Belgian Malinois

One of the proudest, smartest, and hardest-working dog breeds out there is the Belgian Malinois. If they live in a suitable home with an involved and knowledgeable pet parent, these qualities could make them excellent companions.

Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois originally derived their name from breeding near the Belgian city of Malines. Although their primary purpose was herding, their trainability and motivation allowed them to pursue professions in protection, search and rescue, bomb and narcotics detection, and other fields. This indicates that Belgian Malinois thrive in homes where they are given tasks to do, such agility, tracking, or obedience.
When completely grown, male Belgian Malinois normally weigh between 60 and 80 pounds and reach 24 to 26 inches tall, while females weigh between 22 and 24 inches tall 40 to 60 lbs.

Caring for a Belgian Malinois


Although Belgian Malinois dogs are extremely intelligent and devoted, they also have a high energy level and require a lot of stimulation and exercise. For this breed, daily walks are simply insufficient.
Belgian Malinois typically require about 40 minutes of exercise each day. They are therefore excellent companions for bicycling, hiking, and running. They also excel in obedience competitions, tracking, agility, and herding.
However, Belgian Malinois frequently resort to destructive actions as a kind of self-entertainment when they don’t receive enough exercise or mental stimulation.

Belgian Malinois Health Issues

The average lifespan of a Belgian Malinois is 10–14 years. These dogs don’t have many health issues in comparison to many other breeds, particularly if their conscientious breeder produced them.
Having saying that, Belgian Malinois are prone to a few health problems. When you bring your Belgian Malinois puppy home, you might want to consider getting pet insurance.

Elbow and Hip Dysplasia


Hereditary structural joint problems, elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia, are prone to in Belgian Malinois. These may result in arthritis and joint pain. At-home warning signs to look out for include:

  • stumbling without a past trauma
  • Sounds of popping from the joints
  • While sprinting, “bunny hopping”
  • Having trouble standing
  • unusual postures when sitting
  • Having trouble getting into automobiles, upstairs, and off furniture

Make sure the parents of your Belgian Malinois puppy were checked for these conditions by the breeder before you take them home. Should your pet develop dysplasia, there are several treatment options available, including joint supplements, painkillers, and surgery.


A progressive hardening of the eye lens known as cataracts is another condition that Belgian Malinois are prone to. This leads to clouding of the eye, which ultimately results in blindness. A veterinary ophthalmologist can operate to replace the lens if this does happen.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)


The layer of cells at the back of the eye that permits vision in light is called the retina. “Atrophy” refers to gradual deterioration. In short, retinal degeneration brought on by progressive retinal atrophy results in blindness.
The main symptoms are what you might anticipate from an animal going blind: bumping into objects, having trouble grabbing goodies, tripping over curbs or stairs, etc. Thankfully, this disease is not unpleasant.
Regretfully, PRA cannot be treated; nevertheless, a reputable Belgian Malinois breeder will examine the parents to ensure that their children do not inherit the condition.

What To Feed a Belgian Malinois

There aren’t many dietary restrictions for Belgian Malinois. When fed any premium dog food under a veterinarian’s care, they typically thrive. Just make sure your pet is eating a diet suitable for their age; don’t start feeding adult dog food until your pet is at least a year old.

How To Feed a Belgian Malinois


Dog feeding programs are customized for each individual dog. However, feeding Belgian Malinois twice a day once in the morning and once in the evening is often recommended. Puppies of Belgian Malinois may require up to four feedings each day. Consult your veterinarian whenever possible to find what’s best for your pet.

How Much Should You Feed a Belgian Malinois?

The age, activity level, and size of your dog are just a few of the variables that affect how much food you should feed them. With a chart depending on current age and weight, the back of the bag would be a good place to start. Puppies grow quickly, and their calorie requirements vary, so check this guidance often. To find out how much food is appropriate for your pet, consult your veterinarian.

Nutritional Tips for a Belgian Malinois


If your pet is eating a high-quality, comprehensive, and balanced food and is in good health overall, they shouldn’t require any nutritional supplements unless your veterinarian instructs them to.

Behavior and Training Tips for Belgian Malinois

To assist avoid behavioral concerns and keep their minds active, Belgian Malinois need a lot of training. In order to give children enough cerebral stimulation, training and socialization should begin as early as possible and continue throughout their lives.

Belgian Malinois Personality and Temperament


Belgian Malinois have an unshakable link with their humans and are very loyal dogs. They are not the kind of dog that is best left to amuse themselves in the backyard. In the end, all they really want is to be with you as much as possible.
Additionally, they are a highly spirited breed that require a lot of activity and mental stimulation. Belgian Malinois should ideally exercise for over 40 minutes a day, preferably with you by their side. Among the things they adore are quickness, tracking, shepherding, and rescue efforts.

Belgian Malinois Behavior

Insufficient exercise or stimulation can lead to harmful behaviors in Belgian Malinois, which include:

  • destroying plants, furniture, carpets, rugs, drapes, etc.
  • gnawing on personal objects
  • tearing out windows or gnawing through door and window frames
  • excavating in the yard

Although a Belgian Malinois’s natural tendency is to guard its family, a well-trained and socialized dog can be an excellent family pet. While there may be advantages to this, it may also make it more difficult to welcome visitors or strangers into the home. Once more, training and socialization should start early and continue all the way through the life of your puppy.
Belgian Malinois are also very interested in moving items due to their high prey drive. That may cause them to chase after youngsters, other animals, and even cars. They might even attempt to gather toddlers and young children by using their herding abilities. Supervise children and dogs of all breeds.

Belgian Malinois Training


Due to their exceptional intelligence, Belgian Malinois are eager (and quick!) learners.
It is advised that professionals with experience with the Belgian Malinois breed teach their puppies. An experienced trainer can assist you in training your dog for tasks that will challenge their cognitive abilities—a vital skill for this breed.
They frequently view these responsibilities as enjoyable hobbies, therefore it’s crucial that you participate in the training process to strengthen your bond with your pet.




55-75 lbs.

40-60 lbs.


22-24 in.

(at withers)

24-26 in.






Grooming Needs

Social Needs





Rich fawn with black tipped hairs, mahogany with black tipped hairs

Club recognition

AKC Class.


UKC Class.

Herding Dog





>40 minutes/day

Energy level

Very energetic


10-12 yrs.



Fun Activities for a Belgian Malinois

  • Grazing
  • Following
  • Compliance
  • Gliding
  • Swiftness
  • support for therapy

Belgian Malinois Grooming Guide

Puppies of easier to care for because of their short, waterproof coat, in contrast to several other Belgian breeds such as the long-haired Belgian Sheepdog.
They do shed twice a year according to the season, so don’t be shocked if there seems to be more hair on the ground in the fall and spring. Usually lasting two to three weeks, this “blowout” of their undercoat helps better prepare their body for the upcoming season (winter or summer). Like any dogs, they need to get their nails cut on a regular basis.

Skin Care

The skin is shielded by waterproof coats on Belgian Malinois. They may get skin allergies, just like any other dog, although this is rare. It is strongly suggested to avoid heartworm, fleas, and ticks year-round due to their active lifestyle and enjoyment of the outdoors.
To prevent drying out their skin, baths should be taken as needed but usually no more than once a month. Shampoos designed specifically for dogs’ skin and pH should never be used on humans; instead, use dog-specific shampoos or body wash products.

Coat Care

To maintain the health of your Belgian Malinois, all you need to do is give their coat an occasional brushing with the appropriate dog brushes (a rubber grooming mitt, hound glove, or medium-bristle brush will work). This disperses oils throughout the coat and encourages the growth of new hair.

Eye Care

Due to their high level of activity, are prone to eye scratches and other ailments. Consult your veterinarian if your dog appears to be rubbing at its red eyes. Additionally, if you have any worries about your pet’s vision, consult your veterinarian right away due to the breed’s susceptibility to PRA and cataracts.

Ear Care

Every month, one should examine the ears of their Belgian Malinois dog for indications of infection, such as excessive ear wax, redness, and irritation. Use an ear cleaner or ear flush once a month to clean the ears of a Belgian Malinois that is otherwise healthy.

Considerations for Pet Parents

Before bringing a Belgian Malinois into your house, there are a few things to think about. To ascertain if this breed is the right fit for you, it’s critical to evaluate the following:

  • Can you give this energetic breed the necessary mental and physical stimulation?
  • Can you afford to pay for early, ongoing professional training?
  • Is there a task your dog can perform to keep them occupied and motivated?
  • If you said “yes” to any of these queries, you could be prepared for this enthusiastic Belgian dog.

Belgian Malinois FAQs

Is a Belgian Malinois a good family dog?

Amazing, high-energy dogs, Belgian Malinois may make wonderful family pets in the appropriate home. Because of their higher-than-average need for mental and physical exercise, these dogs might not be the best fit for the typical home.

Are Belgian Malinois smart dogs?

Because of their high level of intelligence, Belgian Malinois are excellent working dogs that are also very easy to teach. Their quick learning speed and high level of engagement make training essential to their mental health as well as enjoyable.

How much does a Belgian Malinois cost?

The genetics, age, and level of training of a can all have a significant impact on the dog’s price. The degree of training also determines the price for trained canines.
A purebred Belgian Malinois puppy with parents registered with the American Kennel Club would typically run you between $2,000 and $3,500. But still, Depending on the puppy’s genealogy and region, this can vary greatly.

What’s the difference between Belgian Malinois vs. German Shepherds?

German Shepherd-like dogs are called . It’s understandable how German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois could be mistaken for one another given their comparable coat patterns and innate personality qualities. There are, nevertheless, a few significant variations amongst them.
German Shepherds were produced in Germany, whereas were bred in Belgium.
While Belgian Malinois and German Shepherds are similar in height, usually weigh less. German Shepherds can weigh between 50 and 90 pounds, whereas usually weigh between 40 and 80 pounds.
The colors of a are fawn with black ears and mask and short coat. German Shepherds have a coat that is either black and silver or black and tan, with slightly longer fur, and a black saddle coat their back in fur.
Due of their high levels of energy, both breeds require mental stimulation and mental stimulation through work. However, compared to German Shepherds, typically exhibit a little higher energy level.


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