“When people connect with an animal, there’s a primal bond that often goes beyond what we experience with other people.” These are the words of Boaz Yakin, the director and co-writer of Warner Bros. Picture’s inspiring new family film, “Max”. According to Yakin, a dog-lover himself, this notion provided the initial inspiration for the movie. At the center of the story is a member of our favorite protection dog breed – the Belgian Malinois.
A Story About Loyalty and Companionship
The film follows the journey of Max, a military working dog (MWD), who serves alongside Marine Kyle Wincott in Afghanistan. Viewers of the film will go from watching the loveable Belgian Malinois frolic around as a puppy to seeing him work as a protection dog for his handler – warning him of hidden weapons and keeping him out of danger. When Max loses his friend on the battlefront, Kyle’s family adopts Max and takes him into their home. After the trauma he faces in Afghanistan, he is left with post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, which makes his readjustment to life after the U.S. Marine Corps difficult. However, he quickly finds a new friend in Kyle’s younger brother, Justin. Together, they both manage to overcome their grief and develop an incredible bond that help them both deal with the tragic loss. Despite his PTSD, he grows to trust and love Justin and becomes just as loyal and protective of him just as he previously is of Kyle.
Belgian Malinois: “A Real Hero Pet”
Max’s character has all of the traits of his breed – highly energetic, intelligent, alert, and faithful. They are extremely accepting to dog training as they have a strong desire to work. Just as Max is portrayed in the film, Belgian Malinois are confident dogs that love their family and are natural protectors. With the right dog protection training, the Belgian Malinois is one of the best dog guard dogs for families. This breed is also the favorite choice for law enforcement dogs as well as military working dogs all over the world.
Want to see a real Belgian Malinois in action? Meet our protection dog Cindy!
What is the difference between MWD and Protection Dog?
Essentially, military working dogs are a type of protective dog. They protect their handlers by alerting them of any hidden dangerous conditions and remain by their side as a supportive
companion on battlegrounds, responding to threats of attack. However, the role of a MWD extends further than just protecting its handler. MWD also serve as guards, trackers, search and rescue, scouts, and mascots. These dogs serve our country in the same ways that our military does, risking their lives and going far ahead of their units in order to keep everyone safe.
Not every dog can be trained as a MWD. With such a large amount of responsibility and so many lives on the line, only the world’s most protective dogs will do. Hence, top dogs such as German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois are commonly trained to serve alongside our military.
The loyalty and camaraderie between military working dogs and their handlers is extremely special. There are many viral videos that show MWDs lying mournfully beside their handler’s casket at their funeral, exhibiting their devotion to the very end and beyond. Similar to Max, it can be very difficult for a dog to return to normalcy after serving in war. They face the same adjustments that veterans do when returning home.
Prior to the passage of Robby’s Law in 2000, MWDs were considered too dangerous to adopt and were instead routinely euthanized. Since then, every effort has been made to have MWD’s successfully adopted. 90 % of all retired military dogs are adopted by their current or former handlers or their families.
Protection dog owners and dog-lovers can enjoy “Max” in theaters everywhere on June 26, 2015.