Behind the Breed: The Belgian Malinois

Behind the Breed: Belgian Malinois

Behind the breed is an ongoing series to assist in you choosing the right breed for yourself and family.

The Belgian Malinois is one of four types of Belgian Sheepherding dogs registered in Belgium and France as the Chien de Berger Belge.  It shares a common foundation with the Belgian Sheepdog and Belgian Tervuren.

Dating back to 1891 and bred initially in and around the city of Malines, of which their name derives the short-haired fawn dog with black mask has over the century proven to be a worthy and capable working dog.

Belgian Malinois are typically thought as “cop-dogs”.  This only gives one representation of what the breed is capable of.  They are highly trainable and loyal companions to their families, they exhibit cautious behavior around strangers.  Belgian Malinois are an alert highly trainable breed that can herd a flock with inexhaustible energy and is sharp enough to protect the flock and farm.

Belgian Malinois are a versatile breed; owners are finding pleasure in training their family companion for conformation, obedience, schutzhund, herding, sledding, agility, therapy, and tracking.

If you are interested in obtaining a Belgian Malinois you need to be aware that purchasing any working breed and introducing him to your family requires an understanding that you are not bringing in a dog who likes to lie around the house.  This breed requires a job to do, any job will do and they will find enjoyment in working tirelessly for you day in and day out.  Be aware of their temperament, these dogs can be somewhat shy and perceived as unfriendly do to their fashionable presence in police and military style work society perceives them as being dangerous.  Having a well-informed trainer who is familiar with this breed and their capabilities will help you succeed in training this most loyal of the herding breeds.

Above I mentioned sledding; well according to several internet sources Belgian Malinois have been harnessed to sleds and can pull quite well.  I understand many have been cross-bred with Siberian Huskies making them very fast and highly intelligent.  If you’re not sure what kind of job you’d like to do with your Belgian Malinois, any sport that gets them moving is a good start.

I recommend this breed to people who live active lifestyles and understand high drives in working dogs.

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