Why I Chose to Get a Malinois: Lessons Learned

Emotional Attachment vs Rational Decision Making

When I decided to get a dog in the Summer of 2019, I had only a small idea of what I was getting myself into. I had always loved dogs, I always wanted to have one, and so when I noticed a Malinois was up for adoption, I felt like it was meant to be. After all, she was born on the same day as me!

The Belgian Malinois: A Challenging Breed

Looking back, I realize that my emotional attachment to that coincidence may have precipitated my decision.

I didn’t fully understand what owning a Malinois meant, and I now know that I underestimated the amount of time and attention she would require.

When I presented a Malinois as an option to my family, I was excited about the prospect of having a loyal and intelligent companion by our side. Only later I realized that owning a Malinois was not going to be easy. Their high energy level, need for constant exercise and mental stimulation, and intense loyalty require a lot of attention and effort.

Adjusting to Meet Your Dog’s Needs

At first, I believed that I could adapt my work-from-home routine to fit her needs, a routine I follow since well before COVID-19. Since I was also planning to move into the countryside, that would also provide ample space for her to run and play. However, I soon realized that it wasn’t that simple. I needed to be more intentional about creating a schedule that included regular exercise and playtime for Bite, and I had to seek out resources like obedience training and dog-walking services to help me meet her needs.

Lessons Learned: Responsibility and Reward in Pet Ownership

Looking back, I wish I had taken the time to research the breed more thoroughly and to talk to other owners before making my decision. I also wish I had been more realistic about the time and effort required to provide the best possible care for a Malinois.

Despite the challenges, I wouldn’t trade her for anything. She has brought so much joy and companionship into my life, and I am grateful for the lessons I have learned about the importance of responsible pet ownership.

If you’re considering getting a pet, I encourage you:

  • to do your research
  • be honest with yourself about your ability to meet their needs.

Owning a pet is a serious commitment, but with the right resources and mindset, it can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.


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