- Group – Herding
- Height – 22-26 inches at the shoulder
- Weight – 25-34 KG
- Life Span – 12-14 years
The Belgian Malinois is intelligent, active, and very sensitive to his surroundings. He’s a devoted family pet, but shy with strangers. Because he’s good with kids, he’s an ideal watch and gard dog.
The Belgian Malinois dates back to the 1800s. It originated in the area around the city of Malines, Belgium, which is where it got its name. One of the first short-coated Belgian shepherds was born in 1891 and later was registered with the Societe Royale Saint-Hubert. Since then, this short-haired, fawn dog with a black mask and erect ears has been selectively bred for its working character and is perhaps the most popular of all Belgian sheepdogs in its native country. The first two Malinois – named Belgian Blackie and Belgian Mouche – were registered with the American Kennel Club in 1911 as members of the Miscellaneous Class, even though the breed enjoyed individual AKC Stud Book registration. At that time, there simply were not enough Malinois to provide competition for conformation championships in this country. In 1965, once its numbers had risen, the Belgian Malinois was moved into the American Kennel Club’s Working Group. When the Herding Group was formed in 1973, the Belgian Malinois was reclassified as a member of that Group, where it remains today.
Many fine representatives of this breed were imported into the United States from Belgium between 1911 and the start of the Second World War. The breed did not particularly thrive in this country after World War II, but it did regain some of its popularity in the 1960s and continues to grow slowly but steadily in numbers to this day. The Belgian Malinois has one of the lowest annual registration rates of all recognized AKC breeds. The American Belgian Malinois Club was founded in 1978 and became the parent club for the breed recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1993. While the Malinois originally was bred as a sheep-herding dog, its intelligence, trainability and tenacity has led these dogs to serve more often as police and military dogs, search-and-rescue dogs, service dogs and guard dogs. They also are active and competitive in conformation, obedience, herding, sledding, Schutzhund, agility, therapy and tracking.
Personality and Temperament
Belgian Malinois dogs are very intense and full of energy. They’re bright and make very good watch dogs.
This breed is quite wary around strangers and can even be aggressive toward other dogs and animals. It is usually good with children that are well-behaved and have an adult nearby. However, this breed should not be left with alone with small children.
Hair, Care and Grooming
Hair is short and straight. The Belgian Malinois should be brushed weekly, particularly during times of shedding.
This breed has no major health problems, although some minor things may occurs, such as skin allergies or eye problems.
Training and Activity
This breed responds best to experienced trainers who have a kind approach. With the right trainer, this dog is eager to please and learns quickly.
The Belgian Malinois needs a big yard to run and play in, because he has a huge amount of energy to burn.
Capable of eating plenty of meat, the Belgian Malinois is a good-sized dog that will need a good-sized diet, at least relative to other dogs. Even so, it’s important to keep in mind that the Belgian Malinois is actually relatively small in weight compared to humans and it has a lighter frame that can be a little deceptive, so be sure not to overfeed your dog.