The Malinois is a corky and multipurpose dog. Among much else, it has been used as a guard-dog, a tracker-dog, a sheepdog, a police-dog, as a tracker of illegal substances, for search and rescue, and as a beast of burden. Because it has been bred to guard animal herds, it prefers to move in circles rather than in straight lines, and it is very capable at maneuvering. It requires daily exercise, and as long as it gets it it can live in an apartment. It is necessary that it be trained early on, and its owner must preferably be experienced in dog-training. It is friendly toward children, but not very friendly toward strangers.
The Malinois is a muscular, strong, but elegant dog. Its coat-color ranges from golden-yellow to crème-brown, with black patches, and it does not require regular grooming. It has a long head and triangular and erect ears. Its jaws are strong and have a scissors bite. Its height ranges from 55 to 65 cm tall and it weighs from 18 to 35 kilos. The male is bigger than the female.