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Your Children and Your Belgian Malinois

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Tags: Belgian Malinois, Socialization, Family Breeds, Aggressive, Training

Champion Parents Akc Ukc



Philipsburg, PA

Saint Bernard

The Belgian Malinois is very good with children. Of course, as with any breed of dog, the Belgian Malinois has to be introduced to the children at a young age, and then very carefully in order to ensure the bond and understanding is created. The dog will often grow to love the children and protect them, as the Belgian Malinois is a protection breed. The dog will play with the children, too, and will respect them as being higher in the "pack" if the dog has been properly socialized from an early age.

The introduction of the Belgian Malinois to your children should begin when the dog is a puppy. All socialization should begin when the Belgian Malinois is a puppy, so this is not an unusual practice. The puppy should be introduced to the children one at a time in order for the puppy and the child to get used to each other. Then the puppy should have experience with one child, then two, and then three, etc, until all the children can successfully be around the puppy without any problems.

It is essential to remember that during this process and really during the children's young lives, the puppy should never be alone with the children. Careful supervision of both the puppy and the children is essential as sometimes a child can accidentally antagonize the puppy or an adult dog, or something the child is doing can be mistakenly interpreted by the dog as teasing. These miscommunications between the child and the dog can cause the puppy or dog to snap or jump on the child. Also, playing behaviors are very strong in the Belgian Malinois and if your children are running from the dog, he may get too excited and run up the child's heels or knock him over. These should not be interpreted as aggressive behaviors, but they should be curbed immediately.

The child should also be taught to respect the dog. For example, a child should never, ever hurt or hit the dog. Belgian Malinois interpret any harsh punishment negatively and they could become aggressive if the "punishment" continues. The child should also be aware of how the dog interprets their behaviors. For example, the dog will see the child holding a cookie away from the dog as teasing; this can also elicit bad behavior, especially from a puppy. The child should be able to distinguish between what behaviors are appropriate and inappropriate around the dog before he is allowed around the puppy. Another thing to keep in mind is that overly-rambunctious children should not be allowed around Belgian Malinois puppies. These children can easily hurt the dog with their over-exuberance and cause temporary or even permanent damage to the dog physically or temperamentally.

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