Herding and AKC Herding and part of the Sheepdog family
CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR
The most basic color of the Belgian Malinois is a rich fawn color to mahogany with black tips on the hair. Most dogs with the fawn to mahogany color also have white spots or patches on the paws and chest.
24-26 inches (61-66 cm)
65-75 pounds (29-34 kg)
55-65 pounds (25-30 kg)
The Belgian Malinois is such an active dog that he will need to spend a lot of time outdoors running and playing. Although he loves taking walks with his master, he needs to be able to run and jog as well. He may love the outdoors for playing, but he will do better living inside the home where he can be with his family members all the time.
The Belgian Malinois is a medium-sized, hard-working dog in the sheepdog family. Although it is known in the United States as Belgian Malinois, it is often classified as a variety of the Belgian Shepherd Dog. Many dog experts use the word "square" to describe this dog because its body is almost as long as it is tall. The Belgian Malinois is strong, muscular dog with a level back and a slope at the withers and deep chest that goes down to the elbow. It has a long tail that reaches to the hock. The legs are long and straight with the dewclaws usually removed. The hair is short coated, eyes are dark and almond shaped, and ears are erect and alert. In many ways, the Malinois is similar to the German shepherd. He has a very elegant appearance of being strong and solid but not bulky.
The Belgian Malinois is a very sensitive dog that makes a great family dog, but not for a beginner dog owner. They are loaded with energy and usually want to use this energy up with their master. It is important that you find activities for them to do so they don't find stuff to do on their own, stuff that may be negative. Because of their sensitive nature, many owners have stated that when they have a bad day, the dog just knows and responds accordingly.
This dog is exceptionally intelligent and easily trained. They thrive on pleasing their master and doing things with them, never tiring of doing things together. They do not respond well to loud verbal discipline but rather to positive praise. Because of their intelligence and high energy level, they excel in many dog sports such as agility, flyball, herding, search and rescue and competitive obedience. It is important to give the Malinois plenty of exercise and opportunity to run off all its energy.
The Belgian Malinois makes a great family dog getting along well with all family members including children, especially if they grew up together. It is a good idea to socialize your Malinois with the public to avoid shyness and being unsocialized with strangers. They are very protective dogs and will protect their master and their home, but they are not aggressive.
The Malinois will not be happy living in a kennel as some dogs do, although they do tolerate the cold weather well. He is double coated so he'll shed in the house, but is still happiest in the house. Because of their high intelligence and desire to please, they are easy to housebreak with consistent training. It is fine to leave them alone in the house while you work, but they will need to have instant exercise outdoors when you arrive home.
The coat of the Belgian Malinois is short and straight with a dense undercoat. The hair is slightly longer around the neck giving the appearance of a collar. The dog sheds his coat twice a year. Because of the weather resistant features of the coat, this dog is very tolerant of cold weather.
If they are darker dogs, they don't always have the white spots. The mask and ears are black. Some have the coloring of grey to fawn with the black tipping of the hair giving it an overlay appearance. The ears, cheeks and muzzle are black. Their coloring is one of the resemblances they have to some German Shepherd dogs.
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 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 Belgian Malinois is basically a pretty healthy dog. They are occasionally prone to hip dysplasia, which is a crippling genetic problem. When purchasing a Belgian Malinois puppy, make sure that both the parents have had their hip x-rayed and are OFA certified as good or excellent. elbow dysplasia is also a problem with the Malinois, though not as much as with the hips.
The Belgian Malinois is a smooth short-coated dog that is easy to groom. They require a regular brushing with a firm bristle brush. Because they have a double coat, they will shed constantly, but they do their heavy shedding twice a year. Their coat has a waterproof quality that can be removed if the dog is bathed too often, so it is recommended to only bathe them when absolutely necessary.
Because of the constant shedding, you may want to brush them daily if they are kept indoors, as they probably are. Most dogs and Malinois are no exception, love being brushed. When you do give them a bath, there are special shampoos and conditioners that you can get from your vet or pet supply store. These will help clean your dog's fur and skin without removing the natural oils. Be sure to keep his ears clean and dry. Special ear wipes for dogs work excellently in cleaning the ears and removing wax. Make sure you keep the inside of the ears dry to avoid ear infections.
Proper dental care is also important for your Belgian Malinois to avoid future problems. There are special rinses or special brushes to use on their teeth. You can have your vet clip their nails or do this yourself with special dog clippers. Most of these health routines should be started on your dog when he is a small puppy to get him used to the idea of daily hygiene.
Belgian Malinois dogs need as much exercise as you can possibly give them. They are highly energetic dogs that need more than just an occasional walk around the block. They excel in almost every dog sport they participate in. They do not do well living in a small kennel. While they enjoy being indoors with you, they prefer to be playing outside. You will find that while playing games such as catching the ball, they never get tired. You will want to end the playtime long before they do. They should be on a leash while walking, however, as they may wish to chase other small animals, that they consider as prey. Part of this stems from their breeding and being part of the herding family of dogs.
There is hardly any activity that the Malinois won't do if his master participates. Some trainers feel that the Malinois have a huge play drive and any activity is considered as playing to them. They love jogging along side their master. Many Malinois even participate in lure course, which is chasing an artificial lure around an obstacle course, following a certain line. Because of their loyalty, high-energy drive and intelligence, they participate and succeed in Schutzund training.
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 Schutzund, competitions or showing.