Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois

Everything you need to know about Malinois

With a Malinois comes a dog that requires a lot of exercise and stimulation. In return, you get a best friend who is both very devoted and protective of his family. Many confuse it in appearance with the German Shepherd Dog, but the Malinois is from Belgium and the most common of the four Belgian shepherd dogs.

If you read on, we will make you aware of the most important things if you are planning to add a member to the family who can be part of an active lifestyle.

Malinois' history and origins

People who mistake the breed for a German Shepherd are somewhat forgiven. Like the German Shepherd, the Belgian shepherd dogs are descended from the Central European dogs used to herd sheep. At the end of the 1800s, the Malinois became the first of the four Belgian shepherd dogs to be registered as its own breed. At this time in history, nationalism and patriotism were widespread in Europe, which affected the delineation and breeding of dog breeds.

The name 'Malinois' probably comes from one of two areas in Belgium; Mechelen or Malines, where this type of dog was found in large numbers.

In addition to the physiological similarities to a German Shepherd, both breeds have also been used for many of the same tasks. They have been used as service dogs by both the police and the military in Belgium and Germany respectively.

Today, however, it is no longer limited to the countries of origin, and you will find Malinois in many other countries. In Germany, for example, where the German Shepherd used to be the preferred service dog, more than 50% of the dogs used by the military and police are Belgian Shepherds.

A dog with a high level of activity

There is no doubt that the Malinois is a dog breed that is equipped with a need for a very high level of activity. With a family tree from sheepdogs and further breeding from these qualities, today a Malinois is a dog with incredible endurance and concentration. You should therefore only acquire the breed if you are fully prepared to give it plenty of exercise and meet its physical needs. A Malinois that is not properly stimulated unfortunately has a propensity for the behavior of a destructive nature towards its surroundings.

For the same reason, this breed is also not suitable for being alone at home for long periods of time. If you take on this Belgian shepherd dog with both large open spaces and daily mental stimulation, you will get a dog that is both easy to learn and hardworking. You get a dog that you can take on more physically demanding walks than the long country roads, for example, a hilly terrain or a soft sandy beach, where the muscles get a good workout.

You can expose Malinois puppies to situations that train them mentally, which will lead to better socialization during their lives - the training can take place outdoors or with toys, for example. Regardless, their herding instincts make them want to be close to you most of the time, so they always have control over their flock.

Malinois' size and other character traits

The Belgian Shepherd is a medium to large dog, and you can expect males to be 60-66 cm tall, while the height of females is between 56-62 cm. In addition, the weight of an adult Malinois dog is approximately 28 kg.

While the breed is sometimes confused with the German shepherd, it's coat color has a mixture of red and yellow with black tips, while the dog's elongated face has a black mask, which is also the case with the German Shepherd. In fact, the black mask is such a strong character trait that it is required in breeding contexts.

It is a very beautiful dog with a harmonious appearance. The eyes are dark and watchful, while the build is muscular, and the legs in particular are powerful. The jaws are strong and the ears sit high, triangular and upright, which helps to give an alert and awake expression.

Fur and fur care

This Belgian Shepherd was bred to be outside and can handle the cold and wet seasons of the year. This means that it has a fairly dense coat, where both the top hair and undercoat sit relatively close to the body. The fur is reasonably soft, while the undercoat is rough and protects well from the elements.

The fur is actually quite thick, even though the breed is short-haired. This can lead to a lot of grooming when the dog sheds during the year. You can help loosen the coat by combing and brushing regularly and thoroughly. Outside of shedding season, the Malinois does not require much grooming.

Malinois temperament and health

As we have discussed, a Malinois as a family dog is a breed that requires a lot of stimulation and exercise to be happy and have a happy life. This means that it is an obvious dog to enjoy dog sports with, where it can be challenged with increasing difficulty and use its senses and energy.

If you live in the countryside, you will discover that your dog has a well-developed protective instinct towards people, the house and the animals in the field. But in addition to being on guard and paying attention, we are also dealing with a very loving and faithful dog that can be used both as a working dog and as a family dog.

Like other larger dogs, a Malinois can also suffer from hip dysplasia. As your Malinois gets older, you must therefore remember to provide opportunities for play and exercise so that your best friend gets as many good years out of him as possible. A healthy and well-trained Malinois can be expected to live 12-14 years.

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