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  • Ted Hoppe

Pros & Cons of the Malinois Part 2 "Puppy Selection"

Family Dog

This part of our blog is about looking for a puppy to match your lifestyle, handling abilities and needs. If a family needs a family companion dog than they have different needs than a Police K9 Handler.

A police K9 Handler is looking for a working dog with certain qualities, energy levels and drives.

A family companion dog does not need to have the same qualities as a working dog.

When selecting a dog for a family companion the first thing I look for is a power-wagger, which is a very social, friendly and playful puppy. We also look for a pup/dog that will let the new owner hold it and loves to snuggle.These are what we call lower to middle drive / energy puppies. and will mature into excellent family dogs with the right training.

We start evaluating different qualities when they are four weeks old, exposing them to different environments.

  • We like to see puppies that like to explore and go on puppy adventures, I personally like a dog that is lower-medium Energy/Drive.

  • I like a dog that can be in a house and that I can live with, some dogs are hard to live with because their energy level is too high.

Working dogs need to have a lot of energy and a lot of drive to do police work. We have also successfully trained our dogs to do service work. A person needing a service dog needs a calm dog who is stable in many different environments, such a dog might be taken on an airplane, as well as in a restaurant. The working dog must be calm and under control of a handler at all times.

Protection Working Dog

Also, when evaluating a litter, I take note on how they act when eating out of the same food bowl, if a puppy is dominate or aggressive around the food bowl I will not recommend it as a family dog as it may turn into a Alpha Aggressive type of dog, and these are not suitable for most families.

A family dog must be very forgiving, especially for small children, in a litter of puppies like human families you have different personalities. In a family of humans, you may have one who is more like Pee-Wee Herman, and another one more like Mike Tyson.

Some will be more suited for families, some will be suited for work homes.

it was once written that Malinois do not have a off-switch, but many do. and an off switch makes a dog easier to live with.

For working homes, we look for high drive/energy puppies that have endless drive for retrieving and searching. These are puppies who are intense, and not into snuggling and want to explore, go on adventures and are more independent.

Part 3 of this blog will involve finding a good trainer for your new family member.

If you want more information on selecting the right malinois for your family or service needs please call or text Ted Hoppe at (386) 337-0730 or email or

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