Belgian Malinois dogs have long been known as highly intelligent and proficient watchdogs. They excel at obedience, tracking, herding, as well as police and military work. Besides being very smart, these dogs are also bursting with energy. They're very trainable, especially as puppies. Belgian Malinois are excellent family dogs and get along quite well with kids and adults. They love being around their families and will protect them when necessary. They're proud, yet loving, so one will likely make a fine addition to your household.
Continue reading to learn more about Belgian Malinois, commonly referred to as Mals.
Popularity: Quite popular.
Trainability: The Belgian Malinois is a herding dog and being so, it likes to chase things that move (animals, cars, children). This must be considered early on when the dog is a puppy to quell this urge. Overall, the breed is eager to please and relatively easy to train, but you'll need to correct the chasing inclination early. This breed also needs to be socialized early so it can learn and form acceptable behavior traits later on.
Size/Weight: Large sized dogs, weighing in at an average of 60-80 pounds.
Origin Location/Date: The Belgian Malinois originated in Europe and was originally used as a police dog in Belgium. The dog breed is considered very old, but became much more popular and accepted as a breed in the late 1800s and gained American Kennel Club recognition as a breed in its own right in 1959.
Energy Level: This dog has high exercise requirements and is best suited for farm living or with someone who loves to run and play (a lot). The Belgian Malinois enjoys running free without a leash, so ample space is necessary so it can do this regularly. While it can live in an apartment, if it does, it's imperative that it be exercised extensively every day.
Temperament: This is a good dog, but it must be trained and its behavior curbed when necessary for it to be a good companion. The Belgian Malinois can be territorial and fearful of those people it doesn't know, so socialization is important when it's a puppy. The dog likes to run freely and that urge to run can affect its behavior. Overall, this dog is a great companion and very obedient for the right person, but that person needs to know how to handle and have experience with dogs.
Necessary Space: A farm is the best home for this dog due to the space, but it can live in a large house that has a yard and a good master who loves to exercise.
Talents: This dog can form extremely strong bonds with one person, so if you're looking for a right hand man, this may be your breed. It's also energetic, lively and eager to work. It's easily trained and is a very proficient watch and guard dog. Also, this breed does very well with search and rescue work and agility training.
Life Expectancy: 14-16 years.
Group: Herding group.
A few terms and phrases to describe the typical Belgian Malinois puppy and dog: eager to please, easily trained, intelligent, loyal, good watch dog, good guard dog, loves to run, loves to play, loves exercise, lively, eager to work, likes to chase, energetic.