If you google that phrase you are likely to get a number of videos showing the type of damage a Malinois puppy can do to your house, or still photos of living rooms littered with sofa foam and toilet paper. Its very easy to find evidence of people that have failed to properly breed, choose, exercise, or train their new puppy. You might even come away from these horrible illustrations with the author's intended perception, that no one can handle a Malinois. No one, that is, expect for the person that posted the photos and videos. Because they do, after all, continue to own this said "out of control puppy."
Malinois are herding dogs, so they like to chase and herd things. So do lots of other breeds. Malinois are nick-named "maligators" because they use their teeth as in introduction, conversation, and farewell. I laugh, that is just puppy behavior. All puppies relate to the world primarily with their teeth because adult dogs relate to the world with their teeth. If you are going to get a puppy its going to put its teeth on your hand, your clothes, and your furniture. Its just that a Malinois does it a little more. They suffer from an issue of persistence. If you don't want them to continue to put there teeth on everything than you need to show them other things to do.
That is where most people go wrong. They want a Malinois but they aren't prepared for the energy and dedication that it takes to make them into awesome dogs. Its not just this breed, most people see an adult dog and just want a tiny fluffy ball of cuteness to spring forth from the dog's womb already house trained, leash walking, and basic obedience. A lot of people get a puppy expecting a trained dog, and so they post videos of their inability to properly take on this responsibility and then blame it on the dog.
To be fair, this photo is not a Malinois. But that hasn't stopped people from claiming that it is. Of course Malinois have done their share of damage, as have many other breeds. Its just more likely that the Malinois, once started, is going to persist longer and cover more space on your drywall than say, a labrador.
So if you want a Malinois, start by asking yourself why. There are things a Malinois isn't, and things that it is. You might have seen one and assume that the breed is something that it isn't. Malinois are largely not couch potatoes. Of course there are exceptions. Although I think its more likely to find a Malinois that can drive a car than one that just sits on the couch all day without having a serious health issue or being 18 years old.
A Malinois wants to do what you are doing. They want to go for that hike or run around while you rake leaves. If you don't spend a couple hours a day doing these things than your dog isn't going to be very happy. Left alone dogs will bark and seek out way to escape and find friends. Malinois are no different.
Getting any dog because you saw a celebrity with one is stupid. Getting one because you saw it in a movie is stupid. Getting a dog because you have determined you have the time and money to care for one and want the mental and physical benefits of pet ownership is the ONLY reason to get a dog.
You get a Malinois when you want a fantastically smart dog that will relish working with you and stay by your side if you are in danger. But you owe that dog the time and effort it requires to be happy. If you work all day and the dog will be alone, this breed isn't for you. You need to get a dog walker to play with your dog or it will amuse themselves. Also, don't ask for "high drive" unless you are working with your dog. And by working I mean search and rescue, hunting, tracking, etc. You can't handle "high drive" anything. You can't even handle the engine on a 1976 Mustang, so lets not pretend that adding teeth and an attitude is going to make you a better handler. To be honest, you couldn't handle a "high drive" Pekinese because you don't even know what "high drive" means. And to prove it I'll ask you which "drive" you mean? You don't know, thus you can't handle it.
But you can handle a properly bred and socialized Malinois, if you want to. By want, I refer back to earlier statements. If you want to walk your dog, play ball with your dog, spend time with your dog, and train your dog then you can handle a Malinois. Otherwise, you can't. And if you can't then like most other dog breeds, you shouldn't get one. Get a cat. Or a senior Basset Hound.
If you still think you want a Malinois you should go meet a couple. Try and take one for a walk. See what it takes for others to keep them happy and healthy. Its not rocket science, its a dog. The formula is the same for every dog, exercise+food+ love. For a Malinois you just multiply by a factor of four. Because if you don't follow the formula that cute puppy is going to bark for three days straight. And then you are going to put it in the yard until it becomes 6 months old and chews through the fence. Then you will take it to a shelter and wash your hands of the responsibility of it all because as it turns out, you were never prepared in the first place. This is not the dogs fault, or the breed's fault. Its your fault. You were not honest with yourself or the dog.
In a way, owners of Malinois are like the breed. Serious, dedicated, tenacious, and active. If that doesn't describe you then rethink getting one. Even the senior Malinois still have energy, they just are less likely to poop on the floor.
Let me make something clear, I work from home. When I got my first Malinois I was a 3rd year law student so I had a lot of time to be at home and raise a puppy. I never left for more than 4 hours at a time. And during those times the pup still pooped in the crate, pulled my deceased Grandmothers knitted afghan in to the crate through the bars and chewed a hole in it, bit my hand, ran off down the hill on my 15 acre unfenced property, and chewed everything that was a foot off the ground or lower. I did not post ANY of those failures online because they were MY failures. Not the dog. She needed more exercise, more training, more attention. And after 4 months I figured it out and finally gave her what she needed, but I also didn't take a full time job at a law firm. In fact, I only ended up working for 4 months in DC before I quit and then found something to do with my dog full time, search and rescue. My Juno is now pushing 7 years old. I have a toddler and 3 other dogs. I have a 1 acre fenced yard on a 6 acre property in the middle of the woods. I chose this life. My dogs thank me for not working all day. There are trade offs you need to make, with this breed you may have to make more of them. But I have opened more windows than I have closed doors. When that dog looks at me, I know its worth it.
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