I have thrown this title around in my brain for a few days now. Should I make a point out of it, or not? After what I have witnessed over the last few weeks tho, I felt it was warranted to give it a few words in hopes of someone out there reading it, and thinking towards the future of the Malinois instead of just trying to make it look like a dangerous beast that will maim and maul without rhyme or reason…
Nothing brings a group together like a common cause to fight for! We have seen that over the last few months. The release of the movie “Max” was something we all dreaded and we are already seeing the fruits of this movie popping up left and right under the guise of “Pups for sale, get your own Max!” A hard blow for the working dog community to deal with, but deal with it we must, and will! How do we deal with it tho? How do we begin to fight the aftermath of what this movie is bound to create… Where do we start? What can we say to prevent people from buying a Malinois on a whim? And if we can not stop them, what do we do next? Do we take the new owners and put them in front of a firing squad? Or do we make another effort to try and educate? So many questions and so many approaches… Which one to pick and go with?
I have seen groups on Facebook take the educational approach. Trying to help others understand what they will get themselves into when buying a Malinois pup. I have seen pages dedicated to the prevention of buying Malinois all together by simply posting pictures, pictures of eaten furniture, pictures of bite wounds and bruises, pictures of snarling dogs with dripping fangs and I think to myself, where is the backstory on these pictures? Some are posted with a short explanation of what happened but others have nothing more posted to them but “No backstory available” How is this helping? There is just a bloody mess posted, or a room filled with furniture turned to ruin and that’s it. Make up your own mind on what happened there. Feel free to assume away at will. Use your imagination! It’s all for the good of the Malinois breed and the effort to save it from those bastard future owners…
So tell me? How is this helping the Malinois? How are you doing anything but harm to the breed by posting pictures that have no way to explain what happened? How are you teaching people that this can be prevented by doing the right thing and either not choose for the Malinois as a breed to own, or to own it but go about it the right way and ensure you educate yourself before making that large step? I keep hearing the same mantra uttered by these people “If we can prevent one person from buying a dog based on these pictures, then we made a difference”
NO! You did not make a difference! You may have made a difference for that one dog, but what about the others? What about the future of those dogs that you are willingly ignoring? Because that is exactly what you are doing with your actions… You are ignoring their future by posting information that isn’t complete. You are not giving people fact, you are letting them venture into the world of FICTION by not informing them of what can be done to prevent these things, or how to stop these things from happening. You are not teaching these people right from wrong, you are putting the blame of mistakes made by their owners on the Malinois shoulders.
By not giving the information that should be there, you are saying “Look what this Malinois did! It did so WITHOUT REASON”
No where do you think to mention that it might be handler or owner error… No, just a nice gory picture of a dog bite, or a shredded sofa… and let people make up their own minds about what happened. You are literally hammering the nail into the Malinois coffin here by posting things like that… You are laying the groundworks for a BSL (Breed specific legislation) to come into effect in the future. You are ensuring that things do not get easier for the Malinois breed to survive, but infinitely harder! You are trying to do the right thing, yet going around it the wrong way…
I was, at first, going to post the name of a FaceBook page here as an example, but have decided against it for now. They are doing their best in their own crooked way to save the breed even tho they are going about it the wrong way. I can not stop them from doing so. I have tried to reason with them but it is a futile attempt on my part so I have given up on them completely. Pages like theirs tho? They will aid in the BSL becoming fact. They are aiding in the misrepresentation of the breed and in their skewered efforts think that they are actually making a difference. Well they are making a difference for sure, just not the one they imagined…
July 1st, 2015 07.04 AM – Author’s edit: I have decided to post the name of the facebook group after all after seeing such rampant foolishness on that page today that I feel it is time to try and put a stop to it all together. The group is named “Soooo, you think you want a Malinois?” (click the name to go to the facebook page of this group) It is a dangerous group for the Malinois breed. They are painting a picture of deadly killers with no way to contain them. I would like to ask all who read this to visit the group and boycott this group, to spread the word about the dangers this group will present towards our beloved breed, the Malinois.
When you are posting pictures of decoys after their decoying and they have bruises and scratches from their hard efforts, and you do not add backstory, you are HARMING the breed. When you post pictures of dog bites, and do not add a backstory as to how the owner got bitten to begin with, you are HARMING the breed! When you post pictures of a half eaten living room, and do not add backstory, YOU ARE HARMING THE BREED.
You are not saying, this is not the dog for your! You are effectively saying “This is a monster that no one can control and that will bite and kill and ruin your life after it ate your furniture.”
You are not saying “This is a working breed, a breed that is happiest when at work and occupied. If you do not give this breed what it needs then it this is what COULD happen to you” No, you are saying “ This dog is an unguided missile that has a need for blood and flesh and it will go for the throat at the blink of an eye for no other reason than that it feels like it.”
In your unthought out attempts to save the breed you so love, you are pretty close to shoving the euthanasia needle down its leg yourself. May not be today, or tomorrow… But trust me, your misguided efforts are ensuring that that day is not very far away if you keep this up.
So I ask the following of all of you reading this article…
Think before you post! You want to protect this breed! You want to ensure you still have this breed in the future to work with and for it to be your partner and friend… Give all the information you can when posting pictures and or posts. Leave nothing out! Be thorough! There are Malinois lives at stake here! Do not let the Malinois as a whole get punished for the lack of information that others will not post.
The thing to remember here is this… The dogs will get blamed, not the owners…. Seeing a bite wound or bruise without any backstory will only ensure that the owner is blameless in this and the dog will get blamed for it all, with all the consequences of that blame landing on the entire breed in the future. You might think you are helping but thoughtlessness ensures that the breed we all love now will not be there in the future if we do not put a stop to this….
Regards, Alice Mackenzie.