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The Amazing Malinois and why you should think twice

James Gray

Owner/Editor at Busara Ltd
I am a published writer, journalist and photo-journalist. I have an MA in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of Wales and my journalism has been published in a number of UK national newspapers including 'the Observer'. My photo-journalism has been represented by Agence France-Presse.
James Gray

Following on from Trump’s eulogy of the dog injured in Syria in the US forces operation against the Leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. I just want to add my experience of owning an ex-forces, rescue-centre Malinois, for the benefit of those going ‘wow, I want one’. In short ‘don’t’.

I had a Belgian Malinois a couple of years ago and they are amazing, exhausting and hard work. They should not be kept as pets and should not be left alone, they get very bored very quickly and this does not suit their mental state or the physical state of your house.

Please, please do not get one unless you can fully commit to the dog for life and really know what you are doing. You need a reason for one, beyond thinking they look fun and can do cool things like run up the side of a house.

You may not like what the military and the security forces are doing with them, and I agree with you on that. They see the Malinois as a much healthier, more intelligent, more compact, and lighter alternative to a German Shepherd Dog.

To the security forces they are a tool just like a gun and are effectively treated the same as one. They are often used when the decision that has to be made is between the life-expectancy of the soldier going in, and the dog. The dog goes in first for a reason.

Having said all that, they are amazing, and the dog I had, ‘Sheba,’ was the most intelligent, intense and hyperactive, ‘always-on’ dog I have ever known. She just did not have an off-switch.

It really will end in tears. Yours and the dogs and in the end you will be craving that off-switch.

Chinese Malinois runs up a wall

Imagine trying to keep one of these in your garden when it sees the next door cat.