Recently one of our clients had her female, Belgian Malinois tested at UC Davis. The school (https://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu) has a history of quality research and is a world leader in canine testing and genetics. Knowing that a third party who has nothing to do with our kennel found the following when testing Brittney’s dog is wonderful to us. It proves that the work we put into our litters is recognized through science.
“First of all, hello to you and Pat! I hope that spring is arriving in your corner of the world.
UC Davis offers two genetic tests that check for the presence of genes that are commonly found in the Malinois breed, related to focus, drive and so on. Each of the four genes can be either “on” or “off.” There are some AKC line Malinois coming up with zero out of four of the genes active – which sort of explains what everyone working dogs knows, that some AKC breeders are turning them into Labradors in a Malinois coat!
On the other extreme, Lackland Air Force base was breeding lots of dogs with all 4/4 genes on – and those dogs were being put down at statistically unusual rates for extreme handler aggression. Well, it turns out that it wasn’t handler aggression – the dogs were having seizures, and biting their handlers while in the throes of a seizure, or while coming out of it disoriented. So 4/4 is somehow linked to/co-occurring with seizure disorder in Mals.
So the sweet spot for working dogs, according to the research, is either 2 or 3 out of the 4 genes “on.” Zero or 1 generally leads to not enough drive, intensity and focus. Four leads to an unacceptable probability of seizure disorder. Obviously more than just one gene sequence goes into any particular dog. But I’m a research geek, and I thought the studies were fascinating! Fun fact: My Wolfsbane K9 dog was tested and has 2 out of the four genes “on” = right in the sweet spot.
On a semi-related topic: my brother has been so intrigued watching her and her training the past two years that he actually accepted an internship at a dog training facility. He’s become so fascinated with working dogs and what they are capable of that he wants to soak up all the training he can, and make a side business/passion project out it it. He’s there for 6 months with a veteran trainer mentoring him. His mentor says my brother has a lot of drive and talent.
Of interest to you will be the fact that even at this nationally renowned epicenter of police/military and top tier sport dogs, working with their imports and house-bred dogs daily, my brother says that not a single dog there can compare to the dog you bred! He wants a Wolfsbane K9 Morris sired puppy as his first personal working dog. He says that he works with a lot of great dogs there every day, but none have the combination of intensity, intelligence, and work ethic that he sees in my dog. This coming from a man who is not sentimental about my dog the way I might be. He is comparing her rationally to the working dogs he sees every day, and is still impressed with her.
So please keep us in mind for any winter breedings you might plan between Morris and a PH1 female. He would prefer a male puppy, and he wants to compete with the dog in high level PSA – he’ll be a certified decoy/trainer by then, but his dog will also live with him the way mine lives with me – hiking, traveling, sleeping in bed at night 🙂 He and his family are moving after his internship to live on my acreage in Oregon, so plenty of forests to roam and rivers to swim in = great life for a puppy.
Keep us posted! Super excited to get to help raise another WOLFSBANE K9 puppy.”