Belgian Malinois popularity grows after film ‘DOG’ starring Channing Tatum

It is an exciting time when you make the decision to welcome a new four-legged friend into your home. However, it can be easy to make the mistake of choosing a dog by appearance, rather than considering its behavioural needs.

Understanding your dog’s behaviour, and carrying out research in advance, is important when choosing what breed to go for. Most dogs are bred for a purpose, therefore will have natural instincts to consider. For example, guarding, hunting, or herding just to name a few.

Other factors to consider include:

  • Allergies
  • A dog’s personality can vary mainly influenced by genetics and life experiences.
  • Exercise requirements
  • Size
  • Living conditions
  • Grooming requirements
  • Health problems
  • Puppy or adult.
  • Life Span

Responsible pet ownership is a lifetime commitment. It is important to understand that you will be providing appropriate care for your pet throughout their entire life. Learning about their needs first will help make that final decision. By fulfilling these responsibilities, you can contribute to your pet’s overall wellbeing and help them to live a happy and healthy life.

To help you decide, there are many online guides that can help you choose which breed of dog is best suited to your lifestyle and home environment. These guides can also be used alongside speaking to friends and family who may already own the breed you are interested in. Speaking to vets, and most rescue centres like NAWT, are also more than happy to give free advice.

Contact your local NAWT centre here.

Read NAWT’s advice on purchasing a puppy here

You can read our partner PetPlan’s guide here

Certain breeds have much higher levels of energy than others. A good example of this, is the Belgian Malinois, which became very popular after the release of the film ‘DOG’ starring Channing Tatum back in 2022.

Rescues tend to see an increase in demand for certain dogs that are either featured in films or adverts. This then leads to people buying the breed, without realising it may not be suitable for them. This hasn’t only affected dogs, as during the height of popularity in the Harry Potter films, the number of owls purchased reached an all time high. This also saw a dramatic increase in the number of owls entering the pet trade in the UK.

It is essential that Belgian Malinois’ receive vigorous daily exercise and mental stimulation. If this is not met, it can cause them to develop behaviour problems later. They are in fact an excellent candidate for dog sports or any activity that involves focus and endurance to challenge their brains and bodies. This is why you will often see them being used by the police, and other forces, both here in the UK and abroad. They make excellent working dogs, and usually will form a very strong bond with their primary owner.

One such case NAWT Berkshire helped via our Home Direct scheme, was Bruno, who is a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois cross. He was living in a household with 4 young children and was not getting enough exercise to fulfil his needs.

Bruno was rescued at approximately the age of 1 when the household was just two adults. However, as time moved on and the family expanded, Bruno was then looking for a quieter home as he struggled with the home environment and lack of attention.

We can confirm that Bruno has now found a new home, and his new owners has provided us with the below update:

Just a little Bruno update for you. He appears to be settling in well, your description of him was spot on, he is loving, affectionate, and a beautiful boy… He pulls like a carthorse, but we are persevering and each day he is a little bit better, some days are better than others, just needs patience.

Each week he is more settled and not pulling as much when he is walking, he is an absolute pleasure, and we are very lucky to have him as an addition to our family.

We are so pleased to hear how well Bruno has settled in and are so happy we were able to help him.

For more information, please head over to our advice page, which we update regularly.

Bruno living his best life.