In this video, we are counting down the top 10 facts about the Belgian Malinois that you might not know.
A Quick Overview: Group: Herding Dogs Weight: 40 to 80 pounds Height: 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
In the hands of an experienced dog person, they are intense, intelligent, and athletic companions. However, with their high energy and exercise needs, they may not fair as well in apartments or small living spaces. This breed is not likely to suit a first-time dog owner.
Originally developed in Malines, Belgium, Malinois have a great deal of stamina and truly enjoy working. They are intelligent and very active dogs that excel at many tasks. In addition to herding, they also do well with police work, search and rescue, and in performance events, such as agility.
People who are not familiar with the Malinois often confuse them with the German Shepherd Dog (GSD), but there are significant differences in the body structure and temperament of the two breeds. Malinois are smaller dogs with lighter bones. They stand with their weight well on their toes, which gives them a square body profile, while today's GSD has a long, sloping back and carries their weight flatter on their feet.
Malinois are fawn-colored, red, or brown, and the tips of their hair are black, while the GSD is usually tan with a black saddle. Additionally, the Malinois has a more refined, chiseled head that the GSD and smaller, more triangular ears.
Many think that the Malinois is more alert and quicker to respond than the GSD. They're also very sensitive dogs that don't respond well to harsh training methods. Some Malinois are friendly and assertive, but others are reserved and aloof with strangers. They should never have a fearful or aggressive temperament.
Malinois are quick learners and eager to do whatever their people ask of them. They excel are obedience, tracking, agility, flyball, herding, showing, Schutzhund and other protection sports, search and rescue, and police work. Trainers describe them as having a high "play drive," which means that they love to play, and about anything you ask them to do is play to them.
But the Malinois' owner should never forget that this is a breed developed to protect and herd. Poorly socialized dogs may be aggressive out of fear or shyness. Additionally, although well-socialized Malinois are good with children, especially if they are raised with them, they may have a tendency to nip at their heels and try to herd them when playing.