5 Incredible Facts About MALINOIS
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5. HISTORY AND PURPOSE
The Malinois is one out of four variations of what is generally called the Belgian shepherds. There are four; the Malinois, the Tervueren, the Lakenois and the Groenendael. The Malinois may be the most known of these four variations, especially for their use in police or military work.
Being a shepherd, the Malinois was bred to work and to continuously stay busy. They are an extreme high energy breed, with an equally extreme will to work, to please their handler, and moving forward. There may be differences between lines; those who were bred specifically for police and military work may be even more extreme than those bred for show and family life.
4. ENERGY LEVELS
Continuing on the matter of energy levels, it should be noted that due to their high energy, the Malinois is not a dog for everyone. It can be extremely difficult managing a dog with such energy as these glorious work-a-holics for dogs. They need more physical exercise and mental stimulation than normal people are willing to provide, to thrive. A Malinois who doesn’t get this, will most likely be more than destructive and very quickly develop problematic behaviours that, eventually, can be even dangerous. Put this together with the fact that while a Malinois may not necessarily be aggressive, their way of herding includes nipping, and they also guard their flock naturally, and you could have a disaster on your hands if you won’t or can’t give them what they need.
On the other hand, if you are used to working with a high energy, high drive, intense dog, you’ll have a blast living and working with a Malinois. You couldn’t find a better friend and partner for all the fun exercise and activities you can come up with.
3. MENTALITY AND TRAINABILITY
A Malinois is highly intelligent, they are vigilant, active, lively and always ready to go. They have all the qualities anyone could want for a herding dog and a protection/guarding dog. Their confidence shows through the way they hold their strong body and in their glittering eyes. A working Malinois is absolutely glorious.
However; the breed has a strong prey drive, and combined with their herding qualities, a Malinois may not be the best choice if you have younger children. Since they are so lively and active, playtime can be rougher than toddlers can manage, and when a Malinois get excited, other smaller pets like cats could get in trouble. They are, however, very fond of their family and needs to be an active part of your family’s life. This is not a dog for you who needs to leave your dog at home while working for hours and hours on end every day.
All that being said; a Malinois is such an amazing working dog due to all the qualities I’ve just discussed. They are eager to please their human, they do enjoy moving forward, learning new things, and for anyone with good experience with this kind of dogs, they will be amazing to work with. If you’re new to the working dog experience, you may want to start with a breed not quite as eager and intense, to keep up. If you’re still want one, I recommend you contact a professional dog trainer to help you get started with the training of your Malinois pup to prevent any problematic behaviour from developing. Please also remember that they, like any other breed, need serious socialization and early basic training to learn good manners.
But a Malinois is, for sure, a breed which you can go really, really far if you’re willing to put in the work.
2. LOOKS AND HEALTH
Sometimes, the Malinois is mistaken for a German shepherd. No surprise there, since the breeds to have similar physical qualities. The Malinois, compared to the German shepherd, is slightly smaller and slimmer. They reach about 22 – 26 inches to the shoulder, weighing roughly between 40 – 80 pounds, depending on gender. Fur-wise, their coat is shorter than the German shepherd’s, and can come in fawn, sable, red fawn, fawn sable, mahogany and red. Compared to the German shepherd, they have a more square shaped body, but the head and face is quite similar with erect ears and long noses.
If you take good care of your Malinois, the life expectancy ranges up to 16 years if you’re lucky. During their lifetime, you want to keep an eye out for hip and elbow dysplasia, there are certain eye conditions that can occur, and some Malinois get problems with their shoulders. You’ll increase the good health of your dog with nutritious food, keeping him in good physical and mental health, keeping nails trimmed and ears clean. Do all that, and you have a long, happy life with your dog to look forward to.
The Malinois is, and has long been renowned for its work with police all around the world. They are extremely popular within the police force and military for their courage, their force, their will to work, and excel at things any other dog would hesitate to even consider.
For example; a Malinois named Cairo, who was a member of Seal Team Six, had a crucial part in the raid that brought down the world’s most notorious terrorist, Osama Bin Laden, in 2011.
Other examples are dogs who jump out of helicopters with their humans to work on foreign soil in war time. There are many examples of fantastic Malinois who has done amazing work on extremely high levels.
And of course, they are exceptionally good at protection work, even as un-trained. A trained Malinois is absolutely glorious at what he does, and any Malinois is extremely protective of his family.
Like I’ve said earlier in this video; while the Malinois is an extraordinary dog, it is not a breed for everyone. To manage one of these, you need to be a calm and consistent leader on a very, very high level, you need to be extremely active and you need to know how to train a dog way beyond what most people do. I highly recommend you think both once, twice, thrice and even four times before you decide to get one of these. Too many dogs are put down because the owners have no idea of the amount of work that needs to go into their canine companion, and it’s such a waste of awesome dogs.