Thursday, January 26, 2012

History and Care Belgian Malinois

Belgian Shepherd Dogs were established as a breed during the latter part of the 19th Century. The Belgian Malinois is in fact a variety of the Belgian Shepherd Dog. Other varieties are the Groenendael, long-haired and black; the Tervuren, long-haired and red- brown or gray with black mask, ears and overlay; and the Laekenois, wirehaired and red- brown or gray, is recognized as a Tervuren if born into a Tervuren litter. Since 1901 The Club Societe Royale de St. Hubert has recognized and registered the Malinois, Groenendael, Tervuren and Laekenois.

The wirehaired is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in the United States. Malinois, Groenendael, Tervuren and Laekenois are considered different varieties but one breed by The Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) and United Kennel Club (UKC). In 1911 the first two Malinois were imported into the United States: Belgian Blackie AKC American Belgian Malinois Club #148516 and Belgian Mouche AKC #148517. From 1911 to 1958 Belgians were registered with the AKC as Belgian Sheepdogs. In 1958 the AKC.

Belgian Malinois
declared the Belgians to be three distinct breeds. From 1959 to 1965 Belgian Malinois were placed in the Miscellaneous Class. Both the Groenendael (registered as the Belgian Sheepdog) and the Tervuren were placed in the Working Group as separate breeds. In 1965 the Belgian Malinois was reinstated in the Working Group. In 1983 all three Belgians were placed in the newly formed Herding Group as separate breeds. It is important to research the temperament of any dog you would bring into your home, including a Belgian Malinois. Determine as much as possible about the dog's temperament and relationship with children. Some dogs are very gentle and tolerant while others make better companions for older children. The safest dog for children is one who is raised with them from a very young age. However, a dog can be carefully socialized and taught how to behave around children.

This is a slow thoughtful process of getting the dog to first accept the presence of children and then, in time, teaching the dog to interact with one child, then two, etc. Children need to be careful not to scare a dog during the early phases of socialization and they need to be taught not to tease a dog. This involves careful supervision with any dog. Often children are not even aware they are teasing when holding a cookie just out of the dog's reach. Adult supervision is vitally important to assure the safety of the child and the well being of the dog.

Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois are good with children and other animals when properly introduced or raised with them. However, this dog can also be protective, territorial, possessive, and jealous. Belgian Malinois are high-energy dogs and, like many other herding breeds, are strongly interested in moving objects exhibiting what is called high prey drive. This trait can lead to chasing vehicles, children or animals if the dog's natural instincts are not guided toward acceptable activities. The Belgian Malinois requires a daily exercise routine as well as exposure to people outside the family and to a variety of sights and sounds that should begin early and continue throughout the dog's life. Children should always be supervised and never left alone with any dog of any breed.

The Malinois excels in dog sports (Agility and Flyball) and activities such as herding, search and rescue, competitive obedience, jogging companion and more. An active lifestyle with many challenges is best for the Malinois to thrive to his full potential. Without this type of routine many Malinois can become destructive and hyper. Not every Malinois has the exact same degree of "high drive" but the first time Belgian Malinois owner needs to be aware of these generally common traits.

The Belgian Malinois is at his best when given a job, but it is equally important to integrate the Malinois into family life by setting clear behavior guidelines as well as training him to behave as a "Canine Good Citizen" whether at home, with guests or strangers, or in the park.

Belgian Malinois Dog Weight Standards: m - 65 to 75 lbs., f - 55 to 65 lbs.
Height Standards: m - 24 to 26 inches, f - 22 to 24 inches
Coat: short and straight in light tricolors
Common Ailments: the hardiest of the Belgian herding breeds

Once you have contacted a breeder, how do you know if that person is a reputable breeder who cares about the breed and about the people whom he or she sells to? Although the impulse to get a dog right away can be very strong, resist it. You are going to have this puppy for the next 12 years or so. It will be well worth taking your time to find the right breeder and waiting until puppies are available, if necessary.

Belgian Malinois pup

 The Belgian Malinois Breeder developed near the city of Malines, Belgium, which is a northern city close to the border of the Netherlands and North Sea. Often this breed is called the short coated Belgian Tervuren. Yet these two breeds are very different. The Belgian Malinois has a requirement for less fiber in its diet than the other Belgium herding breeds. Its requirement for minerals is also unique. The Malinois can best use mineral sources associated with a coastal environment rather than those found in the environment of Laeken, which would be the native environment of the Tervuren.

For the Belgian Malinois I recommend foods that are low in fiber and have protein from poultry, ocean fish, and wheat. You should avoid feeding the Mal any soy, beet pulp (good for the Tervuren), horse meat or beef. Native food supplies for the Belgium Malinois breed would have been associated with the sea foods of the North Sea. The Maline's area also provided goat, poultry, cabbage, and wheat.


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