Originally developed in Mechelen, Belgium, Malinois have great stamina and really love to work. They are intelligent and very active dogs that excel at many tasks. In addition to herding sheep, they also do well in police work, search and rescue, and in performance events, such as agility.
The Malinois Shepherd is one of four varieties of Belgian Shepherd Dogs developed in Belgium in the late 1800s. The four varieties are the Malinois (fawn-mahogany, short coat with black mask), the Tervuren (fawn-mahogany, long coat with black mask), the Lakenois (fawn, rough coat), and the Groenendaeler (black, long coat).
The Club du Chien de Berger Belge was founded in September 1891 to determine which of the many different types of dogs alone was representative of the sheepdogs developed in Belgium. In November of that same year, breeders and enthusiasts gathered in the suburbs of Brussels to examine sheepdogs from that region. After much deliberation, veterinary professor Adolphe Reul and a panel of judges concluded that the native sheepdogs of that province were square, medium-sized dogs with well-placed triangular ears and very dark brown eyes and differed only in the texture, color and length of hair. Subsequent studies of dogs in other Belgian provinces resulted in similar findings.
In 1892, Professor Reul wrote the first Belgian Shepherd Dog standard, which recognized three varieties: dogs with long coats, dogs with short coats, and dogs with rough coats. The Club du Chien de Berger Belge asked the Société Royale Saint-Hubert for breed status, but was denied. In 1901, however, the Belgian Shepherd Dog was finally recognized as a breed.
This is an excellent working dog that is confident and protective in any situation. They are affectionate with family members but reserved with strangers until they get their measure. The watchdog abilities of the Malinois are excellent. They protect their people and property with only as much force as necessary.
- Elbow dysplasia (disorder of the elbow)
- Hip dysplasia (developmental hip disorder)