Like all Belgian Shepherds, the Malinois is a medium sized and square-proportioned dog in the Sheepdog family. The Malinois has a short mahogany coat with black markings. It has black erect ears and a black muzzle. It has a square build in comparison to the German Shepherd.
Due to its history as a working dog, the Malinois can vary greatly in appearance. The acceptable colours of a pure bred Malinois are a base colour fawn to mohogany and tan with a black mask and black ears with some degree of black tipping on the hairs, giving it an overlay appearance. The colour tends to be lighter with less black agouti or overlay on the dogs underside, breeching and iner-leg.
Well raised and trained Malinois are usually active, friendly,protective and hard working. They exhibit energy levels that are among the highest of all dog breeds. A typical Malinois will have puppy-like energy levels until the age of 3, though it is not uncommon for them to exhibit this energy lever until the age of 5. many have excessivly high prey drive. Some may be excessivly exuberant or playful, especially when their young. They can be destructive or develop neurotic behaviours if not provided enough stimulation and exercise. This often causes problems for owners who are unfamiliar with the breed and are not prepared to provide the right amount of exercise that the animal needs. They are medium sized strong dogs that need constant obediance training and they enjoy being intorduced to new tasks. They are well known to be easily trained in obediance due to their high drive for rewards. They are a great family dog and if not trained for police or military duty they have a very similar tempermant to labs.