The Malinois dog is an excellent choice for a pet, both because of its remarkable intelligence and its beautiful and dignified figure. The Malinois dog has many similar characteristics to Belgian Shepherds, and some people consider it a variety of that breed.
Other Belgian Shepherds include the Laekenois, the Tervuren and the Groenendael. The Malinois it is completely different in its overall appearance and fur, but it has been shown that the differences between these varieties – genetically speaking -are negligible. The puppies in a Belgian Shepherd litter can look completely different to their parents’ variety and more similar to another due to recessive genes.
Keep reading this article and you’ll learn all about caring for a Malinois dog, including its unique temperament and the best ways to look after this wonderful breed.
It’s imperative that the vet sees your newly adopted dog. The immunization schedule, chip and a thorough physical examination are absolutely essential.
The vet will also lay out the dietary guidelines to follow, and run through the possibility of giving your Malinois dog vitamin supplements. This is a very active breed, and on occasions they develop nutritional deficiencies as a result of excess exercise.
The importance of exercise
It is crucial for your Malinois dog to do regular exercise. We’re not talking about simply stretching its legs – quite the opposite! This breed needs to exercise as if it was preparing for the Olympics. Walks will be very important: a Malinois dog needs at least 90 minutes of walking daily, split between 2 and 3 walks per day.
The Malinois is a very athletic dog. As such – you were probably already thinking this – a flat is not the best of habitats for a dog of such phenomenal physical characteristics. A dog as competent as a Malinois is best suited to spending its days at a farm or manor house.
The Malinois as a service dog
The Malinois is not a lapdog; for many years, it has gone from shepherding to being a working dog. In fact, this breed needs and requires a job, function or mission to fulfill. The Malinois dog will be at its happiest when it feels stimulated and useful at home. Playing at intelligence games is a very appropriate option.
This is an all-round dog; this breed is not only powerful physically speaking, but also bright and intelligent. Malinois dogs need to learn, be trained and practice what they have learned, which can range from practicing Agility and searching for truffles to rounding up sheep.
The importance of proper training
The difference between the Malinois and the other varieties of Belgian Shepherds lies in its puppy mentality, which lasts long into adulthood.
This unusual immature or adolescent behavior can last until it is three years old, and even until age five in particular cases. For this reason, the Malinois dog requires proper training. It needs experts who are very familiar with this problem, who know the breed and who can teach the dog mostly everything – except speaking English and typing on a keyboard, although we would believe it if it happened.
It is very dangerous to keep a Malinois dog without training it properly. If the dog is not allocated a particular job, or if it is left to itself too much, your dog can give itself a job to fulfill such as guarding the house.
The problem is that, if this happens, the dog will be relentless. It will launch itself at any intruders that step onto the property, whether a thief or a child that jumps the fence to collect a lost ball. It is advisable to take out a good public liability insurance.
To avoid these problems it will be very important to educate the Malinois puppy from the beginning. Ensuring a proper socialization process and giving them strong basic obedience training will be hugely helpful. Besides being happy with you, it will help its mental development.
How to feed a Malinois dog
The diet of the Malinois dog should be high in protein, as it must meet the basic requirements to make up for its grueling physical exercise.
If, for whatever reason, you can’t give your dog the required amount and intensity of exercise to keep your dog mentally and physically healthy, you should try going for a ride in your bike while the dog runs by your side – on a leash – and thus gets the proper exercise. This will make it truly happy.
Obviously, you need to choose the appropriate type of dog food for each age or circumstance: puppy, adult, senior or neutered. As all dogs, the Malinois needs a good amount of fresh water, replenished on a daily basis.
Caring for the Malinois’s coat
The Malinois’s fur is so short that brushing it once a week will be sufficient, except from when it is molting; in that case, it will need to be brushed daily.
From time to time you should wipe its eyes with a physiological saline solution or warm chamomile infusion. Clean its ears with a cotton swab or sterile gauze, and its teeth with a brush or dental chews.
When you bathe your Malinois dog – which you should do once every one or two months – use high quality shampoos. Don’t forget to check its epidermis and properly protect it against parasites during the summer.