Breed Group: Herding
Weight: Male: 65-75 Female: 55-65 lbs
Height: Male: 24-26; Female: 22-24 inches
Color(s): Fawn, mahogany; with black overlap. The mask and ears are black.
Originating in Belgium, this breed was developed for the herding and guarding of sheep. The Belgian Shepherd Malinois is one of four breeds of Belgian Shepherds and was the first of the four to establish the "type". Although very popular in their native country as police dogs, they are quite rare in the United States.
A medium to large sized breed, the Belgian Shepherd Malinois is squarely-built, muscular, and elegant in appearance. They are agile, alert, powerful, and impressive.
The Belgian Shepherd Malinois is not recommended for inexperienced or first time dog owners. They are loyal, protective, and attentive. This breed typically bonds closely to one family member. They are wary and suspicious of strangers and will guard and protect their family, property, and territory. They do well with children they have been raised with but may not tolerate unfamiliar children. It is important that the Belgian Shepherd Malinois are never engaged in chasing games, tug-of-war, or rough-house play. This breed does well with dogs they have been raised with but are not recommended for homes with non-canine pets. This is a no-nonsense breed that must be taken seriously by their owner.
Regular brushing with a firm bristle brush is recommended. Bathing should only be done when absolutely necessary so that no damage occurs to the coat. Belgian Shepherd Malinois's are prone to such health issues as cancer, thyroid problems, hip and elbow dysplasia, PRA, epilepsy, and anesthesia sensitivity.
The Belgian Shepherd Malinois is a double coat breed. The outer coat is weather-resistant, straight, short, and hard. The under coat is dense. The hair around the neck, on the tail, and backs of the thighs is somewhat longer.
The Belgian Shepherd Malinois is highly intelligent and obedient. They are very demanding and dominant. Early, intense, and ongoing socialization and obedience is an absolute must. This breed will not respond to harsh or heavy-handed methods. Training must be done with firmness, fairness, patience, consistency, and reward.
The Belgian Shepherd Malinois breed requires an inordinate amount of physical exercise and mental stimulation. They are not recommended for city or apartment living. The Belgian Shepherd Malinois does best in a rural setting with a job to do and ample room to safely roam and run. They excel in Schutzhund, bomb and narcotics detection, tracking, and herding.
Help reduce the number of dogs in shelters by doing your due diligence. Many puppies are often purchased with little or no knowledge of what goes into parenting one. Uneducated decisions often leave the puppy in need of adoption and in the care of rescue groups. Bringing home a puppy into your family has many benefits but we first implore you to educate yourself. An informed decision will take into account the characteristics of the breed, your lifestyle, expected veterinary care, the demands and limitations of owning one, their activity requirements and levels of companionship required.
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