A dog training expert has provoked a polarized reaction after saying he believes one particular breed is likely to be added to the UK’s banned list. Jacob Morgan, who founded YorkshireCanineAcademy.co.uk, has warned people to be absolutely certain of the commitment needed after witnessing a growing number of Belgian Malinois being advertised for rehoming.
Jacob, who owns a Belgian Malinois himself, said: “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.
“My Belgian Malinois puppy, Stark, is 15 weeks old, and I’m with him most of the day while I train our clients’ dogs. But I also have members of staff who can also make sure Stark is getting stimulated by giving him an activity to do every hour. Even as a dog trainer, if it was just looking after Stark, I’d struggle.”
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The Belgian Malinois can grow to around 30kg, and life expectancy is 14-16 years. The breed has a high prey drive, and without adequate socialization and training, they will chase small animals, vehicles or children.
Jacob added: “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.”
“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.”
“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.”
But not everyone agreed. In a comment thread online some disputed the theory that the breed could be outlawed. Poster hense1 said: “I own A beligium Malinois myself and have had him of just over 3 years now. I totally agree with some of the article in that they are not a breed for most people, and need a tremendous amount of exercise and training , they are hard work! But to name the breed as the next dog on the banned list, why??? How many attacks have been reported by Malis? How many fatalities by Belgium Malinous?”
Others agreed that anyone thinking of becoming a Belgian Malinois owner needs to know what it takes, and take responsibility. While poster Marcus Aurelius also pointed to irresponsible breeders as a major problem. They wrote: “There are far too many idiots breeding dogs because they can make a few bob out of it. There are even more idiots buying dogs they can’t even begin to properly raise, train and exercise. Some sort of restrictions on dog breeding and ownership are long overdue.
There are currently four breeds of dog banned in the UK:
- pit bullterrier
- Japanese Tosa
- Argentine Dogo
- Brazilian Row
It’s also against the law to:
- sell a banned dog
- abandon a banned dog
- give away a banned dog
- breed from a banned dog
Belgian Malinois have been made famous through films such as John Wick, and Dog with Channing Tatum in recent years, and have grown in popularity.
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.