Belgian Malinois (Herding Group)
The Belgian Malinois dog is a loyal watchdog, smart, intelligent, and a proud member of the Herding Group, with a history that goes back to the early 1800s. This breed stands tall and poised on alert, always ready to guard and protect its family and territory. They have the physical appearance of a muscular, yet elegant canine, with the overall impression of lean power and an inquisitive expression in its face.
The temperament of the Belgian Malinois can best be described as a high-energy dog breed that is reserved around strangers, yet as playful as they come around its family. They are great around children and moderately friendly towards other dogs and pets in the house. The Belgian was born and bred to be a guard dog so they tend to have a dominating personality that must be trained by the right type of owner.
A Brief History Of The Belgian Malinois
As the name of this breed suggests, the Belgian Malinois has its roots from Belgium during the 1800s. The original Belgian sheep herding dog breeds were known as Chiens de Berger Belge and were used as all-purpose service dogs, mainly to guard livestock. They were strictly working dogs that were bred for ability over appearance.
During this time period, there were many different varieties of Belgian working dogs, thus it was hard to know if any recognizable breeds could be found within the groups. In 1891, a man named Professor Reul began studies of these native dogs and found a specific variety that had a short coat and was developed in a location around Malines. These dogs became known as the Belgian Malinois.
The breed has remained incredibly popular in its native land of Belgium but not so much in the United States. After World War II, the Belgian Malinois had rapidly declined in numbers throughout America but has since become one of the most prominent police service dogs throughout the world.
Upkeep Requirements For The Belgian Malinois
Being the proud owner of the Belgian Malinois means enjoying an active lifestyle, spending plenty of time outdoors. This is one breed that is not meant to sit inside a small apartment all day. They need to have vigorous play sessions in the yard and expend energy through sprints or fast-paced jogs with its owner. It especially enjoys herding when given the chance.
Living arrangements for the Belgian Malinois should be set up so that the dog has access to a safe, fenced-in area outside during the day, preferably a large yard with shade. At night, it is best suited to sleep indoors with the rest of the family. They have tolerance to moderately cool and warm temperatures. Grooming requirements call for a light brushing about once per week to remove dead hairs.
The average lifespan of the Belgian Malinois is between ten and twelve years. There are no major Health Concerns that run common in the breed. Minor health issues include elbow dysplasia and CHD. Rarely seen is cataracts, PRA, hemangiosarcoma, and pannus. Veterinarians suggest that Belgian Malinois dogs get specifically tested for eye, hip, and elbow problems.