Tag Archives: Belgian Malinois

A Belgian Malinois or a German Shepherd Is the Better?

Hello again!

belgian-malinois-in-water

Malinois is exercising in the water

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.

belgian_malinois_K-9

Belgian Malinois K9 Police Dog

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.

tired German Shepherd

Tired German Shepherd

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.

My Conclusion

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,

Alex Sparrow

* Sources: breeders, dog shows, experience, owners.

Belgian Malinois – How to Keep It Healthy Always?

Mornin’ Dog Fans!

family-and-belgian-malinos-on-beach

Catching sight of a Belgian Malinois and many will fall in love with in a second. Really, their appearance grabs most animal loving people. But, possessing proudly one of them, involves an active way of life. It means spending sufficient time in motion on fresh air. Because, you’d be mistaken if you think this dog will sit within your condo all day.

Just remember what you could read about their temperament in the previous section. Now, we will go through the requirements of their physical and mental health.

Dwelling Needs of the Belgian Malinois

The breed bears the not too extreme cold or hot temperatures problem-free. Their two-layered coat is water-resistant, and the under-layer helps to preserve body warmth in winter. Grooming necessities demand a lightweight brushing to get rid of lifeless hairs weekly.

Dwelling settlements for the breed needs to be arrange the way s/he has admittance to a secure, fenced-in space with shade exterior through the day. During nighttime, sleeping inside with family is their preferred way.

They require to have lively play periods within your yard and use up power via sprints or swift-paced jogs together with their owner. Besides, s/he particularly enjoys herding if the opportunity arises.

Sheepdog Background

Your Belgian Malinois canine specifically is a working dog. So, you must move not only the body – in excess of other dogs – but also their brain. S/he is almost capable of anything, provided that you set up new challenges each day.

“Short hair, long sense” – might say the Malinois owners about their favorite dog breed. And let’s face it; they would be not very far from the truth. The secret behind their success is rooted – besides the individual endowments – presumably in the shepherd dog inheritance.

The achieved results of sheepdogs in dog sports or in any dog work, as well as their leading roles, is clearly not accidental. Just think about the general responsibilities of the shepherd dog. The herding of the flock itself is by no means an easy task for the dogs.

Not just because the sheep or cows can certainly also be very unruly sometimes. But, because they should be able to solve independently certain situations. However, s/he should follow the instructions from his master, being subject in the management.

Belgian_Malinois_Police_Dog

Meantime, a range of effects work in it, some of which are reinforce; others block their inherited instincts. The development and exploitation of the protective instinct necessary for defense / guarding, however, is not so simple. Reason is that it only culminates later in a degree to get a role in training.

High Movement Requirements

As I mentioned before, the physical and mental well-being is very important for the Belgian Malinois. Their build and toughness make them capable to fulfill serious tasks: avalanche rescue, military actions, narcotics/scent detection, police K-9s, personal guarding, security works.

Besides, the Malinois is suitable for doing all kinds of dog sports, such as ball games (fly ball), hunting practices, skill and obedience trials. And don’t forget that s/he makes the excellent family companion, if their movement need fulfilled.

The foregoing also showed that the Malinois is a temperamental and agile animal inherently. That’s why I don’t recommend it for everyone. Merely with a walk, or playing with a ball is inability to exploit the intellectual and physical capacity, and burn off pent-up energy.

Again, I stress the need for joint activities. The bored Belgian Malinois becomes dissatisfied, and this may lead to inappropriate behaviors. It’s therefore, unavoidable to spend the sufficient time for a thorough socialization at their young age.

Choosing a Malinois Puppy

My friend, to discover the diversity between the pups at first glance, get to know their different individuality is a great experience. However, it touches us even deeply when you start to feel special affection for one of the fur-babies.

As we observe the little puppies, one of them caught somehow caught our eyes. Possibly you may begin to be afraid of him from others, or, on the contrary, moved by its misbehavior. However, do not forget to check the puppy’s reactions.

Experience shows that this time will help if you rattle a bunch of key, or playing with a rag while you’re watching the designated puppy’s reactions. I use to sit between the litter (in work clothes, of course) and lift him or her up to see what s/he does.

Puppies with good nature are merry and nosey, interested in approach folks and being hold by them. Best policy is to select the middle-of-the-road pooch. Avoid the one that’s conquered its litter-mates as well as that’s hiding away from you.

Check the Parents

Furthermore, try to meet the pup’s dad and mom to be convinced they’ve nice temperaments that’s cozy for you. In general, the mom is the accessible from the two. Encounter litter-mates or additional relatives of parents can also be useful for assessing just what a puppy will probably be as an adult.

Naturally, you should check the origin and veterinary papers, too, before adoption. Discuss the breeder thoroughly over the required accommodation, eating habits and so on. If all is well, only, then bring home the Belgian Malinois puppy.

Prospective owners should know that the Malinois is not an average type among the Shepherd dogs. S/he’s a wonderful creature that requires a lot of love and “dog sympathy” from puppy-hood to grown-up age.

If s/he receives all of these, then it will be as it should be: bold, balanced and friendly dog who is trustworthy, kind playmate for the kids, and surround the whole family with constant gentle love.

Health Aspects

Nothing reveals more about that the Malinois had to meet the performance-driven requirements always than its good health. Serious illness which would be typical in the variety is not known. Despite its stock brokers humiliating speed lifestyle, there are species at the age of 10 – 12, which are working yet.

Hopefully, this condition will remain so, even though there are concerns that due to the markedly increasing popularity, the Belgian Malinois will also be diluted. To prevent this from happening, please, choose it for you only feeling a sense of commitment towards the breed, and you take the dog training at least as serious as the Malinois itself.

Have many successes,
Alex Sparrow

* Sources: dog shows, Malinois breeders, owners, experience.

Belgian Malinois Dog – Is It Worth to Adopt One?

Hello again!

belgian_malinois_exercisingAt 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.

Belgian Malinois practicing Ring work

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.

BelgianMalinoisasK9unit

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.

WARNING!

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,

Alex Sparrow

Belgian Malinois – Introducing an Excellent Working Dog

Hi Dog Folks!

Belgian_Malinois_portraitWhen 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.

Naming Complications

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.

Belgian_Malinois_puppy

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?

Appearance

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.

Dimensions

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).

Care

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,

Alex Sparrow

* Sources: dog shows, breeders, experience, forums, owners.