Let me introduce myself to you. My name is (X) Malinois. Don’t I look cute?
This is what I look like now. Cute, cuddly, bouncy and energetic. I am 6 weeks old and ready to throw your life into a maelstrom of changes. I love to play, run, chew, bite, nip and destroy. I am a pup after all! It is what I was born to do. I possess many a drive… the most important drive being the one that will drive you crazy! I am very good at that particular drive if I am not handled as I should be. Now you will say, that little thing is going to drive me crazy? Yes! I feel it is my mission in life to show you the error of your ways in purchasing me if you did so for the wrong reasons… You see, I am not a regular pup. I come from a fierce breed and my ancestors can be traced back to the late 19th century. They were herders dogs, meant to guard the flock, keep the family safe from intruders and those intending to do harm. My ancestors originate from Belgium, from the town of Malines. This is where our protection abilities became clear and where people saw the variety things we were useful for. Let me regale you with some history of my ancestors , and myself, so you get a better picture of what I am, and why I will do what I do…
The Belgian Malinois, Purebred.
The shorthaired shepherd could be found in the Antwerp and Dutch border area around the early 1900’s. These dogs were primarily found at farms where they performed an important daily routine of guarding and protecting the farm, its livestock and its inhabitants of those willing to do harm. The Malinois was described by Professor Dr Reul (founder of the Club Chien du Berger Belge in 1891) as follows: They have the size of a fox or wolf, are short haired and have a fawn streamed color, their ears are admirably straight, fine and pointed, worn openly and pointing forward. Other traits are the pointed snout, the black nose, the well carried tail, worn almost straight but slightly elevated at the tip, shaped not unlike a wheat stalk in its outer appearance
In 1898. In Malines/Mechelen Belgium the Club tot Verbetering van den Kortharige Schaapshond (Club for Improvement of the Shorthaired Sheepdog) was founded. Its purpose was to improve the types of the short haired Belgian Shepherd as it was primarily bred in the Mechelen/Malines area.
Until the year 1899 the Belgian Shepherds were subdivided in 3 groups. The long, short and rough haired varieties in which the color of the coat was of no importance. In 1899 the CLub Chien du Berger Belge took a one sided decision to divide the groups into colors without consulting with the Mechelse/Malines Club. They were divided into the following groups. Black for longhaired, pepper and salt for rough haired and lion color/fawn charbonné with black mask for the short haired. The Mechelse/Malinois club called this decision a coup of sorts because they had quite the different view and idea on the short haired shepherd.
Before anything, their dogs were to be working dogs. Not the outside of the dog was to be used as a measure but a combination of out and inside. They prefered a well trained dog that had a strong build with a smooth and smart appearance. Color was a distant second in their view since they did not want the breed to turn into a luxury dog, in which it was very likely that it would lose its unique and amazing character.
The Malinois is extremely loyal, eager to work, determined, has a sharp intelligence, is a hard dog, very attentive smart, courageous, not for the faint of heart. It will protect its family and their possessions in a very convincing way against all wanting to do harm and it is the reason that this breed has been chosen to work as a police dog in many forces in the past and continues to do so today.
A Malinois needs an extreme amount of exercise, they are filled with energy that needs to be drained constantly in order to keep the dog manageable and to ensure that the dog will not find its own energy outlet. Raising a Malinois is not an easy task and consistency is required. A black and white world with no deviation is an absolute must for this breed! They are the ultimate working dog and have proven time and again that they do not perform well in a low activity environment. They are not to be confused with a random family pet which they will soon prove by showing their breed characteristics.
Specific traits of the Malinois:
Hair, short on the head, outside of ears and the lower limbs. Short on rest of body but fuller around the neck and tail area. At the neck the coat appears to be a fuller and forms a wide standing collar starting at the bottom of the ear and continuing down towards the throat. The back of the thighs are covered with longer fur feathering out towards the back. The tail appears like a wheat stalk but does not form a so called tail feather.
Mask: With the Malinois the mask should be very pronounced and extend to bottom and top lips, corners or mouth and eyes meaning one large black mask without fault. For the mask there are 8 very strict visible pigmentation points. Both ears, both upper eyelids and both upper and lower lips should be black.
Flame black (Charbonné) For the Malinois this means that the tips of the fur are black which give the base color a shaded look. This black color should at least be flamed en is not allowed to be visible in large blots and or streaks/stripes. Small amounts of white are allowed on the chest and or toes.
Hip and Elbow dysplasia can be found in the Malinois as well as Epilepsy.
General weight and height for a male are 30/35 Kilo – 60/66 CMs.
General weight and height for a female are 25/30 Kilo – 55/62 CMs.
The malinois does not need a lot of fur maintenance, A daily brushing during shedding season to remove loose and dead hairs is a must but apart from that there is not much need for anything else. If working your Malinois on grassy or soft areas only then it is wise to keep an eye on the nails to ensure they do not grow too long.
Raising your Malinois:
The Malinois is a quick and eager student willing to learn. Raising a Malinois would normally not be a problem as long as the dog is raised in a consistent manner. The Malinois is known to have a strong character and therefore needs an owner willing to provide the dog with a job or task. If the dog is not provided with a job or task he will start to feel unhappy and will start to show inappropriate behaviour.
As a pup the Malinois is in need of a good and strong socialisation in which it is introduced to different situations, people, animals and areas. This will build a good character in the dog and ensure less problems in the dog’s future. The Malinois is good with children but should always be supervised since even the sweetest and nicest dog will at some point react if it has had enough. (children can pull ears, poke eyes, take away toys etc etc…)
Friends and Family will be greeted enthusiastically but do not take this for granted. The Malinois, in its very heart and nature is a guardian and protector of its family and will act according to what the Malinois deems fit in whatever situation.
The Malinois is most suited for any kind of dog sport or working dog venue like Obedience, Bitework, Protection, Flyball, etc etc …. They enjoy participating in these venues immensely due to their high need of both physical and mental stimulation. A rule of thumb is: A bored Malinois is not a happy Malinois and will occupy itself to relieve its boredom by showing unwanted behaviour and or redecorating your favorite living area.
I’m back! Did you miss me? Since I got bored I decided to play around with my favorite toy for a bit until you were ready reading about my purebred ancestors. You would think the story would end there, right? Nothing could be less true! There is another side to the Malinois. It is called the X Malinois, better known as the cross bred Malinois. Those X Malinois like myself come from KNPV and NVBK lines. Now I could go in depth into the KNPV and NVBK lines but I will try to keep it short and sweet this time. Don’t want to end up an old man by the time you read all this!
KNPV is Royal Dutch Police Dog Society. An organisation that has existed for well over a hundred years in the Netherlands. NVBK is the Belgian society of Cynophilia. This organization has existed for roughly fifty plus years now. Most of the dogs you see in the USA today are from either KNPV or NVBK lines.This means we were bred for working purposes and not for looks like my family the purebred Malinois. In the Netherlands the X Malinois has been bred and cross bred with Dutch Shepherds, and in the early years German Shepherds, to ensure the working capabilities of my breed did not get lost. Nobody cared about looks. Looks didn’t mean you had a good working dog, work meant you did… As you can see the KNPV lines are quite old. For over a century KNPV lines have been focused on breeding dogs with character, backbone, persistence, strength, health and drive. Our qualities got recognized world wide and soon we were transported across the ocean to serve as K9 partners to law enforcement and military… We became the go to dogs when it came to protection. We work hard, we play hard, we fight hard. It is in our nature to test and push. We endure, and protect… We are not soft or cuddly although my pictures would make you believe that much. We are fierce and proud, strong and willing protectors of our human friends and partners. This means we want to work. We will not do well in a purely pet situation. Do any of my family members get kept as purely pets? Yes the do… But they are far and few between… We need to keep busy to ensure we are physically and mentally tired. A tired me is a happy me! And when I am happy, so are you! Why? Because I will not be looking for mischief and things to get into. Things I should not get into like eating my way through your lovely rug or sofa, eating your cat or canary, redecorating your interior to unrecognizable proportions… And that is what I will do! I get bored, you will suffer! I need a firm owner. One that will lay down the law and let me know what I can and cannot do. One that will work me, run with me, exercise me and generally keep me a happy dog! I need a responsible owner! One that realises that I am no easy feat to start with. One that is willing to go the distance and keep me for life! One that will train me, love me, take care of me, in good times, and in bad. An owner that will not dump me at a shelter at the first sign of problems… I need an owner that knows what a Malinois is…. If I don’t get that kind of owner, I fear for my future and might end up paying a price that no dog should have to pay. If I end up in the wrong hands I will end up paying with my life. And I like my life! I want to enjoy it, have fun with it, live it! For a very long and happy time with my awesome owner! It’s not much of me to ask for, is it? It is only fair that if I am willing to love and give loyalty until my dying day, I should receive the very same from my owner, right?
So, future owner, I ask this of you…. Before you go out there, looking for one of my brothers or sisters, nephews or nieces… Think! Look at my history. Look what I was bred for. Look at my purpose! Look at what makes me happy! Make sure you can give me all of those things that make me happy and know that I need a lot of attention, time and exercise. I am not the dog you see in the movie Max… Max is one of my nephews who was trained for a very long time. He is getting what he needs! He is trained, being kept healthy and happy and mentally and physically stimulated… When you buy my family, that is not what you are going to get. You will need to work hard to ensure you get a dog like Max. I am not born with buttons to push to make me do what you want. You have to teach and train me to accomplish that. So please think very VERY hard before you buy me, or one of my family members? Make sure it is what you want? Because I will trust in you to keep your part of the bargain and it would be such a shame if you did not keep your part of the bargain with me….
Thank you for reading my story… I’m sorry it was a long one but I needed to help my family out to make sure they do not get into the wrong hands for the wrong reasons. I am going to do what I do best now… Have fun with my owner on the training field!
Your friendly and loyal (X) Malinois.