Other Names : Chien de Berger Belge, Belgian Shepherd, Belgian Sheepdog
Country of Origin : Belgium
Dog Group : Working Dog
The Belgian Shepherd dog is the only breed in the world that comes in 4 varieties: the short-coated red, fawn or grey ‘Malinois’, the long-haired fawn, red or grey ‘Tervueren’, the long-haired black ‘Groenendael’, and the rarer rough-coated reddish fawn ‘Laekenois’. Originating from Belgium, they are named after the areas in Belgium from which they came: Malines, Tervuren, Groenendael and Laeken. Hard working sheepdogs from Belgium have been recognised since the Middle Ages. At this time the type varied greatly and breeding was based on working ability. As they were bred locally certain common characteristics began to appear. In the 1890’s a Professor of the Belgian School of Veterinary Sciences recorded standards for the various types of Belgian sheepdogs. It was noted that they were all similar in type with the main difference being the coat. The Professor then divided them into varieties and advised breeding them as separate breeds. Once there were as many as eight varieties; now there are only four. The Malinois was the first of the Belgian sheepdogs to develop a type and to breed true to this. It was also the first to become popular.
The Malinois is a medium sized, shorthaired dog that appears square in its outline. Although they are often confused with the German Shepherd Dog by the general public, they are squarer in profile; lighter in bone and more refined in head, with a light, brisk movement.
Feeding & Ownership
The Malinois is an undemanding dog to feed with no special dietary requirements; they generally have a good appetite.
The Malinois is a devoted companion and does not make an ideal kennel dog, as they become bored and destructive. They are very affectionate and totally devoted to their families. Not a breed for those wanting ‘just a dog’. They will protect their home and family but it is not advisable to encourage their guarding instincts when young, as they can get confused and start guarding you in inappropriate situations. Their natural guarding instincts will kick in, if and when necessary.
The Malinois is a shorthaired dog that needs little grooming. They have a thick coat with a woolly undercoat.