April 12th, 2016 my dad finally relented and told me I could get another dog specifically for the sport of Schutzhund. I have been pestering my dad for several months, basically since I joined a new IPO club to get another dog.
For those who don't know me, I do have a pit bull that I have been training to do IPO for almost 4 years now. He was not bred for this sport, he is not a traditional breed for this sport, and he is 8-years-old. We have learned a lot together these past 4 years, we've also had a TON of fun, however, when I joined the new IPO club, my eyes were opened to see my dog for who he really was. Seppel is an awesome dog and as far as I am concerned he is a really good breed ambassador for the most part. However, Seppel can be weird. He is reactive and can be somewhat defensive, responding more from a place of fear than confidence. I didn't see that when we were training in our previous club, but I also didn't take him many places other than our home field and he worked with the same helper all of the time. He is great when he is somewhere that he feels comfortable. When we joined the new club he had to train on a new field with new helpers and it totally freaked him out. He has come a long way in our new club and is doing really well, I still enjoy working him and he still enjoys the work [especially bite work!] but at the same time I have felt in the past 6mos I leave the field feeling frustrated more often than not. It isn't his fault, he was not made for this game, but it is hard when you thought you were doing really well and then you find out you really weren't doing as well as you thought you were.
Anyway, the club I am in is primarily German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois. I have seen videos of Malinois and watched them work in trials but I have not previously had personal experience with the breed. Joining this club was very eye opening. The dogs were fast and engaging. They are athletic and quick on their toes. I started to entertain the idea (with several pushes from people in my club) that it might be awesome to have a malinois for my next sport dog. I wanted my next dog to be a dog I could be competitive in the sport with.
As fate would have it, my friend's dog's litter mate was for sale. I was able to work her in a French Ring seminar and really liked her personality. I had to get kind of personal with her in the seminar and she seemed super stable and handled the situation really well considering she was in a new place with a person she had never met before handling her. Her level of energy seemed like something I could (possibly) handle. I just had a feeling that I really wanted her even though I didn't really know her.
Stuck will be 2 years old in June. She has a lot of really good foundations in training and has a great start in all three phases of IPO. As much as I really liked the prospect of puppy raising for my next dog, I am really excited that Stuck is full grown because it means we can do "all the things". I don't have to wait for a puppy to grow up. I'm really excited to see where we go in the sport.
I'm keeping this blog to share my experiences of owning this breed and also to have something to look back on. She has been here 12 days and my world has pretty much been turned upside down (in a good way!).