Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois)
The Malinois is a shepherding dog breed first developed in Belgium. In the late 1800s it became more widespread. Intelligent and agile, these dogs were mainly used for guarding, herding sheep and protecting livestock. In the 1950s their superior ability as guard dogs was developed for use in military and Police work. It is becoming the dog of choice for Police forces now, over the German Shepherd.
These dogs require firm training, but are highly intelligent and able to learn quickly. Once fully trained they are responsive and dedicated to their role. Being highly intelligent, they need lots of mental and physical stimulation, boredom causing them stress. They enjoy problem solving and the challenge of learning new tasks. Constant training and stimulation keeps them mentally alert.
The Mallinos is the ideal working dog, and many Police Forces and security companies use them. They form strong bonds with their owners, being loyal and protective, and yet retaining a playful, puppyish nature. They are mature by the age of 3, but often take longer to properly grow up. The dogs are usually good with children, as long as they have been well trained (both the dog and the children!) They may instinctively 'herd' younger children, but can be trained not to do this. They are wary of strangers - a handy trait in a guard dog - but will tolerate them once reassured by their owner. The Mallinois can be aggressive towards other dogs if not properly socialised. Early socialisation in general is vital to prevent behavioral problems.
Malinois are affectionate dogs, happy in a home setting as long as they receive plenty of daily exercise and stimulation. They need to run and burn off their excess energy. Being highly intelligent, their minds work quickly, so obedience training is necessary to keep the dog happy and under control. Training is highly satisfying, and they will want to please you, which makes training great fun for everyone. They respond well to treat-based training and are generally cooperative during the whole training process. They will need to spend time training every day to make the process a success. Many owners underestimate just how intelligent this breed is - a wonderful dog as long as you are able to put the time in.
The Mallinois has a short coat that requires regular brushing to remove dead hairs. They are hardy, and suffer few ailments.
The Belgian Malinois is protective, intelligent and serious-minded. They make excellent guard dogs and police dogs, being protective of their home and territory and showing little affection to strangers. They can be aggressive towards other dogs and should not be kept with cats. Nor are they recommended for houses with small children. They require lots of exercise daily.
The Belgian Malinois is prone to canine hip dysplasia (CHD) and elbow dysplasia.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 12 - 14 years
- Weight: 50 - 53 lb
- 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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