5 Facts About Belgian Malinois, The German Shepherd's Loyal Cousin

What do you know about the Belgian Malinois?

When it comes to beloved dog breeds, the Belgian Malinois truly stands out. Seeing one brings an immense amount of comfort to us, since they've always served as dogs that protect us fiercely and are loyal and devoted. But since they tend to get confused with their pup cousin German Shepherds, let's take a minute to learn some Belgian Malinois facts about this unique breed with their impressive work ethic and whole lot of love!

Belgian Malinois Facts

1. They're named after a city

belgian malinois walking on sidewalk

Though we're so used to seeing them in America, Belgian Malinois are actually native dogs of Belgium! The breed was named after the city of Machelen, or Malines in French. These beautiful pups were initially developed and trained by working dog competitors during the latter part of the 1800s, being registered in France and in Belgium bearing the title of "Chien de Berger Beige" or "Belgian Shepherd Dog."

2. They're typically employed

belgian malinois with police collar looking alert

When it comes to longevity, these dogs know all about it! Since they were introduced in the US in 1908, these dogs have been and remained an active part of the police and military force. In fact, these dogs have been in service for 113 years! Because of this, police and military forces all over the world have been drafting Belgian Malinois to work under their K-9 units. There's some fun in it for them, too— since these dogs are lighter, they often partake in skydiving missions!

3. They have a ton of energy!

belgian malinois running outside

While this is an adorable aspect of theirs, it also tends to work to their own detriment. There has been an alarming increase in the number of cases of rehoming for this dog breed, and the main reason is because pet owners are shocked by the temperament of Belgian Malinois. They can't handle the high energy levels and excitement! It's important that you do research before adopting these dogs, making sure they fit well into your lifestyle.

4. They were meant to be sheep dogs

belgian malinois puppy lying in grass facts

While skydiving missions are certainly exciting, these dogs come from much more humble backgrounds. The Belgian Malinois was originally bred to be a herding dog for sheep farmers during the 1800s, able to direct a huge sheep flock in the vast fields of Belgium and the narrow streets and alleys of Malines due to their remarkable intelligence and agility. We may know and love them as K9 units, but they are one of the best sheepdogs all over the world.

5. They have short coats

belgian malinois looking at camera

Compared to other dogs of their medium size, the coat of a Belgian Malinois is relatively short! Their coats are typically kept straight and hard enough to resist any harsh weather conditions that they encounter during their exciting and explorative lives. Belgian Malinois are also double-coated and shed at least twice a year!

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READ MORE: The 10 Bravest, Most Common Breeds of Police Dogs