The Belgian Malinois is named after the Belgian city of Malines. This dog is one of the four Belgian sheepdog breeds (the Malinois, the Laekenois, the Groenendael and the Tervuren). Those four breeds are considered, in most parts of the world, as the same breed, but have been recognized (except for the Laekenois) in America in 1959 by the AKC.
The Malinois is rare in America, but very popular in Belgium. The Groenendael and the Tervuren are now more commonly used as companions while the Laekenois and the Malinois are used as guard dogs.
The basic color of the Belgian Malinois ranges from fawn to mahogany, with black tips on the hairs. The tips of the toes can be white and a small white spot can appear on the chest. The mask and the ears are black. The tail, the breeches and underparts of the body are lighter.
The coat of the Belgian Malinois is short, straight, and weather resistant with a dense undercoat. The coat is very short on the ears, the head and the lower legs, but longer around the neck, tail and on the back of thighs.
The Belgian Malinois is a very smart and obedient dog that makes a great police dog. These dogs are watchful, alert and loyal with strong protective and territorial instincts. They make great guard dogs and are good for working and competition obedience.
This breed tends to be serious, shy and sensitive. Good with children, they make great family pets; they need to be part of the family and can't be left alone all day or they will find ways to entertain themselves. The Malinois always needs to do a job and may display herding behaviors like nipping the people's heels or circling etc.
The Malinois is a very healthy breed, however, skin allergies, eye problems, and hip and elbow dysplasia are sometimes seen in these dogs.
The Malinois is a constant shedder and should be brushed regularly. An extra care should be taken twice a year, when the dog is heavily shedding.
The Malinois needs a firm training, but may never be treated harshly or it will become uncooperative. Because of its high protective instinct, it should be well socialized at a young age.
This is a very energetic dog that needs a lot of exercise, preferably off the leash.