Watch Balzac the Belgian Malinois transform from puppy to world class working dog before your eyes!

Subscribe to the Bay Area Dog Trainer Blog and follow Balzac des Contes d’Hoffmann grow up before your eyes.  In the next 4 months we will cover a year and a half of training with over 15 videos and written commentary.  From there stay tuned as I continue to post about Balzac’s training though out his life.  So SUBSCRIBE  and  it will be an exciting 7 weeks.  Also please comment, LIkE and repost to share the love.  Thanks!Balzac at 3.5 months

In this video Balzac is 12 weeks.  At that time Balzac’s name was Monkey and his owner was Felix Sunga.  Felix had informed me that he had a real nice pup and I should come take a look.  At that time I was skeptical of the blue, almost superstitious of it.   However a working dog trainer judges the animal by its behavior not its exterior, and viewed through that lens there was no question this pup had a little extra under the hood.  I was instantly obsessed with the pup, and Felix was glad to get rid of him because he already had his hands full with his dog A’River Nellly de Beaux Peupliers otherwise known as River.  I can attest that River is quite the handful.

Felix had gotten Balzac from Phillipe Belloni who was breeding under the affix Contes d”Hoffmann.  The pup was in exchange for a stud fee to River.  Felix got the pic pup, and then gave him to me at 12 weeks.  As I mentioned earlier; from the day I saw this pup which is at the time of the shooting of the first video until three days later when I had chance drive up there to get him, I was obsessed.  I was also worried Felix would change his mind after he saw the video, but Felix was true to his word and Balzac came home with me.  Training wise this video was aimed to show Felix how I would work this pup if he was mine.  Specifically the out, that is, I was recommending that he out the pup by distracting him off the slipped and static suit with a tug and clatter stick.  This was the first time we tried it and as you can see it worked.

This next video was filmed in the Trappist Bar in Oakland when Balzac was 15 weeks.  Arnaud LeMauger and I were having a few drinks and decided to sneak Balzac in.  I love having a few beers and rolling around on the ground with a puppy.  As Far as training is concerned, I was mostly interested in making sure Balzac was adapted to city life.  I was continuing to work the out recall with another tug and building up his static bite at the same time.  Balzac’s main biting surface was that  the big red leg tug you see in the video and the Pejko semi competition jacket you see the first video, and used in a similar way (not on the body, instead held in my hands like a puppet.  As I progress in the puppy bite work I am very careful to build everything symmetrically so the pup does not favor one side of the body over the other and the pup is equally exposed to upper and lower body gripping.

NEXT UP:  late puppyhood, teething, starting obedience training.

If you have questions about this article please leave them as a comment.

9 thoughts on “Watch Balzac the Belgian Malinois transform from puppy to world class working dog before your eyes!

  1. I am so excited to see this dog grow up..I have a question for you. What was the Reasoning for you getting this puppy ?
    What made it the (dog) of all dogs for you

  2. Hi Ben, Balzac became available about 6 months after my old dog Turbeaux FR3 MR3 died. Turbeaux was 14 when he died and he really taught me a lot. So I guess it was time for a new dog, and I was emotionally ready to give Balzac what he deserves. As far as what made Balzac right for me? I really love how Balzac has an open temperament similar to a Lab, and retains drive without the stimulation of movement.

  3. Truly AMAZING! You have a Canadian fan club in the making! You’re videos are inspiring and have gotten us interested in the protection sports! Keep up the great work.

  4. Thanks Frances! We actually did have a question. In your first video of working with Monkey (now Balzac) you indicated training the ‘Out’…but then made reference to it being a recall with the whistle. Are you just teaching the dog to recall to you on hearing the whistle, which then can be worked into a more formal ‘Out’ down the road? Excuse my ignorance, but my only experience with ring sports has been via youtube and it seems that recalls are done with a whistle.

    And when we come to the Bay area in October, we will most likely meet up with you, Lisa and Andrew for a visit/lessons. Maybe we could even visit the famous Saint Roch’s! Is Canadian beer welcomed in Saint Roch’s? 🙂

    • Hi,
      In Ringsport we have two types of outs: Out Recall and Out Guard. The Recall Out is done with the whistle and the Guard Out is done with the voice. At this point in the training Balzac did not know Out Guard only Out Recall. The question comes up often which type of Out to teach a puppy first. I do a Recall out first. Many other people would advise you to do the Guard Out first. It all depends on your dog. In dog training there are many paths to the same place.
      Thanks for commenting!

  5. The only thing two trainers can agree on is what the third one is doing wrong right? 🙂

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