The Belgian Malinois (MAL-e-nwah) is one of the three breeds of Belgian sheepdogs recognized by the AKC. The other two are the Belgian Sheepdog and the Belgian Tervuren. The main differences among them are their coat lengths and colors. The Malinois gets his name from the town of Malines, Belgium, where he was developed.
The Belgian Malinois is smart and highly sensitive to his surroundings. He is a devoted companion to his family, but can be shy around strangers. He lives best around gentle children, and makes a careful watchdog. Obedience training requires firmness with the right amount of gentleness. Malinois are active dogs. They excel in herding, search and rescue, and narcotics-detection police work.
The beautiful and elegant Belgian Malinois looks like a smaller, slimmer version of the German Shepherd. He has a tan coat with a black face and upright ears. He needs brushing only once a week, except when he's shedding.
Excerpts from the Standard
General Appearance: Elegant and proud, agile, alert, and full of life, solid without bulkiness.
Size, Proportion, and Substance: Height--males, 24 to 26 inches at withers; females, 22 to 24 inches.
The Malinois is the Belgian dog most often used for sheep herding in Belgium. In the United States, he is one of the rarest AKC-recognized breeds, but his numbers are growing as people recognize his superior intelligence and abilities.
Excerpted from The Complete Dog Book For Kids © 1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.