Is a Belgian Malinois Right for You?
The Belgian Malinois, often referred as simply Malinois, is a highly intelligent and trainable breed of dog known for its versatility and loyalty. These hardworking and energetic dogs have a rich history and have been used as police, service, and therapy dogs, as well as family pets. In this article, we will share 13 interesting facts about the Belgian Malinois, including their origins, physical characteristics, and unique personality traits. Whether you’re a Malinois owner or simply a fan of this beloved breed, these facts will give you a deeper understanding and appreciation for the Belgian Malinois and its special place in the world of dogs.
The Earliest Development of the Belgian Malinois
started with the herding dogs of Flanders, Belgium. The ancestral Flemish Herder is thought to have been a cross between an old-fashioned coarse-haired Pointer and a short-haired or wire-haired Fox Terrier.
Further Breed Development Occurred in the
late 1890’s with the intent of producing a dog breed to work with police as guard/patrol dogs. Many of the canines used at the time were Bloodhounds and Mastiffs and there was a desire for a smaller, quicker breed that had both intelligence and stamina.
The Belgian Malinois (as we know them today)
are widely thought to be a mixture of German Shepherd and Belgian Sheepdog. The breed was standardized in 1910 and recognized by the Société Royale Saint-Hubert in 1912. It was later recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in 1913 with a breed standard originally written in French. The breed was recognized by the AKC in 1959.
The Belgian Malinois if One of the 4
varieties of the Belgian Shepherd dog. Each of them was named after the Belgian village of their origins:
In Landmark Research on Modern Dog Breed
development, the Belgian Malinois has been shown to share the most DNA with a common ancestor of the following breeds:
German Shepherd Dog
The Malinois is a Medium Sized Breed
weighing up to 80 pounds and reaching a height of up to 26 inches. According to breed standard, their coat color can range from deep fawn to mahogany with black hair tips. The mask and ears are black. Their toe tips may be white and they may have a small white spot on the breastbone.
Belgian Malinois Generally Make Good Family
pets as long as they get plenty of exercise and mental stimulation and are guided by an owner who accepts the alpha role. They are natural watchdogs and, as a result, are suspicious of strangers. Early socialization is critical.
In the Landmark Book
entitled “The Intelligence of Dogs” written by Professor Stanley Coren, the Belgian Malinois was ranked 22nd out of 130 dog breeds in working/obedience intelligence. Essentially, this means they will learn and obey new commands after 5-15 repetitions. In contrast, the brightest dogs will lean the same command in fewer than 5 repetitions and the least intelligent will require 80-100 repetitions.
Growing Up Belgian Malinois
Get Your Video Here
The AKC Conducts Dog Racing Trials
each December in Orlando, FL. called the FastCAT. This is a 100 yard race where dogs run individually chasing a lure. The average time for Belgian Malinois was a little over 27 mph. The fastest recorded time was by a female dog named Carousel’s Southern Cross at 35.5 mph!
The CBARQ Dog Temperament Research
study, conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, is a large study of over 300 dog breeds. In this study, the Malinois ranked 17th out of 124 dog breeds for attention seeking behaviors. This is a breed that craves attention from their owner and may tend to get jealous when attention is given to other dogs/people.
In this Same Research
the Belgian Malinois also ranks very high (7th out of 124 breeds) in aggression towards strangers. This means the dog is likely to growl, bear teeth or, in extreme cases, snap or lunge at unfamiliar people entering their personal space or territory.
The Belgian Malinois is Considered an Easy Dog
to train. Their intelligence and eagerness to learn make them willing students. They can be stubborn and willful at times, but with consistent training and reinforcement-they learn fast! Once the Malinois has learned something, he never forgets it.
While the Malinois is Generally a Healthy
breed, with an average lifespan of 12-14 years, there are certain health conditions that effect them:
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
Progressive Retinal Atrophy