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Belgian Shepherd Dog Malinois Dog Breed Profile

Belgian Shepherd Dog Malinois

General
Other Names
Chien de Berger Belge, Belgian Shepherd, Belgian Sheepdog 
Dog Group Kennel Club
Pastoral 
Breed Classification
The Malinois is a member of the pastoral group. They were originally used for herding livestock; today they are used in the protection services, as assistance dogs and as companions.  
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
£4-7.50 per week
Feeding Requirements
The Malinois is an undemanding dog to feed with no special dietary requirements; they generally have a good appetite. 
Other Expenses
The average purchase price of a puppy is £500-£650. 
Average Puppy Price
£500-800 
Lifespan
9 - 15 years
The average lifespan is 12 to 14 years. However some Malinois have been known to live less or longer than this.  
Average Litter Size
The average litter size is 6-8 puppies. 
General Physical Description
The Malinois is a medium sized, shorthaired dog that appears square in its outline. Although they are often confused with the German Shepherd Dog by the general public, they are squarer in profile; lighter in bone and more refined in head, with a light, brisk movement.
Height Min Max
Bitch 56cm (22") 61cm (24")
Dog 61cm (24") 66cm (26")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 20kg (44lbs) 23kg (51lbs)
Dog 27.5kg (61lbs) 28.5kg (63lbs)
Size Category
Medium 
Weight Height Range
Dogs should measure between 61-66cms at the withers and bitches should ideally measure between 56-61cms at the withers. Dogs should weigh between 27.5-28.5kgs, bitches between 20-23kgs. 
Ailments
Anyone looking for a puppy should make sure that both parents are hip-scored and eyes are tested. Hip status in the breed is generally excellent but that’s not to say that there haven’t been the odd high scores.  
Common Ailments

React to Immunisations and Anaesthetics  
Susceptibility To Illness
Low 
Other
History
The Belgian Shepherd dog the only breed in the world that comes in 4 varieties: the short-coated red, fawn or grey ‘Malinois’, the long-haired fawn, red or grey ‘Tervueren’, the long-haired black ‘Groenendael’, and the rarer rough-coated reddish fawn ‘Laekenois’. Originating from Belgium, they are named after the areas in Belgium from which they came: Malines, Tervuren, Groenendael and Laeken. Hard working sheepdogs from Belgium have been recognised since the Middle Ages. At this time the type varied greatly and breeding was based on working ability. As they were bred from locally certain common characteristics began to appear. In the 1890’s a Professor of the Belgian School of Veterinary Sciences recorded standards for the various types of Belgian sheepdogs. It was noted that they were all similar in type with the main difference being the coat. The Professor then divided them into varieties and advised breeding them as separate breeds. Once there were as many as eight varieties now there are only four. The Malinois was the first of the Belgian sheepdogs to develop a type and to breed true to this. It was also the first to become popular.  
Intelligence
The Malinois is a very intelligent dog that learns very quickly. A gentle but consistent approach is the best way to train this dog. They can be dominant so they have to know who the boss is. They should be socialised from a very early age. At around 9 months of age they often enter a ‘juvenile delinquent’ stage and all the training will appear as though it has gone ‘out of the window’! Just go back to the beginning with basic training and by 18 months your little angel will reappear! < 
Show Characteristics
The head should be long and finely chiselled, with the skull being roughly equal to the length of the tapering muzzle. The nose should be black. The jaw should have a complete scissor bite. The eyes should be dark brown, of medium size and almondish shaped. Their ears should be of small to medium size, triangular and set high. The neck should be well muscled and slightly arched. The body should consist of a deep chest, graceful curved underline with a slightly sloping rump. The front legs should be long and well muscled with accentuated withers, and the back legs should be powerful and well muscled. The front feet should be round and tight with well-arched toes and the back feet slightly oval in shape. Their movement should be light and brisk. The tail should be of medium length with the tip carried slightly above the level of the topline. They should have a thick, short outercoat with a woolly undercoat. The hair should be shorter on the head, ears and lower legs. It is thicker around the neck and tail. The back of the legs should have a fringe of longer hair on them. The preferred colours for the show ring are all shades of red, fawn, grey with a black overlay. Their tails are usually darker or have a black tip, the face is a black m 
Country Of Origin
Belgium 
Famous Examples
 
Records Held
 
Characteristics
Energy
High 
Overall Exercise
60 - 80 minutes per day.
They need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation and to this end they excel at agility and obedience. They are very active dogs and should not be considered as pets if they are to be left alone all day. 
Distress if Left Alone
Medium 
Personal Protection
High 
Guard Dog Suitability
Medium 
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Low 
Tendency to Bark
Medium 
Medium 
Level of Aggression
Medium 
Compatibility With Other Animals
Medium 
Suitable For Children

High 

General Character And Temperament
The Malinois is a devoted companion and does not make an ideal kennel dog, as they become bored and destructive. They are very affectionate and totally devoted to their families. Not a breed for those wanting ‘just a dog’. They will protect their home and family but it is not advisable to encourage their guarding instincts when young, as they can get confused and start guarding you in inappropriate situations. Their natural guarding instincts will kick in, if and when necessary. 
Grooming
Coat Length
Short/Smooth 
Grooming Requirement
< Once a week 
Trimming
None 
Requires Professional Groomer
 
Grooming
The Malinois is a shorthaired dog that needs little grooming. They have a thick coat with a woolly undercoat.  
Colour
The Malinois is fawn, red or grey in colour with black shading on the hair tips. Their tails are usually darker or have a black tip, the face is a black mask and the ears are mostly black. They may have limited white on the chest and toes. 
Shedding
Heavy 
Suffers From Allergies
 
Tendency to Cause Allergies
 

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