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Belgian Malinois

Illustrious, intelligent, loyal, and diligent, the Belgian Malinois, with its hallmark high head carriage, is the perfect working dog that couples up as an excellent companion.

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Animalia Team
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    Country of Origin

    Belgium

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    Breed Group

    Herding Group

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    Height

    Male 24-26 In

    Female 22-24 In

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    Weight

    Male 60-80 Ib

    Female 40-60 Ib

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    Life Span

    14-16 years

In a Nutshell

Native to Belgium, the Malinois is well known for its adaptability, versatility, and work ethic. This is a fantastic herding dog breed owing to its powerful muscles that make them highly agile. The Belgian Malinois has a short coat, a balanced build, eager expressions, and pointed ears that may have a novice dog owner confusing the dog for a German Shepherd.

 

In an active household, the Belgian Malinois will make a good pet as they require strenuous mental and physical exercise. They are an excellent working dog and not so much an aesthetic, fashion trend as they were bred for versatility. Today, these dogs are still bred for herding purposes, and since they are known to take their job seriously, you might find them in law enforcement as K9 officers and in military operations- and with good reason.

 

As a new dog owner, bear in mind that the Belgian Malinois requires a bit of serious training and is not suitable for a beginner dog owner.

Life With a Belgian Malinois

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Energy level

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Trainability Level

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Amount of Shedding

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Tendency of Barking

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Exercise Needs

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    Home Alone

    So-So

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    Living Arrangements

    Apartment will do

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    Kid Friendly

    Yes

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    Pet Friendly

    Yes

Looks & Personality

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The Belgian Malinois elucidates the impression of elegant robustness with its athletic build and energetic nature. Their fur color ranges from a rich fawn to mahogany, with black tips on the hairs giving an overlay appearance. In essence, the Belgian Malinois is a well-proportionate, natural, medium-sized dog.  

 

The elegance and strong character of the Belgian Malinois makes them a top representative of the herding breeds and perfect military, service, and police dogs. Due to their natural tendency to be in motion and high energy levels temperament, they are unsuitable for apartment living as kennel dogs.

 

Belgian Malinois tend to thrive in adult homes, and you might note some problem behaviors, such as digging and chewing, which can be managed since they are easy to train. They get along with children they know but can be aggressive with other pets or strange animals. Belgian Malinois’s steadfast work ethic and innate abilities have a very high maintenance cost. If you are leading a sedentary lifestyle, this breed is not a perfect choice as a pet as they require constant exercise and being kept active as a form of care.

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A tip from a vet

As Belgian Malinois are active dogs that enjoy strenuous exercise, make sure that you feed them with healthy and nutritious dog foods on a regular schedule. The foods you give your Malinois should be well-balanced with 25-30% proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
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A tip from a trainer

Generally, the Belgian Malinois is a highly trainable breed owing to its intelligence and eagerness to please. Teach your Belgian Malinois basic commands, tasks, and tricks such as sit and stay, and they will follow the rules easily since they are bred as working dogs.
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Did You Know

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    Belgian Malinois dogs have served in both World Wars and been part of New York’s Police force for over 100 years, earning them the title of “Porsche of the police dog world.”

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    According to Whistle, a GPS company that tracks dog activity, the Melinois beat out nearly 100 breeds to take the title as the most active breed.  

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    Belgian Malinois are an integral part of the U.S military and work with the Navy Seals, and in fact, one was part of SEAL Team 6 that took down Osama bin Laden in 2011.

In The News

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Besides being crucial in military and law enforcement operations, the Belgian Malinois has become a massive part of pop culture. In the recent John Wick movie, the Belgian Malinois was featured and became a fan favorite. Halle Berry, who played the role of the owner of these two dogs in the film, trained them herself.

Governor Cuomo of New York State in 2016 signed legislation that made it the official state working dog seeing that the NYPD has used it for over 100 years.

Famous Belgian Malinois Owners

Eva Mendes, Halle Berry, Channing Tatum, Ben Affleck, Natalie Russo

The History Behind the Breed

Originally bred in the city of Malines in northwestern Belgium, the Malinois was initially bred as a herding dog. This dog is one of the four related varieties of Belgian shepherd dogs. With a high prey drive and an agile, athletic frame, they were primarily used by farmers to control sheep and livestock – and are often referred to as “Border Collies on steroids.”

 

As time progressed, it was recognized that the Malinois was not just adept for herding purposes but had remarkable agility, speed, high prey drive, and unbeatable work ethic – and so they could be used for other tasks, such as police or military dogs.

 

The Malinois first arrived in the United States in the early 1900s. They have since been used as military dogs serving in both World Wars. The American Kennel Club first recognized the Malinois in 1959.

If a Belgian Malinois Could Talk…

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"I am a born soldier, give me some work and watch me excel”

A Quick Anatomy Lesson

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Even with their athleticism and robust nature, Belgian Malinois can suffer from several health complications, the most common being eye problems, especially in their later life.

Common Health Problems

What about your Belgian Malinois?