Breed Group: Herding Group
Shoulder Height: 22-26 in.
Weight: 44-66 lb.
Life Span: 10-12 years
Colors: Fawn, sable, mahogany, red, black, cream, gray, liver
- The Malinois is one of four types of Shepherd dogs that originated in Belgium.
- The breed is employed in all manner of police work including detection, search and rescue, and protection.
- They are also used by a variety of different military and protective services, including the United States Secret Service, the Royal Australian Air Force, and the Israel Defense Forces.
Whatever job a German Shepherd might do, the finer-boned Belgian Malinois is also capable of. However, unlike their more famous brethren, the Belgian Malinois is not prone to nearly as many health problems, which has allowed them to quickly catch up to the German Shepherd in popularity as pets, as well as working dogs.
This is primarily because of how easy versatile they are. Malinois can succeed in agility, obedience, Schutzhund, flyball racing and herding - an ideal companion for an active owner.
A well-raised and trained Malinois is alert yet friendly, protective without being standoffish, intelligent without being stubborn. They are excellent with children, especially if they are exposed to them at an early age, though the size and energy of the breed may make them unsuitable for the very young.
Physical and mental stimulation is a must to keep the Malinois happy and non-destructive. They love engaging in a new challenge and are always keen to play a game with you. This is not a dog for a sedentary lifestyle. Their medium-length straight coat is fairly easy to groom, though they do tend to shed.
The Belgian Malinois is a robust and sturdy breed with tightly-controlled breeding standards that have reduced the incidence of hereditary diseases.
- The breed is susceptible to cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy.
- Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia can occur, though it is less common than it is with German Shepherds.
- The breed is also susceptible to epilepsy.
- Cairo was the Belgian Malinois accompanying SEAL Team 6 during Operation Neptune Spear — the same mission that killed Osama bin Laden.
- Bear is a Malinois that appears regularly on the television show Person of Interest.
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