Officials fear demand of Belgian Malinois dogs after movie 'Max'

With the release of the movie "Max" on June 26, breeders, trainers, and rescue volunteers involved with the Belgian Malinois breed of dogs are "bracing for a large influx of Malinois to be abandoned to shelters and surrendered to rescue groups in the coming months," the American Belgian Malinois Club (ABMC) said.

"Many people who see the dog portrayed in this film may be drawn to the Belgian Malinois breed, but the overwhelming majority will not be equipped to live with an animal with such extreme energy levels and intensity," Marcia Tokson, American Belgian Malinois Rescue (ABMR) President, said. "It is our recommendation that those considering a Belgian Malinois for the first time think seriously about adopting an older dog with known personality traits and qualities that can be matched to their home and lifestyle."

The film, distributed by Warner Brothers, features a highly trained military dog named Max. Following his military handler Kyle's death in Afghanistan, a traumatized Max is shipped back to the U.S. and is adopted by Kyle's family. The Belgian Malinois connects with Kyle's teenage brother Justin.

"We are very concerned that the public will see this movie and recognize the beauty, intelligence and athleticism of the Belgian Malinois, but not realize that the dogs currently being featured in movies and television are the result of years of intense training," Judy Hagen, President of the ABMC, said. "Living with a Belgian Malinois requires a commitment to daily training and exercise. Without this they will find their own activities that will make your life difficult. "

According to ABMR Midwest Coordinator Taylor Updike Haywood, the movie trailer uses the phrase "Air Jordan of dogs" to describe the breed, and people are already calling and asking to adopt them.