The Belgian Malinois...
Not to be confused with the German Shepherd Dog, the athleticism and versatility of the Belgian Malinois have landed this breed successfully in nearly every avenue of dog sport and working position available to dogs.
The Malinois originated in the city of Malines, Belgium, from which it was named, in the 1800's. Originially referred to as Chiens de Berger Belge, they were bred to protect and herd flocks. Professor Adolphe Reul, is considered to be one of the founding individuals for this breed, which he began studying in 1891. There are four varieties of Belgian Shepherds: Malinois, Groenendael (black, long coat), Tervueren (long coat), and the Laekenois (wire coat).
The Malinois is a medium sized and well-balanced dog with what is considered to be a 'square' appearance. The Malinois male measures 23-27 inches at the withers, weighing 60-75 pounds; the female measures 21-25 inches, weighing 45-60 pounds. The coat is short and straight to provide weather resistance and a dense undercoat. Longer hair may be noted around the collar area, tail and back of the rear limbs. The coat requires little grooming but biannual 'coat blowing' is to be expected. The Malinois has a life-expectancy of 10-12 years. The breed is generally free of major health concerns but potential concerns are hip and elbow dysplasia.
The Malinois have varying temperaments from individual to individual. They have a tendency to be confident with very high drives. They can be sensitive to their handlers and tend to
possess an inherent watchfulness. Their incredibly high drives make it a must for them to receive an appropriate amount of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. Malinois tend to have great trainability and are eager and willing to please. The Malinois is not for everyone!! The high energy and temperament of these dogs make them best suited for a more experienced and active home.
The agility, trainability, temperament and drives of these dogs make them one of the most versatile of all the breeds. They are the premiere choice among military and police dogs. These dogs can be seen working and competing in all, but not limited to, the following: Schutzhund, Ringsports, Conformation, AKC obedience, Agility, Flyball, Herding, Dock diving, Retriever trials, Disc dogs, Weight pull, and Service dogs.