Belgian malinois puppies and dog, health, temperament and training
The Belgian Malinois, as it is known in the United States, is usually considered to be a type of Belgian Shepherd Dog. It is thus a sort of sub type of a breed, rather than a breed itself. The Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd are similar in appearance – The Belgian Shepherd Malinois is a medium sized sheepdog, lean but muscular, with a deep chest and a rather long tail. The fur is short and may be fawn colored or reddish, or even black. Shedding is considerable, and regular grooming is essential, but bathing should be avoided unless really required. The ears are pointy and alert, and the eyes are small and black, giving the dog an alert, attentive expression.
Belgian Malinois dogs were originally shepherd dogs. Although they are not found in this role very often, unlike many other working breeds they have continued to be used widely as working dogs. They are quite popular as guard dogs, sniffer dogs, and also in search and rescue work. Some military and government agencies also favor this breed. Since they are agile, active dogs, they also do very well in sports and competitive shows, such as agility work.
The Belgian Malinois temperament is typically confident, protective, and territorial, but at the same time co-operative and willing to learn and work. It is however important to train Belgian Malinois puppies as early as possible, and also take care of socialization to avoid any problems later. Maintaining a clear pack structure in the household and defining rules and boundaries are also important. Belgian Malinois attacks are not common, but they are not unheard of. If the dog has not been properly socialized and trained, it may be aggressive and dominant. The dog is also quite likely to display unwanted herding behavior, even towards people. It is advisable to consult a professional trainer for this breed, even if the dog is meant primarily for companionship. Generally, a Belgian Malinois as a pet is advisable only for experienced pet owners who have the time and inclination to keep the dog active, engaged, and obedient. For such families, the dog will make for a wonderful pet – affectionate, obedient, and lively.
As far as health and life expectancy go, Belgian Malinois dogs are typically healthy and live long lives. Hip and elbow dysplasia do occur sometimes, but these are not common problems as they are with other large breeds. Life expectancy is around 13 years.