Originally, Belgian Malinois was bred as a herding dog. Nowadays, it is an obedient, protective, and highly effective police and military dog. Many families keep this intelligent breed as a loving family member that enjoys being a part of the family activities.
Since it is highly energetic and confident, with exceptional exercise needs, Malinois is an excellent choice for people prone to a regular workout. On the other hand, it is not a perfect option for a first-time dog owner. When socialized adequately, it will be a pet that anyone could wish for.
There were four varieties of Belgian sheepherding dogs (Chien de Berger Belge) in the late 1800s in Belgium:
Nowadays, the AKC recognizes three breeds as separate, except Laekenois, while the UKC recognizes all four types as one.
Belgian Shepherd Dog Club (Club du Chien de Berger Belge) was established in 1891. The goal was to determine the shepherd dogs developed in this country.
Veterinary professor Adolphe Reul wrote the first Belgian Shepherd Dog standard the next year. This dog was finally recognized as a separated breed in 1901. The short-haired variety got a name after the area around Malines.
Modern Malinois are descendants of shepherds from Laeken – Vos I (Vos de Laeken) and Lise (Liske de Laeken). They are highly appreciated police, guard, and draught dogs.
Always keep in mind that Belgian Malinois is an outstanding working dog that takes care of its family. There is no situation in which this confident and protective dog will fail to defend those it loves.
I am pretty sure that there are no shy and aggressive Malinois in the world. However, their personality is a matter of genetics, heredity, socialization, and living conditions. Unfortunately, this intelligent creature is a bit dismissive of training, so you need to be firm and respectful but persistent in your demands.
Even though your watchdog will show absolute affection toward family members, it will be highly reserved toward strangers. If you don’t appreciate this trait, you can make some corrections by early socialization. Allow your pet to meet people and other pets during walking over your neighborhood.
Don’t be surprised when noticing your Malinois moving around the house in circles. Without any given activity, your dog will take advantage of its spare time and practice its herding behavior. It adores kids, and you can be peaceful while it looks after them.
On the other hand, this dominant dog can be dangerous for small pets, especially cats, so you need to be careful. It often tends to harm them, although they grew up together. Keep in mind that this breed is considered very vocal, and your pet barks a lot. That is its way of communicating with you.
As I have already mentioned, this dog is confident, smart, and alert. You can expect it to play with you whenever you want. If your pet is well-socialized, it will also get along well with children.
The weird thing is that it will tend to herd them or nip their heels while playing, which can be a bit scary. Therefore, you should teach your furry friend that it is unacceptable even though it is in accordance with its herding heritage.
3. Size And Look
The average Belgian Malinois dimensions include the height of 22 to 26 (56 – 66 cm) and weight of 40 to 75 pounds (18 – 34 kg). These measures classify them into a group of medium to large breeds.
|Height||24 to 26 inches (61 – 66 cm)||22 to 24 inches (56 – 61 cm)|
|Weight||55 to 75 pounds (25 – 34 kg)||40 to 60 pounds (18 – 27 kg)|
Their weather-resistant double coat is short, dense, and rugged. Its color is commonly deep fawn to mahogany with black tips, while ears are black and toe tips white.
Provide your Malinois enough off-leash exercise and long walks at least 20 minutes a day. Regularly groom its straight hair with a firm bristle brush or a rubber grooming mitt, especially in a period of shedding. Trim its nails when needed to prevent any issue with walking and running. Luckily, there is no need to bathe your pet often.
5. Diet And Nutrition
The recommended daily amount of food for Malinois is two to three cups of dry food, but you should divide it into two meals. Always adjust this depending on the dog’s age, size, and activity level.
The crucial thing is to provide a well-balanced diet with enough proteins, fatty acids, and vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B-complex, and choline. As for minerals, this breed needs a diet that includes an adequate proportion of iron, zinc, copper, manganese, fluorine, iodine, selenium, and chromium.
6. Possible Health Problems
In general, Malinois is a healthy breed without significant health concerns, but you should pay attention to excessive aggressiveness in some individuals.
Except for general health issues, including obesity, dental disease, viral and bacterial infections, and parasitic invasion, this breed may suffer from genetic predispositions like:
When you provide it with adequate living conditions and veterinary care when needed, your Malinois won’t have severe health issues. In most cases, you can expect it to live from 14 to 16 years.
Keep in mind that Belgian Malinois is not the right breed for everyone, especially for first-time owners. Many people choose this dog without checking basic information and abandon it when discovering how demanding this dog actually is.
Never buy a puppy only because it looks cute to prevent leaving your pet in a shelter later. If you are sure that this is a breed for you, adopt your new buddy from a breed organization in your state or national rescue group.