A pair of dognappers bit off more than they could chew when they tried to steal Nellie the five-stone Belgian Malinois who has served in war zones.
Toby Currier, 19, was walking with his much-loved dog in Cosham, Hampshire, when two men approached him and tried to steal Nellie, The Daily Star reports.
He said one of the men made a fuss of Nellie while the other asked him questions about her but he declined to give them any information.
Toby Currier, 19, was walking his Belgian Malinois Nellie (pictured together) in Cosham, Hants, when two men approached him fussed the dog before attempting to take the lead out his hands
Mr Currier, who works for a Portsmouth-based drone company which helps find missing people, claims the man asking questions suddenly lunged at Nellie in an attempt to grab her lead out of his hands.
But instinct and training set in for the search and rescue dog who shot the attempted thieves a glimpse of her sharp teeth and lunged at one of the men.
Mr Currier said: ‘Nellie thankfully defended herself and started barking and lunging at him and very almost got him a couple times.
‘I obviously gave them a mouth full of abuse.’
The attempted dognappers bit off more than they could chew with the dog who worked in war zones
After seeing just how powerful Nellie was in her show of force when she thought they were trying to attack Toby, the two men ran away down a side road.
Mr Currier said: ‘Looking back I’m quite pleased that Nellie taught them a lesson and it’s a shame they got away.’
The Belgian Malinois breed was originally bred to be a herding dog and today they often work as police and military dogs.
They are often used in the US military, such as one Belgian Malinois named Cairo who was used in Operation Neptune Spear to capture and bin Laden, The Washington Post reports.
The supermarket worker, who says his dog is usually ‘gentle and friendly’ also warned people in the area to be vigilant when walking their dogs.
Thinking the men were trying to attack owner Toby, Nellie (pictured) lunged at the two men before they made their escape down a side street
‘If these scum try and steal a Belgiant Malinois then they will definitely try and take smaller dogs,’ he said.
‘You have got to be pretty dim to try and steal a dog like Nellie. They are very athletic and are used by the army and police.’
Sharing the incident on local Facebook groups, Mr Currier said the men were both wearing face masks described them as ‘European’.
Hampshire Police has been approached for comment.
This post was first published on DailyMail.