Malinois, Grunendal, Tervuren and Lakenua are varieties of the Belgian Shepherd. Many mistakenly believe that all these dogs are independent breeds. In fact, this is not the case. The fact is that the FCI has approved a single breed standard, called the "Belgian Shepherd", which unites four varieties. Animals are very similar to each other, but they also have certain differences. First of all, this manifests itself in the quality of wool and in the working capacity of dogs.
To date, the malinois (Belgian Shepherd) is the most popular of the four varieties. Its name translates as "shepherd from Raspberry". The Belgians call the small Flemish town of Mechelen. It was in its vicinity that this breed type was finally formed.
The Malinois breed owes its appearance to Professor of animal science Adolf Reul. In September 1891, the Belgian Shepherd Dog Club began its activities. In the very first standard, the breed was divided into four groups:
The first shorthair Belgian Shepherd became in 1891, Charlie. Later, this dog became the "model" of the Belgian malinois for the artist A. Clarice.
The Malinois Shepherd is an intelligent, easily trained animal. This is a real hard worker who is absolutely happy when he has a permanent job. The Belgian malinois loves its owners infinitely, but is wary of strangers. Protecting the owner is a natural thing for him, but at the same time he is not overly aggressive.
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Malinois (Belgian Shepherd) is harmoniously built. She is distinguished by her elegance and proud posture, thanks to her head always held high. Since malinois is a shorthair dog, it is not difficult to keep it.
Representatives of this breed are strong, muscular and flexible animals. The front and hind legs are even, form a square. The overall exterior is impressive in depth and solidity, but it is not bulky.
The Belgian Shepherd Malinois, whose photo you can see in our article, is a fairly large dog. Height at the withers of males - 62-66 cm, females - 56-62 cm. If the animal does not fit into these parameters, it is considered a disadvantage. In accordance with the standard, the height of the male should be equal to the length of his back, bitches are allowed a longer trunk. Bones of medium weight, proportional to the growth of the animal. The malinois shepherd dog should have a shape resembling a square. Her body should not be too elongated and leggy or large and heavy.
The head is well defined, not too heavy, proportional to the body. The eyes are almond-shaped, medium-sized, edged with black. They are usually dark brown.
The muzzle is slightly tapering to the nose, but not sharp. Powerful and strong jaws. The lips are dense, black with pink.
Teeth are even and white. The bite should be scissor-shaped, straight. Undershot or overshot is considered a defect. An even bigger disadvantage is the absence of one or more teeth. When snacking, when two or more upper incisors do not come into contact with the lower ones, the dog may be disqualified.
The Belgian Shepherd Malinois, whose photo is decorated by many cynological publications, has a massive, but not heavy body. The chest is deep, but not wide. The lumbar region is wide and short.
The tail is strong at the base, reaching the length of the knee joints. A docked tail is a sign of disqualification.
The Malinois Shepherd is covered with a straight, short and rather stiff coat with a thick undercoat. Thanks to him, the animal can withstand any weather conditions.
The hair on the head, ears and shins is very short. The tail, hips and neck are slightly longer.
According to the standard, malinois wool can be dyed in various colors, ranging from mahogany to light yellow. The mask, ears, and tips of the hairs should be black. Fawn, but blurred color is a defect.
The tips of the paws may be white, and white spots on the chest are also allowed, if they do not pass to the neck. Other white spots are disqualifying.
They have long been excellent herding dogs, but since 1880 they have become indispensable assistants to police officers. According to Belgian experts, the breed of Malinois dogs is inextricably linked with ring sports - competitions of police dogs.
These animals were bred according to a special method, in which working qualities are more valued than the exterior. They "work" in the army and the police, including in the search service, in rescue structures.
Malinois (Belgian Shepherd) has absorbed the best qualities of a guard, shepherd and defender. This is a very smart dog, which, oddly enough, is both a plus and a minus of the breed. In skillful and kind hands, she quickly and easily becomes an ideal working dog. The ill-mannered and untrained malinois also quickly turns into an "evil genius", uncontrollable and wayward. Probably for this reason, experts believe that such a dog will not suit every owner. A very athletic and mobile animal is vital to work. The dog does not have enough physical exertion (long walks, running for a bike), she needs intellectual loads – agility, obedience classes, shepherding or protective service.
When the Malinois Shepherd is bored, it can be somewhat intrusive. She may start mischievous, but much more often the dog is emphatically serious. She is not aggressive at all, but always very closely monitors the actions and movements of strangers.
The Belgian Shepherd Malinois (the characteristics of specialists convince us of this) has a well-developed guard instinct, so it needs early socialization. This will help direct her innate vigilance in the right direction.
The Belgian Shepherd is completely focused on its owner. She responds with joy and even delight to all his suggestions. If a close psychological contact has been established between an animal and a person from the very first acquaintance, then training a pet will not cause any difficulties. But a novice owner may face some difficulties. To prevent this from happening, it is necessary to know that malinois is extremely sensitive to physical effects, so training should be carried out by a person with a firm will, but without rudeness.
Malinois has an instant reaction, the dog grasps everything on the fly. Therefore, the owner needs to accurately capture the moment of encouragement or censure. Otherwise, undesirable behavior can be formed.
It should be noted that malinois very accurately reads all the movements of the owner and his facial expression. Sometimes this confuses the inexperienced owner – it feels like the dog is always one step ahead. Belgian Shepherds need consistent training – they like to cope with the task and proceed to the next one.
Owners without experience should not be confused by the external elegance and even sophistication of malinois. These are very strong and even sharp dogs. Often up to five years old, they behave like active puppies. If they lack physical or mental exercise, animals can exhibit destructive behavior.
The Belgian Shepherd dog in the house will require compliance with certain hygiene rules. You should not bathe such a dog often, since even very high-quality dog shampoos can spoil your pet's fur. It may lose its natural dullness and rigidity. It should not be soft and shiny.
To get rid of the characteristic dog "aroma", you can use commercially available products, but they should be used very dosed. Puppies up to a year should not be bathed at all.
The coat should be cleaned with a dry brush about once a week (for an adult dog) and twice a week if it is a puppy. Comb for combing should be with sparse teeth.
The eyes, nose and ears are cleaned with a cotton swab soaked in warm water.
Before making a decision on the purchase of a pet, it is necessary to carefully weigh all the pros and cons. This is necessary in order to guarantee the full development of the animal, its proper upbringing. You should clearly define for yourself for what purposes you need this particular dog. Before buying a puppy, try to get the most detailed advice from a specialist about the breed.
Puppies can be taken from their mother at the age of 10-16 weeks. By this age, the baby is already quite independent and even able to learn the first lessons of parenting.
It is necessary to buy a dog in a specialized kennel or from a well-established breeder. This gives you certain guarantees that you get a thoroughbred, and most importantly - a healthy animal. You need to familiarize yourself with all the "dog documents": pedigree, puppy card, find out how the vaccination was carried out. It will not be superfluous to get acquainted with his parents or at least one of them, so that you have an idea of how your malinois will grow up. The Belgian Shepherd can become a great watchdog. Thanks to his understanding, he can become a careful and attentive guide for people with poor vision. He can become a hero and winner of dog shows and just a reliable and loyal friend. After you have acquired a puppy, his fate is in your hands.
Raising a puppy will require significant efforts from the owner. Try not to disturb the baby during his rest in the first months, do not tire him with too long walks and games. First of all, your baby should learn to walk on a leash, learn his nickname.
By the way, the puppy should be named briefly and clearly. Over time, he will begin to associate his "name" with attention and affection.
In the hands of an attentive and experienced owner, malinois easily performs the most difficult tasks, while a rude attitude has a detrimental effect on the dog's psyche. Such an attitude can turn a puppy who is ready for anything for the sake of the owner into an unhappy coward and neurotic.
There are some diseases peculiar to this breed. Among them: epilepsy, eye and thyroid diseases, joint dysplasia. Undoubtedly, there are a number of infectious diseases, from many of which timely vaccination can protect your pet.
Simplistically, you should not feed malinois. This active dog needs to receive a wide variety of products every day to replenish its energy reserve. By the way, meat, which is so loved and perfectly assimilated by dogs, should be combined with other products.
Proteins of both animal and vegetable origin are necessary for the normal development of an active dog. To do this, the diet should include foods such as fish, dairy products (but not milk), eggs, meat. Malinois should also receive carbohydrates, which are contained in such cereals as rice, wheat, buckwheat, pearl barley.
Do not forget to include vegetable and butter in your pet's diet. Animal and vegetable fats contribute to the accumulation of energy.
When feeding a dog with natural food, minerals and vitamins should be added, without which the normal functioning of the dog's body is impossible. They are found in both fresh and lightly boiled vegetables and fruits.
Some owners of malinois feed their pets with ready-made dry food. But it is impossible not to take into account the fact that often such feeds are poorly digested and can cause intestinal problems. Therefore, it is better to consult with your veterinarian first. It will help you choose the right food that is most suitable for your dog, taking into account its age, weight and general health.
Do not forget that your pet should always have unlimited access to drinking water.
The owners of these magnificent dogs are very happy with their pets. They note the combination of remarkable physical strength and elegance in them. The owners note their versatility and believe that such a dog can be trained to perform any task. In addition, many note her vigilance and highly developed protective instincts. The Belgian Shepherd Malinois, whose price varies from 30 to 50 thousand rubles, is an excellent companion and a loyal friend.
Malinois living in families are much friendlier to children and strangers than their aviary counterparts, "employees" in the police. In many families where there are children, parents trust malinois to look after the little owners. However, you should not leave the dog with a child under five years old. No, she would not offend her younger master under any circumstances! Just considering the size of the animal, the dog, having played too much, may accidentally push the child or poke a curious muzzle into the baby's face.
The disadvantages of this breed are considered by some owners to be the possible aggressive behavior of the dog in relation to strangers. However, we have already said that this can happen only in case of untimely or insufficient socialization.
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