Before I begin my review of Ruidoso Malinois, I think it appropriate to provide a brief description of myself. I am a 62 year old whom is OCD about my dogs. I am a former police K9 Handler and been exposed to hundreds of police dogs from all over the country. I have attended several formal dog training programs and I am very focused and particular when I select a dog. Before I ended my search for a Malinois puppy, I traveled the country, via automobile, and visited several popular Malinois breeders. Prior to reaching Ruidoso Malinois, I contacted several law-enforcement agencies in the area and completed a brief background investigation of the establishment and its owner. I discovered that both are respected members of the community. After I arrived at Ruidoso Malinois, the owner Irene provided me a tour of the facility. I immediately noticed the approximately 70 dogs/puppies were housed in clean extremely organized kennels. I also observed several older “retired” dogs on the property that were inside a large dog run. Irene told me that the older dogs are living the rest of their lives in luxury. Irene also pointed to an older dog whose breed I cannot remember, that was allowed to run around another large dog run. I do not remember the specifics of the story, but Irene said she adopted the dog and was taking care of it at great expense. It soon became evident Irene is not only a dog breeder, she has compassion for the animals as well. During several lengthy conversations, Irene displayed vast knowledge about Malinois and their care. Everything I observed was far and above things I observed at other kennels I visited. I drove home with a 16 week old Ruidoso Malinois puppy. A few weeks ago after a blood test administered to the puppy indicated health concerns, I contact Irene and she was very responsive and helpful. She told me that she would have her veterinarian examine the test results and get back to me. The following day I took the puppy to a different veterinarian and had another blood sample withdrawn. Thankfully, the results of the second blood test revealed a healthy puppy. Often time when I am observed working my pup, people ask where I got him. My pup recently turned 12 months old and he is smart, balanced and possesses all drives necessary to be a great working dog. I am the weak link in the partnership. I think highly of Irene and the dogs that are produced at her facility.
Review by Andreakos1 month ago
Your dog may come with heart worms because Irene doesn't believe mosquitos are in New Mexico and you will be out upwards of 16k
Review by Mmmnnnbbb2 months ago
GREAT EXPERIENCE WITH RUIDOSO MALINOIS!
Ruidoso Malinois made it easy to get the right dog for what I needed. Irene listened well as was evident in the male Malinois I got.
She set the expectations right, the training that was needed by her associates, the on time delivery, the amazing follow-up to assure I was happy.
I really enjoyed the onsite experience in handling of my new partner. The process was as she explained and any questions were quickly answered.
My dog is wonderful and now 16 months later am happier with my friend and companion in knowing he will be ready to protect me yet welcoming to my friends and family.
Thank you Irene!
Review by Kary3 months ago
The rating is for Ruidoso Malinois where I have purchased three Malinois over the course of 9 years. I will discuss my experiences via a separate review. However, the following is directed @Truthseeker882 (TS) whose comments about heartworm are baseless. TS apparently does not know much about canine epidemiology, in particular that regarding heartworm, and how to look up, review and understand the heartworm prevalence map of the US. With respect to where I live in Mohave County AZ and the location of Ruidoso Malinois in Lincoln County NM, the incidence rate for heartworm is 0.2% (3 cases in 2019) and 0% (0 cases in 2019) respectively. Since the parasite is transmitted by mosquitoes and is more prevalent in wetter environments, it's statistically reasonable, per the aforementioned map, to state that if you purchased a puppy from Ruidoso Malinois and at an annual wellness check, months after receipt of the puppy, a heartworm infection is detected, don't imply blame to Ruidoso Malinois but check where you live. Also, note in the Ruidoso Malinois purchase agreement there is a specific recommendation to have a wellness check within 30 days of purchase. Therefore, TS, it's one thing to reasonably discuss a potential concern but quite another to spread false information/implications about someone's character and business.
Review by Anvesh Santoemma3 months ago
We purchased a 2-year-old female dog from Ruidoso almost three months ago, and we could not be more thrilled with our new life. Our family of four traveled to New Mexico and were trained on property, two sessions per day for our five-day handlers training. Many different options for skills were presented. We were able to discuss and select the skills important to our family, and she was trained for around 10 weeks on only those commands we agreed upon. That is the business side of things.
It has been surprising to me how attached our family has gotten to our dog. She has brought our family a ton of joy, as well as security. She is wicked smart – I swear she has telepathy.
That being said, Ruidoso Malinois not only perfectly found the right dog for our circumstance, but they also delivered upon their promise to train and provide an extremely well-trained dog. Irene and her staff truly love the breed. They made us feel safe and welcome, considering the stress of training to handle and maintain a protective canine.
We have owned many different breeds of dogs – English Mastiff, Labrador, Weimaraner, Beagle, Pug, and Dachshaund. There are only two things to say about Ruidoso Malinois. I will never purchase any other breed of dog other than a Belgium Malinois. I will never purchase another Belgium Malinois from anyone but the best . . . and the best is Ruidoso.
Our family gives Ruidoso a ten out of ten stars.
Review by Adaosi Chua4 months ago
First of all,
I would like to state that I have had a wonderful experience in purchasing my beautiful Lucianna from Irene / Ruidoso Malinois. I have owned a Malinois Family Protection Dog in the past but found my experience with her kennel to be far superior. I first began speaking with Irene about a dog in October 2018 and was amazed at her knowledge, willingness to take the time to fully answer my endless questions, and caring to kindly respond to my more ignorant moments.
Over the months I have spoken with many client references from people who have purchased both puppies as well as fully trained Protection & Working dogs. The response from the people I spoke with was universally “over the moon” with their “members of the family” or in the case of working dogs, their Partner.
I have had the opportunity to visit the Ruidoso facility on several occasions. The first was to meet and feel comfortable with the kennel and on the second occasion to go through the 5 day handler training that comes with every protection dog. The kennel was extremely clean, well maintained and healthy, and great for raising and training dogs and puppies. Puppies are initially raised in the house with Irene, and at 10 weeks the puppies have their 2nd set of inoculations and move outside to big group pens so they can experience the outside while being located just outside the front door so they have close supervision by Irene and her staff. The adult dogs have outside pens (many bigger than my backyard!).
The business aspects of the purchase of my dog were very clearly stated with regard to both the non-transfer of breeding rights and health warranties and workability of my dog. I was given copies of all X-rays and health certificates of Lucianna. I understood the breeding restrictions as I do not support the “backyard” breeding of these top bloodlines either. Great care should be taken to preserve and protect dogs of this quality and capability. In my view, all aspects of the “business side” of the transaction were straightforward, clear and in all aspects, transparent. Simple.
In summary, I feel fortunate to have found Ruidoso Malinois, have been able to learn from Irene and most importantly to have found Lucianna, a wonderful protection companion to spend my future years loving.
Secondly,….. I find several aspects of the negative communications on the Ruidioso Malinois Facebook page and Trust Pilot review to be very sad.
First and foremost is the death of a well loved dog. I think we can all understand Mr Pancroft’s grief.
Secondly, I find Mr Pancroft’s focus on Ruidoso Malinois to vent his grief sad as well. This is clearly the result of vindictive intent. I have studied the communications between his troll (Ani Austin) on the Ruidoso Facebook page as well as the numerous edits he has been making to his negative review (making it more and more negative with each edit) on Trustpilot and find them to be a clear and concerted effort to demean the reputation of a quality breeder and trainer that has provided so many dogs that have brought such joy and/or protection to many families and people.
To readers of this message, if you have any doubts about Ruidoso, either review the facebook communications or simply call Irene at Ruidoso and talk to her. Also, review the Ruidoso Malinois Website. It is very informative and transparent with regard to all aspects of it’s business as well as the Malinois breed. Andrew is an ex employee / consultant to Ruidoso who seems to have an axe to grind. As an “imagine & reputation” expert consultant on the internet, it would seem that he is simply using his skills to attack Ruidoso Malinois.
To Andrew, this is becoming silly and mean spirited. I doubt this is who you are trying to be. Lets all love your dog, and wish you the all the best with your new/future family member.
To end this review, I would just like to state how happy I am to be working with Ruidoso Malinois, in fact while at my Handler’s school I fell in love with another puppy. I may well end up with TWO dogs by the middle of this summer.
Review by Letlhogonolo Darpino4 months ago
Got my puppy a few days ago! He came via American Airlines , he came in a brand new cage that was mine to keep. He was sent with his food and water accessible to him in the cage. He was hyper out of the cage as any pup would be after 2 flights (connecting to Pittsburgh)! We immediately bonded per Irene’s recommendations on our greeting. We’ve bonded approximately 3 days now and he follows me everywhere , doesn’t even need a leash (He hates his leash anyway haha). I must say Irene picked the perfect puppy as a K9 candidate for me and my department. His personality is perfect for an amazing working dog. You can tell she cares about the pups because of his amazing confidence, grooming , and general health upon further observation the last few days. I would highly recommend Irene and company to anyone looking for a good puppy. I can’t speak on the training from experience , but if she runs her training anything like the puppies, I’d trust it! I remember reading several people having issues, but the issues were things that to me appeared people lacked patience. I blew Irene up all the time she probably wanted to throw her phone! Haha, but she didn’t , she responded to me in a timely manner , never blew me off , and just kept me up to date with pictures, information on his well being , and knowledge of how to prepare for him. I hope that Gideon can be a standard and a demonstration for others in my area as a place to take there business when it comes to getting Police K9s, because hands down I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Irene your a cut above the rest. Thank you again
Review by HuntersAxe Nadernejad4 months ago
i have poor time with this woman for a dog. she was bad and never good when we want dog much rude
Review by Alican4 months ago
Met Irene 4 yrs ago when I decided to buy a mal puppy.She picked out pup for me and I went to New mexico to pick her up.Very nice lady she told me the do's and don't s with a new pup.Never imaged how loyal the pup was She went every where with me .About 3 months ago w lost Ida . We were heart broken. Called Irene and she remembered me and Ida. Told her what happened with Ida .She was heartbroken too.Told Irene we needed another pup.She picked out another pup for us and we picked her up on June 1 2019. If you are wanting a top of the line pup or fully trained dog I would call Irene. She knows her dogs and she gets to know who is buying dog.This is the second pup w have bought from her and I would not hesitate to buy another dog from Irene. Thanks again for wonderful pup Irene.
Review by Lantern Cared5 months ago
Where to begin...first...we purchased our boy from this breeder. The experience with the breeder notwithstanding, we could not have asked for a better dog! He was the most loyal and just absolutely biggest joy of our life!
Recently, at just over two years old, we unexpectedly lost our boy, we are absolutely devastated!!! I am trying my best to live my life in honor of our boy and be the person he always believed me to be.
That said, I feel it important to share our experience with this breeder.
After having provided a deposit, I arrived to pick up our boy. This was our first foray into dogs and after having gotten our pup, people we ended up meeting informed us of concerns with a Ruidoso Malinois.
Aside from the litany of negative online reviews, more about the breeder than the dogs, we were told that a legit Malinois breeder would have never given us a dog without having ever met us, learned of our lifestyle, housing and work arrangements. It is now my understanding that these are areas a legitimate breeder would have interest so that the dog doesn’t end up in a bad environment, abused or in a shelter!
You will likely discover, as she seems to have a history of doing, a sudden increase in positive reviews on this and other pages reviewing Ruidoso Malinois. Kudos for her ability to rally the troops to attempt to push down the negative experience(s) of those she has injured. She DEF is savvy and posses skills in this regard!! But, end of the day, none of these people have any idea of what our experience was with this breeder, aside from the clipped and edited texts she’s seen fit to post. But, again, kudos to her for pulling them together to bash us and our post based solely on her request! If they wish to post their experience, that’s great. But, to assume they know our experience...meh
At any rate, I arrived to pick up our boy, video in hand to record the exciting event, as most people do these days! I was approximately 30 minutes early and was approached by a VERY dirty, nice, but VERY dirty young girl wearing hip waders stained to the knees with dog crap. She told me the breeder refused to come out and meet me because I was early - after driving from Denver, I just wanted to conduct my business and get on the road home. Well, I received a number of texts messages, followed by a call from the breeder and as she went on a tirade asking why I was early, she accused me of trying to spy on her...paranoid much? Given her attitude, I told her that I would be happy to just accept a refund and be on my way. She advised me there are no refunds and I "Have to accept my dog or forfeit deposit".
Once I returned, upon arriving at the breeders house, I was overwhelmed with the pungent smell of dog poo!!! Walking up the short dirt drive, I passed three makeshift wire fence pens, each circling a tree and each containing a single dog going pretty much batshit crazy, as I have since learned Malinois do when they are penned up with no attention. There was also an out building about 50 yards from the house which seemed to house 20 or so barking adult dogs, the pens seemed to be..."overflow".
As I approached the house, I found another three makeshift pens, which contained a number of pups living or at least in dirt and poo, old, dirty toys, etc. In total, there were probably 40-60 pups on the ground. At the time, being new to the dog world, I thought this to be the norm. I've since been told...not so much. What we've described to other breeders, and showing them the video I took when picking up our boy, we're told these conditions are "Deplorable" and, "The epitome of a puppy mill".
Fast forward to our dog's second year...he was titled as per our contract and we inquired about breeding. We were put off, made promises, all of which were never followed thru on. Last brush-off would have been in Nov. '18 when she advised she would reply in a week due to out-of-town family. Never heard back, even after reaching out!
After having lost our boy, reputable breeders we spoke with suggested that the breeder of our dog may have known he had potential health issues, which could explain why she refused to allow us any breeding rights - she also failed to provide us with health certs of the sire or dam, which I am told is a HUGE red flag!
Irene Howcroft has been pretty ugly this entire time! She has responded to others who have made negative posts about her by randomly blasting their employer (attempting to jeopardize their employment by doing so, then claiming THEY are seeking revenge against her!!??) and personal phone number(s) of those who have posted negatively about Ruidoso Malinois. Without fail, she refers to everyone as a liar and suggests there is some conspiracy against her. Always posting some protracted reply making note of how stellar her business is, but fails to touch on the points where she is deficient - there are a number! You will also find that she has an astonishing number of positive reviews after any negative review(s) as she does rally friends to post and attack those who post negative experience(s). And while these people may have had good experience, this doesn’t make others poor experience any less valid or relevant!!
The internal struggle I suffer with is NOT having been able to breed our boy, but did she know of health issues that we may have been able to address and perhaps extend the life of this majestic creature!? The vet initially suggested that he may have suffered a heart attack, but the vet who performed the necropsy informed us that at leas than three years old and 50 ft from the car on a walk in the park, something, “more sinister” is likely. And, in fact a congenital disorder was found.
If you research, you will find a court matter related to this breeder. And, while the case(s) was/were indeed "dropped" it wasn't that there was a prevailing trial, but that the municipal offices that conducted this enforcement operated outside of their jurisdiction, literally by approx. 100 yards! She was awarded damages due to the authorities operating outside of their jurisdiction...there was nothing indicating their accusations were untrue. In fact, our dog had worms and giardia when he went to the vet the day we got him home - you can discover online about her dogs being seized and her response to the accusation(s) of her dogs health. She acknowledges her dogs were indeed in treatment for giardia. I was told that dogs in treatment should not leave the breeder so as to prevent infecting other dogs as well as ensuring the dogs are in good health prior to being homes - again, our dog came to us with giardia and worms. In all fairness, I have again been advised worms can be pretty normal with pups. The breeder also claims that is normal with all puppies...perhaps. But, neither of our dogs since came to us with either affliction!
Also, the people who this breeder sued and "prevailed" were all pretty much those who worked for her, at one time or another, for
Minimum wage. They failed to respond as most of them were/are unable to afford counsel...the cases were pretty much all default/fail to answer the complaint...people were unable to afford counsel to answer the suit.
This breeder advised us that her seizure of her dogs cost her a contract of 160 dogs to the State of New Mexico (Her claim in an online news article) and probably another 200 sales of dogs, all to have happened in a single year...360 dogs in a year??? You do the math!!
We currently struggle with the decision to bring another dog into our family, but have spoken with a number of breeders and have decided that we are a good family and that we provide a great life for our four-legged family members - each had something negative to say about Ruidoso Malinois! And, while I understand people have grudges or whatever, if a number of people all seem to suggest similar problems with this breeder, there must to some validity with their claims!?
So, while our lost boy was wonderful in EVERY way, we do not attribute any of that to this breeder! She will claim how she spent so much time choosing the right dog for us, she never met us and asked minimal questions of us. Each dog since, we've had to complete an evaluation for suitability.
We miss him terribly and hope nobody ever has to experience what we have, witnessing this young and beautiful creature...our beloved family member take his last breath at such a young age!!
End of the day...if there are enough people making negative assertions, it’s likely at least some of them are true. This woman calls everyone a liar or likely a jealous competitor! Why take a chance with a puppy mill, with a negative history when there are so many reputable breeders which have 100% positive reviews and flawless history!!!
Review by Melodee Kazeem5 months ago
For anyone who is wanting to get a Belgian Malinois I full recommend Ruidoso Malinois and Irene. I have a German Shephard that I bought hoping he would be a good service dog for me because of my PTSD and anxiety, I recently had to retire him due to his anxiety with being in crowded places. Because of my anxiety and what I have been through its hard for me to go out and not feel terrified. After finding Irene and her kennel online and talking with other people who have the breed I was excited to get the call back from Irene. After telling her about my family and what I have been through she told me she had the perfect Belgian for me, and she was right. My fiancée and I made the drive to her kennel from Utah and when we got there we were greeted by one of her trainers and a couple of her puppies. I was nervous because the only dog I have ever had a strong bond with was my great pyreneese. I was hoping to have that same bond with the female she picked for me. When I met ketty it was love at first sight and she new that she had found her family. Words can not describe the connection we have. Irene was right when she said she had the perfect dog for me. I pick ketty up next month and I can not wait to have her home. Irene has kept me posted on her progress and sends me pictures of her weekly. Again I fully recommend Irene and her kennel for anyone looking at getting a Belgian malinois.
Review by Rhubarb5 months ago
Our entire experience, from meeting Irene Howcroft, visiting her Ruidoso Malinois kennel, and purchasing our Tara, was exceptional! First, Irene and I spoke multiple times before we decided to travel out to meet her and Tara. We wanted a trained dog and luckily Irene had a perfect two year old for us. I had done a lot of research, and Irene’s knowledge of the breed was outstanding... it totally set her apart! We were so impressed with the kennels, staff, and facilities at Ruidoso Malinois! Irene took time to throughly describe the background of the breed and explained in detail the requirements that owning a Belgian Malinois would entail. Irene invests her heart and soul in her dogs and she wants them all to have the very best life. My daughter instantly fell in love with Tara and the feeling was mutual! We returned six weeks later for training and Tara has been a wonderful addition to our family ever since! Honestly, we have never seen a dog bond with a person as quickly as Tara did with my daughter! From day one she was her girl! Irene and I have kept in touch and she is truly one of the most kind hearted dog lovers I have ever met! If I could... I would give Irene a million stars! Irene Howcroft is an expert and we would highly recommend anyone considering adding a Belgian Malinois to their family to contact Irene and visit her kennel! We could not be happier with our entire experience with Irene and our Tara is everything we hoped for and more!
Review by Shondon5 months ago
Great facility! Conditions for working dog housing could not be better. Well thought out kennels in an open mountain air setting. Gorgeous dogs! Irene knows her stuff! Understanding both mind and body to create a balanced sound K9!
Review by Bime6 months ago
One week ago we got our Second Malinois from Irene. After having our first Ruidoso Malinois for two years and continuing a relationship which started three months before getting him, we trusted Irene to pick out our puppy. We knew she would get us our perfect puppy and she did!! Another beautiful, solid temperament and smart as a whip Malinois! We are having so much fun with her and look forward to training in obedience, nose work, bite work and agility.
These dogs can do it all!
Ruidoso Malinois is an impressive working Malinois kennel. If you are looking for a dog with superior breeding you will find it at Ruidoso Malinois. Thank you Irene!
Review by Sinthuja6 months ago
We are among those Belgian Shepard dog owners who think Irene chooses the right dog for each perspective owner. While we haven't met Irene in person yet, she has been helpful considering her very busy schedule. And she has staff members who are knowledgeable and helpful. Thank you, Irene and staff.
There is one thing that we didn't expect -- our Malinois pup apparently carries recessive genes that have resulted in a Belgian Shepard with long, relatively thin hair. Also, much of his coat is darkening to sable or black, but his hindquarters remain fawn. No one we have met so far thinks he is Malinois, which can be irritating.
Appearance aside, the dog we bought from Ruidoso Malinois is intelligent, protective, curious and he learns commands easily. Again, thank you, Irene.
Oh, another aside, when we went to pick up our puppy, the all of the outdoor puppy pens were spotless and there were no flies or other insects to be found. Caring for so many animals is hard, sometimes thankless work and so another thank you.
Robert C Brown and Barbara Staley Brown
Review by Donneice1 year ago
Over the years I've purchased four (4) puppies from Irene. Every one grew into exactly what she had promised. Could not be happier.
Review by Regina1 year ago
Cynthia, What does "this woman is crazy" even mean? How many years have you known her personally? That is an utterly slanderous unfounded statement. Irene operates an outstanding kennel, is dedicated, passionate and protective of the Belgian Malinois breed. She is considered an of the experts in the field, instructs law enforcement, provides outstanding dogs to civilians, security companies and enforcement agencies. She is highly respected for being ethical, professional, articulate and educated. Your statement is ridiculous and insulting.
Review by Xeakh2 years ago
This woman is crazy. Wether she sells good dogs or not is beside the point for me.
Review by Nier2 years ago
If you are looking for a real working Belgian Malinois (Belgian Shepard) then this is the kennel you want to buy from! Irene is the owner/trainer. I have purchased two Mali's from her and in the process of getting a third. From great puppies, to full blown trained and working dogs for police, K9, patrol, personal protection, drugs, fire departments, etc.. Her Mali's have even been in the movies! See her website.
She sells to municipalities, state, and federal governments and qualified individuals. Don't be fooled by puppy mills or private breeders. Her dogs are the BEST of the BEST and Malinois's are the greatest dogs on earth. Ask any police officer, soldier or professional trainer. Great dogs from a great kennel that deals in Mali's ONLY! At least 10 stars!
My profile photo is my two Mali's- Sam and Liz. :-)
Ruidoso Malinois is rated 4.0 based on
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