History of The Belgian Malinois
Belgian Malinois make excellent Police Service and Protection Dogs
In Europe, the Beligan Malinois is one of four varieties of the Belgian Shepherd Dog. The genetics behind each breed are very similar, as are the personalities and temperaments. The Belgian Malinois is a sensitive, family oriented dog. They love to do anything and everything with their owners, and at times they will insist on doing so. The Belgian Malinois are not a breed that is happy sitting around and doing nothing and certainly do not enjoy being deprived of their owner’s companionship.
The Belgian Malinois are high energy dogs and this is important to know because if you’re not prepared for this, you may be in for a rough time. The Belgian Malinois needs to be occupied with a task or they will make one up for themselves and it may not be something you will like. The Belgian Malinois is quickly earning the reputation of being a high energy dog that cannot be worn out. This is an endearing quality for a police service dog.
The Belgian Malinois is an extremely devoted dog. He is very similar to the German Shepherd in that he enjoys the companionship of his owner. Whether it’s running errands or going for a jog, he wants to be by your side at all times.
Fortunately the Malinois is a healthy breed. Although genetic problems are rare, there are a few heritable problems in the Malinois gene pool. You should be aware of these problems when choosing a breeder. There is hip and elbow dysplasia present in the breed, and all breeding stock should be certified clear of this problem. Responsible breeders will provide the proper documentation concerning hip certification. There is epilepsy present in the breed, although it is less prevalent in the Malinois than in the Tervuren and Sheepdog. A responsible breeder will be aware of this potential problem and will explain what steps they are taking to prevent it in their puppies. There has also been concern about eye defects in the Malinois, particularly Progressive Retinal Atrophy. The problem is present, though rare, in the Tervuren. There are heritable eye problems in the Belgian Sheepdog. For this reason all breeding stock should be certified free of hereditary eye diseases by the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (C.E.R.F.). Again, responsible breeders will provide you with documentation. Fortunately genetic problems in the Malinois are rare. However, responsible breeders and puppy buyers need to be aware of these problems so that they do not become common tragedies.
Socialization and exposure to different situations and sounds should begin early and continue throughout the dog's life. Children should always be supervised and never be left alone with any dog of any breed.
The Malinois excels in dog sports and activities such as herding, search and rescue, competitive obedience, jogging companion and more. An active lifestyle with many challenges is best for the Malinois to thrive to his full potential. Without this type of routine many Malinois can become destructive and hyper. Not every Malinois has the exact same degree of "high drive," but the first-time Belgian Malinois owner needs to be aware of these generally common traits. The Belgian Malinois is at his best when given a job, but it is equally important to integrate the Malinois into family life by setting clear behavior guidelines as well as training him to behave as a "Canine Good Citizen" whether at home, with guests or strangers, or in the park.
History Of The Belgian Malinois
Belgian Shepherd Dogs were established as a breed during the latter part of the 19th Century. The Belgian Malinois is in fact a variety of the Belgian Shepherd Dog. Other varieties are the Groenendael, long-haired and black; the Tervuren, long-haired and red brown or gray with black mask, ears and overlay; and the Laekenois, wirehaired and red brown or gray, is recognized as a Tervuren if born into a Tervuren litter. Since 1901 The Club Societe Royale de St. Hubert has recognized and registered the Malinois, Groenendael, Tervuren and Laekenois. The wirehaired is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in the United States. Malinois, Groenendael, Tervuren and Laekenois are considered different varieties but one breed by The Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) and American Belgian Malinois Club Page 4 United Kennel Club (UKC).
In 1911 the first two Malinois were imported into the United States: Belgian Blackie AKC #148516 and Belgian Mouche AKC #148517. From 1911 to 1958 Belgians were registered with the AKC as Belgian Sheepdogs. In 1958 the AKC declared the Belgians to be three distinct breeds. From 1959 to 1965 Belgian Malinois were placed in the Miscellaneous Class. Both the Groenendael (registered as the Belgian Sheepdog) and the Tervuren were placed in the Working Group as separate breeds. In 1965 the Belgian Malinois was reinstated in the Working Group. In 1983 all three Belgians were placed in the newly formed Herding Group as separate breeds.