Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois)


Recognized in the United States under the name Belgian Malinois (pronounced “Mal-lin-wa”), the Belgian Shepherd Dog (Maliniois) is primarily bred for use as a working dog. Its name is the French word for Mechlinian, which in Dutch is either ‘Mechelse herdershond’ (shepherd dog from Mechelen) or ‘Mechelaar (one from Mechelen).


Breed Information

Breed Basics

Country of Origin: 
X-Large 55-90 lb
12 to 15 Years
Very Easy To Train
Energy Level: 
High Energy
Brushing Once a Week or Less
Protective Ability: 
Very Protective
Hypoallergenic Breed: 
Space Requirements: 
House with Yard
Compatibility With Other Pets: 
Generally Good With Other Dogs
May Be Okay With Other Pets If Raised Together
Not Recommended For Homes With Small Animals
Litter Size: 
6-10 puppies
Mechelaar, Mechelse Scheper, Chien de Berger Belge, Malinois, Mechelse Herder, Mechelse Scheper, Pastor Belga Malinois, Belgian Malinois


65–75 lb, 24-26 inches
55–65 lb, 22-24 inches

Kennel Clubs and Recognition

American Kennel Club: 
ANKC (Australian National Kennel Council): 
CKC(Canadian Kennel Club): 
FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale): 
KC (The Kennel Club): 
NZKC (New Zealand Kennel Club): 
UKC (United Kennel Club): 


In Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and other European countries, as well as in the United States, Canada and Australia, the Malinois can be found working in the fields of personal protection, detection, police work, and search and rescue.  The breed is also the preferred dog of Israeli Defense Forces, where slighter build of Malinois made it favored over the German Shepherd and Rottweiler which were employed formerly. The United States Secret Service and the Royal Australian Air Force also use the breed exclusively in the performance of a variety of roles. The epitome of versatility the Malinois also excels in dog agility trials, obedience, showmanship, flyball, tracking, and herding events, and are one of the most popular breeds used in protection sports such as schutzhund, Belgian Ring, French Ring, and Mondio Ring.


Probably the most notable Belgian Malinois of recent history is ‘Cairo’, the war dog that accompanied United States Navy Seal Team 6 in Operation Neptune Spear, in which Osama bin Laden was killed.

See the History section of the Belgian Shepherd Dog for more information.



Different from the Groenendael in both length and color, the Malinois variety is beautiful in its own rite.  The Malinois is distinguished not only by its short, smooth coat, but also by its intriguing color.  The Malinois has a double coat, with a dense undercoat, and an over-coat that tightly conforms to its body and is very short around the face, head, ears, and front of the legs.  Like the Groenendael, the Malinois has slightly thicker hair around its neck, forming what is called a collarette.  The color can be fawn, reddish, grey, or mahogany and often possesses an overlay appearance.  The Malinois has a unique characteristic in its coat, in that it is often double-pigmented.  This means that the lighter colored coat will have blackening on the tips.  As the dog ages, the darkening of its coat may become more pronounced.




Please see the Temperament section of the Belgian Shepherd Dog for more information.


Grooming Requirements: 


Please see the Grooming section of the Belgian Shepherd Dog for more information


Health Issues: 


Please see the Health section of the Begian Shepherd Dog for more information.


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