Belgian Malinois police dogs stand as shining examples of dedication, intelligence and courage in law enforcement. In this post, we’ll delve into the world of these exceptional canine officers, exploring their remarkable abilities, training and the crucial roles they play in ensuring public safety.
The history of the Belgian Malinois
The Belgian Malinois (MAL-in-wah) (also sometimes referred to as the Belgian Shepherd was bred as a medium sized herding dog in the northwestern region of Belgium circa 18th century near the city of Malines from which the name originates.
The Belgian Malinois’ were bred primarily as livestock herders. The breed was first brought to the USA in 1911, and the American Kennel Club first recognized the Belgian Malinois in 1959 placing it in its herding group.
After gaining in popularity recently due to some high profile military and law enforcement deployments the Belgian Malinois has become the rising star of police dogs.
Why is the Belgian Malinois used by police?
Known for their agility, endurance and sharp instincts, these versatile dogs excel in various roles, including tracking, apprehension, narcotics/explosives detection and search and rescue.
In addition to these qualities they are also highly intelligent and easy to train. They possess an extraordinary sense of smell, as well as a never ending drive to hunt which makes them a top choice for both drug-sniffing and bomb-sniffing dog breeds.
Intensive training regimen
A Belgian Malinois police dog undergoes rigorous training that hones the skills needed to assist law police agencies across the world. From obedience and scent detection to specialized tactical exercises, the training process showcases their unwavering focus, loyalty and ability to handle high-pressure situations.
Check out what Belgian Malinois police drug dogs can smell. Some agencies require both the handler and dog to attend a five month school before they are certified to hit the streets. After that they are required to attend monthly maintenance training in addition to whatever daily training the handler does.
Training can consist of a vast amount of skills which include:
- On and off-leash obedience with commands sometimes trained in various languages such as English, Dutch, German or French.
- Odor detection of either drugs or bombs including firearms. Check out this list of bomb sniffing breeds.
- Tracking of people through various terrains and weather conditions to find lost, missing or wanted persons.
- Handler protection and fugitive apprehension to protect the handler and hold the fugitive. The bite force of a Belgian Malinois is more than double that of a human and one of many reasons why they excel in dog bite training.
- Article detection to locate various items and possible evidence containing human scent.
- Cadaver detection to locate human remains.
Specialized police dog equipment
One of the most impressive specialized equipment Belgian Malinois police dogs have is their K9 police car. It is equipped with a metal kennel that usually takes up the back seat to keep the dog safe and secure. These specialized cars are equipped with heat sensors that monitor the inside temperature notifying police dog’s partner if it becomes too hot.
While notifying the dog’s handler, it simultaneously rolls the windows down and starts a fan to keep their furry partner cool. These high tech vehicles are also equipped with an automatic door opener (referred to as a door popper) if the dog’s partner needs help but can’t get to the car.
With the push of a button the handler can remotely open his canine partner’s door. As soon as this happens the police dogs are trained to find the handler and seek a command which could be to protect the handler and apprehend whomever they are fighting with.
The life-long bond based on loyalty and teamwork that develops between Belgian Malinois police dogs and their handlers is like no other. This partnership is built on trust, communication and a shared commitment to serving and protecting communities.
This partnership continues into the retirement years of a Belgian Malinois police dog when the handler gets the opportunity to adopt their partner. Check out some of these future retirees from the New York State Police Canine Unit’s gallery page.
Belgian Malinois police dogs epitomize courage, skill and loyalty in the line of duty. Through their unwavering dedication, these four-legged officers serve as symbols of resilience and heroism, enriching the world of law enforcement and leaving an indelible mark on the communities they protect.