Belgian Malinois

For the uninformed, the Belgian Malinois, pronounced MAL in wah, is easily confused with the far more well known German Shepherd.

The Belgian Malinois is a European herding dog, recognised by the AKC as a true breed in 1959. It was first bred true in Malines, Belgium.

This breed is considered intelligent and can be trained. Because a herding instinct was bred into them, they do best when they have regular “jobs” to do. It requires exercise and does best with large yards. Because itʼs a herd dog, it also does best when it lives with people, making it an indoor-outdoor dog. They are generally high-energy dogs until around age 3.

They are good with families, but again their temperament from being a herd dogs means they can react aggressively toward strangers. Because they are not large dogs, males are 60-75 pounds and females about 10 pounds less, they can be picked up and carried by a handler if need be.

The Malinois is commonly used as a detection dog, searching for drugs or other contraband and explosives. Many law enforcement agencies use the breed as both a detective and attack dog. The US Navy Seals used a Malinois, Cairo, during the attack that saw Osama bin Laden killed.

As a breed, the dog has no common health problems, Rarely they can have allergies, hip and elbow dysplasia. If the dog will be used as a breeder, itʼs best to have a vet check for these issues. The ears are naturally erect and pointed. It does shed, a bit, all the time with a major shed twice a year. The coat is short and straight.

If properly socialised, it does well with other animals. However, this does require an owner with a firm, but not overbearing touch. Owners have to let the dog know who is in charge.