Is That A Belgian Malinois?
ABMR would like to make positive identification of Belgian Malinois in
shelter's, throughout the United States, easier for the shelter staff.
Frequently ABMR volunteers are called to identify a Belgian Malinois only to
find, after driving many miles, that the dog in question is either another
breed or mixture of breeds. This results in great disappointment on behalf of
the shelter staff in their attempt to save this dog and the volunteer hoping to
find a Belgian Malinois.
It is the ABMR Rescue program's hope that, by providing the photos on this
website and in particular this page, the volunteer and shelter staff will
experience a higher percentage of correct identifications with less wasted
time and effort on the part of both. When in doubt a volunteer should
always be contacted - however; now we hope there will be fewer dogs held
in limbo while waiting for identification.
The Belgian Malinois is a medium sized dog with a short coat. Males are 24-26
inches at the shoulder, weighing 55-80 lbs. Females are 22-24 inches at the
shoulder, weighing 40-60 lbs. Normally they are a very energetic dog and many
enjoy snapping or clacking their jaws. The Belgian Malinois is a herding breed
and when allowed to run free in an open area show a marked tendency to run in a
COLOR and COAT: The Belgian Malinois ranges in color from light fawn with no
black overlay to a deep rich red or mahogany, the mahogany having plenty of
black overlay. With the richer reds and mahogany colors if individual hairs
are examined it can be seen that there are bands of the various colors
found in the coat with the darkest, or black, on the tip. Generally the Belgian
Malinois has a black mask up to and including the eye area, the ears are
black and the tip of the tail is almost always black. Small patches of
white may appear on the chest and occasionally one or more toes. There
is a tendency for some lines of Malinois to begin to grey around the muzzle
at an early age, (i.e. 18-24 months of age) making determining the age
somewhat difficult. The coat is comparatively short and straight with a dense
BODY: The Belgian Malinois, when viewed from the side, should stand with all
four feet solidly under the body and appear to be squarely built not long in
body as the German Shepherd is. They are also of a smaller, finer bone type
then the German Shepherd and have been compared (appearance wise) to a small
wolf or coyote. The tail reaches the hock though in the occasional Malinois is
longer. While the tail should be carried in a down position a happy Malinois
can and will carry the tail higher.
HEAD: The head is long and relatively narrow but the muzzle is not pointed as
the Collie's is. Eyes are of a medium size, almond shaped and medium to
very dark brown. The ears are triangular and erect, commonly set high on the
head. They are not short and thick as the Siberian Husky's are but not as long
and wide-set as a German Shepherd's. Puppies ears can be floppy until 3-4
months of age. Occasionally an adult will have a tipped over ear tip because of
injury or an infection.