Intense best describes the Belgian Malinois. This is a high-energy breed with a need for regular mental and physical stimulation. He is alert, smart and serious, an ideal watchdog and guard dog. He can be aloof with strangers and some can be domineering. When confined, he often runs in sweeping circles in an effort to stay on the move. The Malinois is protective of his home and family.
Belgian Malinois Dog Care
The Malinois is a high-energy dog that needs a lot of exercise. His needs cannot be met with a leisurely walk on leash, and instead needs a good jog or a vigorous play session. He especially enjoys herding. The Malinois needs weekly brushing, more when shedding.
Belgian Malinois Dog Health
Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: CHD, epilepsy, skin allergies
Occasionally seen: none
Suggested tests: hip
Life span: 10-12 years
Interested in the history of the Belgian Malinois dog breed?
The Belgian sheep-herding breeds, collectively known as chiens de berger Belge, shared their early history as general-purpose shepherds and guard dogs of Belgium. As working dogs, they were bred for ability rather than esthetics, and no careful records were kept. Thus, when dog shows became popular in the late 1800s, it was not clear if Belgium had any recognizable breeds with which they could tout their national pride. In 1891, professor Adolphe Reul was asked to study the native dogs to see if they could be sorted into distinct breeds. He found a group of similar dogs that differed only in coat type and color, all of which were grouped as Belgian Shepherds. The shorthaired variety was developed in the area around Malines, and so became known as the Belgian Malinois. The Malinois remains the most popular of the Belgian shepherd breeds in his native land, but has had a rockier road in America. Between 1911 and World War II, the Malinois enjoyed a good deal of popularity in America. After the war, registrations plummeted, and it was rare to find a Malinois entered in competition. When the breeds were separated in 1959, Malinois registrations began to grow once again, but they still fell far behind the other Belgian breeds. More recently, the Malinois is becoming popular because of his reputation as one of the pre-eminent police dogs in the world, surpassing even the German Shepherd in demand. Thus, even though the Malinois may not be seen in many homes or show rings, this breed is making its presence known as a keeper of the peace throughout the world.