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What are Belgian Malinois like as Pets?
The Belgian Malinois (often called the Berger Malinois or Berger Belge Malinois) originates from Malinois in Belgium. They have a good deal of endurance and truly enjoy working.
These dogs make great pets and are intelligent as well as extremely active, excelling at many tasks. Malinois have become increasingly popular in the last number of years with the release of the movie Max.
Besides herding, they are trained by the police force and army and used in search and rescue missions
The Malinois has a short, straight, weather-resistant coat and comes in a variety of colors including rich fawn and mahogany. They are 61-63 pounds in weight and are a member of the Herding group.
People that are not familiar with the Belgian Malinois frequently mistake them for German Shepherds, however, there are considerable differences in the body and temperament of these two pet breeds.
Malinois are like a scaled-down version of the German Shepherd with lighter bones. The Malinois stand with their body weight well on their toes, giving them a square body shape, while the German Shepherd has a longer sloping back. In contrast, they also carry their weight flatter on their feet.
How to train a Belgian Malinois puppy
The Malinois can be stubborn and willful at times, however, they are a very trainable pet and really enjoy advanced obedience, agility, and trick training. They are very observant and can even read small changes in facial expressions.
The Malinois are renowned for being in sync with their trainers. They can actually be one step ahead of the training commands.
Although they learn quickly, if you are a first-time dog owner then the Belgian Malinois is not for you. This is because they are extremely clever and cunning, and can very easily walk all over a first-time dog owner who lacks the consistency and experience of dealing with these pests.
Positive reinforcement is the most effective approach to training a Malinois. This is because discipline can result in avoidance behavior and resistance.
Belgian Malinois temperament
In relation to temperament, the Belgian Malinois is known for its protective, confident and responsive nature. They are also good with kids and if properly trained they can make a good house pet.
These dogs are known for their high energy levels which means they require a lot of exercise to stay in good condition. However, even more importantly, they also require mental exercise. This is where advanced obedience training comes into play.
The Malinois has a playful side but is more often than not serious. They get bored easily and can exhibit excessive behaviors if they have nothing to do. It is fair to say that they are a demanding pet who requires a lot of attention.
Malinois can be fearful of strangers, usually reserved and aloof. This is due to their strong protective instincts. As a result, the Belgian Malinois needs more in-depth socialization training than most other breeds.
This is to ensure their watchfulness does not become sharp or suspicious. They can be shy and get spooked easily if not trained properly.
The Belgian Malinois are good with other household pets if brought up together. Smaller pets should be introduced carefully and supervised.
Living with a Belgian Malinois
Should You get a Belgian Malinois as a family dog? The Malinois is extremely intelligent however they can be highly strung. This is because of their protective nature.
The females are generally more outgoing than the male… They’ll fight for dominance if let needs to be supervised carefully at all times. This is why Belgian Malinois are not ideal for first-time dog owners.
You must understand how to deal with their temperament and be willing to either spend the time training them or use an experienced trainer… And most importantly you must socialize them properly.