Malinois Breed Characteristics & Traits

The Belgian Shepherd Dog is known to us as the Malinois. This name is based on its Flemish city of origin in Belgium. Based on the stature and the countenance it is also hard to miss that he is one of the shepherd dogs. Only the black mask seems to distinguish him visually from the German shepherd. Essentially, the Malinois is also a herding and herding dog and therefore needs to be properly challenged. I took a closer look at this sports cannon for you.

The Belgian herding dog grows, if it is male, to a height of about 62 centimeters at the withers. For women, it is around 58 centimeters. The males should weigh around 25 to 30 kilograms and the females weigh 20 to 25 kilograms. In fact, Mali is a bit bulkier than the German shepherd dog we know and therefore less and even more agile on its paws. The eyelids, lips, and ears are mostly black-pigmented.

Character and Nature of the Malinois

As the title picture of this article already suggests, the sporty four-legged friend was and is often used as a police service dog. Previously, he was considered a herding dog and cattle dog. The extremely eager to learn, the real working animal is ideally suited as a companion dog. Often seen as shy, however, Mali can blossom into a well-socialized philanthropist.

Due to its special ability to pick up tracks, humans often turn it into a drug sniffer dog, because this task is literally the four-legged friend’s. Hence the regular use as a trained police service dog.

Always ready for action and lively, the Malinois likes to integrate into a family and is considered a house and court guard dog. He defends with passion. Nevertheless, he is strong in character and usually not aggressive at all. And above all: Fear is an absolute foreign word for this courageous dog!


Mali’s fur is mostly sandy to almost reddish and it hides behind a black mask. The fur is short, smooth, and adorned with black clouds. Its coat is dense and the undercoat provides ideal protection against low temperatures.

Fashionable fringes decorate his head on the ears and in the lower part of the limbs from the level of the elbow joints. He protects his ears with dense tufts of hair so that the auditory canals are not so open.

Common Diseases

Unfortunately, it happens that the diagnosis of cerebellar ataxia is already made in puppyhood. This disease originates in the cerebellum and brings with it symptoms such as uncoordinated movements. The spinal cord also often shows changes.

Already at the age of 4 to 7 weeks, there can be obvious balance disorders, which should definitely draw your attention. Up to seizures and jerky movements of the eyes also point to this serious illness.

Like German Shepherds in general, the aging Malinois often suffers from HD/ED. In general, the breed is prone to degenerative joint diseases. As a preventive measure, it is advisable to purchase a dog ramp as a boarding aid so that the dog does not have to jump in and out of the trunk. Your healthy Malinois will faithfully accompany, defend and love you for 12 to 14 years.

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