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Belgian shepherd dog
FCI Standard No. 15
Origin :


Alternative names:

for this variety: Mechelaar

Withers height:

Males: 62 cm.
Bitches: 58 cm.
−2 cm / + 4 cm


Males 25–30 kg,
bitches 20–25 kg

Varieties :

here: Malinois

List of domestic dogs

The Malinois ( pronunciation : [ ˌmaliˈnwɑ ], after the French name of the Flemish city ​​of Mechelen ; Flemish Mechelaar ), called Mechelaar in the Flemish part of Belgium , is a variety of the Belgian Shepherd , a recognized Belgian dog breed ( FCI Group 1, Section 1, Standard No. 15 ).


A dog of this type first appeared around 1899. It is named after the city of Malines or Mechelen in the Flemish-speaking area of ​​Belgium. Very soon the Malinois, as working dogs, surpassed all other variants of the Belgian Shepherd Dog.


The Malinois also Mechelaar or in the colloquial language of many dog ​​breeders Mali or Malli is the short-haired variant of the Belgian Shepherd Dog.

The Malinois is a dog without exaggeration, that is, its exterior is simple, purpose-oriented and usable. It differs from the other varieties of the Belgian Shepherd Dog only in its coat color and texture. All other external characteristics should be the same for all Belgian Shepherds.

As a rule, the Malinois is fawn with a black mask and black cloud (charbonnage). In reality, the appearance varies from very light, sand-colored fur to red-brown to dark brown-gray. A lack of undercoat is considered a fault in relation to the breed standard .


Originally bred as a herding and driving dog, the Malinois quickly established itself as a service and sports dog. Especially in its countries of origin Belgium, the Netherlands and France, it has always been selected for its “inner” characteristics; his outward appearance was secondary. It is about the same size as the German Shepherd , but less bulky, making it faster, more agile and more responsive. He is very eager to learn and work, which places high demands on the respective dog handler during his training. In terms of character, dogs can be found within a wide range of “very fearful and shy” through “well socialized and people-friendly” to “aggressive and to be treated with caution”. In the breed standard, however, fearful and aggressive dogs are described as not conforming to the standard (exclusionary fault).

Human support

A Malinois as a service dog in protection dog training in the United States Navy

The Malinois is just as suitable as a demanding house dog as it is as a sports dog, companion dog and as a service dog , as it is currently very common. In addition, there are training opportunities for protection, tracking and poking dogs (rummaging for people and objects) as well as additional training (dual use) as a drug detection dog , fire detection, explosives, data carrier, corpse and blood detection dog and as an avalanche and buried search dog.

Web links

Commons : Malinois  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. Hans Räber : Encyclopedia of the pedigree dogs. Origin, history, breeding goals, suitability and use. Volume 1: Farmers, shepherds and cattle dogs, shepherds, mastiff-like dogs, pinscher-like dogs, spitz-like dogs, Nordic dogs, Schensi dogs, dwarf dogs, poodles, Dalmatians. Franckh-Kosmos, Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-440-06555-3 , p. 227: The Malinois.