The Belgian malinois is one of the four varieties of Belgian Shepherds (the other three being the tervuren, groenendael, and laekenois). In most registries in the world the 4 varieties are the same breed (Belgian Shepherd) but in the American Kennel Club (AKC) they are 4 separate breeds. The Belgian malinois is by far the most popular variety / breed out of the 4.
Belgian malinois are considered one of the most intelligent breeds of dogs, are very energetic, can have a lot of drive, and be very loyal and affectionate to their pack. They are typically protective of their pack and can be very agile and fast for a dog their size.
The Belgian malinois is also one of the most versatile breeds. They can excel in protection work (including schutzhund, ring sport, etc.), obedience, herding, tracking, agility, carting, search and rescue, police and military work, detection, as well as many dog sports including disc dog, dock diving, fly ball, and so on. There isn’t really any task that any other breed can do that a malinois wouldn’t be up to.
While usually aloof to strangers, they are very affectionate and loyal to their pack (in a nutshell they have the “I don’t know you so why should I be your friend” attitude). As mentioned before, they are very intelligent so training is a must. Experience with working line German shepherds or similar breeds is a big help.
Please note: every dog is different. Not every Belgian malinois will have the same temperament mentioned on this site nor will they be suited for the work mentioned in this site. This site will show what is common amongst most malinois. Please remember that “your mileage may vary” when reading information on this site and looking at Belgian malinois.
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