Testimonials - Protection And Companion Dogs

Law enforcement testimonials given upon request.

The contact information for each person giving a testimonial is available upon request.

Frankie and Sarah H., California
My daughter Sarah and I would like to thank Irene for matching us up with our dog Pina she is a personal protection dog. Irene is great she took the time to answer all of our questions as this is our first Malinois dog when we arrived at her facility in New Mexico we were very impressed with her kennel and her concern and love for her dogs. Irene is very knowledgeable and really takes her time with you and your dog during the five day handler school. We were very comfortable when we left and absolutely love Pina she is very affectionate but knows her job, she settled in well at home with our other three dogs with Irene's advice in how to introduce her to the pack. We are looking forward to many wonderful years and adventures together with her. We are already thinking about our next dog from Irene we highly recommend her and her dogs. Thank you Irene.

Kenny & Jill H., Albuquerque
Our story began nearly 14 years ago when my life was threatened one Sunday morning. My work as a real estate developer has put me and my family in the spotlight and often on the news. This combined with the hundreds of sub-contractors and their employees who often see me on the job as the "wealthy owner" drove us to seek a personal protection dog. Enter into our lives, Nero. A German Shepard Dog imported from Prague by a less than ethical but highly recommended Breeder, Trainer out of Wichita Kansas. From the start Nero was a handful. We had owned many "pet dogs" but this extraordinary powerful, high prey driven dog was far more difficult and complex to handle. He was very dog aggressive, which made taking him for a walk nearly impossible. He was very cat aggressive, we have five cats, and the food chain chasing was unbearable. Yes, we felt safer from a bad guy, but because he was so aggressive we couldn't take him with us and the point of having him was lost as I needed a partner in the field. We came to love him dearly and he was a loving member of "his family" and we all learned to co-exist for 13 years. When he suddenly died earlier this year Jill and I cried for days. It was like we lost our autistic child that only we understood. While the cats were all "high fiving" our home seemed empty. After a couple of months, I began exploring the internet for a protection dog. There are so many breeders/trainers that all say they are they are the best, it's a daunting task to choose. Having been though the crucible of knowing how much can go wrong, our criteria was very specific. We needed a someone that understood our story. Someone that would be patient and provide us the training and support to unlearn all our misguided handling techniques, so long ingrained by Nero. Someone that could select a dog that was solid on protection, dog and cat neutral and easy to handle. That very special someone is Irene!

From my very first phone call Irene understood our story. We drove to Capitan and visited with her for an afternoon. Jill and I both laughed and cried as we retold our experiences with Nero. She not only listened but understood and shared insights into the type of dog Nero was and how "well" we did with him considering he should have been in the Military. Irene took her time and after visiting with us in our home, selected Xifu for our family. He's a doll! Sweet and funny and gentle, solid and alert and formidable. He is fine with our five cats, doesn't chase or threaten them. I actually think they want to make friends with him. On walks he's alert and well behaved. We pass other dogs and while some bark and act aggressive, he is cool and unimpressed. We take him in stores and on the job site, he's always alert and the gentleman. He loves the car and curls up on the seat next me, always calm and alert. Albuquerque has a crime wave that is always in the news and we live with a constant threat of burglary and robbery. Since Xifu arrived we all breath a bit easier knowing he is always on alert and will protect us, with his life without hesitation, if the bad guys threaten. Thank you Irene for understanding and being there for, not only our family, but the hundreds of families that have put their trust in you!

Hailey H., Texas
Finding a protection dog was a daunting task for us. We didn't know where to begin or what questions to ask, until we spoke with Irene the owner of Ruidoso Malinois. The best part was that from the very first moment we spoke with Irene we knew we could completely trust her to find us the perfect dog. We have two small, rambunctious children and while we knew a dog could keep them safe, we didn't want the dog to show aggression towards them. Irene "got it." She is a mother, and her comforting words, as well as, her examples of previously trained protection dogs with children, put my worried mind at ease. When it comes to "protection dogs" there are loads of websites that talk a good game, but Irene's dogs are trained exceptionally well and will protect your family if the need arises. I know what you're thinking, "Wonderful, the dog will work for its trainer; will it work for me?" The answer is YES. Irene will enable you and your dog to become a team. The confidence she teaches you to have while handling your dog will prepare you for any situation.

Was it worth the money? I can confirm that it definitely was. Irene obviously puts a lot of thought and expertise into training and caring for her dogs. Our family was hoping to have a dog to protect our family but we left Ruidoso with vastly more. Our dog Yago has not only given us peace of mind by making us feel safe, but he brings a smile to our face daily. He has helped calm my anxiety tremendously, comforted me when needed and he not only puts up with our active, energetic lifestyle but he thrives on it! He is a complete gentleman, but if he feels one of us is threatened he is not afraid to stand tall and confident. If he ever needed to do more than look the part of ferocious beast, he without a doubt can and will. Irene has extensive knowledge and a deep-rooted passion for the training and care of Malinois dogs. Your dog will be loyal, quick to respond on obedience, and able to keep you and your family safe. We are honored to be a part of the Ruidoso Malinois family.

Andy S., Mayor, Safety Harbor, Florida
I would highly recommend Ruidoso Malinois if you want a well trained awesome Malinois. Irene does a great job matching your needs with the personality and ability of your Malinois. Her skills and attention in handler school made the experience rich and fulfilling. I travelled from Florida to New Mexico for my dog because of the superior training, assistance and knowledge offered by Ruidoso Malinois.

Arnulfo & Rebecca H., Texas
After much research of U.S. breeders of the Belgium Malinois, my wife and I decided and chose Ruidoso Malinois. Since we are located in South Texas, we made an appointment to meet with Irene in Capitan. A great interview for our needs determined which and what type of trained Malinois would best meet our needs and desires. Irene's expertise and knowledge resulted in the perfect match and, the customized training of our Malinois, for our needs. Our experience with the bonding process and handling training was beyond excellent, in every aspect of becoming very satisfied Malinois owners.

We have come to realize that Irene and her organization is a number one, top of the line, in the breeding and training of elite Belgium Malinois. We recommend that anyone considering a Belgium to read her web site and you too will realize why Ruidoso Malinois was our first choice for a purchase.

Ever S., New Mexico
Apache is as loving as he is fearless! He's sharp, vigilant, and bears a strong sense of protection around the house...and when he's not on duty, he's snuggling! :) He brings us immeasurable joy and we couldn't be happier with our dog. I feel so much safer with him around. Thank you, Irene, for picking the perfect dog to complete our family!

Tim & Margaret S., Missouri
After exhaustive research on personal protection dogs and Belgian Malinois breed, we contacted Irene Howcroft of Ruidoso Malinois. With the very first phone call, we were impressed by the conversation shared and felt that Irene was the right source to obtain our Mal. She answered our questions thoroughly, and we could tell she genuinely cares for animals and is passionate about her profession. After getting to know us during the phone interview, she told us that she had the perfect dog in mind for us.

We weren't able to meet him until our training in December as we live in Missouri with limited time off of work. Buying a protection dog warranted careful consideration; as with any substantial investment, we did have some slight unease, not being able to see the dog personally before purchase. However, once we arrived in New Mexico and met Irene, all our concerns were allayed. At first introduction, my wife was immediately in love with Irene's recommendation.

We also were quite glad that Irene asked us to stay for 5 days of handler training. It allowed both the dog and us to bond and for us to ask any questions concerning little behaviors as they cropped up. Irene could assess our development and give us tasks to practice between training sessions. We were impressed by her professionalism, knowledge and expertise, and commitment to her animals and customers. Since honestly, 5 days isn't enough time (but due to professional obligations, we couldn't stay longer), Irene assured us that we could contact her for any questions. She stated undoubtedly that things would arise and that she's happy to assist.

In the past, My wife and I have only ever owned stray or shelter animals. A protection dog, an animal serving as both a pet and a guardian, is a new level of pet ownership for us. After arriving home, we've since made calls to Irene for advice. She's given attentive, clear, and excellent responses that have guided us in our transition. Once you purchase from her, you really are a client for life. We can confidently say that the dog Irene selected is the perfect match for us! Irene is a consummate professional, and we wouldn't make a purchase from anywhere other than Ruidoso Malinois. Irene, we could tell you trained him with love and will remember how you kissed his head goodbye. He's a beautiful boy, and we love him dearly!

The Van Holland Family, California
My husband and myself decided to make an investment in buying a protection trained dog for the purpose of protecting our family inside and outside the home. We found Irene online and after speaking with her on the phone we made the decision to buy a Belgian Malinois from her. After speaking with us and learning our lifestyle she chose the perfect dog for us. She made us feel comfortable the entire time and always answered our questions during the whole process. We live in Southern California so we did this process long distance which could have been intimidating if it weren't for Irene.

Upon our arrival to New Mexico we participated in thorough training sessions. We bonded with our dog Ramses within 2 days. He was everything Irene said he was and more. He is very calm and easy going but after participating in some bite work scenarios we clearly saw his instinct to protect. He may act like a teddy bear with his family, but we know if we require protection he will turn into a grizzly bear. We have a toddler so her safety was paramount. Ramses was so gentle with her. He always defers to us even though he's definitely so much stronger, faster and probably smarter than us.

Irene made us feel like part of her family and we know we can go to her with any questions and concerns even after the purchase was complete. Upon our return home, Ramses fit in like a glove. He is so sweet and gentle with our female Belgian malinois and after only a few weeks they are inseparable. If you are looking to invest in a protection dog we highly recommend you buy a Belgian malinois from Irene. You won't regret it.

Shawn H., Ohio
I wanted to take sometime before writing a review on my dog Vasselli. It's been just over three months since I picked her up and have been living her everyday in Ohio. (She was awesome in the car, just under 24 hours). When I first talked to Irene in December, she wanted to learn about my life style and what I was looking for in dog, to match me with the right one. My biggest worry was the dog getting along with my male Russian Blue cat. Second, I wanted a trained dog, one that could do anything with me, from going to work, (spending time in an office) to going on long walks and three mile runs. I knew for what I wanted it wouldn't come without a price. I looked at the dog as an investment, one to make my life better. In this case you truly get want you pay for.

If you are going to get a Belgian Malinois from Irene you need to realize the time and effort that goes into each dog. Vaselli does everything I ask her to do on command. Vasselli would fall under the family companion category, but she is much more than that. Over the last month, she's really shown the ability of a real sport dog and learning new things. Yes Irene, she's turned into a retrieving machine with the love of jumping into the water. Her number one playmate is Rhodesian Ridgeback (about 15 pounds bigger) and Vasselli gives her all it can handle.

I would like to tell a little story on how having dog can make people notice things. I have lived in the same home/neighborhood since 2001. I have always run/walked in it from day one. Since I have had her, I've been stopped five times asking how I like living in the neighborhood? I find it funny, that it took a dog for people to notice me. So, now I have rock star dog that everyone wants to stop me, ask about her and want to pet. To sum this up on being a dog owner again after 20 years. It was worth it, I'm really happy Irene worked with me on getting Vasselli. I have a smart, pretty, loving, well meandered healthy 50 pound Belgian Malinois. In which case, I couldn't be happier!

Debbie P., Texas
I recently returned home to Texas from my fourth visit to Ruidoso Malinois with my second purchase. I went looking for a puppy and came home with two fabulous, specialty trained dogs and a new business. From the first phone call I placed, I knew instantly Irene took her kennel and the lives of her dogs very seriously. Working with her and her trainers during my four weeks of training was an incredible experience. Being at her kennel for that length of time proved that day in and day out these dogs of great importance to her. I then understood why she had asked more questions on our first phone call than I. She stands behind the product and services she provides even after you return home. I also believe she is highly skilled at accommodating the needs of her clients, as I can see by the numerous testimonials. It was going to be a challenge to find a dog my first one would get along with. I couldn't be more pleased with the female she recommended and trained. They work well together and are going to be a fantastic team. I highly recommend Irene and Ruidoso Malinois if you are in the market for a loyal, intelligent, and well trained Malinois.

Mark and Susan M., New Mexico
Due to some previous security issues, we decided to look into acquiring a protection dog for our family. After much research, we contacted Ruidoso Malinois. The incredible and professional team of Ruidoso Malinois, led by owner Irene Howcroft, matched Devon perfectly to our family and our needs. Devon has a great disposition and is a wonderful companion and friend. The facilities are very well organized for multiple training scenarios. The week long training gave us the knowledge, skills and confidence required to fully enjoy and appreciate Devon.

Our main concern in acquiring a protection dog of Devon's caliber was the safety of our youngest daughter, who is hearing impaired. But they bonded almost instantly and she loves him dearly. He's very gentle with her and we feel EXTREMELY confident in his abilities to protect her, if necessary. Devon also gets along great with our 3 other dogs. Irene gave us specific instructions on how to introduce them and they get along beautifully. Devon is very well-mannered and his obedience training superb. Our Vet was impressed with his manners and also gave him an "excellent" grade on his health and X-rays. He's an absolute pleasure to take on walks or in public. He doesn't overreact to other animals or people and yet there is a strong sense of him being "on-duty" once we leave the house. We love Devon immensely and so happy he's part of our family - he's hilarious, brilliant, sweet and fun. And we all rest better knowing Devon would do whatever it takes to keep his family safe. Thank you Irene, for this beautiful, incredibly trained addition to the Murphy family. (They have since received a second dog from Ruidoso Malinois)

Hal and Georgia W., Mississippi
Irene, there are no words to tell you how much meeting you and being able to let Ann have her amazing Nazura means to us. They are so good together. Nazura is a good girl and wants to be right by her side. This is exactly what we want. They have really bonded. We will have so much peace of mind and feel that she will be safer. We all admire you so much and have so much respect for you and all that you do. You're such a disciplined person and expect that with your dogs and their new owners. We have loved our time with you.

Ann Ross W., Mississippi
I can't express what you have done for me. Nazura has changed my world in the best way possible. My friends have said I look different. Happy again. I feel safe and comfortable here now!

Sultan A-I, Utah
I started looking for a protection dog and when I started my search I came across many websites that offer a variety of protection dogs. I've also asked two local trainers where I live if they knew anyone that sold high quality pure bred protection dogs. After a couple of days of searching and calling a number trainers I didn't feel very comfortable about the dogs nor the prices they offered. I almost gave up my search and considered raising my own pup until I found Ruidoso Malinois.

I gave Irene a call and she was very informative about her kennel. She emailed me everything I needed to pick the dog that I was looking for. After a couple of months I flew to New Mexico to meet Irene and get the training I needed to handle my new protection dog. The kennel was impeccable and Irene looks after her dogs very well. The dogs are trained excellently, and compared to the other kennels that I've considered it is the best training for a protection dog. I was concerned about a couple things before my visit but Irene answered all my questions and concerns about my new dog, and I've learned a great deal during my stay. I'm really glad I got my female Belgian Malinois from Irene and I'm planning on getting a puppy later on from Irene. Thank you very much Irene.

Morgan T., Lousianna
Ruidoso Malinois was our first choice for a purchasing personal protection dog. Several months ago my apartment was broken into, prompting my family and I to begin our search for a protection dog. After getting in touch with Irene and giving her some background information, she knew she had the perfect dog for me. Fast forward... Mona and myself completed handler school together with the help of Irene and Chris in beautiful Ruidoso.

Now Mona lives on the farm with me and is quite the happy girl. She has excellent house manners and obedience. I have the wonderful feeling of security when I'm at home alone since I know Mona is around. Our vet was highly impressed with her health, condition, and manners. Irene knows and loves each one of her dogs. Their is no doubt in my mind that Mona came from a truly loving home. 100% satisfied with our adult female protection dog. My father has since purchased 2 additional Personal Protection dogs from Ruidoso Malinois.

Ed. M., Mazur Properties, LLC
We purchased an adult Malinois from Ruidoso Malinois. I should report that the dog is not exactly as was represented. He is, in fact, quite a bit better! I very much appreciate not being subjected to exaggerated claims. I prefer to be surprised when I get even more than I expected or was promised. Ruidoso Malinois appears to have many fine dogs and there are a good number of people and organizations out there who could utilize them for companionship, personal protection, police patrol, detection, sport, or security purposes. The key to a successful placement is the proper match of dog, handler, and intended application. Even a great dog may not be the ideal match for a given capable handler. The staff at Ruidoso Malinois seems especially adept at determining needs, assessing the handler and then making the best match possible. I sense a genuine concern for the dogs with their welfare put ahead of profit. (Ed has since received a second dog, this one for his wife.)

Jeff L., Colorado
This is one of the best experiences we have ever had. Irene has the best dogs and is incredible with her dogs, the training and her dedication to picking the right dog for the right person is awesome. We spent 5 days with Irene bonding and learning how to handle Qamar. I am so impressed how well trained Qamar is. I think he is even more trained than we are told because he listens so well and is such a kind well socialized dog, even my 9 year old daughter is able to handle Qamar. I have no doubts that this dog will protect my daughter and my family on command and if there is a sudden threat, with no command. Thank you very much Irene!!

Hala T., New Mexico
We were seeking a personal protection Malinois and chose Ruidoso Malinois Kennels without reservation as our first and only choice. We visited Irene's kennel for 5 days after we were perfectly matched with Zmed as the dog most suited for our personalities and life-style. Zmed is a perfect balance of calm confidence, affection and just the right amount of ball drive for a Protection Dog. He fulfilled every qualification to be a devoted companion as well as a trustworthy protection dog, with no concession to fear or threat.

We saw that Irene's tireless efforts at obedience training are a crucial component to the foundations of personal protection, and defense. She will take the time necessary to go through the process of bonding, teaching obedience and enforcing good bite technique with all new clients. She understands that each owner has a different learning curve and with patience, information and clear instruction ensures that there is success. Her property and kennel are impeccable and a beautiful environment in which her dogs can be soundly raised, trained and released to owners with full confidence that each dog is matched to the needs and temperament of its client. Her dedication to excellence shows in every aspect of her property and product. We would not go anywhere else for our second dog.

Steve D., Alaska
I began a search for a Belgian Malinois after meeting an Alaska State Trooper K9 Malinois. I settled on Ruidoso Malinois after speaking with several other kennels. I have owned many dogs of different breeds and did not know what to expect from a Malinois. Having five children I was concerned of course about their safety first. After speaking with Irene Howcroft she quickly alleviated all of my concerns. I was assured that the dog that we chose would be both social and friendly, as well as protective when asked to do so.

We took delivery of Dakar in early June 2012. He arrived with a Ruidoso Malinois delivery trainer. The trainer was a consummate professional, he made the time it took for Dakar to transition from him to my family almost immediate. He paid special attention to my wife who was a bit apprehensive at first. Within minutes she had Dakar on command and following every single one perfectly. It was truly amazing to watch. His obedience and manners in public are perfect. We take him everywhere and have dined at several restaurants, gone to the movies, as well as many different grocery stores. All of this was done off leash and not one time did he break command. People often stop and watch. I cannot count the number of compliments that have been offered by total strangers. The last two days that the trainer spent with us were all bite work. I have seen videos of various k9s in action and in every single one the handlers be it a police officer or whomever always had to remove the dog physically from the target. Not so with Dakar. His attacks are aggressive and fluid. He drives his bite deep into legs and arms. With one single command he will stop. Another command and he will either return to my side or continue to guard the target. Once again all of this was off leash.

Irene Howcroft and Ruidoso Malinois offer a professional organization that exceeded our expectations. All stages of our purchase as well as the delivery and training of my family and I were smooth and hassle free. To say that i would recommend Ruidoso Malinois would not be enough.

Max H., California
I had an absolute wonderful experience with Ruidoso Malinois-I can tell Irene is passionate about what she does and cares more about the dogs than making a profit. I purchased my Malinois from her approximately a year and a half ago and he has paid for himself. I was traveling in British Columbia approximately one year ago and was approached by a gentlemen in an alleyway who brandished a knife and demanded my wallet. My dog performed flawlessly, biting on the gentlemen's hand while I removed the knife from it. As I was unarmed at the time, I am confident the outcome would have been different if I did not have my dog. Irene does an excellent job and I will definitely acquire another dog from her in the future, as well as recommend her to anyone who asks.

Dwayne S, Texas
Irene, thank you so much for Wilco, he has bonded well to his new family and is a comfort to rely upon. The quality of dogs and training that you provide to your clients for protection is well demonstrated in the abilities my dog possesses. I very much appreciated the individual attention and instruction given during handler school to ensure my ability to bond and work with my well trained and wonderful Wilco. I highly recommend the services provided by Irene. She is definitely in the upper levels of training superior Malinois.

Jeff G., Suffern, NY
I wanted to take the time to let you know how happy I am that I found your website way back in January of this year. After my long visit in February during which I chose Trojan as the dog I wanted, I now know that my guardian angel was watching over me again. It's been almost a month that I've had Trojan in my possession. From that Sunday night you handed me him on the leash and I returned to the campground and my trailer with him, I truly realize I am a very lucky person. From the first night, even before we began my training on his handling, I knew I had found the greatest friend I've ever had. The week of my learning to handle him was fantastic and our bond can now never be broken. My New York to New Mexico drive and the return trip home with Trojan will always be one of the highlights of my life. From the first day, I knew I had the smartest, best trained dog I'd ever come across. Next to my wife and children, he is the most fantastic being I've ever met. He has become the center of attention at home and wherever we go together, which is everywhere I go. I never leave him home because I would miss him too much.

His behavior is beyond anything I could have imagined. He is wonderful with my family, my 13 year old Rottie female, and every other dog and person we've come across on the trip home and everywhere we go together. My Vet was extremely impressed with his looks, his health and his behavior. I just don't know how I could ever thank you for the way you brought him up from a puppy and the 100's of hours you had to have put into his training. Rest assured I will treat him right and do the best I can maintain his training.

I can only offer myself to you as a reference to any of your potential customers, and there have already been people who wanted to know where he came from and how I found him. I can only hope that one of them will acquire a dog from you so he will have a friend of his high caliber to play with in my area. I really don't know what else to say. Thank you so much for Trojan and I will look forward to when we meet again. You have treated me with kindness and respect from the first phone call until I drove away with him from your facility in Capitan. I know I've made two friends for life, Trojan and You! Thank you, and best of luck in the future.

I have since purchased a second dog from Ruidoso Malinois and am very happy with her. Her training is excellent and her temperament everything I could ever have hoped for and more. I would recommend Ruidoso Malinois to my own children, as well as anyone else. The dogs are well cared for in a clean spacious environment, well fed, and attended to with love. Totally satisfied in every respect.

Maria S. and Medusa, Little Rock, Arkansas
First and foremost I want to thank Irene Howcroft from the bottom of my heart for making this an awesome experience for myself and Belgian Malinois, Medusa. If you have ever considered a service/protection/working dog, you cannot go wrong with Ruidoso Malinois. My testimonial is set the record straight for Irene who has dedicated her life into helping people by providing outstanding canine services for whatever need they might have. I have personally been a guest at her home and her kennels in which she run a "tight-ship" operation. For people who think that running kennels is a 5-star hotel service for dogs, you will not find that here. By this I mean that her dogs have been put through almost every circumstance you can imagine and are resilient when they are released to their new owners. Irene loves her animals more than anything and provides these dogs with excellent training and care. Her kennels are well maintained, and organized.

My dog Medusa is a service dog providing warning and protection being as I have an eye condition. Medusa is a sweet girl who isn't fazed by anything. She listens and her obedience is impeccable. Irene made the bonding experience one I will never forget. She also provided outstanding training with Medusa while I was there so we can work together as a team. Since I have had Medusa I have found her to become my new best friend. The most impressive part about Irene is her ability to understand the individual with their personality and pairing them with the perfect dog. No one could have found a more perfect companion such as Medusa for me. I recommend Ruidoso Malinois to anyone in need of these kind of services. Before you completely decide on a Malinois, call Irene, she will tell you about the characteristics of the breed and be straight with you if this is the right decision for you.

Chuck K., Scottsdale, Arizona
I just wanted to thank you for help and understanding with my dog, Sybil. When I purchased her from you, three years ago, I never thought I would have the medical issues I am now faced with. Although I am told I may mend, it will take some time. Your assistance to find an adoptive family for Sybil has brought me comfort knowing she will be well cared for and have a good life. There has not been a day go by that your training efforts and skill with Sybil hasn't brought all the good feelings that are commensurate with having a well trained dog and friend. Thank you!

Barrett & Roxanne F., Salt Lake City, Utah
For many months I looked for the "right" Belgian Malinois for our home. We wanted both a pet and protection/service dog combination. The dog would have to get along with our older dog as well as three exotic cats that we have. I ran across Ruidoso Malinois run by Irene Howcroft. After contacting her and explaining our needs, she said she had the perfect dog for us-Sam. We exchanged many e-mails and phone calls, checked her references and talked to other people. We finally decided that we'd take the trip to her kennels personally and see all of her dogs, not just Sam.

Long story short, Sam was the perfect dog! We purchased him and brought him home with us. Our vet checked him over very carefully and gave him an excellent bill of health. We couldn't be happier and Sam is a great dog, even tempered, very smart, wants to learn and please and gets along with our exotic cats very well. We could not give Irene Howcroft or her kennel, Ruidoso Malinois, any higher praise and would recommend them to anyone looking for this type of dog. (Has since purchased a second dog for his wife and referred many clients).

Dave M, Tennessee
I recently purchased and pick up a Belgian Malinois from Irene on June 13th 2013. When I first contacted Irene in march, I told her I wanted a companion pet for me and my other dog, obedience training on and off leash, and house manners. Irene later called me back and said she had the perfect dog in mind for me. Well she nailed it!! Maximus is everything I wanted and more. He was great on the 16 hour ride hour and once home he was terrific with my 5 year old Weimaraner. I take him to the park and he minds extremely well even with all distractions of other people there. He is the perfect companion and everything I was looking for. Max was also a hit at vet. They said he looked great inside and out and is a wonderful dog. Thanx again Irene.

David R., Texas
I just wanted to drop a note and give you my impressions of your operations and an update on how Tsoma is doing. First of all, your operations; on arriving there, I found the kennels to be nicely sized and clean and the dogs to be active, alert and in good health. As you are aware, not all are operated this way, and I was relieved to see that the impression I got from your website was solidly backed by the reality I found. Secondly, your required handler training. I thought I knew how to deal with a dog, but I learned a lot; the training was useful not just directly to me and my bonding with Tsoma, but further paid dividends in having the experience and videos to refer back to, to help my wife get aboard too.

So we are just over a month with Tsoma, and he is really working out beyond expectations; he is very smart and eager to please. His obedience is great and he is learning new things every day. You have made yourself easily available after we brought Tsoma home. Tsoma seems to be very happy, and we are too, and I am very glad we made the right decision to do business with you. I was looking for a companion dog, and Tsoma is the best! If I ever have occasion to acquire another dog, I know I'll be back at your door.

Julia B., California
I first contacted Irene as I wanted to purchase a Malinois puppy for personal protection. I am a former prosecutor, and needed a reliable family dog who could protect the children. After talking to Irene, she suggested that what I needed was a fully trained dog, not a puppy. So the children and I packed up and drove to New Mexico. We found that Irene's kennels were full of wonderful dogs who were all impressive and healthy. Her pups were very friendly and confident. As a layperson, it was obvious that I would never have had the skills to train a Malinois and the suggestion that Irene had made of purchasing a full grown, trained personal protection dog was the best idea for our family. We immediately loved "Cor" and found that he was a wonderful animal and also was incredibly well trained. He had the urge to protect and please us, and he probably is going to be the best dog I have ever had.

Irene took several days with us so we could bond with Cor, learn his commands, work him in obedience and finally bite work. She brought in a K-9 officer who was a decoy for the bite training and he had wonderful things to say about Irene and her dogs. This dog is so well trained that my children, 10 and 13, can command the dog to bite, then release. She went through these steps with them so they will know what to do if someone broke into our home. Cor is different than most dogs that I have had in that he is far more intelligent, but he is also very loving and compassionate. There is no doubt in my mind that he will protect me and my children, if the need arises.

I do suggest purchasing a fully trained Malinois. Irene lovingly trained this animal and now we have the pleasure of adding him to our family. Her ability to train these animals is incredible. She does not believe in compulsion training, and showed us all how to make the dog behave. As a result of her hard work, Cor has a great character. He rode for 20 hours home with us, and he did not bark once. He did as he was told and spent most of his time with his head in my children's' laps watching their iPad. We spent several nights in a hotel and he was very well behaved. Even when I took Cor to our local vet, they remarked that Cor has a much better personality than the other Malinois they have as patients. I am extremely pleased with Cor. He is an incredible animal. I wholeheartedly recommend Irene and Ruidoso Malinois.

Marc & Julie M., Phoenix, Arizona
I grew up with Dobermans and was immediately captivated by the first Malinois I was introduced to during a hike with friends. The Malinois' had everything I was looking for, intelligence, focus, loyalty, drive and athletic capabilities. After our 12 year old Malinois Questa died of cancer in early 2010 I started to research Malinois breeders throughout the US as our prior breeder had retired. I contacted Irene and she identified several prospective dogs. After evaluating the candidates my wife and I selected Mia and spent several days with Irene conducting obedience and protection training. Irene even invited us to watch her and Eric conduct drug detection training in the local town with some of her K9s in training.

We are very pleased with our newest family member. Mia is obedient, alert, affectionate, protective, confident, intelligent, inquisitive, healthy, and has very high drive. Mia travels with us on vacation and regularly receives compliments for her public behavior and great looks as she is beautiful. Mia loves to hike, retrieve and do on-going protection training and has received compliments from her current trainer for her obedience and protection work. Irene still keeps in touch on a regular basis and is very interested in Mia's adventures. We look forward to our continued friendship with Irene and appreciate her helping us to obtain Mia.

Christopher C., Las Cruces, New Mexico
My first encounter with the Malinois breed was while crossing through a Border Patrol checkpoint. I did some research and then located Ruidoso Malinois online. I spoke with Irene several times before visiting the site and she went out of her way to work with my busy schedule. The day I met Rex, my new dog, I was so happy! Irene demonstrated his excellent protection abilities and I visited Rex several times before making my final decision.

Rex is now my new best friend! He goes everywhere he can with me and his manners around my family are astonishing. Both of my daughters love him so much!! Rex has never shown any aggression towards any family members once he was properly introduced. However, Rex will alert to the presence of strangers and is very protective of us as trained. His health is excellent and the local Las Cruces vet was impressed by his temperament while at the clinic. Rex is a wonderful dog and Irene has continued her relationship with me following my purchase. She has answered all questions in a timely manner and we plan on visiting her site again soon for maintenance bite work training to keep Rex conditioned.

Chad and Hannah W., Tulsa, Oklahoma
While my husband was on tour in Iraq he worked with the Malinois breed and quickly fell in love with them! So we decided to purchase one from Irene because honestly she seemed to be the most upright and honest about the entire transaction. We couldn't have been happier with our new family member Niobi! Irene was very respectful and even let us spend the day with her to get used to the breed and Niobi in particular. She even made sure we were commanding her correctly and made sure we were a perfect fit before we left! It is clear that Irene is fantastic and honest at what she does.

We love Niobi and she is very protective of our family which is exactly what my husband wanted for us as he continues his career in the military and is gone for a year at a time. I now feel safer when home alone because I know Niobi is well trained and will protect me should anything happen. Irene breeds Malinois of the utmost quality and if we ever get another she will be from Irene.