Understanding psychology of Belgian Malinois

Dogs are descendants of wolves. In order to study the psychology of dog training, we should study the pack hierarchical system of their ancestor - wolves.

Wolves usually live in packs of at least 2 animals or more. Strictly defined hierarchies of male and female wolves exist in the pack. It’s a kind of dictatorship system. A leader is always a male wolf. Normally he is the biggest and toughest wolf, also known as alpha leader. This wolf has a right to do everything. Other wolves are followers, who follow their leader willingly. However, if another member of the pack challenge the leader’s authority and win the fight, he becomes the new alpha leader.

For your Malinois, your family is the pack and every member is a part of the hierarchical system. From the moment you bring a puppy to your house and introduce to the family, he starts to figure out his own place and status in the family. He seeks the leader, the one who is in charge. It’s very important for the dog to see you as a leader. Then he will willingly follow your commands and you will be able to train him easily.

If you don’t show, that you are the leader, the dog will become dominant and may challenge your leader position. This situation is very dangerous, because Malinois may refuse to follow your commands and even become aggressive. This situation more often happens with children, because dog consider them to be lower in the pack by status. That’s why children suffer more dogs bites.

Your Malinois should understand, that he is the lowest rank and is subordinate to you, your children and must recognize you as alpha leader. If the dog doesn’t understand this, he will try to assume the role of the leader. Then the dog will become dominant in relations with his owner and will misbehave. And, as a result, you will face a very difficult problem of properly training for your Malinois.

We live in a democratic society and some people may consider the idea of being a kind of dictator towards the dog to be cruel. However, this opinion is wrong. It’s very important for us to understand how dogs live and think. In fact, they are more happy, when following their leader’s commands. You should give your Malinois clear directions, organize his training and other activities. Your dog will be happy, if he knows exactly what behavior is wrong and what is expected from him.

If you will follow the given recommendations, your Malinois will lead a happy life and so will you.

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