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Belgian Malinois

Country/Date of Origin: Belgium/1200s

There are three herding dogs known collectively as the Belgian Shepherds. They share the same standard and are identical except for coat and color. The most popular is the long-haired Tervuren, which is a rich mahogany overlaid with sooty black. There is another equally popular long haired variety called the Gronendael, which is solid black. The short haired variety is the Malinois, which is a brown or tan color with black mask and ears. They are shown as varieties of a single breed in some countries and as three separate breeds in others including their Belgian homeland. The American Kennel Club has considered them as three separate breeds since 1959.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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AKC Group: Herding

Breed Club: American Belgian Malinois Club

Rescue Club: ABMC American Belgian Malinois Club

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Body Type:

  • Has a square muscular body
  • Height: 22-26 inches (at the shoulder)
  • Weight: 60-70 pounds
  • Medium length, bushy tail is carried low and is never altered
  • The ears are erect and are not altered


  • Very intelligent
  • Trustworthy around people and property; A no nonsense dog with an innate sense of duty
  • Cautious of strangers; makes a fine watchdog
  • Loyal and affectionate to its family


  • Short, straight coat with thicker hair on the neck
  • Minimal grooming required except when shedding in the spring and fall
  • Color ranges from rich fawn to mahogany, with black shading on the ears and muzzle

Health Concerns:

  • Generally healthy
  • Subject to hip dysplasia
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • This breed can be too aggressive
  • They was bred to protect flocks from attack by wolves and wild dogs
  • They still has that strong territorial protectiveness and it is sometimes misplaced
  • One of the rarest of the AKC breeds, a Malinois puppy will be difficult to find
  • This breed was used as a war dog in World War I and II

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