As with all breeds, it is important to research the Malinois before making the decision to adopt. While there is variation between individuals, the following is what you should expect as typical of the breed. Be honest with us (and yourself) about what kind of dog would be best for your lifestyle, so that we can match you with the right dog for your needs.

The Belgian Malinois is classified as one of four Belgian Shepherd variations. It’s cousins are the Tervueren, Groenendaeler and the Laekenaer. The Malinois name comes from it’s home town Mechelen which is Malinois in French and Mechelse Herder or Mechelaar in Dutch. This breed is used as a working dog for tasks including detection of odors such as explosives, accelerants, and narcotics; tracking of humans for suspect apprehension in police work; search and rescue missions; and human remains detection. It is notable that the US Secret Service uses the Belgian Malinois to guard the grounds of the White House.

The Malinois remains the most popular of the Belgian Shepherd breeds in his native land, but has had a rockier road in America. Between 1911 and World War ll, the Malinois enjoyed a good deal of popularity in America. After the war registrations plummeted, and it was rare to find a Malinois entered in competition. When the breeds were separated in 1959, Malinois registrations began to grow again, but they still fell far behind the other Belgian breeds. More recently, the Malinois is becoming popular because of his reputation as one of the preeminent police dogs in the world, surpassing even the German Shepherd in demand. Thus, even though the Malinois may not be seen in many homes or show rings, this breed is making its presence known as a keeper of the peace throughout the world.

The term "intense" best describes the Belgian Malinois. This is a high-energy breed with a need for regular mental and physical stimulation. If you do not train and exercise this breed on a daily basis, they will find something to do on their own, and you won't like it! The Malinois can be extremely destructive to your home if you do not provide the physical exercise your dog craves and needs. He is strong, alert, agile, very intelligent, and very serious. He is an ideal watchdog and protector. He can be aloof with strangers, and some can be domineering. The Malinois is high drive and high prey and may not tolerate small animals or children in their space. It is best to choose carefully if you have other small pets. When it comes to small children some Mals are not suited for living with children. If you have children it must be noted on your application so that Julie can choose a dog that has been approved for your family and will love your children as much as you do. Generally any dog with a bite history will NEVER be placed in a home with small children and only with an experienced handler, most likely in a working home.

When confined he often runs in sweeping circles in an effort to stay on the move! The Malinois is protective of his home and family. We must stress that the Malinois is a high-energy dog that needs a lot of exercise. His needs cannot be met with a leisurely walk on leash, and instead needs a good jog or a vigorous play session. He especially enjoys herding. The Malinois needs weekly brushing, more when shedding. Lifespan is 10 - 14 years.

-- by Connie Fallinger