The Belgian Shepherd dog is the only breed in the world that comes in 4 varieties: the short-coated red, fawn or grey ‘Malinois’, the long-haired fawn, red or grey ‘Tervueren’, the long-haired black ‘Groenendael’, and the rarer rough-coated reddish fawn ‘Laekenois’. Originating from Belgium, they are named after the areas in Belgium from which they came: Malines, Tervuren, Groenendael and Laeken. Hard working sheepdogs from Belgium have been recognised since the Middle Ages. At this time the type varied greatly and breeding was based on working ability. As they were bred locally certain common characteristics began to appear. In the 1890’s a Professor of the Belgian School of Veterinary Sciences recorded standards for the various types of Belgian sheepdogs. It was noted that they were all similar in type with the main difference being the coat. The Professor then divided them into varieties and advised breeding them as separate breeds. Once there were as many as eight varieties; now there are only four. The Malinois was the first of the Belgian sheepdogs to develop a type and to breed true to this. It was also the first to become popular.
The Malinois is a medium sized, shorthaired dog that appears square in its outline. Although they are often confused with the German Shepherd Dog by the general public, they are squarer in profile; lighter in bone and more refined in head, with a light, brisk movement.
|Colour||The Malinois is fawn, red or grey in colour with black shading on the hair tips. Their tails are usually darker or have a black tip, the face is a black mask and the ears are mostly black. They may have limited white on the chest and toes.|
|Coat Length||Short Smooth
|Weight/Height Range||Dogs should measure between 61-66cms at the withers and bitches should ideally measure between 56-61cms at the withers. They weigh between 27.5-28.5kgs.
Anyone looking for a puppy should make sure that both parents are hip-scored and eyes are tested. Hip status in the breed is generally excellent but that’s not to say that there haven’t been the odd high scores.
|Breed Classification||The Malinois is a member of the pastoral group. They were originally used for herding livestock; today they are used in the protection services, as assistance dogs and as companions.|
Feeding & Ownership
The Malinois is an undemanding dog to feed with no special dietary requirements; they generally have a good appetite.
|Food Cost||$15 to $20|
The Malinois is a devoted companion and does not make an ideal kennel dog, as they become bored and destructive. They are very affectionate and totally devoted to their families. Not a breed for those wanting ‘just a dog’. They will protect their home and family but it is not advisable to encourage their guarding instincts when young, as they can get confused and start guarding you in inappropriate situations. Their natural guarding instincts will kick in, if and when necessary.
|Intelligence||The Malinois is a very intelligent dog that learns very quickly. A gentle but consistent approach is the best way to train this dog. They can be dominant so they have to know who the boss is. They should be socialised from a very early age. At around 9 months of age they often enter a ‘juvenile delinquent’ stage and all the training will appear as though it has gone ‘out of the window’! Just go back to the beginning with basic training and by 18 months your little angel will reappear!|
|Suitability for Children||High|
|Tendency to Bark||Medium|
|Overall Exercise Requirement||They need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation and to this end they excel at agility and obedience. They are very active dogs and should not be considered as pets if they are to be left alone all day.|
|Suitability as a Guard Dog||High|
|Ease of Transportation||Medium|
|Level of Aggression||Medium|
|Other Animal Compatibility||Medium|
The Malinois is a shorthaired dog that needs little grooming. They have a thick coat with a woolly undercoat.
|Grooming Requirements||Up to once a week|
|Amount of Hair Shed||Heavy|
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