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One of the UK’s leading dog trainers has said that the infamous John Wick breed, Belgian Malinois, 'shouldn’t be a family pet' and warned that they could 'lash out' if not stimulated.
The breed notably appeared in the John Wick film franchise, which gave rise to its popularity among dog owners in Britain.
However, Jacob Morgan, owner of the Yorkshire Canine Academy, has warned families of the breed, explaining that Malinois' are likely to join the UK’s banned dogs list thanks to irresponsible breeders.
The dog trainer, who has a Malinois himself named Stark, said the breed has a strong hunting instinct, and will chase small animals, vehicles or children.
Jacob added that if Malinois' aren’t given plenty of exercise and stimulation, they can become anxious, which leads them to 'lash out at their owners'.
Speaking to Wales Online, he said: "I can confidently say the Belgian Malinois is not a family pet and especially if you have a full time job, you don’t have time for this breed."
The trainer also said the breed is being bought be people who are underestimating how much attention they need.
Jacob continued: "Just this week I have seen five Belgian Malinois dogs looking to be re-homed via Facebook. This is frightening to see as it shows people are buying this breed of dog and not being able to care for them.
"My Belgian Malinois puppy, Stark, is 15 weeks old, and I’m with him most of the day while I train our clients' dogs.
"But I also have members of staff who can also make sure Stark is getting stimulated by giving him an activity to do every hour. Even as a dog trainer, if it was just me looking after Stark, I’d struggle."
If Jacob’s warning is anything to go by, it means the Malinois could soon join the Pit Bull Terrier, the Japanese Tosa, the Dogo Argentino and the Fila Brasileiro on the UK's banned dogs list.
His warning comes after animal charity Blue Cross called for the ban of French bulldogs and other flat-faced pets in UK advertising in April.
Calls have been growing amid veterinary and animal ethics group to ban the breeding of brachycephalic pets – short-muzzled animals such as French bulldogs, pugs and Boston terriers – who can end up suffering from serious health conditions and a limited life span.
Astonishingly, one fifth of the nation's dogs were brachycephalic breeds as of 2021 – with the breeds noted as being popular for their 'fashion' status.
The #EndTheTrend campaign is subsequently calling for the UK's leading brands – companies which it lists on its site – to 'commit to the end of 2022 to phase out the use of any brachycephalic pets in their future advertisements' in a bid to stem the over-popularisation of the animals and stop their breeding.
The BVA also have a guide for brands on how to use pets safely and ethically within campaigns.
If you see an animal in distress and/or in need of help, contact the RSPCA's 24-hour animal cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 or visit their website for further advice
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