History: The Belgian Malinois originated in Belgium in the late 19th century. They were originally bred as herding dogs and livestock guardians and were the first dogs to be used by the Belgian police. They are one of the four varieties of Belgian Sheepdogs, although in the U.S. they are considered their own breed. Within the last decade, the breed has been acknowledged for their work in search and rescues, military work, police forces, and drug detection agencies.
Temperament: Belgian Malinois have a strong work drive. They are very intelligent and highly trainable but can be very intense. They are confident and protective and can be wary of strangers at first meeting. They are affectionate with family members but need an owner who is stern and willing to put a lot of work into training. Early socialization with as many people, dogs, and experiences is key to having a well-rounded dog. This breed is built for action. They need mental and physical exercise to help prevent behavioral issues. A daily walk or jog on top of daily training is recommended for this breed.
Health/Grooming: Belgian Malinois have short, coarse hair. They have a double coat of a hard topcoat and dense undercoat to help with weather resistance. This breed will shed year round and needs to be brushed weekly to keep their coat looking best. They are more prone to health issues such as PRA, hip and elbow dysplasia, and anesthesia sensitivity. Make sure the breeder has the dogs OFA certified to prove they have been tested for hip and elbow dysplasia.