Belgian Malinois is a famous dog for various K-9 unit forces from the municipal to the international level. They’ve been a feature of several high-profile raids in the war on terrorism, which can be suitable for a lesser-known breed like the Belgian Malinois by increasing the number of capable, interested owners.
However, the surge that comes with being a “cool hero dog” also attracts people who haven’t researched what the dogs need and can’t provide for the dog, giving it a bad reputation when it acts out. Malinois fanciers do their best to educate all potential buyers because while they love the dogs—likely more than any prospective buyer out there now—they don’t want to see the dogs suffer from poorly educated pet parents taking over positions they’re not prepared to handle.
Belgian Malinois can make great family dogs if the family that adopts them is invested in their care and considers the dog’s unique needs. However, they’re far from the best choice as a family’s first dog since they’re working dogs bred for protection and have high energy and stimulation needs to prevent them from becoming destructive.
Is My Home Right for a Belgian Malinois?
Belgian Malinois are high-quality working dogs. They have solid drives and need to be entertained and stimulated to keep those drives in check. They also have a lot of energy and will require a minimum of 1–2 hours of vigorous exercise a day, but not too strong, as they may have issues with hip dysplasia, and exercise that puts too much stress on the hip joints can exacerbate the problems.
The Belgian Malinois is a dog that will need a job to be happy. The term “working breed” isn’t a meaningless title. Working breed dogs have different drives than companion breed dogs and won’t be satisfied with a life of laziness. Belgian Malinois have strong prey and protection drives, making them popular for dog sports and K-9 protection units.
If your home is truly ready for a Belgian Malinois as an addition to the family, ask yourself what you would do if your Belgian Malinois needed a lot of exercise; they can become destructive with that. Would you have the resources to dedicate to its happiness? If not, you’ll want to look at a different breed with less unique and rigid care needs.
There are two main types of Belgian Malinois: those bred for work and those produced for conformation or dog shows. Which kind of dog you get will depend on the resources available for your dog and the type of life you will lead them.
Conformation dogs are generally much more expensive than working dogs because working dogs do not have to conform as rigidly to the Belgian Malinois breed standard since they aren’t being judged on that factor.
It can be hard to get over the shiny new dog smell but don’t jump feet first into buying a Belgian Malinois. Do your research and ensure that you and your family can provide what the dog needs to be happy before you bring this one into your home.
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