Maligator Mania! is here. Arguably the #MALIGATOR is the most formidable animal alive today. This extraordinary beast USED to be called a Belgian Malinois (mal-in-wah) or Belgian Sheppard. 9 out of 10 people see them and say “OH! What a beautiful German Sheppard!”. We the owners of these fearless K9’s, while flattered for the praise- also get tired of having to correct people on their name, right down to having to spell it out for them. Their name does them no justice.MM2

A quick history- Mali’s as the are known in short are a herding and protection dog. They have been used for thousands of years and like all other dogs are a derivative of the wolf.



Yes- SAM even has his own decals that are placed in “appropriate” places…lest someone says they weren’t warned! You will understand why by the end of the article.




This is good to keep in mind. I’ve trained K9’s for the better part of half a century. From simple basic commands, show dogs, personal dogs, police dogs, etc. I’ve always been around and associated with BIG dogs- Alaskan Malamutes, Doberman Pincers, German Sheppard’s and the like. The venerable German Sheppard was bred in large part of the Mali breed. As you will see in the following photos, they get along well with other animals 🙂


Photo- ARES (left) & ACHILLES(right) looking over their little brothers. One would not want to be on the wrong side of their of these guys, much less both at the same time!

I have two MALIGATORS and by sheer accident the male, SAM, is among the largest in the world at 120 lbs and the female is among the smallest at 30 lbs, both full grown. The average working Mali is 45-70 lbs and are used by the Military and Police as their preferred K9 breed in most cases. AS A BREED they are (and I am biased, but true) the best K9 for what they are used for. Main uses include security, attack, defense, tracking, “nose work” (drugs, bombs, explosives, accelerants etc.) The very trait that makes them an exceptional dog for these uses also has its drawbacks. That trait is called DRIVE. Mali’s are an exceptionally high energy and high drive dog. These dogs are NOT for most K-9/dog owners. They are exceptionally loyal, intelligent and easy to train, the easiest breed in the world to train, generally speaking. Europe is renowned for breeding these exceptional dogs. One of my favorite sayings is “Americans breed the stupid into dogs”. I’ll stand by that statement until the day I die. Thank “puppy mills” and greedy individuals for this. These dogs are not cheap and in many cases they are exceptionally expensive.


Photo- ARES showing Liz (his caretaker) that he can do ANYTHING!

The reason I’m writing this article is simple. I’ve mentioned SAM before in previous articles and many people have made inquiries to me about him, often! Needless to say I am very proud of him and would protect him with my life, as he would me. He’s a certified service dog as well as Extremely well trained as a personal protection K-9 and his loyalty is unmatched by any other dog I’ve ever had. Considering the caliber of dogs I’ve had and trained in the past, this is a VERY big compliment and testimonial to SAM. Naturally, I have become close friends with other Mali owners and without exception, there is no exception to what I have written with anyone I personally know. We all feel the same about these remarkable dogs. PLEASE! DO NOT RUN OUT and try to buy a Mali unless you are sure that you have the time, money and dedication to be able to devote to this breed. If you want “just a pet”, look at another breed. These are intense working dogs and are not happy unless they are working. Typically they are like a magnet. Once they attach themselves to you, they don’t turn loose. This is an important statement. Literally, they are the most loyal dog I’ve had and SAM stays with me no matter where I go or what I do. On the other hand, if you are on the receiving end of their wrath, they don’t turn loose. Their bite power is incredible and well trained dogs actually crush bones when they engage “the bad guy”. The are very good with family members and other pets and quickly learn who friends are. They are not a MEAN breed of dog in the least. When trained properly they think of attack work as playing and reward. Sam would rather do bite work than eat, sleep or anything else and he is tireless. The attention span of the typical MALIGATOR is unbelievable, and is matched with their memory. It is no accident that most every Military and Police agency worldwide consider this breed to be an indispensable tool in their work.


Photo- ACHILLES just having some FUN.

My wife’s little 30 pound Maligator can climb and scale a 6ft. concrete block wall, just for fun and because she can.  A 6ft. chain link fence doesn’t exist where she’s concerned. Out of necessity, she’s been TRAINED to stay in the yard and she knows she is able to leave at any time. There is no keeping her in, so training was the only way. Just to be clear, she DOES STAY IN THE YARD- now. My wife has asked that I limit what I say about Liz and her training, as her roll is more of a service nature than protection, but does provide both.

As for SAM, he goes EVERYWHERE with me- after all, that’s his job. He is my Legal Service Animal and the functions he provides for me he provides very well. I’ll just leave it at that, as specifically what he does for me is no one else’s business. If I try to go someplace without him, well….it’s not pretty and he pouts until I get back. He knows he is supposed to go with me and feels let down when I don’t include him. He’s a dog and a very happy dog at that just like any other. When he’s working then he’s all business. He knows the difference and there is all the difference in the world between his two worlds. He’s a DOG and then he’s a near robotic K9 with just a word. By the way- HE decides who pets him and who doesn’t. He’s not mean in the least, but you’ll know if he wants your attention or not. ‘Nuff said? Same is trained entirely off leash. On the rare occasion I do use one he’s not real sure what it is or why I’m using it. His off leash training is necessary as his function for being my service dog. For what it’s worth, I prefer the company of SAM than most anyone else. I’m a fairly anti-social kinda sort and SAM is just fine with that.

Just a few of the commands they understand are- sit, stay, heel, stop, go under (something), down, lay down (different from down), pull, lead, fetch, carry, retrieve, urinate on command, get out of the way, guard, attack, pull attacker to the ground (SAM is also trained and capable of breaking your arm when doing this as well as crushing the bones). There is no resistance as resistance is futile and will only inflict much more pain and damage. The exact meaning of the words is NOT always what you assume them to be, but as long as the dog know then it’s all good. There are numerous other commands that I won’t say for a variety of reasons, but it’s about twice as many. Most of their commands are in foreign languages and “made up” words. Instinctively they know the words and when the command is directed at them or just being used in conversation. Should you ever meet me in person, it would not be wise to raise your voice or attempt to push or harm me! (or anyone else in this article). All of our dogs are trained with some things in common and others are dog specific. Some are trained to track, other are trained to detect narcotics and various other things, just for the fun of it and because they can do it. Any of the K9’s featured here are capable of learning an entirely new command in as little as 10 minutes. The reason for that is they are used to being trained and learning new things, they enjoy it and love the challenges placed before them. At 120 lbs, SAM’s brute raw strength is almost unbelievable! Even the “normal” sized dogs are stronger for their size than most other breeds. Anyone even remotely thinking of getting a Maligator would be well advised to not seek out a large one! Just take my word for it, it comes with its own set of challenges, and these dogs are challenging enough. At just 30 lbs, my wife’s dog is PERFECT for her and is very glad she is not any larger. Liz the person has what are considered to be closer to typical sized and she couldn’t be happier with them. This is a testament to these dogs, you love them for what they represent to you and not for what they are. They win you over with affection, devotion, loyalty and intelligence. Of the four Maligators featured here, I’d be more than happy with any of them and all of us(people) feel the same way. These dogs form a unique bond with their owners and it’s close to impossible to break it.


Yes- Both are fully grown and show the vast differences in size with Liz being the smallest Maligator and Sam being the largest that I’m aware of. It’s wasn’t planned, but we ended up with them both. Sam & Liz are inseparable.


Photo- Little LIZ on top and SAM on the bottom. 30 lbs vs 120 lbs

For clarification- LIZ the dog was named after Liz that owns Ares and Achilles.


Photo- Ares on top and Achilles on bottom. Yes- they have their own custom made, one of a kind, bunk doggie beds! This should indicate how MALIGATOR owners feel about their friends.


Liz was but a puppy in this photo with Sam leading her around on a leash during a public demonstration.


This is LIZ on the very first day with us on the way home, on the world famous Route 66. SAM was ONLY 100 lbs in this photos and LIZ was 11lbs.

Each time we visited Ruidoso Malinois to pick out our new best friends, THEY PICKED US! Originally SAM was meant to be my wife’s dog, but 10 minutes after we were there, he attached himself to me and never let go. The following visit to pick out another friend, Liz (Sparkle was her name then) went bananas jumping up and down and getting my wife’s attention. Love at first sight! Oddly enough, the owner had predicted just that, in spite of me attempting to prove them wrong.


Their very first meeting at Ruidoso Malinois in New Mexico


These two are a formidable pair as LIZ mirrors whatever SAM does, including ATTACKING. If SAM senses that LIZ is in danger, he rectifies and neutralizes the threat without hesitation.

Lest you get the wrong idea that I am bragging on this remarkable breed and my K9’s, you damn right! I do want to repeat something and this is very important- The great dogs are most certainly not for everyone! Just their VERY high energy can wear most people out in a few minutes and can embarrass any competitor in an Iron Man completion. Please- Do not run out after reading this and think that you want one. My wife and I wouldn’t take a million dollars for our companions. They own us just as much as we own them. They are our service dogs, companions and best friends. I’ve been offered stunning amounts for SAM and never for a second entertained any of them. Liz, the owner of the two Maligators in the beginning of this article feels exactly the same way. Just to clarify a point Liz, our small Maligator was named after Liz C. the owner of Ares and Achilles. She’s also the one that originally coined the new name for the Belgian Malinois- THE MALIGATOR! And the name could not be more fitting. Since owning her two Mali’s, Liz has gone on to become a very good and respected K9 trainer in her own right.

Credit where CREDITS are due-



This internationally recognized facility that imports, breeds and trains Mali’s, and is where I got both of my Mali’s. SAM was imported from Belgium and LIZ was American bred from the finest K-9’s from Europe. They supply EXCLUSIVELY Belgian Malinois to governments, military, police and private individuals that are in need of this type of dog. The owner has the uncanny and remarkable instinct to be able to match the right dog for the right uses and people. She hit a home run for me TWICE! Ruidoso Malinois has my highest endorsement!


The MALINOIS FOUNDATION is an organization that also has my highest endorsement. They endeavor to match up Mali’s with disabled people and veterans who are in need of a service dog, with a Mali that has been given up by its former owner or donated to them. REMEMBER- I said that Mali’s are not for everyone!

I ask everyone to support this organization in any way possible. Please, visit their website and see for yourself what great and inspirational work they are doing.


This is a Utah police working K9 Mailigator.


HAWKEYE and SAM                                ARES and ACHILLES


Six highly trained MALIGATORS posing together. SAM is the large one, left center. Any one of these MALIGATORS is a formidable foe that you’d not want to meet up with on a bad day. Even being as well trained as they are, it was still quite a feat to get this many Mali’s to sit still long enough to get a photograph. As far as I know, this is the most Mali’s ever photographed unattended and off leash. All are PRIVATE owned and any police department in the world would be glad at having any one of these fine animals. The combined market value of these MALIGATORS would easily be in the half million dollar range! Even at that I’m sure none of us owners would part with any ONE of them for that small amount!

IMG_20160202_1834485761This photo really shows the size difference between LIZ and Sam!

These photos really show the size difference between LIZ and SAM! They don’t come any smaller or larger.

I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. I really did TRY to write it and not sound like I was bragging. It wasn’t my intention but I’m sure that my pride and love for this breed has shown through. Again, I will leave you with this WARNING- MAILIGATORS ARE NOT FOR EVERYONE!  In reality very few regular common people should have them. They don’t do well as JUST A PET. They are a working dog and they want to do just that. As for any of you puppy mill assholes out there, LEAVE THIS BREED ALONE! If you don’t I will personally hunt you down…. CLEAR ENOUGH?


About Author

FORMER- Cop, Fireman, EMT, Trampoline Instructor, Gunsmith, Firearms Instructor, Minister, Law Enforcement, Private Investigator, Body Guard, Biker, Race Car Driver, Carpenter, Furniture Maker & Wood Worker, Highly Qualified Industrial Maintenance Technician and Manager, Instrument maker, Adventurer, Scuba Diver, Plane owner and pilot, River Boat Skipper, Writer, Author, Journalist, Welder, Mechanic (I can fix most anything and just about have). Meteorite Hunter, K9 Trainer, Dog and Cat lover. Typically I am unsociable and just plain hardheaded. Though I have taken a few prodigies under my wing. LOTS more than I can't remember for now.


  1. Excellent members of the working class k-9. Some of what you are saying about them remind me of the norweigan elk hounds i had many years ago. I have american pitbull terriers now . I do also make up their verbal commamds. A few short sounds and often they are graduated to just clicks or motions from my hands.
    I do think your right about the puppy mill dogs i refuse do even deal with anytype of puppy mill k-9 as they do seem to lack intellect and training understanding. Great article i will be interested in my further research of the breed.

  2. Hi, your dogs are beautiful! We were given a Mal in a rescue situation and never intended to keep her, especially given the reputations that Mals have. However, my husband fell in love with her sweet personality and she has become, in the five months we have had her, a true member of our family. She is actually very chill for a Mal, which means she is only a little crazy! She trains faster than any dog we have ever had and her attachment is obvious. Thanks for sharing your story! I’m looking forward to continuing to train our girl into all that she can become.

    • We just got another Mali-puppy. Her name is “BELLE” and she’s 16 weeks old now. Got her from the same place as the others and couldn’t be happier with her. She is a Service-dog-in-training, so I’m sure there will be an update to this article in the future. As far as their reputation goes, only the uninformed and ding-bats don’t love this breed. They are what you make them.
      Thanks for the reply.

  3. Thank you for a great article. I knew nothing about this fascinating dog and this was the best information I found online! Your pride and devotion shone through in just the way any dog lover appreciates. I will not be looking to add one of these beautiful creatures to my family (I’m more of a laid-back St. Bernard kind of person). Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and love of the Mali.

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