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Description of Belgian Malinois

´╗┐The Breed History

This is one of four subtypes of the Belgian Shepherd dog, this one being primarily developed around the city of Malines (Mechelar), Belgium and is considered to be the original Belgian shepherd type (records date to the 1200s). The other types, divided based on their coat type are Tervuren, Groenendael, and Laekenois. Their common ancestor is the Belgian Sheepdog. The Malinois are the shorthaired black and fawn variety that resemble German Shepherds in general type. Though these coat types share a common breed standard outside the USA, the types are split into separate breeds in America and the AKC, with minor distinguishing characteristics.

Breeding for Function

The very high intelligence and trainability of these dogs are a hallmark of the breed. Obedience, herding, tracking, and Schutzhund round out their talents. Historically, herding was their primary purpose. The breed is recognized for utility in police work and agility, flyball and obedience. They are also popular today as a companion dog.

Physical Characteristics

Height at Withers: female 22-24" (56-61 cm), male 24-26" (61-66 cm).

Weight: 62-75 lb (28-34 kg).

Coat: The coat is similar to the smooth-coated Dutch Shepherd. The weather resistant coat is short and hairs are hard in texture, and fawn hairs are tipped black; undercoat is dense and short, the color is a standard distribution of black and tan (tan ranging from fawn to mahogany). Black ears, mask, muzzle, and points on feet and tail are preferred.

Longevity: 12-14 years.

Points of Conformation: High head carriage, chiseled face, alert expression, and a muscular conformation characterize the Malinois. Slightly almond shaped eyes are brown, with black palpebral rims, are medium sized and moderately deep set. Ears are triangular, pricked and the tips pointed. Skull is flattened, and stop is moderate. The muzzle is pointed but not snippy, nose and lips black, neck medium in thickness and length and well muscled. The topline is level, though a mild slope down to the rear is accepted, especially through the croup. The thorax is deep, abdomen is moderately tucked up, and the tail reaches the tarsus and is carried below horizontal in a curve. Limbs are straight with an oval cross section; dewclaws may be removed in front, and on the hind limbs are usually removed. Foreleg feet are compact and possess strong black nails, though a white nail may accompany a white toe marking. Rear feet may be a bit more elongated. The gait is long, ground covering and smooth. In the breed standard, reference is made to the fact that the breed likes to circle rather than move in a straight line. This is likely a characteristic that derives from their herding behavior.

Thanks for description - Animal life club

Photo Gallery of Belgian Malinois