‘Nervy’ breed of dog will be next added to banned list, says expert

Jacob Morgan, who has trained more than 2,500 dogs and owns five himself, says Belgian Malinois have high prey drive, and without adequate socialisation and training, they will chase small animals, vehicles or children. Often confused for a short haired German Shepherd, the breed can grow to around 30kg and has a life expectancy of 14 to 16 years.

Jacob said: “I planned to get a Belgian Malinois puppy for two years. I’d chosen his name before I found the right breeder, as there are so many people breeding for profit over health and the right personality traits. I can confidently say the Belgian Malinois is not a family pet and especially if you have a full time job, you don’t have time for this breed.

“It takes thousands of hours of training to make a Belgian Malinois a ‘regular dog’. So many are being bred to have a ‘nervy edge’, which is being mistaken for a willingness to protect.

“It’s a perfect storm happening right now and I’m sure it won’t be long until the breed is banned altogether. Through no fault of their own, it will be the fault of the thoughtless breeders and those owners who haven’t done their research properly.

“Just this week I have seen five Belgian Malinois dogs looking to be re-homed via Facebook. This is frightening to see as it shows people are buying this breed of dog and not being able to care for them.”

As Wales Online reports, there are currently four breeds and types of dogs banned in the UK – Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro.

Jacob, founder of YorkshireCanineAcademy.co.uk, has a 15-week-old Belgian Malinois called Stark. However, he said if he didn’t have help looking after Stark, he’d struggle.

The expert added: “I’m with him most of the day while I train our clients’ dogs. But I also have members of staff who can make sure Stark is getting stimulated by giving him an activity to do every hour. Even as a dog trainer, if it was just me looking after Stark, I’d struggle.

“This breed has strong herding and guarding instincts, and genetics make it need to chase and bite things. If an owner is not providing an outlet like the training shown in our video, the dogs can become anxious and lash out at their owners.”

Belgian Malinois puppies are being sold on public pet selling sites for as little as £650, and Google trends shows there’s been a 50% increase in online interest for these puppies over the last 12 months alone. Jacob plans to compete in suitable sports with Stark when he’s older, in competitions such as Shutzhund, a dog sport that tests tracking, obedience and protection skills, and evaluates if a dog has the appropriate traits and characteristics of a good working dog.

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