Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois)
(Malinois) (Chien de Berger Belge) (Belgian Shepherd Malinois)
The Belgian Malinois was named after the Belgian city of Malines.
While the Belgian Malinois is still rare in England, it is popular
in Belgium, it's country of origin. It is one of the four varieties
of the Belgian Sheepdogs which all share a common foundation. In
most countries and breed clubs all four dogs are considered the
same breed with different varieties in coat types.
All four dogs share a breed standard in all countries accept for
the American KC who since 1959 recognizes them as separate breeds.
Versatile and highly intelligent, the Belgian Sheepdog excels at
a variety of talents, including but not limited to police work such
as, drug and bomb detection, protection, search and rescue, also
obedience, agility, tracking, herding, sled and cart pulling and
as a guide for the blind and assistant to the disabled.
These high energy, extremely intelligent dogs need leadership,
to be challenged, and well exercised daily and therefore are not
for everyone, but can make an excellent family companion with the
right owners. The Belgian Malinois was the first of the four sheepdogs
to establish type. Until the other four were established in type
they were called "Berger Belge a poil court autre que Malinois",
which meant "Belgian short-coated Sheepdog who is not the Malinois."
Today all four sheepdogs are popular in Belgian. Today the Laekenois
and Malinois more often used as working type dogs, than the Belgian
Groenendael and Tervuren but all types still make excellent workers.
The Belgian Malinois have a body that is often described as square,
as that is the shape they have in appearance when the legs and topline
are viewed from the side. The chest is deep. The top line is level
sloping slightly at the withers. The overall size of the head is
in proportion to the body. The skull is flat with the width and
length being of the same distance. The muzzle is somewhat pointed
and equal in length to the top of the skull with a moderate stop.
The nose is black and so are the tight lips. The teeth meet in a
scissors or level bite. The medium sized, almond-shaped eyes are
brown. The erect ears are triangle in shape.
The tail is strong at the base with the bone reaching to the hock.
The feet are cat-like in shape. Dewclaws may be removed. The weather
resistant, double-coat is short and straight. The coat color comes
in rich fawn to red to mahogany to black, with black tips on the
hairs. The mask and ears are black. Underneath the body, the tail
and back end are a lighter fawn. The hair around the neck looks
like a collar as it is slightly longer.
Belgian Malinois is one of four Belgian Sheepdogs. A very bright
and obedient dog, they are determined and observant with strong
protective and territorial instincts. They need to be introduced
to other dogs to prevent them from becoming shy or sensitive. The
Belgian Malinois needs an experienced master who is firm, but not
heavy handed. If you are harsh or overbearing they will become uncooperative.
Owners need to be the pack leader and demonstrate that they are
the alpha in the pack. Clear boundaries must be set and made clear.
This breed is instinctively protective so it should be trained and
socialized very well from an early age.
Puppies should be socializing right from birth. Good for working
and competition obedience. These dogs make excellent police and
watch dogs as they guard their territory. This type of work is currently
their main occupation. They do however make excellent pets if they
have owners who can challenge their minds with an air of leadership.
They are ever watchful, alert and loyal.
Belgian Malinois are good with children if socialized well with
them. This breed needs to be part of the family and not locked up
in a kennel. They need leadership, plenty of stimulation and exercise
along with training and companionship, for without it they may develop
behavioural problems and be hard to handle. The Belgian Malinois
is high energy, with a high mental capacity, and is quick to comprehend.
They need a job to do, especially if you are dealing with working
lines. Take care when introducing this dog to other pets and animals.
They can be rather dominant toward other dogs and need an owner
who can communicate to the dog that dominance is an unwanted behaviour.
Provided they are correctly socialized with cats and other pets,
they should not present any problems. Belgian Malinois may instinctively
start to try and herd such as chasing and circling, moving effortlessly
for hours and nipping at people's heels.
They must be taught not to do this to people. This is a very demanding
dog. It needs an experienced owner for it can easily be difficult
to control unless the owner knows how to handle him. The way the
owner handles the dog can produce wide differences in temperament
and whether or not the dog is aggressive or not. Talk to someone
experienced with the breed before you buy your dog. These dogs are
often impressive; don't base your purchase solely on achievement
records and appearances. Only adopt this type of dog if you fully
understand what it means to be pack leade
Height: Dogs 61-66 cm. Bitches 56-61 cm
Weight: 24-29 kg.
This hardy, healthy breed has no major health concerns. Some minor
concerns that have been seen are skin allergies, eye problems, excessive
shyness, excessive aggressiveness and occasionally seen hip dysplasia
and elbow dysplasia.
The Belgian Malinois will do okay in smaller dwellings if it is
sufficiently exercised. It is moderately active indoors and will
do best with at least an average-sized garden. This breed prefers
cool climates, but adapts well to others. It can live outdoors but
would much rather be with people.
This is a working dog that is accustomed to an active outdoor life.
As such it needs a lot of exercise, including at least two walks
a day including plenty of running out in the open. In addition,
they will greatly benefit being off the leash as much as possible
in a safe area.
About 12-14 years
Average 6 - 10 puppies
The smooth, short-haired coat of the Malinois is easy to groom.
Brush regularly with a firm bristle brush and bathe only if it is
absolutely necessary, as bathing removes the waterproofing of the
coat. This breed is a light constant shedder, but sheds heavily
twice a year.