One of the four types of Belgian sheepherding dogs, the Belgian Malinois is an alert, high-energy breed, popular as both a police and military working dog. Although sometimes mistaken for the German Shepherd Dog, the Malinois is more elegant in build and lighter-boned, but does not lack for strength, agility, or herding ability. Active participants in conformation, obedience, schutzhund, herding, sledding, and tracking, the breed ranges in color from rich fawn to mahogany, with black tips on the hairs and a black mask and ears.
A Look Back
Developed in the city of Malines, where it got its name, the Malinois shares a common foundation with the Belgian Sheepdog and the Belgian Tervuren. In fact, the Belgian dogs share a breed standard in all countries except the United States. The original breeders prized the the breed's working character, and historically, the Malinois has been the favorite type of Belgian Shepherd in its native country.
Right Breed for You?
Intelligent and trainable, the Belgian Malinois possesses a strong desire to work and is happiest with regular activity and a job to do. A relatively easy keeper due to their medium size and short coat, this confident breed loves their families, but may be somewhat reserved with strangers. They are naturally protective of their owners without being overly aggressive.
- Herding Group; AKC recognized in 1959.
- Ranging in size from 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder.
- Sheep herder.
AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.