Frequently Asked Questions

Under Construction

Click on the +/- to expand and collapse the text

1. How does the purchase process work and what is the cost of a pup? [+/-]

The purchase process begins when you fill out the questionnaire and contact me about a pup. I receive between 5 and 20 inquiries a week regarding Malinois, the questionnaire has been designed as a way to begin to get to know you, and also keep track of “who is who” until we get to know each other better. After reviewing your questionnaire I will contact you with any questions I have, and answers to your questions. We will email back and forth discussing what you are looking for in a pup, what your plans for the pup are, and what I expect from the litter(s) you are interested in. If we decide that one of my litters is right for you, then you will be added to a waiting list.

The waiting list is a list of people that are interested in a litter; being on this list means that when the female goes into heat you will be contacted to let you know the breeding is coming up. After the breeding you are interested in has been done you will be contacted again with the opportunity to send in a deposit. People already on the waiting list will be contacted first, and have the opportunity to send in a deposit, before deposits are accepted from anyone else. A limited number of deposits will be taken prior to a litter being born, usually 4 to 6, so it is important that you respond ASAP as the waiting list usually has more names on it than the number of deposits I will accept.

After the litter is born I will contact people regarding the number of pups born and their gender. If I have 3 males and 3 females reserved and 5 males and 1 female are born anyone with a deposit will be given the opportunity to switch genders. If nobody is interested in switching genders then 2 deposits would be returned, or held over to a future litter. The decision on who will receive which pup will be based on the home and the pup, and who I feel will be the best match to form a lasting partnership and great working team.

Pup prices range from $1000.00 to $1500.00, depending upon the cost to do the breeding. If I use one of my stud dogs, or a local dog, pups are usually $1000.00. If I am doing an artificial insemination, shipping a female across the US, or traveling to another country to do the breeding the price of the pups will increase. Each litter announcement on the For Sale page will indicate the price of the litter.

2. Are deposits refundable? [+/-]

Deposits are only refundable in a situation where a deposit has been put on a pup in a litter of a specific gender, and there are not enough pups of that gender, or the female doesn't get pregnant at all. In this situation a deposit will be refunded or applied to a future litter, the choice will be left up to the purchaser.

3. Do you sell pups to pet only homes? [+/-]

No, I do not sell pups to pet homes. While a working Malinois can also make a good house dog and companion, this is when it's also working and has the training and outlet needed for its drives and working abilities. A pet home provides the pet portion of this equation, but not the other part, the working portion. The traits that make a Malinois one of the top working dogs, drive, intelligence, energy, reactivity, character, possessiveness, resiliency, and athletic ability are the same traits that make a Malinois in the right hands a super star and in the wrong hands a disaster in the making. A Malinois that does not have a daily outlet for its working energy/drives will quickly become bored/unhappy and will find things to do, which may include remodeling your house, landscaping your yard and re-arranging your furniture. Not to mention developing neurotic behaviors such as barking at the leaves on the trees, constant pacing, etc. Taking an 8 week puppy class at the local PetCo isn't going to be enough of a training outlet for your Malinois. If you want a working Malinois, you need to plan to be involved in a training club and train not just weekly with the club but during the week on your own plus socialization and other "outings".

While I don't agree with everything in this article (I believe a working Malinois can also be a good house dog/companion) Francis has MANY good points in this article regarding why a working Malinois is not the right choice for a pet home and even many performance (obedience, agility, etc) homes.
Click for the Article on Malinois as Pets


4. Your motto is "Versatile dogs that will work for you and live with you", doesn't that mean good pets? [+/-]

Recently many people that read my motto seem to have missed the "will work for you" portion and focus on the "live with you" portion. My dogs are bred first and foremost to work, and if they are given a job to do they are happy to live with you. Yes, they can be house dogs. But this does not mean they are couch potatoes that are happy with a walk around the block 3 times a day to potty, and playing Frisbee at the park once a week. When I have one of my dogs out and about and people meet it, their impression is a well behaved, social or socially neutral dog and they assume that is just the natural state of the breed. They do not realize the hours of training, socialization and work that have gone into raising the dog and that part of what they are looking at are trained behaviors. If you aren't willing to put that time and energy into your own dog, you will not end up with the same type of adult.

5. I want an intelligent, energetic dog. I have owned Border Collies, Terriers and other high drive dogs, so why isn't a Malinois right for me? [+/-]

The working Malinois is a high drive, intelligent animal, but the traits that make them one of the premiere working breeds go beyond just high drives and intelligence. If all it took to be a great patrol or military working dog were high drives, you would see Border Collies, Labradors, etc doing patrol work. While Labs are well suited for detection work, it is the rare Lab you see even doing sport bitework, I have not heard of one doing patrol and if it did exist it would be an anomaly. The package that makes a working Malinois includes the traits previously mentioned but also includes a desire to bite things when in drive, the character to do this even under stress, and a reaction to stress by coming up in drive and wanting to go even harder, not back off. So what does this translate to in real world behavior?

First, Malinois puppies bite. That’s what they are bred to do as a reaction to their drives. A Border Collie goes into "stalk mode", a Labrador wants to retrieve, a Malinois bites. Watch this video of a litter of 7 week old Malinois pups (just turned 7 weeks) doing what they were bred to do.
Video Link
These puppies are not being aggressive, they are doing what comes naturally to them, pursue something and bite it when they catch it. This behavior can be (must be) molded/focused as the pups mature so the pup learns what is and isn’t acceptable to bite, but it’s an instinctive behavior. If it’s not molded you may have an 8 month old, 60+ pound dog who still thinks this type of game is acceptable, and that’s a liability. If the idea of an 8 week old Malinois pup biting your ankle, digging in hoping to get you to flinch, as you try to walk around is an issue, this isn’t the breed for you. If you are going to mistake this behavior for aggression, this isn’t the breed for you. One of the puppies in the video was sold to a working home that planned to do Schutzhund with it. He was a very forward, confident, social, drivey pup with the potential to be a top level working dog. What I didn’t realize is the “highly successful” Schutzhund club they trained with was a show line GSD club with little to no Malinois experience and used to a much more laid back, less driven type of dog. Within a few weeks of the pup arriving the owners were convinced by the people in their club that when their puppy latched onto their pants, their shirt sleeve, the hair of someone who bent over to pet it, etc it was being aggressive and launching a full out attack the person. He was returned to me at 10 months of age with a wide variety of issues caused by the belief that normal puppy drive behavior was aggression. So you have to ask yourself, "Am I prepared, and looking forward to, that level of drive and mouthiness?"

Next, let’s talk about the character of a working dog, which was bred for patrol/military type work. A few years ago one of my puppy people contacted me with some concerns about their dog. They had purchased the dog for obedience, agility and personal protection. They were at an event spending some time with another Malinois breeder who focuses mainly on conformation/performance dogs. They had their dog out, who was approximately 1 year old at the time, and he was hanging out with people, playing with a toy, etc. Just being a normal, friendly dog. The other person decided after spending about 20 minutes with the dog to suddenly challenge the dog/owner aggressively. The dog launched up, put both feet on the person’s shoulders and barked in their face, stopping them in their tracks. They proceeded to tell the owner the dog was liability, it should not have reacted that way after spending that time hanging out with them, playing tug, being social, etc it should have realized they are a friend and backed down from them. And that the dog was a liability and was going to bite someone some day. I requested they bring the dog to me for evaluation. After spending time around him, interacting with him, watching him interact with others, watching his behavior in a stimulating environment, etc I determined that he was a normal, stable working Malinois who was friendly when warranted but with the character to react to a threat appropriately. He didn’t bite the person, probably because he had just spent 20+ minutes interacting with them in a friendly/positive way. Instead he just warned them that their behavior (a sudden aggressive charge) was unacceptable. After a discussion about proper handling (the owner is lucky the dog didn’t take it further and bite, a sharper dog may have), a reminder that the dog was purchased for personal protection and protected from a perceived threat, and setting out a training plan, the owner left with a better understanding of their dogs behavior and the behavior/character of a working bred Malinois. If in this scenario you would have expected your dog to back down because the aggressive person was a friend, aunt, uncle, neighbor, etc and the dog “knows them”, this probably isn’t the breed for you.

So now you have to ask yourself, is this the right breed for me?

To be continued …

6. Other breeders describe their dogs as EXTREME, are yours EXTREME? You don't use that word often in your website. [+/-]

I usually get a good laugh when I hear people describe their dogs as EXTREME. First, lets define extreme.
One definition of extreme is "of a character or kind farthest removed from the ordinary or average." Another is "furthest from the center or a given point; outermost." On a sliding scale, extreme would be the small percent at the outermost edge of the measuring stick.
Yet when you talk to Malinois owners and breeders, the majority of them describe their dog(s) as EXTREME. If the majority of Malinois are extreme, then doesn't that make all those "extreme" dogs average? If you take one high drive (average) Malinois and compare it to 25 normal pet dogs, then yes, that Malinois is extreme, at least for that group of dogs. But if you compare that Malinois to other high drive Malinois, it's not extreme, it's average. And this is what I see, over and over again, when I finally see in person these dogs that I hear described as EXTREME. Dogs that in many cases are nice dogs, but in my opinion they meet the standards of what the average working Malinois should be. They are not in that very small percent that deserves to be labeled extreme. Some of them, while still extreme compared to that group of pet dogs I mentioned previously, aren't even IMO average Malinois in drives, but are below average.
I will on occasion describe a dog as extreme in some way, if I do that's because it fits within the top 5% (or less) of dogs I have personally seen in regards to that trait, wether it's prey drive, hunt drive, food drive, courage, grip quality, whatever.

7. Do you sell females with breeding rights? [+/-]

Female pups are sold on limited registration. While I am not against people breeding a female they purchase from me, I am against people telling me they have all these plans for their female (high level titles, working certifications, etc) so they can get the best female pup in the litter, and then do nothing with it except pump out pups, many times without even doing basic health checks. I have spent 20 years and 100's of thousands of dollars working with this breed, studying dogs, bloodlines, training, competing, etc. Over the years I have built up a collection of semen from the old bloodlines, while some people boast that their dog is a great great grandson of famous stud X, I have semen from that dog or a son of that dog stored for use in the future. I routinely receive inquiries from people in Europe asking to purchase some of the semen I've collected as the bloodlines are no longer available in an undiluted state. I’ve worked hard building a line of Malinois, and am into my 5th and 6th generation with some of my dogs. While I understand someone new to the breed wanting to capitalize on the time, effort and money I’ve put into developing my program, I am careful who I allow to do this.

There are too many "fly by night" Malinois breeders putting puppies out there at this time that do not know the bloodlines, what dogs will combine well, or put any effort into finding the right homes. Their pups are for sale to anyone who has a check that clears. Many of the dogs being used for breeding aren't being worked themselves, but are from a working pedigree, and are still capable of producing some working potential in their pups, meaning the pups need to be in homes that are prepared to deal with them. These people will produce a litter or two, discover they can't sell the pups, wind up with a number of untrained, unsocialized 4-6 month old pups that are destroying their home, and then move on to something else, doing who knows what with the Malinois they currently have. Many times I see these dogs being sold to the highest bidder to become a new fly by night breeders breeding stock, for the next round of disasters waiting to happen. I want my pups going to homes that will do something with them, not just leave them in a kennel and pump pups out. If someone has taken the time to train/title their female, understands what she has to offer the breed, done the health checks, researched the lines, and feels she is worth breeding then I will change the registration to full (this is covered in more detail in contract). If the breeding being done is one I approve of I will also provide support and send potential pup buyers their way.

8. Do you ship puppies? [+/-]

Yes. Puppies can be shipped pretty much anywhere, not just within the US but to other countries also. Some countries have specific import requirements such as certain vaccinations or titers, age requirements, or other requirements. It is up to the buyer, when outside the US, to research the requirements to import a puppy into their country. For international flights the buyer may also need to be involved in making the flight arrangements, sometimes it’s easier to do from the country the pup is being shipped to. The buyer is responsible for all shipping related expenses, including but not limited to the health certificate, crate, flight, and any other costs. At 8 weeks I make one trip to the airport to ship puppies from a litter, if a buyer needs special arrangements (shipping on a different date, or from a different airport) there may be additional costs.

9. What guarantees do you offer? [+/-]

A sample copy of the contract can be found at this link
Health – pups health is guaranteed until they are 4 years of age. This is not a lifetime guarantee for 2 reasons. First, if there is a concern about the dogs health, it should have been checked prior to the dog reaching 4 years of age. The sooner an issue is discovered, the sooner it can begin being treated the longer the dog will enjoy a happy/healthy life. Second, I make breeding decisions based on the health of not just the parents, but their siblings, aunts, uncles, and any past offspring they have produced. The owners of the past who have health checks done on their dogs have helped shaped the decisions that were made to produce the pups of the present. It is my hope that all puppy buyers will do basic health testing on their dogs prior to 4 years of age so this information can be used to make breeding decisions for the future.

Working Ability – I make every effort to match each pup and the abilities it shows to the proper home. However, after the pup leaves my premises I have no control over if the new owner properly socializes and trains it. Therefore I do not guarantee that a pup will achieve a certain level of title or working certification. Most people have heard "pups are a crap shoot". This is true, but it's not always the pup that makes it true, but how the new owner chooses to raise their pup. I do realize though that sometimes a pup does not grow up to be exactly what we thought it would at 8 weeks, even with proper socializing, training, etc. They are not machines, but living, breathing beings. If I feel that you have done right by your pup, and it just isn't going to work out as desired, we will talk about a possible replacement, which is soley at my discretion.

10. Do you make your living selling dogs? [+/-]

No. If I could break even on the dogs I would be thrilled, but I can't remember a year that has happened. Between the cost of purchasing dogs, raising puppies up for possible inclusion in the program, health checks, food bills, vet bills, training, equipment, competition, travel, etc selling an occasional litter of pups doesn't even come close to the breakeven point. I earn my living, and pay for my dog hobby, as a computer programmer. Eventually I plan to begin doing obedience training on the side, and possibly take in client dogs for competition training, but that is a plan for the future. Until then I will continue to make money as a programmer, and the dogs will continue to spend it :-).

11. What is the best way to contact you? [+/-]

The best way to contact me is via email. My email address is or you can use the forms on the Contact Us and Upcoming Litters pages. I receive anywhere from 5 to 20 inquiries regarding Malinois per week. Many of these people contact me via email as suggested on the website, but 1/3 or more contact me via phone. While a return phone call is an hour or so of the inquirer's time (it's rarely under an hour and can be 2 hours easily), it can quickly add up to all my spare time returning phone calls to each person who contacts me. In addition to working a full time job, the dogs take up a significant amount of my time. By the time I am ready to sit down and start responding to people it can be A) too late to call people on the East Coast B) I could really only find the time to respond to 1 phone call a night, and not every night, which means I'd never catch up with the list of people requesting a call back. When you email me I can respond at any time during the day that I have a minute, or as is sometimes the case I can respond to all the emails at 11PM πŸ™‚

12. I have my new Malinois puppy, now what? [+/-]

Coming Soon

13. Do you have trained dogs for sale? [+/-]

Due to the repeated requests for young adults I have decided to start holding back pups from future litters to raise for eventual placement as police, military, sport or other working dogs. Keep an eye on the For Sale section of the website, any dogs available will be listed there.

14. Will you take the dog back if I can't keep it? [+/-]

Yes, I will take back any dog from my breeding at any time in its life. I understand that sometimes "life happens" and people find themselves in a situation where they can no longer keep the dog. In these situations I will be happy to help you find a new home for the dog, or take it back and find it a new home myself. NOTE: I am not here to help you resale your dog, but find it a new home in the event you can't keep it. Transportation to my house is the responsibility of the owner. On occasion I have had someone want to return their dog, but then continue to keep full control over the dog’s future. They want to interview potential homes, have a long list of criteria for what the home must have, and not have, for placement, and have final say over which home the dog goes to. If you want to continue to have this type of control over the dog, you need to keep the dog and find it a home yourself and I will help by sending potential adopters your way. If I take the dog back, once it is returned to me it is mine. I will work with it to help fix any issues it has, get to know what sort of placement would be best, and then I will place it in a home that I feel is suited for it. I cannot guarantee that any information regarding the new home will be shared with you either, that will be up to the new owners to decide.


15. Regarding hip and elbow xrays, why are some dog’s OFA and others just say “xrayed normal”? [+/-]

All of my dogs are x-rayed prior to breeding. When this was done by me through a scheduled appointment with the vet, the xrays are sent to OFA for their “stamp of approval”. While I don’t believe the OFA stamp of approval is really necessary, a quality vet should be capable of reading the x-rays themselves, I prefer this method because it is a neutral 3rd party evaluation and the results go into their database and website. This provides an easy way for people to access this data long term. However, not all of my dogs are x-rayed on such a well thought out schedule πŸ™‚ Sometimes a dog is injured and has to go to the vet to be sedated for stitches or other medical procedures. In these cases, if the dogs x-rays haven’t been done yet, I will ask the vet to perform them while the dog is sedated. Unfortunately due to the emergency nature of the visit, I rarely would have the dogs AKC registration papers on hand, a requirement for the x-rays to be sent to OFA for evaluation and listing on the website. Or the dog may have been x-rayed by a previous owner, who didn’t see the need to pay the extra fee to send the x-rays to OFA. Or the dog may have even been x-rayed in a foreign country. In these cases I will indicate the dog has been x-rayed and post a digital copy (photo or digital x-ray) of the dogs x-rays on the website. This allows people the opportunity to see what the x-rays look like, and make their own determination on the status of the dogs joints. Or ask for input from other people, if they are not comfortable reading an x-ray themselves.


16. I want the pick puppy, how do I go about getting 1st pick? [+/-]

“Pick” (1st, 2nd, 3rd etc) is not determined by when an inquiry or deposit is received. “Pick” is based on what each person is looking for in a pup, and also their experience as a handler and trainer. When placing pups, top priority goes to experienced handlers that have already titled dogs and proven that they are committed to the task of training and trialing a dog. In addition, what is one person’s “pick” may be another person’s “pass”, depending on the job or sport they plan to do with the dog. For example, someone looking for a dog for French Ring may be focused on drives (prey, fight, food, toy, and to a lesser degree hunt), character, athletic ability and grip quality. While someone looking for a dog for Search and Rescue may be focused on drives (hunt being a primary focus), socialness, character, and athletic ability. The pup with a great personality, high hunt drives, and so-so grips might be the pick pup for the SAR or detection home, but not even a consideration for the French Ring or IPO home. The pup with perfect grips and so-so hunt might work perfectly in French Ring, but not be the best choice for IPO (tracking). Personal preference in temperament comes into play also, with some handlers liking a very pushy, forward, dominant dog while other handlers want a more biddable personality. When presented with 3 different pups, each pup might be 1st and last choice, depending on the handler and intended purpose.

It’s my job as the breeder, and the person who has been interacting with the pups from the day they were born, to take the information you give me in regards to your personal preferences and the job you intend for your dog, and determine which of the pups is best suited for you. On occasion I will feel that 2-3 pups in the litter equally meet your needs as stated, and you will be offered the chance to select between those pups. If you are looking for a breeder who will show you the entire litter, then allow you to pick the one you want, I’m not the breeder for you.