NPPE Breed Library Info Page

Belgian Shepherd Dog Malinois

belgian shepherd dog malinois

The Malinois is a medium-sized, short-haired 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 and lighter-boned with a more refined head. 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. Adult dogs measure between 61-66cm and females between 56-61cm. They weigh between 27.5-28.5kg.

belgian shepherd dog malinois
  • Category size: Large
  • Grooming requirements: Once a week
belgian shepherd dog malinois
  • Shedding: Little
  • Allergies: No
  • Noise: Not too noisy
  • Dog Group Kennel Club: Pastoral
belgian shepherd dog malinois
  • Alone: 1 to 3 hours
  • Other pets: Medium
  • Stability as a guard: High

Origin

The Belgian Shepherd Dog comes in four varieties: the Laekenois, Tervueren, Groenendael and Malinois, named after the areas in Belgium from which they came. Hard working sheepdogs from Belgium have been recognised since the Middle Ages. In the 1890s 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. The Malinois dog breed 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.

Personality

The Malinois is not a breed for those wanting 'just a dog' – this is an affectionate, devoted companion who will protect his home and family and who needs an experienced owner. As with all breeds with a guarding tendency, it is not advisable to encourage the guarding instincts when young, as they could start trying to guard you in inappropriate situation. Their natural guarding instincts will kick in if and when necessary.

Health

As with many breeds, all varieties of the Belgian can suffer from hereditary eye disorders, and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise

The Malinois needs two hours-plus of daily exercise, training and mental stimulation. Highly trainable, he can excel at agility, obedience and other canine 'sports'. They are very active dogs and should not be considered as pets if they are to be left alone all day.

Nutrition

Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs.

Grooming

The Malinois is a short-haired dog with a woolly undercoat. The hair is thicker on the tail and around the neck; the hindquarters have longer hair and the tail is bushy. With a low-maintenance coat, the Malinois dog breed just needs grooming once a week.

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What to Consider next

Adoption

It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.

Finding a good breeder

If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.

Welcoming your dog home

Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information