This week President Trump made an appearance in the White House Rose Garden with Conan, the Belgian Malinois who participated in the special forces raid in Syria that resulted in the death of Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Conan was “slightly wounded” when Baghdadi killed himself with an explosive in his Syrian compound. Reports are that demand for this rare, excellent working dog breed are soaring due to the hero’s notoriety … no doubt by many who do not understand the demands of these smart-as-a-whip working dogs, and the extraordinary training and active lifestyle that best serves them. For those of you tempted by the allure of purchasing the equivalent of a canine Navy SEAL—resist and adopt a mutt from your local shelter. You both will be better served.
There seems to be some question about Conan’s gender—conflicting reports have stated that she is a he and then confirmation of just the opposite. It made us wonder if male or female canines would be better suited for military assignments. We consulted an article by behaviorist Patricia McConnell written for The Bark titled “What Are The Differences Between Male And Female Dogs?” that asked if male and female dogs learn differently. McConnell found that “in training and performance, the personality and background of any individual dog were more important factors than sex.”
We then turned to the dog’s name for clues. Our research confirmed that Conan is typically a boy’s name of Celtic origin meaning “little wolf” or “little hound.” In Gaelic, Conan was the name of an illustrious seventh-century Irish saint, bishop of the Isle of Man. More recent Conans include Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle, Conan the Barbarian—the pulp fantasy character, and a red-haired television host.
Stop the presses! It has been confirmed that Conan is, indeed, a boy. Though we were hoping that he was really a she, we are pleased to see a brave male turn up at the White House.