Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois)

History

The Malinois was developed as a shepherding dog in Belgium, but it wasn't until the late 1800's that serious breeding began. They were bred for intelligence and agility, mainly used for guarding, herding sheep and livestock. In the 1950's, the breed was recognised for it's superior ability as a guard dog and was developed more and more for use in military and Police work. It is now becoming the first choice for Police forces, over the German Shepherd.

Behaviour

The Belgian Malinois is an intense, intelligent and loyal breed. They need firm training, but are responsive and dedicated to their role. As with all high intelligence dogs, they need plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep them busy. They thrive on problem solving and enjoy the challenge of learning new tasks. They will need constant training to keep them mentally alert and prevent boredom. They are ideal working dogs, which is why so many Police Forces and security companies use them. They form a quick bond with their owner and are loyal and protective, whilst retaining their playful, puppyish nature. They are usually mature by the age of 3, but some take a while longer to properly grow up. They will be protective of their home and family, but are usually good with children if well trained. Sometimes they feel the need to 'herd' younger children but with correct training this can be overcome. With strangers they are reserved until told otherwise and can be aggressive towards strange dogs if not properly socialised. Like with most breeds, early socialisation is vital to prevent further problems, but more so with this breed. Malinois are affectionate and happy within a home as long as they receive plenty of exercise. A quick walk is not going to wear this dog out. They need lots of chances to run and expel energy. Their minds work at a fast pace, so obedience training will help ensure your dog is happy (and you are too). WIth training comes great satisfaction. They want to learn and to please you. A well trained Mailnois is a joy, they like treats and are cooperative with commands. It must be said that this breed does need work. They are quick learning but will need time spent every day training to prevent any issues arising. Many under estimate just how intelligent the breed is. A wonderful dog if you put the time in.

Temperament

Belgian Malinois possess a serious and protective temperament. Being bred to herd and guard sheep they have since become more common as a household pet or police dog. Making excellent guard dogs they are protective of their home and will show little affection to strangers.

They can be aggressive towards other dogs and should not be kept with cats. They require lots of exercise daily but will not be suited for houses with small children.

Health Problems

Health problems that may affect Belgian Malinois include canine hip dysplasia (CHD) and elbow dysplasia.

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Life Expectancy: 12 - 14 years
  • Weight: 24 - 34 kg
  • Height: 22 - 26"
  • Rare: No
  • Coat: Medium
  • Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
  • Town or Country: Either
  • Minimum Home Size: Large House
  • Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
  • Breed Type: Herding
  • Size: Large
  • Energy Level: High
  • Exercise Required: Over 2 hours

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