Belgian Malinoises embodies a love of freedom and an indomitable thirst for life that is visible to the naked eye. These traits have been inherent in the breed since the beginning of its existence when shepherds were used as watchmen and shepherds while doing an excellent job with the task. To this day, animals are successfully realizing their potential in many areas of social life. At the same time, dogs have gained fame as friendly companions who will accompany their owner during walks, morning jogging, or just shopping. This breed is not the easiest to handle, but if you have tremendous experience in dog breeding behind you, go for it!
- Breed name: Belgian Malinois/ Belgian Shepherd
- Country of origin: Belgium
- Breed origin: 1891
- Weight: males 25-30 kg, females 20-25 kg
- Height (height at withers): males 60-66 cm, females 56-62 cm
- Belgian Malinois are ideal watchmen in every way. Dogs fearlessly protect the property entrusted to them and, if necessary, raise a resounding bark.
- Representatives of the breed are famous for their mobility and therefore need regular active walks for at least one hour a day.
- The dog gets along well with other animals, but in the case of cats and small decorative rodents, problems can still arise. Belgian Malinois is suitable for families with children, but don’t expect your pet to play enthusiastically.
- Dogs need early socialization and proper education, which are best done under the careful guidance of a professional.
- Belgian Shepherd Dogs have high intelligence and are perfectly trainable if the owner is strong enough in character.
- Of all the breed categories, only the Malinois does not need careful grooming.
- Sheepdog is not suitable for novice dog breeders.
History of the Belgian Malinois Breed
The Malinois dog breed has a not very ancient past, as it appeared at the beginning of the 19th century, in Belgium. In fact, it is only one of four breeds related to each other: Tervuren (long coat with black mask), Grunendael (black long coat), Laquenois (fawn, coarse coat), and Malinois (short coat with black mask).
The breed appeared as a result of research by Belgian veterinarians and dog breeders. They created the Belgian Shepherd Dog Club and conducted a study, trying to find out the main characteristics of the shepherd dogs living in Belgium, in its various regions. The result was the gradual creation of a standard for these four breeds above since the vast majority of Belgian Shepherds differed only in color and coat length.
Based on the data obtained, in 1892, the first standard for the Malinois breed was drawn up by Professor Adolph Royle. By the way, at about the same time, dog breeders suggested that herding dogs in Belgium are less and less used for their intended purpose, simply because the number of farms is decreasing, which means it is necessary to introduce tests on obedience, agility, and other new canine disciplines to help Belgian Shepherds show yourself in a different role.
Many breeders over the following years began to actively breed Belgian Malinois, and cross them with each other to obtain new varieties, this is how the four main types of the breed appeared, which it was decided to assign their own names. Today they are considered separate breeds.
After World War I, in the 1920s and 1930s, a number of significant, well-known Belgian Malinois nurseries were established, which helped to restore the declining population.
Today the Malinois breed is known all over the world for its intelligence and obedience and is even used in army units. For example, these dogs detect drugs, explosives, and other functions in the border troops. Moreover, not only in Belgium and other European countries but also in the United States.
Malinois are medium-sized dogs with a muscular build and pronounced chest. The head is of medium length, the eyes are almond-shaped, dark brown. The muzzle is regular, the ears are triangular and erect. The tail is of medium length, the coat is short.
The Malinois breed is not suitable for novice owners, or those people who lead a sedentary lifestyle. These dogs are extraordinarily cheerful, love to play, walk in the street, and generally spend time as actively as possible. For many centuries of its existence, the Belgian Shepherd Dogs devotedly served people, and therefore the Malinois breed cannot spend time lying on the couch.
She does not even understand how it is possible in principle – to live in inactivity and be a happy animal. After all, the Malinois gets its “dog’s happiness” precisely in the move and close interaction with loved ones. Of course, if you decide to have a dog of this breed, you are unlikely to use it for grazing sheep or cows.
Most likely, the dog will be a companion for the whole family, the child’s best friend, a loyal jogging companion, and, of course, a guardian if you live in a private home. This means that the dog must be aware of its desire to serve people precisely in contact with you and various activities. In this sense, exercise, physical activity, and exercise are helpful.
Malinois loves to participate in all matters, poke his nose everywhere, and feel like a full member of the family. Aggression or, on the contrary, depression of character and fear, is unusual for these dogs. If such character traits are manifested, there are two options – either it is the fault of the wrong upbringing, or it is, one might say, the marriage of the breed.
The Malinois dog is very intelligent and has a quick reaction (it is believed that they are superior in reaction speed to German Shepherds). They are emotionally sensitive creatures, and therefore rudeness and beatings are unacceptable. By the way, thanks to this quality, they perfectly feel the mood of others and can guess the wishes of the owner.
Strangers are perceived without aggression, but they can be aware of themselves as a watchman and stand up for protection, although if a stranger’s dog or an intruder retreats, the Malinois most likely will not chase him or continue the fight until the enemy is completely destroyed, even despite the commands of the owner.
They love children, happily spend time with them (but they need to be taught to the presence of children from childhood), and sometimes they can slightly nibble on their heels. Affected by the shepherd’s past – in the canine mind, children are like responsible creatures, like cows or sheep, which must be monitored and driven into the room to rest.
The Malinois breed of dogs, as a rule, is always happy about the process of training. For her, this is another useful and interesting activity, as well as an opportunity to realize her energy and do something with the owner. That is, whichever side you look at – for the temperament of these dogs, training, especially if it is also associated with physical activity and is presented with elements of play, is a wonderful activity.
Accordingly, no problems should arise. The main thing is to have enough patience, not to make classes too boring and monotonous since this breed cannot stand this, and also to maintain a positive attitude and kindness.
The Belgian Malinois dog breed has a short coat that needs to be brushed once a week. Always keep your pet’s ears and eyes clean and free of deposits. Bathe the dog at least once a week. Claws are trimmed once every 10 days. Molting occurs 2 times a year.
When it comes to the diet of the Belgian Malinois, it should be varied. The full development of the dog is provided by proteins of animal and plant origin. Carbohydrates are just as important – your pet’s main source of energy. Fats play a similar role. If you prefer to feed your dog with natural food, you need to “dilute” it with a vitamin and mineral complex, without which the animal’s body will not function properly. Also, note that dry food is poorly absorbed by the shepherd’s digestive system and can cause bloating or cramping.
When feeding your dog, it is important to adhere to a certain regimen. Try to fill the pet’s bowl at a strictly set time – and you will not have to feel like a callous person, ignoring the dog’s plaintive gaze directed at the next treat.
The dog’s bowl should always contain clean water, which should be changed regularly. It is undesirable to give water directly from the tap; let it brew for 6-8 hours.
Belgian Malinois has strong immunity, but it is important not to forget about the timely vaccination of the animal and regular examination by the veterinarian. However, some diseases are more common than others. Among them are:
- deficiency of thyroid hormones;
- cramps and bloating;
- dysplasia of the joints;
Belgian Malinois are prone to obesity, so you should not overfeed your pet, no matter how tearfully he asks to fill the bowl.
How to Choose a Puppy
Choosing a four-legged friend is a crucial step, regardless of which breed you ultimately preferred. First of all, ask the breeder to introduce you to the puppy’s parents. This will allow you to understand what qualities and character traits you can count on when taking a baby from this litter. Pay attention to the age of the puppies. Ideally, they are weaned from their mother at two months. By that time, Belgian Malinois had already formed a holistic picture of the world, and mental health was beyond question.
Now you can start meeting furry puppies. Look for the most active and lively: he definitely will not give you trouble. Excessive fearfulness and sluggish behavior should alert the potential owner of Belgian Malinois.