(aka: Belgian Shepherd Dog, Malinois, Chien de Berger Belge, Belgian Shepherd Malinois)
One of the four types of Belgian sheep herding dogs, the Belgian Malinois is an alert, high-energy breed, popular as both a police and military working dog. Although sometimes mistaken for the German Shepherd Dog, the Malinois is more elegant in build and lighter-boned, but does not lack for strength, agility or herding ability. Active participants in conformation, obedience, schutzhund, herding, sledding, and tracking, the breed ranges in color from rich fawn to mahogany, with black tips on the hairs and a black mask and ears.
The Belgian Malinois is a well balanced, square dog, elegant in appearance with an exceedingly proud carriage of the head and neck. The dog is strong, agile, well muscled, alert, and full of life. He stands squarely on all fours and viewed from the side, the topline, forelegs, and hind legs closely approximate a square. The whole conformation gives the impression of depth and solidity without bulkiness. The male is usually somewhat more impressive and grand than his female counterpart, which has a distinctly feminine look.
According to breed standard, he has almond shaped eyes, his ears are stiff and stand erect shaped like an equilateral triangle. His back is level, and his tail is raised with a slight curve when he moves.
he was recognized by the AKC in 1959, and is a member of the Herding Group.
Belgian Malinois Temperament
The Belgian Malinois is such a versatile dog that so many words can be used to describe their temperament. They are serious and watchful, but yet loving and playful. They are a great watchdog, very protective and territorial with their owner and home. These are some of the traits that make them excellent police dogs. This is one similarity they have with the German shepherd. They have a tendency to become loyal to one or two people and will bond very strongly with these people. Some Malinois may be shy, but this is usually a result of too little socialization from a young age. From a very young age, the Belgian Malinois needs to be social with people and needs firm but loving training.
They are very alert and playful and love doing things with the family such as running, jogging, or just playing catch in the back yard. You will get tired of playing long before they will. If they have been raised around other animals like cats, there will probably not be a problem provided they were socialized together from a young age. The Malinois tends to be dominant toward other dogs, however.
It is not unusual for a Malinois to occasionally act out during the first year of its life, acting silly, out of control or even silly. This is perfectly normal and acceptable puppy behavior but needs to be nipped in the bud so the pattern does not continue into adulthood. They will go through a few different behavior phases the first year. It is at this time, that the Malinois needs to learn what is acceptable or unacceptable behavior. Avoid being too stern or harsh, as Malinois can pick up on the smallest of moods and will react accordingly.
Some Malinois have been known to be too aggressive or too shy. Keeping in mind that some of it can be hereditary, watch these traits, and if the dog doesn't outgrow them, seek advice from a professional trainer. A well-trained and well-adjusted Malinois will be loving, playful and loyal all of his or her life with proper attention, exercise and care.
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.
The Belgian Malinois dog, originally a part of the variety of Belgium Shepherd dog, was developed in "Belgium in the 1900s. This dog was bred to be an intelligent and loyal dog in the city of Malines and was the favorite there and in Belgium.
The first Malinois was recognized and registered in 1901 by Club Societe Royale de St. Hubert. In 1911, the first Belgian Malinois was imported in the United States and recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club). They were registered, at that time, as part of the miscellaneous group and not a breed of herding dog. After that, they became Belgian Sheepdogs, followed by the working group in 1965. Finally, years later the AKC recognized them as part of the herding class of dogs.
The Belgian Malinois is a very active and highly intelligent dog that thrives on activity, exercise and playing. Put these three traits together and you have an excellent dog that excels in obedience, tracking, agility, flyball, lure course, herding and even Schutzund. Because of their high energy level, it is important to start their training at an early age to deter them from negative and destructive behavior brought out by boredom.
The Malinois will never get tired of exercise and training, often considering this as part of his playtime. It is very important that you be firm with his training as if given an inch, they will take a foot. The training should begin at a very young age and good behavior should be rewarded with praise. Positive reinforcement works very well with this dog as all he wants to do is please you. Do not be verbally negative with the Malinois as they are very sensitive to negative tones and will not respond as well.
Because of their high drive and intelligence, they are trained as guard dogs, police dogs and search and rescue dogs. When they are young pups, they should be enrolled in a puppy obedience kindergarten to get them used to what is expected of them. It is very important to be consistent with their training. They will not only expect it daily, but also come to look forward to it. This is also important to get them socialized around other dogs and especially other people. Often, the Malinois that isn't properly socialized as a pup will grow up to be either a shy dog or an aggressive dog. With the high energy level they possess, you do not want them to become aggressive or overly shy.
Enrolling them in a training course as a pup will also allow professional trainers to observe him and help advise you as to what other training courses are available for you both such as Schutzhund, competitions or showing.
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.