Malinois: Max and More

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Kimba, a Belgian malinois military working dog assigned to the 673d Air Base Wing Security Forces Squadron, runs toward an aggressor during a training session on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Aug. 26, 2013. Security Forces Airmen continually train with their K9 counterparts to keep their teams flexible to respond to law enforcement emergencies, and for overseas deployments. (U.S. Air Force photo/Justin Connaher)


Max and More

You’ve seen the movie, Max, and are awed at the capabilities of military working dogs and maybe Belgian malinois, in particular. You’re thinking about adopting a military working dog or adding a malinois to your family because they seem like such amazing dogs. Here are some things that you should know before you start your journey looking for a new family member.

Malinois training with handlerMalinois are often called maligators, for a reason, by those who know and love them. This is a brilliant breed for working and especially for hard hitting, high energy work, like military or police work. They are not, in general, a good companion breed and certainly not a dog that you can ignore and stick out in the back yard. Some people says malinois is French for “Don’t Get One”, at least if you are not an experienced owner and don’t plan to spend hours daily working with your dog.

These dogs require a serious job and if they don’t have a job, they will find one. Their job description may include things such as: shred the couch, chew the door off the hinges, rip up the carpet – which is probably more in line with a demolition crew than the pet you thought you were bringing home.

This is not to say these dogs aren’t brilliant, they are. But, they are high drive, active and require a dedicated, experienced owner who is committed to their education, which means that being away significant amounts of the day, doesn’t work well for this breed. If you find a breeder who is content with selling a dog to a novice without asking tons of questions, s/he’s not the breeder for you. Ethical breeders will want to be sure their high drive dogs go to a working home that is a perfect match.

Those who love malinois are concerned that people will ignore the realities of malinois ownership and buy one anyway. If you are still thinking about adding this breed to your home, please do enough research to answer your questions. Here is a good link.

Many malinois end up in rescue because they are not what the novice owner thought they were getting. If you’re interested in a rescue malinois, check out this link:

And, if you’re interested in adopting a retired military working dog, please go directly to the source at Lackland AFB. The dog disposition unit is at Lackland and they coordinate all of the adoptions- so please don’t call individual kennels and interrupt their important training. There is no fee for adopting a retired dog, but you are responsible for transport and healthcare. This is the easiest way to get your name on a list. You can begin the adoption process by completing and submitting the required paperwork application at this link:

Thanks to the DoD for the images.

Spc. Hugo Pose

Spc. Hugo, explosive detection dog with the Tactical Explosive Detection Dog program assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team “Rakkasans,” 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), poses for a picture after a successful demonstration of the Tactical Explosive Detection Dog programs technique in finding road side bombs at Forward Operating Base Salerno, Afghanistan.  Hugo is apart of the TEDD program, which trains soldiers to work hand-in-hand with military working dogs. (U.S. photo by Spc. Brian Smith-Dutton Task Force 3/101 Public Affairs)

Thanks to Burt’s Bees

Thanks to Burt’s Bees, we got some wonderful donations of In Kind products to include in our 2nd Quarter Care Packages. Natural Toothpaste and Tips and Toes Kits, with special collections of wonderful skin care lotions and salves. Who doesn’t love natural?

Burts Bees 2

Please check this great company out at

We included the Burt’s Bees products into a larger bag that we laughingly called the “Hoof and Mouth” bag because it contained many personal care products for dental care and foot care.

Burts Bees 3

Thanks to one of the recipients of the “Hoof and Mouth” bag who photographed her Burt’s Bees items on top of the bag.

Feeling the Pressure

Cezar, a military working dog, attacks bite wrap worn by a military working dog handler with the 305th Security Forces Squadron, 305th Air Mobility Wing, McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., while his handler supervises during a training session with the bite wrap. Cezar is a four-year-old military working dog specializing in explosive detection/patrol.

 (U.S. Air Force photo by Denise Gould) (Released)


Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Jeremy Aldrich, attached to Naval Security Force, K-9 Unit, and his military working dog Tyson.

Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Jeremy Aldrich, attached to Naval Security Force, K-9 Unit, and his military working dog Tyson a four-year-old Blue Belgium Malanois, take a little break for some fun at the obstacle course on base. Aldrich has worked with Tyson for 18 months in support the base mission in providing security to the base and the Mina Salman pier.  (This is an older photo, but wanted to share because I like it so much and wanted to shout out to the handler!)

U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jennifer A. Villalovos

The Hammer

Marine military working dog Thor

Thor, a yellow Labrador retriever, who is a military working dog with Company K, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., recently completed Enhanced Mojave Viper predeployment training with his handler.

Thor looks like a sweetheart. While not trained for protection (I’m just assuming here) Thor would be trained really well for explosives. Watching these dogs work on a scent trail that people cannot see, smell, taste or touch is an amazing thing to do.

Photo by Lance Cpl. M. C. Nerl

Enyzi and his KONG toy

Military working dog Enyzi of the 101st Airborne Division, in Afghanistan

Enyzi, a 3-year-old Belgian Tervuren military working dog attached to Task Force Currahee, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, takes a break from training Jan. 31, 2011, at Forward Operating Base Sharana, Afghanistan. Military working dog handlers work with canines throughout deployments to keep their skills sharp and to maintain readiness. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Luther L. Boothe Jr./Released)