Updated 31-07-2023

Belgian Malinois Characteristics, Facts & Traits

Herding dogs like the Belgian Malinois were the original purpose of the breed. As well as being devoted family members, police and military dogs have evolved into a variety of other roles as well.

As long as they're under the care of an experienced dog owner, these pups can be intense, smart, and athletic friends. Their strong activity and exercise requirements, on the other hand, may make them unsuitable for tiny living arrangements. A first-time dog owner should avoid getting one of this breed. With proper training and enough of exercise, these pups will be devoted to their owners for the rest of their lives.

Check out the information on the Belgian Malinois dog breed listed below.


  • Because of their high level of activity and drive, Belgian Malinois require a lot of exercise. Make sure you have enough space and time for it.
  • Malinois are extremely clever and observant dogs. Also, they have a great instinct for herding and protecting their herd. Consistent training from an early age is essential.
  • Despite their large size, these dogs are people-oriented and eager to join in on family outings and activities.
  • Malinois shed all the time. They shed twice a year, which is a lot.
  • Belgian Malinois are high-energy, play-oriented dogs that are also highly intelligent. It's important that your workouts are enjoyable, regular, and full of encouragement.
  • Inexperienced dog owners should avoid Malinois due to their intellect, high energy levels, and other qualities.
  • Never buy a puppy from a puppy mill, negligent breeder, or pet retailer if you want a healthy dog.


Social Appearance 


Contrary to popular belief, a little dog isn't necessarily more suited to an apartment than a larger one. In many cases, small dogs are simply too active and yappy to live in a high-rise apartment. An excellent apartment dog has a number of qualities, including minimal activity, calm indoors, and friendliness toward other residents. If you want some privacy for your dog in your apartment, consider purchasing a crate from this site.

Sensitivity Level

Certain dogs may be unfazed by a firm reprimand, but even a filthy glance can scare them. When their owners are more demanding or obnoxious, their dogs have a lower threshold for noise and chaos. They also have an easier time adjusting to a schedule that is more unpredictable. You might fall into this group if you're in a garage band, have small children, or lead a hectic lifestyle. Pick a dog that isn't overly sensitive.


Unless you tell them not to strain on the leash, you'll find that vigorous dogs perform all of their activities with a tremendous amount of energy: they eat and drink with enormous mouthfuls, and even strain on the leash (unless you teach them not to). If you're a family with young children or elderly members, these dynamos aren't the best option due to their extensive training requirements. A low-energy dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued outlook on life.

Potential for Playfulness

There are certain dogs that never grow out of puppyhood and are always looking for a game to play. With children or other dogs as playmates, how many games of fetch or tag do you intend to play each day? Especially if you have children or other dogs.

Personality Appearance


Just like dogs raised to gallop all day, sheepdogs require mental exercise because they were bred for herding and require a high level of intelligence and attentiveness. Digging and gnawing on a stick are two examples of activities that may encourage a child to create their own work if they lack mental stimulation. Obedience training and interactive dog toys, as well as dog sports and jobs like agility and search and rescue, can all help to keep a dog's mind sharp.

Energy Level

Active dogs are always looking for new ways to kill time. These canines were bred for stamina-intensive professions like hunting and herding. This is the animal for you if you enjoy running, jumping, and sniffing.

Low-energy dogs sleep all day. Depending on your energy level and lifestyle, a dynamic dog may excite or frustrate you.

Easy To Train

Easy-to-train dogs quickly associate a cue (like "sit"), an action (sitting), and a reward (a treat). Other dogs require more time, patience, and repetition.

Many intelligent breeds resist instruction. Easy-to-train dogs quickly associate a cue, an action, and a reward (such as a treat). Other dogs take longer to learn.

If you want your dog to follow your commands, use rewards and games not duplicate "In that scenario, utilise rewards and games to teach them to comply.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

When they're raised by the same person since they were puppies, some breeds remain detached and unattached, while others form strong bonds with a single individual and show no affection for anybody else. Breed isn't the only factor that influences a dog's level of attachment. Dogs who were raised in a household with other people are more likely to be affectionate toward their owners.


It's important for dogs to be calm, robust, and undisturbed by rushing, scream-inducing toddlers in order to be kid-friendly. There are a few names on the list that you would not expect to see: Fierce-looking Family pets are both Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers (which are considered Pit Bulls). Small, sensitive, and potentially sharp, Chihuahuas aren't always a good fit for families with young children.

Dog Friendly

Human friendliness and dog friendliness are two entirely different things. Even if their owners refer to them as "lovebugs," dogs can nonetheless be aggressive toward one another. A dog's breed isn't the only determining factor. At least six to eight weeks after birth, puppies who have spent a lot of time playing with their littermates and their mother are more likely to have appropriate social skills as adults.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

You'll have to deal with dog hair all over your clothes and the rest of the house if you get a dog. Breeds, on the other hand, vary greatly in the amount of shedding they produce. Depending on the breed, some dogs shed all year round, while others "blow" just at certain seasons of the year. If cleanliness is important to you, choose a breed that sheds less or lower your standards. Keeping your home a little cleaner is easy with the help of a good deshedding device.

Drooling Potential

Drool-prone dogs may leave large wet patches on your clothing and slobbery ropes down your arm when they come over to say hello. As long as you don't mind your dog drooling a lot, you can go ahead and get one.

Easy To Groom

Some dog breeds only need to be brushed, while others need to be washed, cut, and otherwise groomed on a regular basis in order to stay healthy and presentable. You should consider if you have the time and finances to properly groom a dog, or if you can afford to hire someone else to do it.

Exercise Needs

Some breeds may happily accompany their owners on short evening walks around the neighbourhood. People who work in physically demanding fields, such as herding or hunting, need to work out frequently.

As a result, these breeds can gain weight if they don't receive enough exercise, and their pent-up energy can express itself in unwanted behaviours like barking, chewing, and digging. It's important to choose a dog breed that requires a lot of exercise for an energetic individual who enjoys playing outside with their pet.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


40 to 80 pounds


12 to 14 years


22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder


When it comes to sheepherding and guard dog duties in the Belgian countryside, the Belgian breeds of Chiens de Berger Belge share a common ancestor. As working dogs, they were bred more for functionality than beauty, and no meticulous records were kept during the breeding process. Thus, when dog exhibitions were popular in the late 1800s, it was not apparent if Belgium had any distinctive breeds with which they could promote their national pride.

To explore if the native dogs might be categorised into unique breeds, Professor Reul was asked in 1891. Belgian Shepherds were found to be indistinguishable except for their coat type and colour. The short-haired breed was created in the area near Malines, and therefore became known as the Belgian Malinois.

This breed remains the most popular of the Belgian shepherd breeds in its native area, but has had a rockier route in America. The Malinois was extremely popular in the United States from 1911 to World War II. After World War II, the number of Malinois competing in dog shows was extremely low. When the Malinois and other Belgian breeds were separated in 1959, registrations of the former began to rise once more, but the latter still lagged considerably behind the former.

In recent years, the Malinois has risen to prominence as one of the world's most sought-after police dogs, even exceeding the German shepherd in popularity. In other words, despite the fact that many people may never see these dogs, they are serving as canine peacekeepers all across the world.

Personality and Temperament

The Belgian Malinois excels not only in herding, but also in protection and law enforcement; drug, bomb, and gas detection; search and rescue; tracking; obedience; sledding; agility; and therapy help to disabled, ill or elderly persons. An experienced owner is required for this high-energy canine. Temperament and aggressiveness can vary widely. This makes them unsuitable as kennel dogs, as they crave spending time with their loved ones.

The Belgian Malinois is best described as intense. As a result, this is a breed that requires both mental and physical stimulation on an ongoing basis. These dogs are attentive, intelligent, and a little on the stern side. The introduction of other dogs and animals should be done cautiously because they can be reserved towards strangers. Some people can be a little too obnoxious. It's common for them to perform sweeping circular runs while restrained. They are fiercely protective of their house and those they care about the most to them.


For some people, the Belgian Malinois isn't the best choice of dog. As these dogs require a lot of room to run and play, they aren't ideal for living in an apartment. They're best suited to people that lead an active lifestyle and can provide their pets with a wide range of activities. To ensure that these canines are well-behaved, they need to be properly trained and socialised. And their grooming isn't that complicated either.


Belgian Malinois are generally healthy dogs, although they do have some health issues, just like any breed. These disorders may not affect all Malinois, but they are crucial to know about if you're considering this breed.

Hip Dysplasia

The thigh bone does not fit securely into the hip joint in this hereditary disease. There are some dogs that demonstrate pain and lameness on one or both of their hind legs, but a dog with hip dysplasia may show no symptoms at all. Arthritis can occur in an older dog. 

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program both provide X-ray screening for hip dysplasia (PennHIP) Healthy dogs should not be bred with those who have hip dysplasia. A high-calorie diet and jumping or falling on slick floors can also cause hip dysplasia, which is both inherited and induced by environmental circumstances.

Elbow Dysplasia

Among large-breed dogs, this is a prevalent ailment. Different growth rates of the three bones that make up a dog's elbow are assumed to be the cause of joint laxity, which in turn causes the problem. Painful lameness can result from this. Veterinarians may offer surgery to fix the disease or medication to alleviate the pain in dogs with arthritis.

Anesthesia Sensitivity

Belgian Malinois are extremely anesthetic-sensitive dogs. Putting them under anaesthesia increases their mortality rate above the national norm due to their increased muscle-to-fat ratio. Before allowing your Malinois to have surgery or getting their teeth cleaned, make sure your vet understands this sensitivity.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

The loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eye eventually results in blindness as a result of this degenerative eye illness. Years before the dog exhibits any evidence of blindness, PRA can be detected. Due to their highly developed sense of hearing and smell, dogs may make up for their lack of sight by using their other senses to their advantage. Just don't make it a habit to rearrange the furniture.

Recommended Health Tests 

  1. Hip Evaluation
  2. Elbow Evaluation
  3. Ophthalmologist Evaluation


The Belgian Malinois is a hard-working dog that is always on the go. Unlike other dogs, they do not necessitate a specific diet. Due to their high level of activity, we do, however, advise feeding them a high-quality meal. Poor nutrition can affect the performance of even the best-trained athletes.

A well-balanced diet should include enough protein and animal products. First and foremost, the cuisine should be made up of meat-based products. Whole meat and meat dinner are the best options. Simply cooked and dehydrated meat results in a more nutrient-dense meat dish than whole meat.

Obviously, this does not imply feeding your dog a grain-free diet, as this has been related to a variety of health problems in humans. This may be because grain-free diets substitute low-quality, low-cost vegetables like peas for grain. A lot of times, these recipes don't actually contain any additional meat. In the absence of a grain intolerance, a high-meat, grain-inclusive food is a superior option for your dog.

Over the course of a few days, it is best to gradually introduce new foods into your diet. We do advise them to switch up their meals on a regular basis to avoid nutritional deficiency. You can prevent food allergies by changing your dog's primary protein source.

You should add electrolytes to the water of dogs who labour very hard. This is a common recommendation for police canines. These dogs, on the other hand, tend to be incredibly hardworking, thus the normal dog may not require them.


The short coat of the Belgian Malinois is easy to maintain. The fact that it can withstand the elements means that it is easy to keep clean. Using a rubber grooming mitt or other similar item, give them a light brushing every now and again. Cleaning their coat in this manner not only removes debris but also distributes their natural oils, both of which aid in the maintenance of a shiny, healthy-looking coat. Brushing your hair can also help to stimulate the growth of new hair.

In the course of a year, they shed their coat quite a little. Brushing them with a slicker brush on a daily basis is recommended throughout this time. Their hair will be combed off of their faces in the process, which will make them more comfortable and reduce the amount of fur that gets tracked in.

To keep their nails from splitting and cracking, be sure to clip them regularly. Nails that are too long can make it difficult to walk. Despite their high level of activity, it is unlikely that these dogs will naturally wear down their paws. To avoid dental issues, they should have their teeth cleaned. Debris should be removed from their ears. In general, they don't have an increased risk of ear infections, but it's important to clean them regularly to prevent infection.


Due to their high level of activity, these dogs like to be in the company of people in order to meet their daily requirements for physical activity. Because of their athletic and muscular build, they require a lot of physical activity in order to flourish. Otherwise, people may become bored and resort to unhealthy activities in order to maintain their happiness and well-being. Keeping them in the backyard isn't adequate, nor is a single daily walk. To meet these dogs' daily activity requirements, you'll need to spend a lot of time with them playing outside or participating in canine sports.

We suggest mixing physical activity with human interaction and mental stimulation to meet their demands. As a result, dog agility training and other related sports can be extremely beneficial. Obstacles are a simple and effective technique to exhaust your dog, even if you have no intention of competing.

Aside from running or bicycling, you can also go hiking or hiking. Instead of taking a walk, these canines may be trained to run beside your bike.


These dogs have a lot of potential for training. For the most part, they can be taught to do just about anything. In contrast to other breeds, their intelligence can be put to use in training. Their family members, including little children, aren't a problem for them because they aren't abrasive. They have a great time obeying orders.

Like most herding dogs, they have a strong prey drive that causes them to chase and herd moving items. This holds true for both small and large items, such as cats. Even if this cannot be fully trained out, the instinct can be channelled towards other sports such as agility or coursing. This breed has a lower prey drive than some other dogs and can get along well with cats if properly socialised.

This breed requires early socialisation and obedience training. Puppy classes with an expert trainer are highly recommended. You'll learn how to train your puppy and get him or her used to being around other dogs.

Once the pups are old enough, you should expose them to the world as much as possible. Take them for a walk in the park and to dog-friendly restaurants and shops. Allow children to interact with a wide variety of people and animals, both human and non-human alike.

Children and other Pets

Because of the Malinois' herding background, well-socialized Malinois may nip at the heels of young children and try to herd them while playing. Malinois must be taught that this is inappropriate behaviour. Children who are mature enough to interact with an adult Malinois are the finest place for them to live.

If you have dogs around small children, be sure to show them how to approach and touch them so that no bites or ear or tail pulling occurs. Your youngster should be taught never to approach a dog while it is eating or to try to take the dog's food away. A dog and a youngster should never be left alone.

Except from the time they are puppies, Malinois can be hostile against other dogs and cats. Early socialisation with other animals is essential if you want to keep your Malinois friendly. Malinois that haven't been introduced to other animals are your responsibility to keep under control.


This breed of dog is in high demand because of its intellect and physical strength. For military and law enforcement duties, they've surpassed a lot of the other popular dog breeds. A Belgian Malinois is the best choice for anyone seeking a protection or guard dog.

You'll need at least $2,500 to get a healthy and well-bred puppy. Another factor is their enormous size. Pregnant Belgian Malinois just require additional space and food to ensure their well-being and the well-being of their growing puppies. As these canines are larger, any medical procedures will also cost more. The ultimate puppy price includes all of these expenses.

In the $1,000 range, you may be able to find a puppy; these are often canines that would be suitable for a family companion. They're usually just as intelligent and capable as more costly puppies, and that's a good thing. There's a possibility, though, that they have a little "problem," preventing them from competing in shows. Some examples include being overly dark in hue, or having the wrong type of black face mask. Puppies that aren't going to be utilised for breeding tend to be cheaper than those that are.

Cheaper puppies should not be overlooked while seeking a new companion. There is a good chance they will have exactly what you need.

Adults who have undergone training will, of course, be much more expensive. A well-trained Belgian Malinois will set you back at least $65,000. Dogs trained for police work and other comparable duties comprise the majority of these specimens. Most individuals don't need a dog with this level of expertise.

Dog breed similar to Belgian Malinois

German shepherd