Belgian Malinois in 4 Lines:
The Belgian Malinois offers multipurpose talents. This is an intelligent dog with immense working capacity. He bonds too closely with his people. Among the top guard dogs, there is a reserved place for this breed. He is both feared and respected in such a consideration. Moreover, he is fit for just any job you can provide. It is easy to mix up a Geman Shepherd Dog and a Belgian Malinois due to immense similarity in their coat color. This medium sized dog is one of four Belgian herding dogs.
Belgian Malinois personality:
Intensity and depth of devotion stands him out in the dog world. The Belgian Malinois is a hardcore loyal dog. His mental and physical freshness requires a tremendous amount of workload. Day long work schedule does not seem to be a burden at all. His swelling energy does not satisfy with simple daily walks and must have a tiresome gateway. Idle owners can never keep up with his pace of life. You will get nice clues from the dog pleasing facts.
He is an utmost athletic performer who can excel in herding, obedience, rally, flyball, tracking, etc. They have been extensively used in police and military service due to their high training potentials. He is watchful of his surroundings and responds swiftly in times of need. Keen protective senses along with superb herding capabilities define this dog. He might retain his aloofness but likes to get incorporated into the family activities in any way.
Measure Belgian Malinois smartness:
The Belgian Malinois is an ingenious dog and you can feed him any training cue you can possibly imagine. He is swift at learning new things because of his innate intelligence. Professor Stanley Coren puts this dog on the 22nd position in his dog intelligence list. Both job accomplishment style as well as sports activities demonstrates sharp capacity of his brain. Basically, he has a sweet temperament provided enough physical workouts.
This dog can act well with the children. But in this respect, you should never forget his history of herding and keep a close supervision of the situation from a nearby location. So, you can intervene before things spiral out of control. He will always be reserved especially in the presence of strangers. However, he dedicates ample affection to family members. You should cut off the aggressive part of his character at its puppyhood.
What & how to feed:
Intensely laborious Belgian Malinois takes his meals rather seriously. Get a detailed idea on feeding a puppy. In general, adult Belgian Malinois needs 2.5-4 cups of daily intake. Serve him two meals respectively in the morning and in the evening. Food quantity actually relies on age, weight, sex, activities, health and so many other aspects of an individual dog. You can determine the amount of food the dog requires as you continue feeding him for a long time. This dog can finely adjust itself with both homemade and commercial products as long as they fulfill his energy necessities.
You can feed him medium to large sized dog foods. You must not free feed the dog. Take away the rest of the food 20 minutes after serving him. This practice will obstruct some bad outcomes such as wasting and obesity. Belgian Malinois meals should be rich in protein and fat ingredients. At least, 18-26 percent of proteins in each meal will provide this dog with ample energy. Beef, chicken, fish, turkey, eggs, dairy items and lamb are excellent sources of proteins. Barley, cereals, vegetables and oats will give him some plant proteins. But vegetable proteins are not proficient in amino acid which is vital for dog health.
On the other hand, fish oil, flaxseed oil, safflower oil, and olive oil will supply the dog with necessary fat. Fat prevents an injury by protecting the internal organs by setting up a protective layer. Bone and joint strength also derives from it. Tapioca, brown rice, sweet potatoes, fruits, beetroot, pumpkin and vegetables serve him with carbohydrates and fibers. Carbohydrate is the source of long term strength. Vegetables should not go beyond 1-2% of his total diet.
A commercial item must be free of preservatives, dyes and flavors for the sake of his good health. In this respect, you may want to follow the guidelines set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Clean water is a vital necessity for the dog. Irrelevant use of treats causes overweight which is a great concern for the Belgian Malinois. You should be careful in this regard.
Escape a few health issues:
The Belgian Malinois is a healthy dog breed and usually keeps away from most of the diseases. Actually, purebred dogs are likely to develop some genetic issues and this dog is no exception. You can always undertake some precautionary measures before buying a puppy. A number of health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) will save him from major physical conditions. However, your dog may not suffer from any of these listed diseases in his lifetime. Your proper concept on these diseases might save both of you from a lot of troubles.
Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition that affects the hip joint. Hip socket and femur ball experience mismatch and lameness is an ultimate outcome. Medication can suppress it to some extent. Ultimate solution lies in a surgery. Elbow dysplasia is another issue. Abnormal dog cell, tissue or bone growth causes this problem. Elbow pain or lameness is the outcome of this disease. Reduced mobility, pain in movement and carrying the affected limb are the symptoms of it. Progressive retinal atrophy is an eye disorder that reduces the rod cells. Thus the dog primarily suffers from night vision loss and at the end turns blind. There is little treatment available for this inherited disease.
Insightful care program:
The Belgian Malinois has a waterproof double coat. Their dense undercoat is an insurance against cold weather. Some areas contain thicker hair especially around the neck and tail sections. Grooming is actually a weekly 15-20 minutes of brushing and combing. A hound glove and a medium bristle brush do the job. This dog sheds in both seasons.
The Malinois spends a lot of time in the outdoors. So, bathing frequency will depend on the on field condition. A dedicated dog shampoo is a must for a good bath. Normally, a monthly bath can maintain his cleanliness. Brushing his teeth 2-3 times a week is enough. Trim his nails once a month. You have to examine his ears regularly as well. Keep the dog on a leash if you choose to go out. With such an active dog in your house, you can always have the best use of a first aid kit.
Proper exercise method:
The Belgian Malinois is a robust dog and does not mind daylong work shift. So, his sound temperament requires a good amount of activities spanning at least an hour or more. At first, give him a field job. This is actually the best way of satisfying his urges. Moreover, you can take him out everyday as a partner of your cycling or jogging sessions. Give him a fenced yard so that he can run freely. Interactive dog games are absolutely necessary. Frisbee, flyball and a game of fetching can fulfill his needs. Use this dog for tracking, hunting, rally, herding, obedience or any kind of dog sports. He is a unique creature who fits well in any game session. Remember that walking may be the best exercise for many dog breeds but never for the Malinois.
Belgian Malinois training cues:
‘Stay’ and ‘leave it’ are the most important commands for the Belgian Malinois. He will start chasing mobile objects and animals alike. You have to stop him in due time. So, a sound training program is mandatory. He should learn these orders by heart. Whatever you start teaching him, follow through it properly. You are going to deal with a highly intelligent beast. So, he will make the best out of hand signals. The best part of training a Malinois is his attachment and loyalty which makes him a quick learner. Potty training is an inseparable part of his learning process.
On the other hand, he will pick up both good and bad practices if you allow it. This is a superb guard dog with natural aggression and aloofness. So, socialization is a vital part of training. He should meet a lot of pets and humans to imbibe the idea of cooperation and coexistence. You must begin leash training at its tender age. Otherwise, an adult Malinois is a tough nut to crack. Crate should be introduced at its early age. But do not keep him confined for more than 2-4 hours at a stretch. Puppies should not be left there for more than 10-15 minutes. It will help him deal with separation anxiety.
Belgian Malinois origin:
The Belgian Malinois picks up its name from the city of its origin, namely Malines. This dog comes from Belgium. You can barely disengage four Belgian herding dogs. The other three are Belgian Tervuren, Belgian Laekenois and Belgian Shepherd or Belgian Sheepdog. This dog was brought to public attention in the late 19th century to be more specific in 1891. The Malinois arrived in America no sooner than 1911. The Great Wars saw their rise in use and popularity which eventually declined in the post Second World War era. The AKC recognized this dog as a distinct breed in 1959. The Belgian Malinois currently enjoys the 43rd position in the AKC breed popularity list.