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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois dog breed is a sturdy but elegant-looking herding breed. The Belgian Malinois breed is officially recognized as a distinct breed by the American Kennel Club. It is often considered just a variety of the Belgian Shepherd breed, particularly in other countries, according to Wikipedia. The angular dimensions of Belgian Malinois dogs make their bodies seem a little rectangular, with a firm, alert-looking stance. Despite their sturdiness, the dogs never look bulky and are in fact quite agile. As a sheepdog, a Belgian Malinois dog likes to get his or her paws dirty doing hard work.

Here are the characteristics of the Belgian Malinois breed as determined by the American Kennel Club's published breed standard.

Belgian Malinois' Behavior

Recommended for: police dog (according to Wikipedia); pet

The Belgian Malinois dogs tend to seem confident to humans, neither shy nor aggressive, even in new situations. Though the Belgian Malinois dog breed tends to seem reserved around strangers, the dogs will usually try to guard their families against perceived threats. As a hard-working breed, most Belgian Malinois sheepdogs love to stay active and also to follow commands.

Remember that breed only provides a general clue as to any individual dog's actual behavior. Make sure to get to know dogs well before bringing them into your home.

Belgian Malinois' Physical Characteristics

* Size: males: 24-26 inches; Females: 22-24 inches.
* Coat: short, straight, and hard all-weather overcoat over a thick undercoat.
* Color: "rich fawn to mahogany, with black tips on the hairs," in the words of the American Kennel Club's breed standard.
* Eyes: medium-sized, slightly almond-shaped, dark brown eyes
* Ears: very triangular, stiff and standing straight up
* Skull: flattened and about as wide as it is long
* Muzzle: pointed
* Nose: black
* Tail: sturdy

The Belgian Malinois' Origins and History

Here are some historical notes on the breed as taken from Wikipedia.

Original purpose: herding sheep

Historical notes: The American Kennel Club and its Australian and New Zealand counterparts fully classify the Belgian Malinois as an entirely distinct breed from other Belgian Shepherd Dogs. In the UK and Canada, the Malinois is considered one of four varieties of the Belgian Sheepdog. The other varieties are Groenendael, Laekenois, and Tervueren.

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