The Belgian Malinois is a square dog. He does not just appear square, or stand square, like some other breeds. This dog breed actually is exactly square. The dog's body is between 24 to 26 inches tall for males and between 22 to 24 inches tall for females. The dog's body's length is exactly the same as the height of the body. This makes the dog a literal square.
The Belgian Malinois is not an aggressive dog. Though it is a protection dog, and will protect its owner and its owner's property, the Belgian Malinois will not react in an outwardly aggressive manner even when it is protecting its owner. The dog can actually assess situations and take the necessary actions to protect its owner.
The Belgian Malinois is one of four types of Belgian Shepherd dogs that were bred to herd sheep in Belgium. The other three types are the Belgian Sheepdog, the Belgian Tervuren, and the Belgian Lakeois. The Belgian Malinois is the only one of the group with short hair, but it still shares ancestry with the longer-haired Belgian Tervuren and the Belgian Sheepdog. Once he was established as a specific breed, he took his name from the name of the town in Belgium where he originated, Malines.
While the Belgian Malinois has been registered with the American Kennel Club since the 1950s, the breed is one of the smallest in number of all the registered breeds. Though he was one of the favored varieties of Belgian Shepherd dogs, he still is rare in Belgium and in the United States as well as elsewhere around the world.
In Europe and other countries around the world, the Belgian Shepherd dogs all share the same breed standard as the one recognized by the American Kennel Club. However, all four of the variations of the Belgian Shepherd dogs are recognized by the American Kennel Club, which puts them all in separate categories, whereas in Europe and other countries all four variants are recognized as the same breed, the Belgian Shepherd.
The Belgian Malinois can be raised for dog sports, including dog shows, conformation, Belgian Ring competitions, shutzhund competitions, and French and Mondio ring competitions. Most Belgian Malinois are raised as protection dogs, police dogs, or search and rescue dogs.
One of the most famous uses of the Belgian Malinois as a police dog is by the Israel Defense Forces. Their branch, the Unit Oketz, uses Belgian Malinois dogs to help them in their protection and policing. The Belgian Malinois are preferred over the German Shepherd and other dogs commonly used for police work like the Rottweiler, because they are generally more alert and faster in their reaction times.