belgian malinois

Hero Dog Helps Bring Down ISIS Leader

We don’t deserve dogs. 

Whether you just admire all the doggos and puppers online or you live with them, dogs are an amazing animal. 

My wife and I talk about how amazing they are all the time. In fact, Sunday morning we were discussing about how incredible dogs are. 

They can be trained as service animals to help people with seizures, or they can be trained to help calm people with emotional issues. One such example is Marcus Luttrel. Lone Survivor himself talks about his close relationship with his dog on his podcast, Team Never Quit Podcast, all the time. 

Dog Helps Take Down ISIS Leader

We can add another dog to the list of amazing animals now though.

President Donald Trump tweeted out a picture of one of the dogs that helped take down the leader of terrorist organization ISIS Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The Trump administration made a public statement Saturday that American forces had eliminated the leader in a 2 hour raid in Syria’s Idlib Province.

This isn’t long after the Trump administration received a lot of backlash for pulling troops out of Syria. They were criticized because many believed this would lead to ISIS gaining strength. 

I say, never full on criticize until you have all the details. We don’t know what was going on behind the scenes when Trump made this decision. It’s possible pulling the troops led to them learning the location of al-Baghdadi, and, ultimately, his death.

The details of the raid are still classified, but what we do know from President Trump’s description of the event is that al-Baghdadi was “whimpering and crying” as he tried to run from U.S. forces.

Fox News details the event to have been a larger force than the one that took out Osama Bin Laden in 2011. The raid consisted of a force of between 50 and 70 soldiers from the U.S. Army Delta Force and Army Rangers. 

The raid led to a chase down a tunnel that led to a dead end. 

During the chase, al-Baghdadi grabbed 3 children and blew his suicide vest upon reaching the dead end of the tunnel. The explosion resulted in the death of al-Baghdadi and, tragically, the 3 children he had with him. 

The only American injured was the dog, whose name is, fittingly, Conan.

Aftermath for the Dog

The dog was injured, though not terribly or fataley, and has been released back to his handler. 

I know I’m not alone in saying this dog deserves all the praise he is receiving, and will hopefully be back in full service or retired. 

Though the dog’s name is Conan, the American public will continually refer to him as “Hero.”

The Belgian Malinois

Most people looked at the picture President Trump tweeted out and said something along the lines of, “man, German Shepherds are so badass.”

I know I mumbled those exact words to nobody in particular.

But, like every other person that said this, they were making the wrong statement based on the picture. Conan is actually a Belgian Malinois.

The Belgian Malinois is slowly becoming the dog breed of choice for military and law enforcement, ousting the revered German Shepherd.

To get more of an insight into Belgian Malinois, I interviewed Ross Rapoport, brother of a well known Belgian Malinois breeder.

First off, I asked Ross why the Belgian Malinois is starting to take over the spot of the German Shepherd. He told me, to sum it up, “the Belgian Malinois is a healthier dog in the long term.”

This didn’t make sense to me initially. Why would one dog be healthier than another? He said, “the German Shepherd is a ‘designer dog.’ It was bred for a specific look and specific purpose.”

To get a designer dog, you end up having a lot of line breeding. That means it was brothers and sisters mating to get the ideal dog. This ended up giving the dogs the same issues you would see if brothers and sisters had a baby in humans. In the long run it led to German Shepherds having health issues, such as hip issues, and shorter lifespans.

Ross also said “the Belgian Malinois is smaller, more agile, or lithe, and can just remain in action longer. They will function at a high level for longer than a German Shepherd.”

The Belgian Malinois is also considerably more hyper than your typical German Shepherd. They have to be engaged. This is where the training of the owner comes in.

For military personnel, that means they would have to have an incredibly strong bond with the animal. Such is the case for Conan and his handler.

As for temperaments, the Belgian is extremely hyper and higher maintenance. A German Shepherd is praised for being an incredibly protector, but they may get caught up in that role a bit too much. Ross described the Malinois as being a “strong worker.”

If you were looking into getting a Malinois for yourself, then Ross warns that “Belgian Malinois are the Ferrari of the dog world. Everyone wants one, but not everyone can handle one.”

This means you have to be willing to dedicate the time to training and raising the dog correctly. Otherwise, it could end terribly for the owner and dog alike.

When I asked Ross the biggest tips on getting a Belgian Malinois if you really want one he said, “go to a reputable breeder, such as GeMax Home or LaForge Malinois in Connecticut. Listen to the breeder’s advice. Visit the breeder multiple times before picking out the dog you want. Every situation will be slightly different, so don’t take everything you hear about one person’s experience as gospel.”

After getting the dog, it has to be trained correctly. Ross said, “you can’t put in the dog what isn’t there, but you can screw up and take out what is.”

That means take care of your dog, and maybe you can end up with you own version of the American Hero Conan.

Image Credit: Into the Breach

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: