Have you ever had a dog and wanted to wring its neck? If not, I highly recommend you avoid the companionship of a Belgian Malinois! Unless you have the personality to wrestle an alligator, raptor, or fight ferocious lions, I will urge you to go with a Springer Spaniel. They are cute, loveable, hard-working, and won’t kick your back end! Don’t get me wrong, a Springer has the hell-fire high drive, but you’re going to avoid stitches, back pain, and your stress level won’t kill you before you’re 40.
I’ve had the opportunities to run both of these fantastic beasts — Depending on your personality and level of patience, either dog may be a great companion — A Belgian Malinois isn’t called the “Maligator” for squirts and tinkles. They literally will destroy everything you own, if you don’t know how to control one. They are not an animal you can keep cooped up in the house or wander the yard (at least I wouldn’t). They have an extremely high drive and need to be given a job.
Whether it’s police work, talent shows, and tricks, or …. yeah, that’s about it — They are working dogs; not cute and cuddly pets (I don’t care if you agree with me or not). Sure, you can hug them and teach them to roll over, but they are Alpha wired animals. They want to be in control and will be unless you know what the hell you’re doing.
With all of that said, they still make fantastic partners. If you can put up with the destruction and chaos, they can be loyal to the end. I say “can” because I still don’t trust them when I’m not paying attention —They demand the “command presence.” When they make their appearance, it’s all eyes on them — They are similar to the German Shepards, but ten cups of coffee later, you have a Belgian Malinois — They are strong, athletic, and extremely smart-dumb! Mal’s are hands-down the smartest-dumbest dog I’ve ever had to work with. When a handful of law enforcement officers are afraid to go into a building, we send in the smart-dumb Malinois — They sense no fear.
On the other hand, a Springer Spaniel is going to run circles around the Malinois. What I mean by that is, the Springer has stamina as I’ve never seen before. They never burn out. They are the “Energizer Bunny” with ADHD! Before you can say “GO,” they are already gone. At least that’s my experience with a Springer. They love to work, play and are excellent around the family.
As you consider looking for a fantastic single or dual purpose K9 partner, I say — go with a Springer Spaniel for single purpose work. For dual purpose work, go with a Belgian Malinois — You may get yourself in a bind if you deploy a Springer during a critical, life-saving incident… They definitely don’t make a good back-up! They are less stress and a fun dog to partner up with. On the other hand, a Belgian Malinois is going to blanket you with a sense of security. No one wants to mess with a dog that will rip their face off!