Breed of the Week: Belgian Malinois 11/30/2015

Belgian Malinois 2

Breed Stats


Country of Origin: Belgium

Other Names: Belgian Shepherd Malinois, Mechelse Shepherd,Mechelse Herder

Average Height: Male 24-26 inches (61-66 cm), Female 22-24 (56-61)

Average Weight: Male 55-66 lb (25-30 kg), Female 44-55 lb (20-25 kg)

Average Lifespan: 12-14 years

Coat: Short, smooth coat.  Relatively easy to groom.

Colour: Typically fawn to mahogany coloured with black markings.  They can sometimes have a bit of white on their chest or the tips of their toes.




            Originated in Belgium in the 19th century, the Belgian Malinois is one of four varieties of Belgian Shepherd Dog.  These four breeds were named for the region in which they were respectively developed and the Malinois received its name from the Malines region.  Many kennel clubs do not recognize them as four different breeds but simply as variations of Belgian Shepherd Dogs.  However the AKC recognizes the four breeds separately.

The first breed standard for the Belgian Shepherd Dog was written in 1892 and by 1901 they were recognized as a breed.  In 1911, two Malinois as well as two Groenendael dogs were imported to the US and registered with the AKC.  They were registered as German Shepherds with a Belgian affix added to their names.  During this period up until World War II, the Belgian Malinois was fairly popular in America, ranking in the top 5.  There was a little bit of renewed interest after the war, but the breed didn’t take off like it had before.  In 1959 the AKC started to recognize the different varieties of Belgian Shepherd Dog as different breeds, however in Canada and most of Europe they are classified as one breed.  In the last decade or so, the Malinois has gained much attention for their work in the military, search and rescue operations, drug detection agencies and police forces and as a result imports into North America have become more prevalent.


FCI: Group 1 Section 1 #015

AKC: Herding

UKC: Herding Dog

CKC: Group 7 – Herding Dogs

KC (UK): Pastoral


            Highly active, intelligent, hard-working, friendly and protective.  The Belgian Malinois is a very high energy dog and requires not only a lot of exercise but also a lot of training and mental stimulation.  They love to have a job to do and will find one if left to their own devices, usually with destructive outcomes.  This is a dog for someone who has a lot of time on their hands to spend with their dog.  These dogs are quite versatile and excel at agility, herding, tracking, obedience and all of the protection sports.  This is why they are so popular in the military as well as many police organizations.




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