When it comes to protecting the most powerful and most influential man on earth, President of the United States of America a lot has to be put in place. Besides the highly trained and heavily-armed secret service guards, sophisticated security systems and the modest of technological inventions; there’s only one dog breed that’s deployed in case of an emergency.
The history of white house dogs dates back to 1921 when the then-controversial Warren G. Harding was the President. Back then, dogs were just the everyday pets kept for affection and companionship.
Today, a majority of the dogs within the white house perimeter or those accompanying the presidential motorcade are of a particular breed and often one with a military background. The current president may not have a pet, but in his yard are several vigilant working dogs.
Read on to understand more about the fearless breed, the BELGIAN MALINOIS- the tail of heroism.
What’s unique about the breed?
You’re probably asking yourself, what’s so unique about this dog breed? Well, we’ve got some interesting facts about this watchful breed that originated from the city of Mechelen, Northen Belgian.
As far as temperament is concerned, Malinois is active, hardworking, friendly at best and exhibits the highest of energy levels amongst all the dog breeds.
Besides being very athletic, they respond well to instructions and are very loyal to their handlers.
Size & color
With perfect size and weight, they can be picked up easily by their handlers and still large enough to control human aggressors. The Malinois has shorter hairs and neutral colors that are better adapted to the natural environment hence less likely to suffer from heatstroke.
Speed and Bit pressure
Chosen for their power and agility, a male Malinois weighs about 60 pounds and runs twice as fast as an Olympic sprinter. The bit pressure is estimated to be around 200 psi which is twice the minimum compression rate of one cylinder in a healthy, 4-cylinder sports car. Just to have a clear picture of what this means; a Malinois’ bit is enough to break 3 human bones stacked together.
Even with the above descriptions, it’s still wanting to know why the Belgian Malinois has been selected to guard the president. Why not the German Shepherds, why not the active and intelligent Doberman pinscher or even better, the intimidating bull mastiff?
Getting to the surface of this means unfolding some of the Whitehouse secrets and it’s undoubtedly clear how difficult it is- to get someone to talk of what is considered classified in the first place.
According to the former United States Secret Services (USSS), Canine Handler, Marshall Mirarchi; working in the secret service is working in protection where 99% is waiting for something to happen, and for the 1 %, something actually happens.
For a dog breed that’s not dedicated to his work, this could mean a huge disappointment to the security personnel. When staying alert all day/all night without the slightest of distraction is part of the job description; only those dog breeds with the best of form are cleared to patrol the white house grounds.
Another aspect that contributes to the popularity of the Malinois is the high preference of the breed to the common GSDs by the soldiers deployed to various overseas missions. According to USSS Special Agent William Stewart, the Malinois, unlike the GSDs, are like a light switch, they are easy to control and quick to respond.
With a quick check of the service dogs that have received state recognition, the Belgian Malinois tops the list. They have been reported to answer the call of duty when most needed.
In November 2019, President Donald Trump awarded a medal to the injured Canon, a Belgian Malinois that was used to hunt down an ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
In 2011, Cairo- a Belgian Malinois was used in operation Neptune-Spear in which the Al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden was killed. In 2014, two Malinois dogs- Hurricane and Jordan guarding the white house stopped a 200-pound intruder who jumped over the fence of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Whether it is escorting a presidential motorcade, sweeping the streets before a major marathon or leading the way in a combat field; the Belgian Malinois is second to none. Their noses are up to a thousand times more sensitive than that of humans and 10 times that of an ordinary dog.
These dogs are fearless and hardly knows when they are in danger. They aren’t trained to fail and they always feel invincible in service.