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Hmm… provocative question, isn’t it? It may seem my intention is to stir up conflicts between the Belgian Malinois owners and the enthusiasts of German Shepherd. However, this assumption would be far from the truth. On the contrary, my opinion is that dog owners should stick together. Then what’s the point of the question?
Well, not the first time is that I hear such questions and argumentation about dog breeds. And naturally, any kind of dog owner may be biased against their own species even within the same breed.
Anyone who already has read my website, knows that I’m dealing with different dogs more than sixty years. And I also bred dogs before 1980, plus I’m a frequent visitor to dog shows, exhibitions and competitions.
Consequently, I know quite a number of dog breeds. And I was lucky enough to keep a German Shepherd for twelve years before. Furthermore, a Belgian Malinois puppy enjoys my hospitality at present. That’s why I intended to say something in this question.
And I’ve seen equally Malinois and GSD at police work, too. That’s why I intended to say something in this question.
Belgian Malinois Similarities With German Shepherd
Objectively speaking, each, the Malinois and the GSD are the family member of the sheepdog group. Both were the “helping hand” for shepherds gazing flocks on pastures of all-round Europe for quite a while now.
Both these breeds have been used as working dog on different fields of life in the twentieth century. Police and military forces, emergency and security organizations used them within Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands and other European countries.
Additionally, lots of citizens also choose species of both breeds for a home-guarding purpose. We are close to the truth saying that both these breeds share a similar role in people’s life.
It’s a fact that the Malinois and the GSD have been in the highest ten position among the most recommended canine breeds on the planet in recent years. When considering their temperament, we can only say each of them received a top degree of self-determination.
Both the Belgian Malinois and the German Shepherd are vigilant, brainy and true-hearted resulting from which they work as admirable guard dogs. Each canine is diligent when busy regarding their job. Therefore, they’re valued highly due to these traits.
What the Differences Are?
Well, let’s say that we are viewing the world championship of swimming. The two hundred meters medley is happening now. We see that two diverse swimmers reach the finish line with a difference of a hundredth of a second apart.
Would this mean that one swimmer is worse than the other? I don’t think so. After all, both swimmers are there on the podium. However, you are right, there is a difference between them, even it’s a minor one.
Why this little disparity is there? The reason for that can be many things like preparation, stamina, will, etc. A plus momentum may be that the one is more suitable for the butterfly, and the other one for the breast stroke.
Suppose, one of them turns with a special technique; the other has better breathe method. One has lighter body weight; the other’s muscles are more untied. My friend, things go similarly with dogs, too.
A) Both are fantastic working dog. However, the Malinois need a lot of exercise as they are a higher-energy dog. Exercise for only an hour or two a day won’t satisfy their requirement due to their greater inner drive.
Taking a typical person having a 9 to 5 job, five days a week, probably won’t have time or energy for a Malinois. It’s about having the free time and stamina to work them hard to make them happy everyday.
B) The attribute – many agree – could be that the Belgian Malinois, is, nevertheless, noticeably faster canine in comparison to the German Shepherd. As well as the Malinois has heaps of energy plus agility, which exceeds the similarities in the GSD.
You can observe an inclination related to that in later years. Namely, the Malinois comes to the fore over its counterpart when need arises for police K9 or military use. In that obviously plays role that this dog never gives up.
C) The German Shepherd has also been considered to be a less curious than the Malinois. For example, my GSD was able to be lying calmly for hours.
The Malinois I’m fostering now can’t survive with not having to do anything for a long time. So, this could make it a little difficult to dealing with particularly for novice owners.
D) Additionally, the Belgian Malinois requires is calling for permanent socialization. It’s not because they forget easily. The reason is they think themselves the equal parties with you and checking boundaries.
They are capable dwelling outdoors, but value more highly to be beside your family. Moreover, this animal gets along well with other canines rather than forgotten by itself in the cage or kennel.
The greater amount of you are strolling with a Belgian Malinois and give time with him or her; it’ll understand you better plus what is that you anticipate from it.
The GSD, nevertheless, is okay so long as it retains receiving its meals everyday. Alternatively, the Belgian carry out its tasks simply from respect if you deserved and acquired that.
E) The Malinois prefer to be involved in just about any activity all the time. These dogs are preferred to work in training, however, don’t like when that takes them too lengthy.
Therefore, in case you are a newcomer, it’ll be simpler to handle a German Shepherd. That’s because they are more manageable for his or her owner.
F) The health aspect also speaks about the Malinois advantage. Unfortunately, hip problems are frequent with the GSD, due to their forced breeding. So, if you want a capable working dog, you should check lot of puppies until you find a healthy one.
Each breed includes species that meet certain needs better than another. In my opinion, not any breed is worse in comparison with other. I know from experience that individual canines guarantee a difference, not the breed.
Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to bash any dog breed and only praise the other. They were all bred to achieve different goals; this should be taken note of. What is more, the dog owners, trainers also aren’t alike.
Consequently, it’s up to you taking that what do you really expect from the dog in question. Choose the German Shepherd if you want a more patient, simple in the contact companion. Alternatively, take the Belgian Malinois wanting a more lively and intelligent working dog.
All the best,
* Sources: breeders, dog shows, experience, owners.
At the last occasion, we dealt with the origin of the Belgian Malinois dog. Furthermore, you also could read about the breeding history and their appearance in that article. Continuing the description, we get to know their temperament, and some personal experience also will be mentioned. All this info is important in light of whether you choose this breed as your working mate / family companion or not. Let’s start!
About the Character of Belgian Malinois
The character of the Malinois is complex. It can be best considered as a top-power canine. We can say in general that this shepherd dog is affectionate, generous and hard-working. And, it’s playful in the circle of family.
He is loyal to his master, to the family, but especially the children. It is courageous and responsible, and has a strong protective instinct. Typically, s/he is reserved toward strangers until it knows them. The aggression isn’t their trait.
The breed is known for its attentive ability, perseverance, courage, toughness, intelligence and meaning. They make excellent watchdogs. They protect your family and property in a very convincing way if needed.
The breed is reasonably pleasant in direction of other canines and pets living under the same roof. Apart from that, the Malinois can show dominating persona, thus requires a consistent hand in keeping and training equally.
A “Light Athlete”
The Belgian Malinois actually represents a prototype of “light athlete” in the world of dogs. Due to its harmonic, lean build and light bone structure, it’s very fast and maneuverable. Speed is not only meant to move in its case.
Because of its reflexes, reactions can take place in seconds in a given situation. They told me an appalling example, a video recording, that demonstrated their “RING” work in a competition.
The Ring – where these dogs are highly successful in – is a special, freestyle guard covers sports, described simply. Here the dogs have to work varied and unpredictable life situations.
For example, full body catches are permitted. However, the maximum self-control and maneuverability are strict requirements.
An Illustration of Abilities
Well, the tape featured a Malinois, who got the task of the ‘fugitive’s capture’. The trainer sent the dog onto the sprinting training assistant, then conducted the “Leave it-Come in” order JUST BEFORE the catch.
The dog’s conduct was breathtaking. The animal has been floated in the air when the command said, but as soon as he heard the order, turned over a fraction of a second. Then with four feet stamping, pushed away from the assistant and galloped to its owner in its full power.
Well, the good Malinois can achieve such amazing performance in a competent hand. At the same time, it should be noted that all this could be brought out only with expertise, patience and hard work.
Looking Behind This Output
Well, those mighty be disappointed thinking the breed is a miracle dog who learns everything in seconds and doesn’t stop until reaching the top. It’s a false illusion to expect outstanding performance merely from the dog.
Furthermore, in case of any disappointment or failure is outright dishonesty to blame him. Just think about it; an awesome race car also cannot win, if the driver is mediocre or even worse.
In addition, the Malinois is such a “racing car” in which only equipped with steering wheel and brake. Gas pedal is not necessary at all, because the “engine” is rotating at the full speed all the time.
Among other things, this is the feature, which allows extraordinary results on the race track. At the same time, also because of this, it’s very easy to mess up its education.
Another feature of the Malinois is the (above mentioned) lightning-fast reaction capability. That is important to emphasize, because the instinct is very strong in this breed. Thus, it’s recommended to avoid over-exertion or early pressure in training in order to succeed.
This especially applies to the phase of security guard working, where developing the change of dog’s instinct demanded. The essence is bettering the predatory as well as guarding instinct and achieved stable switching between them.
In fact, it makes possible doing a precise and confident work, despite the different stimuli in diverse situations. It is obvious, that all this requires caution, if the reactions and changes take place in seconds.
Malinois Is Eager to Learn
Nevertheless, temperament would not simply happen. Many factors like congenital traits, socialization and training – among others – have the impact on a character. You should begin its education as soon as possible in order to evolve their extraordinary intelligence and adaptability appropriately.
The breed acquire knowledge quickly and eager to learn. The raising should not be major problems, provided that a calm atmosphere, takes place in a consistent manner. The Belgian Malinois dog should clearly feel the leading role of their owner.
If not, then one day he may decide to take over the flock – that is, control over the family. Therefore, the owner needs to be a strong personality. And besides educating the dog, s/he must carry out joint activities with him regularly.
Example of Our Own
Now, I’m fostering a Belgian Malinois puppy, until finding a new home for him. I’m spending with Larry hours brokenly due to its movement need, including at least an hour running around with other dogs.
During a week he learned properly the commands: “Listen to me,” “Sit” and “Down.” He grasped the “Listen to me” command easily within our yard, then continued in the park. The distractions and his curiosity slowed the process, of course.
I use the clicker method in training; it works well for us. Learning happens in short intervals to ensure that his attention not to go in different direction. With frequent rest periods, he can continuously obtain useful dog knowledge.
Lisa and Zizi accepted Larry into the family. He likes to run with me, enjoys to play ball, retrieve, and rampage without a leash. Later, we’ll try swimming in the river’s dead branches near us. The bad weather didn’t bother him at all.
Larry feels himself the most excellent way when we are in the dog school half-day. We are lucky because there were two different days alike, but otherwise I must organize a separate program for him.
Namely, Larry isn’t satisfied with the playing in the park one and a half hours in evenings. All in all, this Belgian Malinois puppy and I get along pretty well; he shakes up my old bones (and I love that).
To be continued with upkeep needs and health aspects next time,
Hi Dog Folks!
When it comes to the Belgian Shepherd dogs, people mostly think to the Tervueren only. Yet, that name is actually an umbrella term, since it covers four different versions. The short-haired Belgian Malinois is a member of this foursome team. The other tree versions are: the lush mane Tervueren, the midnight-black Groenendael and the curly-haired Lakenois. Today, we take a closer look at the Malinois version such as; history and appearance. Let’s start.
Developing History of the Belgian Malinois
As you would guess, the breed got its name after the town Mechelen (popularly says: Malines). This town is located between Brussel and Antwerp, in Belgium. It’s a clever, intelligent, and proud fellow in the Herding Group, having a background dates back to the early 1800s.
At that time in Belgium, there were a large number of similar-looking herding dogs, but people did not breed them consciously. These dogs have similar properties, but were mediocre, wild and sometimes aggressive canines.
People called the Belgian Sheepdog herding types lived then as Chiens de Berger Belge. Those were put to use as all-function service canines, primarily to protect livestock. Of course, people bred those dogs for working ability; appearance was negligible aspect.
Meanwhile – because of existing various kinds of Belgian working dogs then – it was difficult to differentiate them within the group. It follows from that in-coordination, that a team of the Cureghem Veterinary Institute came on the scene.
They classified those canines into one class, which are most fit to the sheepdog category. Then, starting from this first sorting, and after a series of carefully crossing, they determined the Belgian Shepherd’s properties.
Professor Adolphe Reul researched those native canines in 1891 and announced the result. It showed that the particular, short-coated version is originated from Malines. These animals turned called as Belgian Malinois (pronunciation: Ma-Lin-Wah) and recognized as a breed.
In the Early 20th Century
In the early 1900s, the Groenendael and Malinois were the preferred types to export to different countries. Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Netherlands, Switzerland and USA were the main importers.
The First World War brought new tasks for Belgian Shepherd dogs in military applications. Armies used them as Red Cross canines, messenger dogs, cart dogs for ambulance and machine-gun.
After WW I, the AKC registrations of Belgian Shepherd dogs grew significantly. Namely, the soldiers returning home from Europe brought Malinois as well as other types along with them.
1924 was the year of shaping the primary Belgian Sheepdog Club of America. And, the American Kennel Club accepted that as their member shortly afterwards. This has led to that the Malinois and Groenendael became fifth in the popularity list by 1924.
Around the Great Depression
Throughout the Great Depression, the canine breeding was a privilege the majority lacked. Due to that, their popularity reduced dramatically. Even the primary Belgian Sheepdog Club of America discontinued its operations.
So, the American Kennel Club registered only a few Malinois – due to dripped import – in the nineteen thirties. And, on the dog shows held in the 1930s & ’40s, they appeared in the Miscellaneous Class only.
However, this downward trend began to break in 1949. Namely, the second Belgian Sheepdog Club of America came into live. Moreover, several people also started to breed Malinois, followed the Netherlair kennel based John Cowley’s import.
The Malinois Breed Today
The AKC officially acknowledged the Belgian Malinois in 1959. So, increasing number of individuals dealt with breeding and exhibiting Malinois by the nineteen sixties. Consequently, the breed obtained the parent club status of AKC in 1992.
Since then, this breed has obtained plenty of interest in the job they perform. Just name a few: drug detection tasks, military, police and search and rescue operations worldwide.
Did you know that at present, the breed is ranked 59th on the popularity list of the AKC from ca. 160 breeds?
The Malinois stands in a state of readiness to protect and defend its family members and territory always. They have a square proportioned, harmonic physique to meet that task. You can see a muscular; however, stylish dog, showing slender energy.
The Belgian Malinois is equipped with sturdy forequarters and straight front legs. Their fore feet are round-shaped, well-padded; the black nails are strong. You also can observe their muscular thighs on the back legs which have similar feet than in front.
Their ears held erect and are triangular-shaped, proportional with the head. The muzzle is somewhat pointed, it features a black nose and supplemented by robust jaws. The teeth are closing scissor or level bite.
The sharply-outlined head has almond-shaped, brown-colored eyes. You may discover their alert, curious and intelligent facial expression as well. The Malinois holds its head proudly on the rounded neck, it also tapers properly to their body.
Gait and Coat
Their tail is powerful, and usually held vertical with a curve while the dog is moving. Apropos, the movement is also part of any dog’s appearance. Their gait may describe most appropriately as free, straightforward and smooth.
Their short coat contains two layers; the outer is straight and water resistant. The under-layer is tick. On the head, the outside part of ears and lower part of limbs the hair is very short.
Across the neck, behind the thighs, plus on the tail, the hair is longer. On the top of the thighs, the coat is lightly flagged. The coat is slightly longer on the neck portion and the tail.
The Belgian Malinois is reddish brown (from fawn to mahogany) in color and wears a black mask on his head.
Males are 24 to 26 inches (62 – 66 centimeters) tall at the shoulder and weigh 60 to 80 pounds (27 – 36 kilograms). Females are 22 to 24 inches high (56 – 62 centimeters) and weigh 40 to 60 pounds (18 – 27 kilograms).
The short fur of the Belgian Shepherd of Mechelen requires little care, if you don’t take it into show ring. You’ll bathe it when necessary.
And you only brush it with a solid bristle brush weekly, to remove dead hair. Please, remember, the Malinois is a molting type dog, s/he shed more heavily in fall and spring.
It’s recommended to keep the nails short, so, if it not wore down naturally, then you should trim them. That’s beneficial partly for the health of the legs of your canine, on the other hand, your clothing remains free from scratching.
Trimming time has arrived when you hear the nails of your Belgian Malinois clicking on the flooring.
Temperament, training, upkeep and health aspects are coming next time,
* Sources: dog shows, breeders, experience, forums, owners.
I got the following email recently: “We got a virtually 10 week-old Springer Spaniel puppy, named Barry. He has actually been with us five days now. We experienced, that Barry painfully bites during playing. Of course, I understand, to nip is regular for puppies, and he’s just young. The problem is I’m unsure what should be done to end such behavior. He does not appear to note the standard. I know Barry is young, but this behavior makes us mad by now. He would not seem to be listening to the usual “NO.” I don’t know if he grows out of this at all, I need help now. I would like to educate him to cease this problem. How could I do that? Thank you!”
OK, it’s a good question, thank you! And I’d begin the answer with …
What Puppies Use to Do Typically
Puppies spend their days with eating, sleeping, toileting and playing. When playing, they use to run, hop on and chase one another and also initiate play along with their brothers and sisters.
And, besides eating, the puppy uses his or her teeth to bite in playing, too. Your little fur baby learns how to communicate, fight, how far s/he can go and when to give up, in other words, to retreat.
Thus, it is quite natural for them to nip the humans as well. They are inclined to do it more once they turn out to be over excited or overvalued, and likewise, even if they become too tired.
Puppies often will attempt to bite in order to getting attention plus a response, completely similarly they used to call litter-mates to play. This applies to all puppies, including the Springer Spaniel, too.
What a Pup Should Learn in this Relation
Part of this earlier life period in the litter is to learn to bite, and experience how the other reacts to that. This way, the puppy will grasp the ability of regulating the strength of their bite.
Every puppy ought to learn the proper degree of bite inhibition already among their contemporaries. If they have learned properly, when one of them bites the other excessively the fellow will usually yelp.
When the puppy firmly yelp back on the bite did by another, s/he stand up “for itself.”
And of course the offending puppy ought to stop its act, if s/he learned the lesson right.
The others will honor the strength, and the rank established within the pack. And now let’s get back to Barry’s behavior.
Ways to Stop Your Springer Spaniel to Bite
You, being Barry’s owner, have no other job than to stand up for yourself, to show him who is the boss! It doesn’t need a tough hand, but firm education, governance that you should tell him on his language.
In practice, when Barry goes to bite you yelp just like a pup in ache. If Barry has taught bite inhibition, then he should stop it. Right after that you fold your arms, turn your back on him right away and say firm “No”.
The Exclusion Technique
Keep turned away, look in another direction, and ignore him. Stay like that for a while and if Barry ceases and keeps stopped, then you could call him for praise or give a treat, or both.
In case Barry begins his action once again, you reiterate the said process, and ignore him for a longer time period. Keep in mind, you must be more persistent than him.
Withdrawing heed makes him perceive that attention and fun not follows his biting.
If it Doesn’t Work
It may happen that your Springer Spaniel is trying stubbornly. The other method could be that you separate him into a different room for a while. After that you let him out, but ignore your puppy a little more time.
Then call Barry to you and command “Sit” after which praise and reward him for his good behavior. This usually works, repeat it if necessary.
NOTE: Actually you have to choose one approach, and consistently apply it in the first place (provide a good trial). Generally, applying the first variation become sufficient.
However, if you feel you need it, other ways also exists. Let’s see.
For example, you can draw his attention onto a toy Barry can bite and chew on. This is another solution too, once again yelp “No”, get Barry to sit down, and if he obeys, and would not begin biting, then re-direct onto that chew.
NOTE: I’d warn you not to reward him until he shows the desired behavior. If Barry gets the threat or praise earlier than he stops biting, then your effort went waste. He may think you reward a bite.
However, if your family members co-operate with you in the process, your Springer Spaniel will stop biting you.
All the best,
Mornin’ Dog Folks!
In the direction of finish the year – which is also the holiday season – we are putting brakes on the everyday rush. At this period, everybody turns into obsessive about the festive ambiance, the coziness. It follows from this that we wouldn’t like to divest our dogs from the family programs in addition to giving gifts on this occasion. So far, so good. But, what would the dogs say in case of asking them about their experiences regarding holidays like Christmas?
My Friends, the above question isn’t random, simply think about the latest years. You may encounter the phenomenon as people – in increased number – could be so intimately linked to their furry mates.
Dog owners arrange a particular birthday celebration for their canines like giving presents, cooking cake and so on. I feel more individuals are inclined to consider the dog as a human being with that in mind as well.
You may have noticed this tendency in America and Japan, for instance. There, many people power their dog directly with a human role. And, looking around within my environment, what can I perceive?
I do experience this increasingly with novice dog owners. They are inclined to pamper their furry friend after a long wait for their first, coveted dog. I confess, I had such a period when my son was a child.
My Experience With Our Dogs
But, I only think back to those memories funnily today. I remember our Boxer called Doris with a Santa cap over her head, plus a table labeled “Merry Christmas” in her mouth for the photographing. I sent this picture as Christmas greetings to relatives thirty-five years ago.
And you know what? It wasn’t a big task for Doris, but I’ve to say she didn’t enjoy that particularly. Just think about that as you command your dog like “Grab,” “Stay,” “not good, I said you Grab and Stay!”
And she snapped the squeaky toy gift in two minutes. The funniest thing is that we can buy our dogs any gift. But, s/he isn’t going to be happy with that in an extent like the remaining gala dinner and a little attention.
Dogs are simple creatures; it is easy to make them pleased because they want uncomplicated things.
For instance, they play a piece of wood merrily, and there is no greater joy for them than you (the owner) spend time together with. For them, Christmas is nothing other than the fact that you’re in such a little different mood.
They experience more coming and going as well as the additional food. Please, I don’t recommend you to force them in our holiday habits; it will not be such a pleasure for them as we think!
We can buy a gift for our dogs, but be aware that we do that so much more for our soul, not because of their own. A new game will please them, but then don’t take it a minute later, saying that it was beeping too loud, or s/he will tear up that.
After all, it was a gift so the best you can do is letting play with that as s/he wants. To mention my own practice in feeding, instead of the usual nutrition I use to cook a stew for them, the recipe is here.
As a supplement, I give Zizi and Lisa a large marrow-bone. This way, both I make them happy and my peace of mind is fine. However, I’d warn you not to give your dog anything that make her stomach be diseased.
I love to walk our dogs on the 24th because as if the world would be different that day. Of course, others also have walked with their favorites. We see the familiar faces, but somehow smile more kindly at each other.
The morning walk can be longer to take the dogs get well tired. This way they will not be in your way in cleaning, cooking and last-minute gift-wrapping. Then in the afternoon, I used to go out with them a bit more before the gifting.
For me, this is the most intimate atmosphere, almost only we are on the street. It’s already dark, through the windows you can see the light and families celebrating Christmas.
And even it’s snowing, if you’re lucky. (Unfortunately, we have no snow this holiday.)
Those who have chance, organize the whole family with a dog walking, tobogganing or where the dog can run around with you.
The family will benefit from the relaxation of the festive preparations and rush. There is no greater gift for your canine when s/he is the reason the family walks with him or her.
This way, you will not have to tell yourself during the dinner that the poor dog left out of everything.
Meet the Rules
Some rules I have to mention that they have often forgotten in the celebrations. We use to say that our dogs can be unleashed anywhere if they are socialized well.
Namely, the proper relationship already established with you can tell him or her what you like. In this case, you can be more lenient with him or her. For example, you can let your favorite to come in where other times not allowed.
Of course, there are owners who don’t know the dog body language in full and their dog isn’t so obedient. The best such an owner can do is to ensure compliance with the rules of the dog in this case, too.
What I mean? For instance, you should be prepared that the arrival of guests will stir the canine. Thus, it is important that your dog is sufficiently tired, in advance.
Behavior With Guests
Namely, there could be someone among the guests, who is afraid of dogs or one who fears for his clothes. And there are people also who worship the dog and confirm the bad things such as the hopping, with the best intention.
Pretty irksome when we have to reprimand our dogs what not to do – in the front of the guests. And even more unpleasant if your guests should be advised to avoid feeding your dog.
Conversely, do not caress it when jumped up with muddy feet, or came into the forbidden zone.
It is worth preparing your dog in advance for such situations by exercising the “No” and “Stay” commands, which might come in handy at any time. For larger problems, your dog also can be kenneled during this time.
Another solution may be to inform the guest family in advance how to respond to certain things the dog does. Anyway, by now they already know that we are the “mad dog owners” in the family, this point will not surprise them.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for every animal loving people around the world! Arrange joyful walk or journeys with your fur babies among these holidays!
Our dogs also deserved to show them our affection, together with those spending their days in shelters through no fault of their own. They are entitled to receive some attention at Christmas together with people taking care of them.