Whether you get a new Belgian Malinois puppy or an older Belgian Malinois- the same principles apply.
Let me explain.
In the Malinois dog world, there are certain manners that they follow instinctively.
And if we humans plan to bring a Malinois into our lives- we need to learn them. If we don’t learn these manners- the Malinois will feel uncomfortable and even feel threatened by us.
First. A word of caution.
Never under ANY circumstances bring your face near a NEW puppy or older dog’s face.
Regardless of the breed. This is not exclusive to a Malinois.
This is rude and dangerous.
If a dog of any breed feels threatened or nervous- it can react and bite your face off.
Ok. Now- there’s a right way and wrong way to introduce yourself to a dog.
The right way will make your Malinois dog/puppy feel comfortable and relaxed around you.
This is our main goal.
So how do we accomplish that….?
Follow these steps.
Make sure that your movements are easy, predictable and smooth.
No sudden or jumpy body movements. This just makes a new dog/puppy uneasy.
The more slowly you move the better.
Then, before you pet or put your hand behind your new dog’s head- make sure you first show your hands to the dog.
Show them so that the Malinois knows you’re not a danger.
Let the Malinois see them and smell them so that it gets used to your scent.
Then if the Malinois feels ok with you- try touching its head slowly and softly…
After that- try slowly petting down towards its back.
It helps to have your other free hand right onto the collar holding it down tightly so that you have control over the dog.
The Malinois might get happy and try to jump towards you and accidentally bump into your face. That’s why it’s important that your free hand is holding the dog by the collar.
Then after that- take your Malinois for a walk. Don’t allow the dog to pull because that will set the scene up for the dog being always in control.
Instead- YOU be the one in control from day one, and if your Malinois pulls- you stop and even turn to walk the opposite way.
This way you become the leader and bad habits are not formed.
After the walk, give your Malinois some water and feed it.
This is important.
You know the saying, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”…
It has a lot to do with the dog’s strong urge to build trust with the person providing nourishment.
After feeding, play with its favorite toy for a little more so that you become the new source of fun and adventure for it.
If you do this continually for 15 days- I guarantee that you will form a very strong bond with your Malinois and eventually the Mal will have unconditional loyalty towards you.
Let me know if you have more questions in the comment section below.