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Belgian Malinois Service Dog - Everything You Need to Know

The Belgian Malinois is a highly intelligent and trainable breed known for its strong work ethic and loyalty. These qualities make them excellent candidates for service roles such as mobility assistance or psychiatric support, where their focus and responsiveness can provide crucial aid to individuals with specific needs.

April Brightman
January 12, 2024
May 23, 2023
5 minutes
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May 23, 2023
August 18, 2021
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Transform your life with a Belgian Malinois service dog as a devoted companion. Discover the profound impact a service dog can have on daily living.

Service dogs are working animals that are individually trained to assist a person with a disability. They work with their handlers in different ways to provide support and perform tasks that allow the individual to do things they wouldn’t be able to do on their own. Service dogs can truly open up a whole new world of possibilities for individuals with disabilities.

Belgian Malinois Service Dog

A Belgian Malinois service dog is a highly intelligent and versatile breed known for its loyalty and trainability. They excel in roles such as search and rescue, police work, and assistance for individuals with disabilities. Their strong work ethic and protective nature make them an excellent choice for various service tasks.

Are Belgian Malinois Good Service Dogs?

The Belgian Malinois is a type of shepherd and a breed that makes great service dogs because they’re smart, loyal, and friendly. The medium-sized breed is often trained as military or law enforcement dogs as well as search and rescue dogs for a lot of the same reasons.

They Are a Smart and Trainable Breed

Belgian Malinois are also very active and very alert. They respond well to training and can pick up commands quickly. They can be relied on to complete tasks efficiently and consistently and follow their handler’s cues.

They Have Extreme Loyalty to Their Handlers

Loyalty is another strong quality of Belgian Malinois. Their hard-working nature makes them eager to please. They're known for unwavering obedience as much as they are for their strength and agility.

They Are Friendly Dogs

Belgian Malinois are protective, people-pleasing dogs who are known for being friendly and playful. They make good service dogs for individuals with children or other family members since they tend to enjoy being social when they’re not on duty.

What Tasks Can Belgian Malinois Perform?

We know they’re good at training, but what about getting to work? Belgian Malinois service dogs can perform a variety of tasks that are hugely helpful to their handlers in assisting with their disabilities.

Deep Pressure Therapy

Service dogs can be trained to deliver a type of physical therapy known as deep pressure therapy (DPT). They do this by applying their body pressure and warmth to their handlers, which can help alleviate overwhelm related to anxiety, depression, or other psychiatric conditions.

Danger or Intruder Notification

Service animals can be trained to alert their handlers in the case of an intruder or if they perceive a person as dangerous in public. Letting their handler know through an established cue gives the individual an extra layer of protection and a sense of safety.

This can be especially helpful for individuals who experience loss of sight or loss of hearing, as well as those who are easily triggered by symptoms of anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Mobility and Balance Aid

Belgian Malinois are good service dogs for assisting with mobility since they’re strong and sturdy. They can assist their handlers in moving from place to place, maintaining balance while standing, or making mobility tasks easier by opening doors and drawers for their handler.

How To Get a Belgian Malinois Psychiatric Service Dog

Belgian Malinois are very stable and reliable dogs, making them great candidates for psychiatric service dog training. You can have your dog trained and certified in a few easy steps.

Take Our Assessment

Pettable has created a hassle-free assessment to help determine your eligibility for a psychiatric service dog. It takes about three minutes and helps us match you with a therapist in your state to define your specific needs and have you on your way to training.

Get a Psychiatric Service Dog

Whether you plan to train your own dog as a psychiatric service dog (PSD) or adopt a new dog to begin training, some programs may be willing to partner with your insurance to help cover the cost of obtaining a service dog.

Complete Training

Training your dog properly is the most essential step in having a successful service dog. Use Pettable’s Online Psychiatric Service Dog Training program to train your dog in basic obedience, following commands, and performing tasks to assist you in daily life.

Can I Teach My Belgian Malinois To Be a Service Dog?

Under the law, any breed or mixed breed of dog can be a service dog, but proper training is key. Belgian Malinois can absolutely be trained as service dogs because of how easy they are to train, and how well they follow instructions. Their loyalty and friendliness also make them amazing service dogs.

What Disabilities Qualify for a Service Dog?

There’s a wide range of disabilities that service dogs can accommodate, whether they’re psychiatric or physical conditions. All that is necessary to qualify for a service dog is a documented disability which having a service dog would greatly improve. 

Psychiatric conditions that qualify for a service dog include but aren’t limited to anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Physical conditions might include cerebral palsy, permanent injuries, vertigo, or muscular dystrophy. 

Service Dog Laws

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) of 1968 was enacted to protect individuals with disabilities when it came to places to live. It prevents housing discrimination against anyone for their race, religion, sex, orientation, family status, or disability — which includes the use of a service animal as well as emotional support animals, who are also protected under FHA.

The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) of 1986 protects individuals with disabilities who are traveling with a service dog. It requires airlines to make reasonable accommodations for travelers with disabilities and to transport trained service dogs in the cabin of aircraft at no extra cost to the traveler. The ACAA doesn’t, however, extend the same rights to emotional support animals as of 2021.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990 and is the overarching civil rights law protecting individuals with disabilities. Under this law, any dog trained to perform specific tasks that assist with their handler’s disability can be a service dog. Emotional support animals, though essential, are not protected under the ADA.

What's the Difference Between Psychiatric Service Dogs vs. Emotional Support Dogs?

The main difference between psychiatric service dogs and emotional support animals is their training and the type of support they provide. 

Service animals undergo specific training in order to be able to perform tasks that directly support their handler’s disability. Emotional support animals simply provide comfort to their handlers with their presence and aren’t required to undergo any specific type of training to provide emotional support.

Emotional support dogs aren’t protected under all of the same laws as service dogs. While Fair Housing Act protections still apply for ESAs, as we mentioned they aren’t afforded the same rights when it comes to travel or occupying public spaces like restaurants or businesses.

Meet the author:
April Brightman

April Brightman is a freelance writer and outdoor enthusiast with a passion for traveling and hiking with her rescue pup, Marley. She's written for pet-centered sites like Outward Hound, as well as outdoorsy adventure brands like BearVault, Hipcamp, and Explorer Chick.

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