How Do Navy Seals Use Belgian Malinois? (2024)

The Navy Seals use Belgian Malinois for a variety of tasks. These dogs are extremely smart, athletic, and capable of extreme tasks that other dogs may not be able to handle.

These dogs are used to check to make sure certain routes are safe before soldiers navigate through them, and find wounded seals and even enemies that may be in hiding.

They are capable of jumping out of planes, climbing rocks, running at fast speeds, and sniffing out danger.

They fight right alongside human seals and perform many of the same procedures and tasks that they do. They become close to their owners and will fight to protect them at all costs.

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Why Does The Navy Use Belgian Malinois?


During wartime, the United States wasn’t always so particular about breed. American family pets were sent overseas to fight as a result of Americans donating their dogs to the army during World War II. Untrained animals resulted in deaths, injuries, or trauma.

After the war, the United States military determined that dogs would follow the same training and discipline that applied to human counterparts the next time they went into battle. This meant the dogs would need to be trained in a very similar manner.

Since the 1950s, various breeds have been used by the Army for different tasks. Bombs are sniffed by Labrador Retrievers.

Dutch and German Shepherds are good multi-purpose dogs due to their combination of traits. In recent years, many breeds have served as therapy animals to vets with trauma or physical injuries.

The Belgian Malinois dog is widely used by soldiers seeking strong, effective fighting capability on demand.

These dogs are often referred to as “fur missiles” because they are fast, tenacious, and eager to take down their opponents. They are fearless and rarely run from a fight. Almost no suspect can escape from a Malinois due to its 70-pound bite force.

Scent tracking is also one of their strong suits. A spy stole Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi’s clothes to track his scent when Delta Force was searching for the ISIS leader.

The ability of military “Maligators” on their own may be their most compelling feature.

During a landing operation, a Malinois can discover safe ways to travel, mark explosive sites, and transmit information to its handler without getting blown up itself. There are times when they are extraordinary in many situations.

How Are They Trained?


An arduous training process is required to produce a Belgian Malinois capable of enduring the pressure of combat. Rather than putting dogs under pressure, they can’t handle, the military prefers understaffed K-9 units.

Once a canine Navy SEAL is able to survive on its own, it must be separated from its mother. Human handlers tend to be regarded as parents by it as a result.

Puppy trainers begin testing the puppy three days after birth by playing gunfire recordings and rubbing cotton swabs on its toes.

After four weeks of this, if the Malinois puppy isn’t too nervous, its handlers begin teaching it how to swim. Malinois panic if they cannot see land during this phase. The handlers will continue training it for seaborne missions if they are able to calm it down.

There are 99 out of 100 Belgian Malinois who won’t make it to the end of SEAL training. Volunteer families adopt these dogs from the military. Check out the next section if you’re interested in rescuing a retired or failed military dog.

As they advance through the levels, the dogs run obstacle courses, practice combat skills, and form a bond with their handlers that can never be broken. Eventually, they can sit calmly while a gun fires live ammunition inches from their faces.

For Maligators to successfully use their powerful jaws without fear, the handlers often wear bite-proof suits. A helicopter parachute is also taught to them, first by dangling in midair from the chopper.

An active-duty Belgian Malinois keeps its combat skills sharp by running combat simulations with its handler between missions.

What Makes Belgian Malinois Perfect For The Navy?


There are many traits this dog possesses that make it an excellent candidate for military duty. New York City police dogs have been a part of American history for over a century since they were first utilized for police work by the department in 1908.

Their Background

In order to create a dog with a fierce work ethic and drive, a group of diligent dog breeders developed the Belgian Malinois.

These breeders didn’t place a lot of emphasis on appearance, instead focusing on the intelligence, stamina, and loyalty of their dogs.

Belgium produced four shepherd-type dogs around the same time, including the Belgian Malinois. A Belgian Tervuren, a Belgian Laekenois, and a Belgian Shepherd are a few of the other Belgium herding breeds that he is closely related to.

The Belgian Sheepdog is, despite its physical differences and temperament, considered a single breed in many countries.

Lightweight And Agile

Dog breeds other than Belgian Malinois are typically heavier and less agile. The benefits of being lighter are particularly significant when you jump from helicopters, planes, or even tall buildings.

Tandem jumps with parachutes are often done by dogs and their handlers. Dogs can skydive on their own, which means they can be skydivers. The dog will be safer, or rather, more comfortable, if it has to land in water.

Aggressive When Necessary

In addition to having a high level of energy, Belgian Malinois are also intelligent working dogs. Exercise and attention are essential for them. An aggressive malinois usually indicates that its owner cannot meet its physical or mental needs.

Due to their instinctual nature to guard and protect, Belgian Malinois are reserved and aggressive towards strangers.

That’s why they tend to increase their distance when they face someone unfamiliar. In order to accomplish this, they either become aggressive or run away.

Easy To Train


Belgian Malinois dogs are naturally obedient. Their innate intelligence makes them easy to train, and they don’t require as much repetition as some other dogs do to learn something right.

In addition to being quick-witted and defensive, this breed is also known for its intelligence. Their nature does not make them aggressive nor shy, and they react to situations according to their circumstances.

Belgian Malinois are very similar to German Shepherds when it comes to their characteristics, so those who have trained working dogs, especially German Shepherds, will have no trouble training them.

Their owners and handlers are constantly trying to please them, and they are highly motivated to learn.

As they are also naturally intelligent, they rank twenty-eighth among the most intelligent dogs in the world, which means you can teach them anything they need to know in a relatively short period of time.

In addition to enjoying agility training, they enjoy being physically active, and they need obedience classes because of their high degree of intelligence. Malinois that are trained to work with Navy seals receives even more intense training.

They go through a special type of academy, and only a selection few are actually chosen to be a part of the Navy. Those that are chosen will continue to receive training throughout their time.

Police and military forces around the world value their canine officers’ discretion and loyalty, so they use them in order to stay alert and fend off potential threats.

It can be a challenge to train them to adapt easily to new people if you want them to enjoy spending time with their owners but not with strangers.

Many Belgian Malinois receives special recognition for their services after completing training and all their navy or military tasks. Some dogs work in the military for many years.

Sadly, some are also injured in the line of duty. Others retire safely and are even adopted by their trainers, and military partners, or go to live with other families.

Naturally Protective

Protection is a strong characteristic of Belgian Malinois dogs. As well as territorial instincts, they also exhibit aggressive behavior. Due to their intelligence, alertness, athletic ability, and confidence, Belgian Malinois make excellent protection dogs.

Furthermore, these dogs are natural protectors of their owners, their families, and their property. Despite their protective nature, malinois has reasons for doing so.

They were originally bred as guard and herding dogs. They have been used as guard dogs by the Belgian Police since they have a protective instinct. Additionally, they have a temperament that makes them a good match.

People appreciate Malinois dogs for their affectionate behavior, but strangers find them reserved. They are exceptional family protection dogs due to this characteristic.

They Are Healthy

Despite the Malinois’ average lifespan of twelve to fourteen years, the American Kennel Club considers it a robust, healthy breed.

Since the Navy Seals may not always be located near vets or able to take the dogs to a veterinarian, it is important that they only work with dogs that are healthy and not likely to suffer from genetic health problems.

Hip dysplasia, skin problems, and eye problems are some of the health issues that malinois have. As with German Shepherds, their statistical probability of developing epilepsy is higher than that of other breeds.

Having an understanding of the possible problems your dog may face, and ensuring that it is insured, will prepare you to deal with any eventualities that may arise.

Belgian Malinois are just one of a handful of breeds that are used in military operations. They have many traits that make them idea for working under pressure and in fast-paced environments alongside Navy seals and other military units.

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For more information about the Belgian Malinois Army Participation, check out the video below: