A Belgian Malinois goes through a significant period of adjustment during puppyhood when the dog may act out. The temperament of a Belgian Malinois puppy can be best compared to a human teenager. And just like a teenager, if the owner is persistent and diligent with training, the dog should outgrow the problem period with relative ease.
The Belgian Malinois dog breed is between 22 to 26 inches depending on the sex of the dog, and they weigh from 55 to 65 pounds. The dog is square in shape with a deep chest.
The Belgian Malinois is among four Belgian sheepdogs. They are intelligent, amenable dogs with strong territorial and protective instincts. This breed is highly obedient, hard-working, attentive, reserved, and very active, although they may become mischievous and destructive if not given enough physical and mental stimulation.
Highly energetic, this breed needs extra activity than just the regular walks around the block. While they may appreciate being indoors with their owners, they’d like it better playing outside. They should always be on a leash as they tend to chase small animals, which they consider prey.
The Belgian Malinois is strong, protective, and territorial. They are excellent in obedience training and are used often as watchdogs. This breed is sharp, loyal, yet very affectionate. They generally require being entertained, or else they will become troublesome.
The coat of a Belgian Malinois is straight, lengthy, and plentiful. Acceptable colors for this breed are all shades of fawn, gray, red, with black overlap.
The average lifespan of the Belgian Malinois is 12–14 years. Notable health problems prevalent to the Malinois include cataracts, epilepsy, thyroid disease, progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, and pannus, although these problems have been minimized through selective breeding.
Proper dental care is important for Belgian Malinois. There are special brushes and rinses for their teeth. Clipping the nails for this breed can be done with special dog clippers. These health routines must be started on this breed while he is still a puppy for him to get used to the idea of proper hygiene.
History: This breed was named after the city of Malinois, Belgium. It is one of four varieties, and there is a debate as to which to recognize by the clubs and standards. Some clubs, like the AKC since 1959, recognize three of the breeds. The UKC registry does accept all four as varieties of one breed. These are Belgian Tervuren, Belgian Groenendael, Belgian Laekenois, and of course the Belgian Malinois.
Special Health Considerations: All dog breeds have certain inherited health problems associated with that specific breed, and the Belgian Malinois is no exception. Look for epilepsy (common in dogs), eye problems, canine hip dysplasia (genetic-based looseness in the hip joint that can lead to arthritis pain and lameness), and excessive shyness.