To my fellow ATS'ers, sorry that it has been awhile... been busy repairing our new homestead...
Here is my issue. Movies that feature a specific breed of dog tend to mess that breed up.
Disney has a new movie coming out called "Max"; a Belgian Malinois "war dog" that gets adopted by a family, blah blah blah...
Now, my wife and I have 2 Belgians. My wife is a professional trainer with 30 years of experience. My first experience with this breed was when we
met. Our oldest Belgian was a puppy at the time. Wow. I was immediately impressed. Smartest damned dog I ever met.
Today, our oldest Belgian is 7. She is a fully certified service dog, and she has protection training as well. She helps us grocery shop, and can tear
out your spleen with one command. She is a VERY intense dog. Fiercely loyal, to a fault. Her maternal drive has started getting the best of her, and
now she has started having issues with her training. Time to retire.
So, we got a Belgian puppy, beautiful dog; he is 8 months old. SMART!! Wow, insanely smart. He is now in training to replace our older Belgian as my
wife's service dog.
Now Disney has this movie out...
Everyone now assumes that, since this movie is out, they are fair game in public. When you are training a service dog, public contact is needed, but,
let the owner invite the contact. Now we have little kids breaking their training because of this movie. Sadly, it hasn't been released yet, so it
will only get worse. Before this movie, no one knew what a Belgian Malinois was... now... every kid will want one.
That is the main problem. We have two, so I speak from experience... and I have owned difficult breeds before. The Belgian Malinois is in a category
all it's own. They really aren't suited to be house pets. A Belgian must work! They must have a job, otherwise, they get stir crazy and the owner
can have issues. They need great training, and constant reinforcement. They are the most wonderful, loyal dogs that I have ever been around, but they
need a lot of attention and training.
Our fear is that, people will see this movie and rush out and buy one. I hope not. For now, they are quite expensive to acquire; from a reputable
breeder. My wish is that it stays this way. If a craze gets started to own these dogs, because of this movie, we fear that far too many will end up in
shelters, or put down. Too many people just won't understand what they are getting in to... These dogs don't deserve that.
With that being said; our Belgians are trained. If a bear decides to invade our property... two properly trained Belgians will take care of the bear,
and probably grab his wallet as well...
My wife has decades of experience with this breed, and they are amazing dogs... but, please make sure of
what you are doing if you ever get one...