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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois

Origin: Belgium

AKC Group: Herding

Height: 22 inches (Male)

Weight: 44 pounds (Male)

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Origin: 
Belgium
Male height: 
22 inches
Male weight: 
44 pounds
Coat: 
Moderately short, straight, hard and dense.
Colors: 
Fawn to mahogany, with black overlay.
History: 

The hardworking shepherds' dogs from Belgium have rated raves since the Middle Ages. In those days, type varied widely and breeding was based on herding ability. It didn't matter so much what the dog looked like as long as he did his job. It wasn't until 1891 that Professor Adolphe Reul of the Belgian School of Veterinary Science cataloged and established standards for the various types of Belgian Shepherds. He divided them into varieties - at one time, there were as many as eight. Today, there are four: the Malinois, the Laekenois, the Tervuren and the Groenendael (or Belgian Sheepdog, as he is known in the United States). The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes these dogs as separate breeds. Other clubs around the world recognize them as varieties of the Belgian Shepherd dog. The short-coated Malinois, bred primarily near the city of Malines in Belgium (where he got his name), was and is a sheepherder par excellence and continues to be especially admired by working competitors.

Personality: 
The Malinois, like the other Belgian Shepherds, is smart, self-assured, loyal and honest. He is keenly sensitive and very family oriented. Devoted and protective, the Malinois wants to spend as much time as possible with his owners. He is known for his keen intelligence and willingness to work.
At home: 
The Malinois probably does best in a home with a fenced yard that gives him some space to move. He won't be satisfied with a leisurely stroll around the block - he needs to run and must have an active, outdoor-oriented family to thrive. He loves people and may become destructive if left alone for too long or allowed to get bored.
Exercise: 
All of the Belgian Shepherds need lots of exercise. The Malinois is very high energy, and many owners find the breed almost impossible to wear out. If they are not given the opportunity for plenty of activity, they can become destructive.
Feeding: 
The Malinois requires a nutritious, high-quality diet for his active lifestyle.
Training: 
As with the other Belgian Shepherds, Malinois are quick and eager learners. They have a desire to please their owner, and they respond to positive, reward-based training methods. Training is necessary with the Malinois, or his natural drive and protective nature could lead to problems. They require early and proper socialization.
Compatibility: 
A well-socialized Malinois gets along well with children and other pets. However, his herding instincts can be strong, which may cause him to chase moving objects - including kids.
Health: 
The average life span of the Belgian Malinois is 10 to 14 years. Breed health concerns may include elbow dysplasia; epilepsy; hip dysplasia; and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).
Fun fact: 

The abilities and tenacity of the Malinois are prized by the military, and he continues to be used as a police dog in his home country.

Grooming blurb: 
The short coat of the Malinois is the easiest of the Belgian Shepherds to maintain. His coat should be brushed with a bristle brush a few times a week. The Malinois sheds lightly throughout most of the year, with a twice-yearly heavier shed.
Disclaimer: 
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.