Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois
Vital Statistics:
Place of Origin: Belgium
Group: Working
Height: males 24-26 in., females 22-24 in.
Weight: males 65-75 lbs., females 55-65 lbs.
Life span: 10-12 yrs.
Trainability: high
Good with children: with early socialization
Good with other pets: with early socialization, can be dominant

Dog of the Month for June

This hero breed helped American Navy Seals find the architect of the tragedy of 9/11, terrorist Osama bin Laden.

What is the origin of the Belgian Malinois?

The Belgian Malinois (pronounced Malin wah) is often referred to as the Belgian Shepherd. The Malinois belongs to a group of Belgian Shepherds – the Groenendael, the Tervuren and the Lackenois. It was named for the city of Malines in Belgium.

What does the Belgian Malinois look like?

The Malinois is a medium-sized dog and squarely built. Height for males is about 24-26 inches, females about 22-24 inches. Weight for males averages 65-75 lbs., females 55-65 lbs. Ears are erect and black. The face mask is black as well. Almond-shaped eyes are brown. The tail reaches down to the hocks. The standard double coat for a Malinois is short, but they are heavy shedders, usually twice yearly, but can shed all the time. Coat colors are fawn to mahogany and can have black tipping on hairs. The easy care coat needs general brushing. You might want to brush often to avoid shedding in the house.

What is the temperament of the Belgian Malinois?

The Belgian Malinois is an active working dog. The Malinois should be obedience trained early, but will not respond to harsh methods. A firm, consistent, but kind hand is necessary. Early socialization is important, especially with children as they can be very playful, especially as pups. Early socialization with dogs and other pets is recommended to avoid problems. The Malinois needs lots of vigorous exercise and mental challenges without which they can be destructive and develop other bad habits. The Malinois is intelligent, alert and loyal. They enjoy living with the family rather than outdoors. They may not be happy living in an apartment.

What is the Belgian Malinois used for?

The Malinois is an excellent guard dog. They are choice dogs for work in the military, police and homeland security. Besides the Navy Seals, they are used by the U.S. Secret Service, the Unit Oketz of the Israel Defense Forces and the Royal Australian Air Force. They do well in agility and obedience trials, herding, tracking and schutzhund. While bred as working dogs, they are loving and protective companions for active families.

NOTE: The Belgian Malinois is a high drive dog and if not trained properly with constant reminders, can be difficult to handle for inexperienced pet people. Children should always be supervised when playing with this breed.

Possible Health Issues

Hip and elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, pannus (progressive, non-painful inflammation disease of the cornea, conjunctiva and sometimes the 3rd eyelid), hemangiosarcoma.


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