In this latest episode of the #211 podcast, we sat down with Matt Folsom, owner and head trainer of @modernmalinois, to discuss the world of confident working protection dogs. With years of experience in dog training, Matt shares his expertise on what it takes to train these special canines, from basic obedience to advanced protection work. Join us as we delve deep into the world of working dogs and learn what it takes to have a well-trained, confident protection dog by your side.
Confident Working Protection Dogs: Training Chat With Matt Folsom of @modernmalinois #211 #podcast
Are you looking for a confident working protection dog? Do you want a dog that is not only friendly and affectionate, but also well-behaved and skilled in protecting you? If so, then you might want to consider getting a Belgian Malinois, a dog breed that is popular among law enforcement and military personnel.
But before you decide to get a Malinois, you need to ask yourself if you have the time, patience, and dedication to train and socialize such a high-energy and intelligent dog. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. There are professional dog trainers who specialize in training Malinois, such as Matt Folsom of Modern Malinois.
Matt Folsom is a skilled trainer who is dedicated to continual growth. He is also passionate about breeding and training world-class Belgian Malinois. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Matt’s training methodology and philosophy, as well as some of the training methods that he uses to achieve brilliant results with Malinois.
Introduction: Meet Matt Folsom of Modern Malinois
Matt Folsom is the founder of Modern Malinois, a company that specializes in breeding, raising, and training working Belgian Malinois. He has over 20 years of experience training dogs, including 10 years of experience working with law enforcement dogs.
Matt believes that every dog is unique, and training should be tailored to the individual dog’s temperament, drives, and abilities. He uses a variety of training methods, including luring, shaping, and positive reinforcement.
When training Malinois, Matt focuses on developing their natural drives and instincts, such as prey drive, hunt drive, defense drive, and pack drive. He also emphasizes the importance of socialization, exposure, and desensitization to different environments, stimuli, and distractions.
Dog Training Methods with Matt Folsom
- Skilled trainer dedicated to continual growth.
Matt Folsom is a skilled trainer who is always seeking new knowledge and skills to improve his training methodology. He regularly attends seminars, workshops, and conferences on dog training, behavior, and health.
He also collaborates with other trainers, experts, and professionals in the industry to share ideas, best practices, and cutting-edge techniques. This ensures that Matt stays up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the field of dog training.
- Uses luring method to achieve brilliant results.
One of the training methods that Matt uses is luring, which involves using food or toys to guide the dog’s behavior. This method is based on the principle that dogs are motivated by rewards, and will repeat behaviors that lead to positive outcomes.
Luring can be used to teach basic obedience commands, such as sit, stay, come, and heel. It can also be used to shape more complex behaviors, such as retrieving, jumping, and scent detection.
Matt uses luring in a positive and creative way, taking into account the dog’s individual temperament and learning style. He also uses the lure fading technique, which involves gradually reducing the visual and olfactory cues of the lure, so that the dog learns to respond to verbal and physical cues without the need for food or toys.
- Approaches dog training with different methods for different reasons, including how our minds work.
Matt believes that dogs learn best when their training is fun, engaging, and relevant to their natural instincts and drives. He uses a variety of training methods to reinforce different behaviors and skills, depending on the dog’s age, stage of development, and level of training.
For example, he uses shaping to teach more complex behaviors, such as agility, obedience, and protection. He uses positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior and discourage bad behavior. He also uses clicker training to mark and reward desired behaviors, and to communicate with the dog more effectively.
Matt also takes into account the psychology of learning, and how our brains work. He knows that dogs learn best when they are in a positive and rewarding emotional state, and when they receive feedback and reinforcement in a timely and consistent manner.
- Mutual respect and a lot in common in the way they create a great relationship with dogs.
Matt believes in developing a strong and respectful relationship with the dog, based on trust, respect, and communication. He knows that dogs are social animals, and thrive on human interaction and attention.
He also knows that dogs need to be treated with kindness, patience, and fairness. He doesn’t believe in using harsh or punitive methods, as they can damage the dog’s trust and confidence.
Instead, Matt focuses on creating a bond with the dog, based on mutual respect and understanding. He knows that dogs are intelligent and sensitive animals, and can pick up on our emotions, body language, and tone of voice.
- Lure fading depends on individual dog.
Lure fading is a technique that Matt uses to gradually reduce the use of food or toys in training, and to transition the dog from following the lure to responding to verbal and physical cues.
However, he acknowledges that lure fading can vary from dog to dog, depending on their temperament, drive, and previous training. Some dogs may take longer to respond to verbal and physical cues, and may need more encouragement and reinforcement.
- Allow puppies to evolve into great adults.
Matt believes in starting the training process early, when the puppy is still in the critical socialization period. He uses a variety of methods to socialize puppies to different people, animals, sounds, and environments.
He also exposes them to different types of play, including tug-of-war, fetch, and hide-and-seek. He knows that puppies have a natural drive to play, and can learn a lot through play.
Matt believes that by allowing puppies to evolve into great adults, he can create confident, well-behaved, and skilled working Malinois.
- Train dogs with what their instincts value.
Matt takes a natural and holistic approach to training Malinois, focusing on the dog’s natural instincts and drives. He knows that Malinois are bred for their working ability, and have a high drive for prey, hunt, and defense.
He also knows that Malinois are sensitive to their environment, and can pick up on subtle cues and changes in their surroundings. Therefore, he trains them to be alert, focused, and responsive to different stimuli and distractions.
Matt also emphasizes the importance of providing the dog with proper nutrition, exercise, and rest, as these can affect their behavior, health, and overall well-being.
- Good luring uses more than food.
While food can be a powerful motivator for dogs, Matt knows that good luring needs to be more than just about food. He believes that good luring involves building a positive association between the dog and the trainer, and using a variety of incentives and rewards to reinforce good behavior.
Good luring can also involve using toys, praise, petting, and play to motivate the dog. Matt knows that each dog is different, and may respond differently to different types of motivation.
- Use toy shaping games to build trust with Malinois.
Matt uses toy shaping games to build trust and communication with Malinois. These games involve using a toy to guide the dog’s behavior, and shaping the behavior through reward and reinforcement.
He also uses the toy as a tool for socialization and play, allowing the dog to release their energy and engage in positive and interactive play with the trainer.
- Breeding world-class Belgian Malinois.
Matt is passionate about breeding and raising high-quality Belgian Malinois for work and sport. He knows the importance of genetics, health, temperament, and working ability in producing top-notch dogs.
He also emphasizes the importance of socialization, exposure, and training in shaping the dog’s behavior and skills. He believes that a good breeding program should produce dogs that are not only healthy and sound, but also confident, driven, and trainable.
- Training timeline for new puppy litters.
Matt has a specific training timeline for new puppy litters, depending on their age and stage of development. He focuses on socialization, obedience, and basic skills in the early weeks, and gradually introduces more complex behaviors and tasks as the puppy grows older.
He also emphasizes the importance of exposing the puppies to different environments and situations, such as car rides, crowds, and other animals. This helps to build their confidence, resilience, and adaptability.
- Biggest misconception about Matt’s training methodology.
One of the biggest misconceptions about Matt’s training methodology is that he only uses positive reinforcement, and doesn’t believe in using correction or pressure.
While Matt is a strong advocate of positive reinforcement, he also knows that dogs need clear communication and boundaries in order to learn and thrive. He believes in using a balanced and fair approach to training, and will use correction and pressure when necessary.
However, he emphasizes that correction and pressure should always be used in the context of positive reinforcement, and should never be used to punish or intimidate the dog.
- Self-control (WOW) game with Alrick the Belgian Malinois.
The WOW game is a self-control exercise that Matt uses to teach Malinois to control their impulses and focus on the task at hand. It involves asking the dog to wait and resist grabbing a toy that is placed in front of them, until they are given a release cue.
Matt uses this game to teach impulse control, patience, and focus, and to build the dog’s self-confidence and self-control. He also uses this game as a tool for socialization and play, allowing the dog to engage in interactive and rewarding play with the trainer.
- Matt doesn’t always want dogs in 100% obedience.
Matt believes in building a strong and positive relationship with the dog, based on mutual respect and communication. He also believes that dogs should be allowed to be dogs, and to express their natural drives and instincts.
Therefore, he doesn’t always want dogs to be in 100% obedience, as this can limit their creativity, initiative, and joy. He prefers to train dogs to be responsive and reliable, but also flexible and adaptable to different situations and challenges.
- Shared philosophy on relationship first and using what a dog loves most to create brilliant behavior.
Matt’s training philosophy is based on building a strong and positive relationship with the dog, and using what the dog loves most to create brilliant behavior.
He knows that dogs are motivated by rewards, and will repeat behaviors that lead to positive outcomes. Therefore, he focuses on using rewards, such as food, toys, and praise, to reinforce good behavior and to discourage bad behavior.
He also emphasizes the importance of relationship building, which involves trust, respect, and communication between the dog and the trainer. He knows that a strong and positive relationship can lead to better behavior, better performance, and better well-being for both the dog and the trainer.
Conclusion: What You Can Learn from Matt Folsom of Modern Malinois
In this article, we have explored some of the training methods and philosophy of Matt Folsom, a skilled and dedicated dog trainer who specializes in breeding and training working Belgian Malinois.
We have learned that Matt uses a variety of training methods, including luring, shaping, and positive reinforcement, to achieve brilliant results with Malinois. We have also learned that Matt places a strong emphasis on relationship building, natural drives and instincts, and balanced and fair training methods.
If you are considering getting a Malinois, or any other working dog, you can learn a lot from Matt’s approach to dog training and breeding. You can learn how to build a strong and positive relationship with your dog, how to use positive reinforcement to reinforce good behavior, and how to tap into your dog’s natural drives and instincts to create brilliant behavior.
By following Matt’s methods and philosophy, you can train a confident, well-behaved, and skilled working dog that will be a joy to own and work with.