitate the initial training of the dog, but also continuous advanced training.
Research regarding International and Local K9 Dog Training
Especially for specialized applications like Explosives Detection Dogs, Narcotics detection dogs and eco-products detection dogs, advanced Braveheart training aids have been developed in our laboratory. Our ongoing research facilitates new breakthroughs, like switching from pseudo odors to real authentic odors; leading to improved accuracy and a higher ratio of detection. Other research regarding International and Local K9 Dog Training involves how to maximally utilize the dog’s nose (smelling) capacity.
Using simulation for International and Local K9 Dog Training
For International and Local K9 Dog Training, Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy has also created various environments simulating real-life environments in which the dog may be required to operate: warehouse; crates, boxes and suitcases; areas populated by people; indoor and outdoor; countryside tracking; and more. This process facilitates articulation between the Training and Application functions, ensuring a higher level of applied competency, and enabling functional decisions.
Dog Handler Training in relation to International and Local K9 Dog Training
In our next blog, we shall be looking at the importance of creating a professional Dog and Handler team as part of International and Local K9 Dog Training.
Theories about K9 Dog Genetics
Over the years there have been many theories about how the domestication of dogs took place. Some people believed that the dog evolved from a jackal-like animal which became extinct; others believed that dogs descended from the Pariah dog which still roams wild or semi-wild in North Africa, the Middle East, and India. The most likely theory was however that the Dog came from the Wolf. The latter has now been proved genetically.
The role of K9 Dog Genetics since the split of Dog and Wolf
With the publication of the dog genome in 2003, scientists could finally confirm that dogs descended from wolves. Most of the recognized breeds today originated less than 150 years ago, although it is estimated that dogs and wolves split from each other 15 000 to 40 000 years ago. However, to date only around 0.04 percent of the dog genome has evolved.
K9 Dog Genetics Groups
Based on the classification of the genetic relationships of the modern dog breeds, it was established that there are only two major groups of dog breeds: One group are genetically more similar to wolves. They are however not from one region, but include dog species as far apart as Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Siberia, and Alaska. The second group comprises the majority of modern breeds, referred to as dogs of “European origin”. Although the two groups look and act differently, only a few genetic differences are responsible for these differences. Even after 150 years of genetic separation, the differences among breeds of Europe are barely detectable.
K9 Dog Genetics Groups have few cognitive differences
Physically, there are vast differences between dog species, so one would think that they have different genetic profiles. However, only a small number of genes are responsible for the wide physical variations between dogs. Based on these facts, the default hypothesis is that there are very few cognitive differences between various breeds – disproving the general belief that certain breeds are famous for certain types of application.
Why this blog about K9 Dog Genetics?
Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy takes all relevant factors into consideration to ensure that we match the right dogs with the right owners/handlers. As our motto says: Leaders through professional research.
What does K9 Dog Training – the Bigger Picture entail?
In our recent blogs we gave an insight into the services and main products offered by Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy; now we are going to give you an insight into K9 Dog Training – the Bigger Picture.
Understanding K9 Dog Training – the Bigger Picture
Dogs were the first animal species to be domesticated by man. Over the ages, dogs have become synonymous with loyalty, companionship, protection, and faithful service rendering in all countries across the world. This is K9 Dog Training – the Bigger Picture in a nutshell.
K9 Dog Training – the Bigger Picture encompasses many services
Dogs are not only utilized for protection, tracking and patrol work, and for detecting narcotics and explosives, but also for applications across the board. Think of guide dogs for the blind; companion dogs for the aged and lonely; therapeutic treatment for people with psychiatric or other emotional disturbances; therapy for autistic, abused, or traumatized children; service dogs for physically disabled and deaf people; and recently also to help detect cancer at an early stage. This is what K9 Dog Training – the Bigger Picture is all about!
Braveheart and K9 Dog Training – the Bigger Picture
All the above mentioned applications have one thing in common: the dogs used must be professionally trained. Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy is proud of the fact that their professional socialization (puppy dog) training lays a sound foundation for whatever application a dog is going to be trained for. K9 Dog Training – the Bigger Picture, for whatever application, is built on how well the young dog/puppy has been trained/socialized.
The importance of K9 Dog Training – the Bigger Picture
Every year, narcotics detection dogs prevent tons of illegal drugs being smuggled into countries around the world – protecting children and young adults from being dragged into a dead-end street, as well as containing the suffering these countries’ economies experience because of this scourge. Explosives detection dogs annually save many innocent people from being maimed or killed by ruthless fanatics; and countries from being destabilized – K9 Dog Training- the Bigger Picture in action.
Accolades for the dogs and people that make K9 Dog Training – the Bigger Picture possible
We salute all the dogs rendering selfless services to the human race – and we salute the Braveheart Training Team for their professional and selfless dedication to their important role in making K9 Dog Training – the Bigger Picture possible.
Breakthrough in Detection–Sniffer Dog-K9 (Canine) training
In 2005, Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy made an important breakthrough in Detection–Sniffer Dog-K9 (Canine) training for the Detection of narcotics and explosives. The research undertaken by the owner of Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy, John Greyvenstein and South African scientist Dr. Fanie van der Walt. John Greyvenstein holds a BSc Honors degree in Zoology, and an MSc in Genetics. The subject of his Master’s thesis was Working Dog-K9 (Canine)s.
Research on Detection–Sniffer Dog-K9 (Canine) training using vapour strips
The research was done in Braveheart’s own laboratory, situated on the grounds of Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy at Rayton (near Pretoria, the capital city of South Africa), these results effectively eliminated the biggest problems surrounding Detection–Sniffer Dog-K9 (Canine) training and application for the Detection of narcotics–drug and explosives. The vapour strips they developed contain a pure odour that cannot be contaminated by other odours. This effectively eliminated false indications. The training aids also pose no danger to either the trainer or the dog-K9 (Canine), and cannot be abused by anybody. With proper precautions, they are also easy to protect against contamination, and can be stored securely.
No more danger in Detection–Sniffer dog-K9 (Canine) training
John Greyvenstein points out that there has been a complete move away from the use of potentially dangerous explosive and narcotic substances. Potentially dangerous side-effects are thus avoided. The approach to training now revolves around the socializing of dog-K9 (Canine), a formative phase, training, and continuous maintenance training.
The necessity of Detection–Sniffer Dog-K9 (Canine) training
Detection–Sniffer Dog-K9 (Canine) training has become a most necessary service in the modern world- Narcotics-drugs Detection plays a crucial part in ensuring that ruthless smugglers cannot bring narcotics-drugs into a country – with the potential to ruin many young lives; leading to unproductivity, crime, and eventually death.
Equally important is the Detection of explosives – which are widely used throughout the modern world to kill or maim innocent citizens; and can compromise the safety of countries as a whole.
Breakthrough in Detection–Sniffer Dog-K9 (Canine) training
A recent breakthrough achieved by Braveheart’s continuous research was developing vapour strips for Detection–Sniffer Dog-K9 (Canine) training to detect eco-products. There are constant incidents (especially in Africa) of people trying to smuggle eco-products through border posts-fresh and dried meat products as well as live animals of endangered species. This endangers the continued existence of the endangered species as well as creating the possibility of animals in the recipient countries being killed off by diseases they have no immunity against.
Training facilities for Detection–Sniffer Dog-K9 (Canine) training
Detection-Sniffer Dog-K9 (Canine) training should include training facilities that simulate real life as closely as possible. Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy boasts indoor and outdoor Detection–Sniffer Dog-K9 (Canine) training facilities simulating real life environments like open areas, vehicles, containers – and even a warehouse.
Our next three blogs will detail Braveheart’s Substance Detection–Sniffer Dog-K9 (Canine) training to facilitate narcotics (drugs) Detection, explosives Detection, and eco-products Detection.