Belgian Shepherd (Malinois) - Information and NZ Breed Standards

Membership ID

Belgian Shepherd (Malinois)

General Information - Belgian Shepherd (Malinois)



10-12 years

Very high

Very low

Very high

Watchdog Ability:
Very high

Protection Ability:
Very high

Area of Origin:

Date of Origin:
1800s Other

Other Names:
Chien De Berger Belge Original

Original Function:
stock herding


Towards the end of the 19th Century, there were many varieties of sheep-herding dogs that existed on the European continent. While many of these dogs shared similar working abilities, type was quite varied. Fanciers, fearing extinction of many of the breeds, gathered to decide on a set of standards that would be the Belgian Shepherd Dog. While there was little confusion surrounding the structure and abilities of the dog, there was no common ground on what the coat type or colour should be. Therefore, four distinct varieties of the one breed emerged, based on coat-type. They were the Groenendael (known in America as the Belgian Sheepdog), the Teuverian, the Malinois, and the Laekenois (not recognised by the AKC); these varieties were named after the area in which they were most favoured. These energetic, smart dogs fit well into family and need plenty of outdoor activity, and excel in obedience if given the opportunity.


These dogs exhibit the qualities inherent to true working dogs: alertness, protectiveness, confidence, extreme intelligence, and affection. This breed excels in obedience and makes a devoted family pet.


The Malinois is a high-energy dog that needs a lot of exercise. Its needs cannot be met with a leisurely walk on leash. It instead needs a good jog or a vigorous play session. It especially enjoys herding. This breed can live outside in temperate to cool weather, but it would prefer to divide its time between house and yard. Its coat needs weekly brushing, more when shedding.

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