Canines of the Belgian Malinois dog breed were originally bred to be herding dogs. Today, they also work as police dogs, protection dogs, and family companions.
There are TOP 10 interesting facts about Belgian Malinois.
1) Bred for Herding
As the breed’s alternate name of the Belgian shepherd dog implies, the Belgian Malinois was originally used for herding and livestock guarding in their home country of Belgium, and they are in fact one of four different Belgian breeds that were bred for herding work.
2) Working Dog
The Belgian Malinois has been used in and excelled at almost all variations of work, including police and military suspect apprehension, explosives and narcotic detection, search and rescue and service dogs. They also make incredible feats in many dog sports, including Schutzhund/IPO, French Ring, Mondioring, agility, obedience, Rally, dock diving, field and retrieving trials, lure coursing and more.
3) Dog Sports
One trait that all excellent working dogs tend to have in common is that they are also usually very good at canine sports too, and this is certainly true for the Malinois. It is unusual to see any canine sports classes take place at Crufts without at least one Malinois competing, often doing very well at it too! The Malinois is an excellent pick for higher level obedience, heelwork and heelwork to music, and other activities including agility, flyball and herding dog trials.
4) Caught Bin Laden
The Belgian Malinois has been one of the most widely used working dogs for hundreds of years, but it recently came to spotlight when Seal Team Six used a Malinois to hunt and capture Osama Bin Laden. This spotlight is both beneficial and detrimental. In one sense, it shows the true ability of the breed to be an outstanding and reliable working dog. However, because they are such working dogs, they are not always suitable for pet homes and their popularity might find them there.
One of the reasons Belgian Malinois are favored over German Shepherds for many military operations is that Malinois are better skydivers. Malinois are lighter than German Shepherds, so it's easier for military parachutists to do tandem jumps with their dogs strapped to them. Mals can even be trained to jump on their own, which is safer for the dogs when they land in water.
6) Protective Dog
The Belgian Malinois is not an aggressive dog. Though it is a protection dog, and will protect its owner and its owner's property, the Belgian Malinois will not react in an outwardly aggressive manner even when it is protecting its owner. The dog can actually assess situations and take the necessary actions to protect its owner.
While the Belgian Malinois has been registered with the American Kennel Club since the 1950s, the breed is one of the smallest in number of all the registered breeds. Though he was one of the favored varieties of Belgian Shepherd dogs, he still is rare in Belgium and in the United States as well as elsewhere around the world.
8) Great Health
Because the breed is primarily a working dog, it has some of the most extensive health testing of any breed. While veterinary tests and diagnostics can rule out genetic disorders, being able to working demanding jobs like police and military work requires that a dog be both physically and mentally sound for many, many years. Because unfit dogs cannot be used for work, they do not get bred, making the Malinois one of the healthiest dog breeds in existence.
The Belgian Malinois is a square dog. He does not just appear square, or stand square, like some other breeds. This dog breed actually is exactly square. The dog's body is between 24 to 26 inches tall for males and between 22 to 24 inches tall for females. The dog's body's length is exactly the same as the height of the body. This makes the dog a literal square.
10) Eva Mendes
Actress Eva Mendes depended on her Belgian Malinois, Hugo, to keep her feeling safe and secure when she had to get a restraining order against a stalker in 2011. Malinois are extremely protective and make excellent guard dogs.