Everything you need to know about the Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinosis, the Usain Bolt of dogs with their incredible speed and height is a powerful creature. They are prolific service dogs and work alongside the military and the police.

Belgian Malinois, also known as Belgian Malawa, are incredible animals as pets and as well as working in the service industry. It is not a high-maintenance animal, but like every other pet, it requires attention.

Belgian Malinosis

This article provides comprehensive information about the Belgian Malinois’s background, life, traits, and needs.

Before jumping in, let’s cover how to pronounce this dog’s name correctly.

How to pronounce Belgian Malinois?

Belgian Malinois is a German breed whose name originated from its native breeding areas.

You pronounce it as Bel · juhn – Ma · luhn · waa

Before you think about adopting this pet, let’s take a brief look at its troubling history.

What was the Background of Belgian Malinois, and Where did they Come From?

Belgian Malinois is a breed of herding and working dogs that originated in the Malines areas of Belgium in the 1800s. The Belgian Shepherd was originally used as a herding dog in Belgium, similar to other European shepherd dogs. In the early years, no attention was given to the breed, and eventually, they came very close to extinction.

Belgian Malinois dogs are known colloquially as the Mal in the United States. They were first brought into the USA in 1911, and the American Kenner Club first recognized the Belgian Malinois in 1959, placing it in the herding group category.

Their selective breeding produced dogs with strong athletic ability and boundless natural energy, making them popular for service work.

When an effort was made to create breed standards, it eventually led to four main varieties: Groenendael, Laekenois, Tervuren, and Malinois. These dog traits came about from selective breeding for working characteristics

Difference between the four types of Belgian Shepherds

All the Belgian shepherds were originally used as sheepherders and guardians. The Malinois is one of the four types of Belgian shepherds that are differentiated by coat type and color.

  1. The Belgian Malawi has short and stable hair.
  2. The Belgian Tervuren has long sable hair.
  3. The Belgian Sheepdog (Groenendael) has long black hair.
  4. The Belgian Laekenois has rough yellowish-brown hair.

What is the difference between a German shepherd and a Belgian malinois?

Belgian Malinosis

Most of the K-9 or search and rescue dogs often seem to be German shepherds, but they are Belgian Malinois. It is easy to be mistaken with their twining pointed ears, double coats, intense gaze, and stamina. Both breeds also belong to the AKC’s herding group based on the seven categories by the American Kennel Club.

While both German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois are both European breeds but are not related in any way.

  • Temperament:

One of the key differences between Belgian Malinois vs. German Shepherd is their temperament. Mals are not bred as pet companions, and they have a high drive to sniff out their prey and a strong work ethic hence aren’t the most cuddliest of creatures. On the other hand, German Shepherds are considered one of America’s most popular dog breeds for companionship.

  • Color and Coat:

Physically a Mal will have solid color fur compared to a German Shepherd’s bi-color or possibly a tri-color coat.

  • Physique:

Belgian Malinois is lean and muscled, with a slender face, and a shepherd is a bit burly with thicker fur. Additionally, Mal’s ears stick straight up from the head crown, whereas German shepherds are more angled to the side.

  • Weight:

Malinois are lighter than German Shepherds. The Malinois weighs 60-80 pounds, and the female weighs 40-60 pounds. A male German Shepherd can weigh up to 90 pounds, and a female up to 70 pounds.

  • Height:

However, both breeds are very similar in height, with Mals standing 24-26 inches high at the withers and females 22-24 inches.

Belgian Malinosis
Belgian Malinosis

Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s look at the cost of acquiring a Belgian Malinois.

How much does a Belgian Malinois cost?

A Belgian malinois typically lives up to 10 to 14 years. Despite an average life span, they are predisposed to a few hereditary and non-hereditary medical issues, such as

  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Cataracts
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

How are Belgian Malinois as pets?

Belgian Malinois are best known for their military service but are surprisingly gentle, friendly, and loyal. They make a perfect pet for an active family. Malinois are high-energy-work-oriented breeds that need several hours of exercise for a healthy lifestyle, and they require activities that involve retrieving, jumping, agility, and herding.

Any game that combines mental and physical challenges, your Malinois is likely to excel at it.

A favorite activity of Mal’s is French Ring Sport which includes obedience, jumping, and protection activities. The trainers also involve the dogs in herding and dock diving (a sport where a dog leaps off a dock to retrieve objects thrown into the water).

Only with enough exercise can they become well-mannered and calm house dogs. With boundless energy and no outlet, they tend to become extremely destructive and headstrong. You must ensure that these guys are well-trained, especially while young. Their enclosure may require a high fence.

Because of their athletic nature and day-to-day routine, they may overheat in hot weather. However, you can combat this problem with access to water sources so they can cool off. On the other hand, Malinois is great in cold weather.

They have thick coats and must be brushed weekly and occasionally bathed, more so during the shedding season.

About Belgian Malinois Puppies

They are susceptible to Canine Hip Dysplasia; the puppies should be raised on their specific breed of puppy food which slows their growth rate and reduces the risk of dysplasia.

Belgian Mals under the age of one should not be put through high-intensity exercises or over-exercise them. Mal puppy bones are still growing and calcifying, and strain injuries can cause permanent, non-reversible damage to the bones that can lead to physical abnormalities and bone defects.

About Belgian Malinois Puppies

How high can a Belgian Malinois jump?

Belgian Malinois can easily jump over fences and gates. They combine speed with bounding movements and can easily jump up to 6 feet and as high as 8 feet. Their heavily muscled legs and lean structure allows them to gain power and movement for a higher jump.

Malinois, once trained, are used in many service positions because they can use their ability to scale high walls and trees.

What is the Ideal Belgian Malinois Body?

Belgian Malinois is a sturdy, well-muscled dog with almost square proportions. It weighs 40 to 90 pounds (18kg to 37kgs) and is about 22 to 26 inches (55 to 56 cm) tall.

A narrow frame and large legs balance their body and are muscular without being heavy. The body structure gives Malinois the benefit of speed, a powerful jump, and steady movements. Their built allows them to quickly move away from dangerous objects such as gunshots and threatening people.

These dogs have yellowish brown to mahogany thick fur coat with a black-tip that grows about 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm).

How Fast Can a Belgian Malinois Dog Run?

Belgian Malinois puppies have slightly droopy ears as puppies, but they begin perking up as they grow older. Belgian Malinois puppy ears may start to perk up as early as six weeks, but generally, it takes somewhere between 4 and 6 months to really begin standing up.

Belgian Malinois adults should have good control over their ears and will move them depending on their mood or their environment.

You can learn much more about the Belgian Malinois through professional and registered vets. If you have a Belgian Malinois at home or plan to adopt one, you can download PetMyPal, and connect with registered veterans through email or chat. Our vets can help you with non-emergency situations and questions about Belgian Malinois.

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