Being Showdog Saturday, I decided to look up the Belgian Malinois. I know they are grouped as shepherds and are closely related to the Belgian Shepherd and the Belgian Tervuren. However, I seem to see them in much different settings than the other shepherds. Belgian Malinois are often confused with German Shepherds but are actually smaller and more refined in build.
They are often used in the military, search and rescue and by police because of their intensity and abilities. In this photo, although the dog looks pretty intimidating, it is actually doing as it is trained. If you've seen one of these demonstrations, you know that the second a command is given, the dog will back off. It's really pretty awesome to behold!
You can really see the intensity in those eyes. These guys are known for being very high drive and intense. That's one of the reasons they are not a breed for everyone. Mals are very intelligent and active dogs so they do really well with a job! First time dog owners or passive dog owners are likely to have behavior issues.
Some of the more notable members of the breed are Cairo, a member of Seal Team 6, and Max, also in the military, who had a movie released recently by the name of "Max". I haven't seen the movie although it is on my list. I hear it is great!
Belgian Mals are usually very sensitive dogs who don't respond well to harsh training. The trainer/owner need to be confident and in charge but fair. First time dog owners often have trouble with knowing what "alpha" means. They do need socialization, even at a young age, and need lots of time for exercise and mental stimulation. They like to be included in the family instead of being left in kennels. Mals are eager and quick to learn and love doing what their people ask of them. If they are well socialized, they also do well with children, although the herder may come out and direct them.
These pictures were all off of various internet sites and not my own, but show alot about the breed. The information is also largely off the internet, with a little personal experience thrown in. These dogs are really great at what they do but not for everyone.