Icelandic Sheepdog vs Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois) - Breed Comparison

Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois) is originated from Belgium but Icelandic Sheepdog is originated from Iceland. Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois) may grow 21 cm / 9 inches higher than Icelandic Sheepdog. Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois) may weigh 20 kg / 45 pounds more than Icelandic Sheepdog. Both Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois) and Icelandic Sheepdog has same life span. Both Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois) and Icelandic Sheepdog has almost same litter size. Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois) requires Low Maintenance. But Icelandic Sheepdog requires Moderate Maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Herding dogs
Working dogs
Origin:
Belgium
Iceland
Height Male:
61 - 66 cm
24 - 26 inches
40 - 45 cm
15 - 18 inches
Height Female:
56 - 61 cm
22 - 25 inches
40 - 45 cm
15 - 18 inches
Weight Male:
29 - 34 kg
63 - 75 pounds
9 - 14 kg
19 - 31 pounds
Weight Female:
25 - 34 kg
55 - 75 pounds
9 - 14 kg
19 - 31 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 14 Years
12 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
6 - 10
4 - 8
Size:
Medium
Medium
Other Names:
Mali,Berger Belge Malinois, Mechelse Berger
Iceland Dog, Icelandic Spitz
Colors Available:
Fawn-colored with black tips on the hairs, brown or red
black, cream or chocolate., tan and white, Grey and white or tan and white
Coat:
short and dense
Short or long, straight or wavy
Shedding:
Constant, Seasonal
Moderate, Seasonal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Social, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Grooming:
Low Maintenance
Moderate Maintenance
Trainability:
Moderate
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
Yes

History

The Belgian Malinois is one of 4 Belgian Shepherd varieties. The dogs were developed- and hail from Belguim. The Malinois has a short, fawn colored coat. The American Kennel Club recognizes that the Malinois is a separate breed from the other 3 varieties. It was in 1892 that Professor Reul wrote the first Belgian Shepherd Dog standard, recognizing 3 varieties – dogs with short coats, dogs with long coats and dogs with rough coats.

Today's Malinois goes back to a breeding pair owned by Adrien Janssens. It was in 1885 that he bought a fawn, rough-haired dog, breeding the dog with a short-haired dog named Lise de Laeken. After other breedings, the two dogs were recognized as ancestors of the modern Belgian Shepherd Dogs.

The city of Malines formed a club for the promotion of these fawn short hairs and the name Malinois became synonymous with them. In March 1992, the American Belgian Malinois Club received AKC parent club status.

There are quite a few different dog breeds that fall under the name of Spitz-type dogs, and in fact they have a number of similar characteristics, one of which is that they have some wolf-like features. They typically have the thick coat with undercoat and the erect, pointed ears and slanted eyes.

There is definitely a strong link between the Spitz type dogs and wild wolves. The tail too is feathery and can curl over the back of the dog.

The Icelandic Sheepdog, a native dog to Iceland, is a Spitz type dog which originates from the dogs brought to Iceland by the Vikings. The dogs have always been used to herd sheep, and they resemble dogs found in graves in Sweden and Denmark.

The dog at one time was facing extinction in the late 20th century, but in 1969, the Icelandic Dog Breeder Association was established to restore and preserve the breed. The Icelandic Sheepdog gained AKC recognition in June 2010.

Description

Similarities to German Shepherd

The Malinois is a medium-size Belgian shepherd dog. People sometimes mistake them for the German Shepherd as they are fairly similar to look at. The Malinois however is a smaller, lighter boned dog with naturally upright ears and a black-masked face. He is shorthaired and fawn-colored with black tips on the hairs, although other colors are brown or red too. He is an intelligent and active dog, always having been used for herding-, police- and rescue work.

Reserved or Friendly

You’ll find the Malinois somewhat unpredictable as some are friendly and confident while other can be shy and withdrawn around strangers. This is a dog who loves to be around his human family, but to bring out the best in him, training and socialization classes will be necessary. Well-socialized Malinois are always good with children and other pets, more so if they’ve been raised with them.

The Icelandic Sheepdog is a smallish to medium sized dog standing at 40 to 45cm in height and he can weigh anything between 9 and 14kg.

His double coat can be short or long, straight or wavy and in a mix of colors such as grey and white or tan and white, black, tan and white, cream or chocolate. Even though they come in a number of predominant colors, these colors are always accompanied by white markings.

He has a longish muzzle, much like the wolf, giving him an alert, foxy appearance. He has a muscular, rectangular body with strong, straight legs with dewclaws on both the front and hind legs.

Temperament:

Your social, energetic dog will require socialization and training which does him the world of good, turning him into a well-adjusted, obedient dog.

He is an intelligent dog, and training him won't be difficult as he is eager to please. These are social dogs which love being part of the family and they don't like being left outside day after day with little human intervention. He is a lively, confident breed, gentle and not at all aggressive.

Health Problems

Belgian Malinois are generally healthy dogs. However every dog, regardless of breed, can pick up illnesses, and it is always wise to be aware of some of the diseases your Malinois might face.

Hip Dysplasia

An inherited condition where the thigh bone doesn't fit properly into the hip joint. As the dog ages, arthritis can develop.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

A degenerative eye disorder that can lead to blindness.

Dental problems

Brush his teeth at least 2 or 3 times a week to remove tartar build-up. Too much plague leads to inflamed gums, bad breath, pus inside the mouth and even loss of teeth.

Your pet will reach 12 to 14 years of age with good care and is regarded as a generally healthy dog breed. However, they can be prone to a few health conditions, and these include hip dysplasia and diabetes.

Diabetes:

Mercifully for your pet, diabetes is considered a manageable disorder. When your pet doesn’t produce insulin or can’t utilize it normally, his blood sugar levels rise, resulting in hyperglycemia.

If left untreated, your pet can land up with a host of complicated health problems. Diabetes can be classified as either Type 1 or Type II, with the more common form in dogs being Type 1.

Caring The Pet

Regular Brushing as he’s a Shedder

Because the Malinois is a constant shedder, with a couple of heavy shedding periods during the year, you’ll need to be conscientious with his grooming and brush him at least twice a week to get rid of loose hairs and to give his thick coat a glossy, healthy look to it.

Exercise

Because of their high energy, Malinois aren’t recommended for couch-potato type owners. It will be cruel to buy such a dog and to leave him to waste away with boredom and frustration in your back yard. He’ll want lots of rough and tumble, ball games, runs in the park or in the country and long walks.

Feeding

Belgian Shepherd Malinois puppies are vulnerable when they’re tiny, and it would be wise to speak to your vet about superb nutrition to build up a puppy’s immune system.

An excellent way to ensure the health of your growing Malinois is to give him a home prepared meals along with commercially manufactured food recommended by your vet. You can’t just put a bowl of commercially manufactured dog food in front of him day after day month after month.

Apart from what your vet recommends, give him some brown rice, some cooked vegetables and some raw meat. Raw meat will ensure he can fight of skin infections. The age of the dog, emotional state and environmental influences can all play a role in skin diseases with dogs, but by ensuring some raw meat in his diet, the immune system is strengthened and skin disorders are eliminated. Always ensure a steady supply of fresh water.

Diet:

Feed your energetic Icelandic Sheepdog a diet which is appropriate for his age and activity level. Don't just feed him the best commercially manufactured dog food, but give him some cooked chicken, brown rice and vegetables mixed into his kibble as a tasty treat. Also, dogs are carnivores, so include some raw meat into his diet from time to time. Clean, cool water should always be available.

Grooming:

The Icelandic Sheepdog has a thick double coat, with the outer coat being longer and the hair being shiny and glossy. These dogs shed quite a bit with seasonal shedding too so twice-weekly brushing will be necessary to keep the fur free of loose hair. His nails should also be checked regularly and his teeth should be brushed a couple of times a week too.

Exercise:

Icelandic Sheepdogs are athletic, active dogs that require a lot of exercise to keep them in good physical shape.

He loves all kinds of games and outdoor activities, one of which will be going with you for a walk every day. He makes a wonderful companion for those people going on long hikes.

Characteristics

The Belgian Malinois makes a wonderful guard dog and he works hard to ensure that his human family, whom he adores, are well protected under his watch. They’re such intelligent dogs too that you may feel inclined to pass over some of your chores to him.

He responds well to training, and to get the best from this breed, start with training and socialization as soon as you bring your puppy home.

Socialization is excellent as it introduces your puppy to different people, animals as well as situations.

He is an adaptable dog and can live in an apartment if he is well exercised. He can be your devoted and loyal friend for a good number of years but you will have to do your part in providing him with the best care possible.

The Icelandic Sheepdog is such a good all-round family pet. He is alert, intelligent, social, playful, loyal, loving and brave.

He is friendly too, getting on well with children and any pets you have in the home. He is essentially a working dog, so you shouldn’t think of owning him as a pet if your lifestyle is centered around the TV and the couch for the best part of the day.

This is an energetic dog who wants lots of action during the day. He is a dog that badly wants to be part of the family and in exchange for looking after him well, he’ll promise to be an exceptional pet.

Comparison with other breeds

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