There are four closely related breeds of Belgian Shepherd collectively referred to as ‘Chien de Berger Belge’, which were classified as independent breeds in 1891. All are herding and guard dogs, and are primarily distinguished by their appearances: the Malinois has short hair, the Laekenois (not currently recognized by the American Kennel Club) has wiry hair, the Groenendael (also known simply as the ‘Belgian Shepherd’) has long, black hair, and the Tervuren has long hair of any other color. The Malinois derives its name from the Belgian city of Mechelen, where it was developed. It is the most popular variety in Belgium, and has become the world’s most popular police dog, including use by the Israeli Defense Forces. It is increasing in popularity as a pet in America, but is most commonly used for sports and service.
The Belgian Malinois is a sturdy dog of square proportion with moderately heavy, but oval, bone. It is elegant, with very proud head carriage. The overall impression is of power without bulkiness. The gait is smooth and easy, seemingly effortless rather than hard driving. Such a gait gives the impression of tirelessness. The Malinois has a tendency to run in a wide circle rather than a straight line. Its coat is fairly short, straight, and hard, with a dense undercoat. Its expression is intelligent and questioning.
Intense best describes the Belgian Malinois. This is a high-energy breed with a need for regular mental and physical stimulation. It is alert, smart and serious, an ideal watchdog and guard dog. It is aloof with strangers and can be aggressive toward other dogs and animals. Some can be domineering. When confined, it often runs in sweeping circles in an effort to stay on the move. It is protective of its home and family.
Features of Belgian Malinois Puppy
Belgian Malinois have a great deal of energy and need a lot of exercise. Make sure you have the room and time to provide it.
Malinois are very intelligent and alert. They also have strong herding and protection instincts. Early, consistent training is critical!
Although they are good-sized dogs, they are very people-oriented and want to be included in family activities.
Malinois are constant shedders. They shed heavily twice a year.
Belgian Malinois are intense dogs who are play-oriented and sensitive. Training should be fun, consistent, and positive.
Because of their intelligence, high energy, and other characteristics, Malinois are not recommended for inexperienced dog owners.
To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store.
Specification of Belgian Malinois Puppy
large (61-100 lbs.)
gentle playful aloof
brown / chocolate / liver fawn
easy to traineasy to groomhighly territorialhigh prey drivecold weather toleranthot weather tolerantstrong loyalty tendenciesgood hiking companion