Belgian Malinois

History/Evolution:

The Belgian Malinois shares a foundation with other Belgian sheepherding breeds, including the Belgian Sheepdog and the Belgian Tervuren — Belgian dogs share a breed standard in all countries except the U.S. Developed in the city of Malines, Malinois is prized as a confident herder and guard. Although it has experienced uneven growth in popularity outside Belgium, the Malinois is considered a preeminent security and police dog, ranking even above the German Shepherd.


Size:

Medium to large; females 22 to 24 inches, 50 to 60 pounds; males 24 to 26 inches, 55 to 75 pounds.

Color:

Fawn to mahogany, with black mask and ears.

Temperament:

Confident, intense, alert; protective without being overly aggressive.

Happiest with plenty of activity and a job; quick and responsive to commands.

Energy level:

High.

Best owner:

Active, confident owner with experience handling dogs and time for training and socialization.

Needs:

A lot of exercise (not leashed strolls) and mental stimulation (obedience training and tracking), fenced yard, weekly brushing.

Life expectancy:

10 to 12 years.