THE BELGIAN SHEPHERD MALINOIS
HISTORY & OVERVIEW
Belgian Shepherd Malinois (pronounced MAL-in-wah) was first developed in the Belgian City of Malines during the late 1800's. It is one of four Belgian Shepherds: Belgian Malinois, Belgian Tervuren, Belgian Groenendael and the Belgian Laekenois. The Belgian Malinois was originally a herding sheepdog. Aligned with their drive to work, nowadays you will find them in narcotics & bomb detection, tracking, search & rescue, police work and military operations. The Belgian Malinois also excels at just about any sport. They are alert, athletic, intelligent and extremely high energy. Because of their drive and intensity, they are not recommended for the new or inexperienced handler.
The Belgian Malinois is a square, athletic dog. Males range from 24 to 26
inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 60 to 80 pounds. Females are 22 to 24
inches tall and weigh 40 to 60 pounds. They come in several different colors
ranging from black to mahogany and even blue. The most popular colors are
fawn and mahogany with a unique black tipping. Their coats are weather
resistant, short and straight, however they do shed. They have almond
shaped eyes and a black mask with black triangular shaped ears. Some will
have black on the interior legs, almost as if they laid in an oil slick. A white
patch on the chest and early frosting around the muzzle are also common.
The Belgian Malinois is confident, protective, intelligent, bossy and sensitive. They are hard working and have an unlimited amount of energy. The Belgian Malinois can be quite the handful and exhausting if not managed properly. They are working dogs that bore easily and need a job. If a job is not provided they will create one for themselves, this scenario usually ends up with the Malinois being injured or your house a disaster. The Belgian Malinois requires a daily worked mind and body. True to their nickname "Maligator", these dogs are mouthy. They like to chew, nip and use their mouths to get their way. The Belgian Malinois is very playful but tend to be possessive over their people and toys. Well-socialized Malinois are good with children, however they have a high prey drive and should always be monitored around small children and animals. The Belgian Malinois is affectionate, they love to cuddle and be close with their families. They are outgoing and like to be included in the family activities. They are not good kennel dogs; confinement can cause anxiety and self destruction. Belgian Malinois are very sensitive and do not respond well to a heavy hand. Training should be fun and rewarding.
ACTIVITIES & SPORTS
The Belgian Malinois will excel in any sport or activity due to their high intelligence, drive and athleticism. They have endless amounts of energy and are always ready to go. In fact, they need to go! The Belgian Malinois requires a minimum of 2 hours of training, working or sporting per day for optimal health. With that in mind, the Malinois falls naturally into Ringsports, Schutzund, IPO, agility, fly-ball, obedience, detection sports and dock diving. They can also be great running and hiking partners. Any activity, which works the Malinois mind and body, will do.
HEALTH & LIFE EXPECTANCY
The Belgian Malinois is a fairly healthy breed. Minor concerns are hip and/or elbow dysplasia, eye problems (specifically PRA) and skin allergies. They are also very sensitive to anesthesia because of their muscle to fat ratio. Be sure to notify your veterinarian before any procedures. The life expectancy of the Belgian Malinois is between 12-14 years. Overall, the Belgian Malinois is a very healthy dog.