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Belgian Malinois: Dog Breed Information and Pictures

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Are you looking for a canine friend who is both smart and active? There is no better breed of dog than the Belgian Malinois. These dogs originated in Belgium and were initially bred as herders, but their adaptability and unique skill set have made them well-liked for various tasks.

The intellectual ability of Belgian Malinois is one of their most notable characteristics. They make excellent working dogs because of their high energy and desire to please their owners. They also need a lot of exercises and intellectual stimulation.

If you’re an energetic person looking for a dog to go with you on hiking trips, runs, or outdoor adventures, this breed is the ideal choice. Let’s explore more about this breed, from its unique characteristics to care and diet.

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Belgian Malinois History

The Belgian Malinois is a medium-sized Belgian shepherd dog that sounds similar to a German Shepherd Dog. Malinois are tan-colored dogs with short hair and black mask. They are one of four different breeds of Belgian herding dogs, and since 1800, they have been shown as a separate breed in the United States.

The Tervuren, Laekenois, Malinois, and Groenendael are the four varieties. The Malinois is a fawn-mahogany variety. Except for Laekenois, the United Kennel Club recognizes all four varieties as a single breed in the country.

Breeders and enthusiasts gathered outside Brussels to inspect shepherd pups from that region. The native shepherd dogs of that region were square and medium-sized, with well-set triangle-shaped ears and very dark brown eyes. The only differences were in the texture, color, and hair length.

The first Belgian Shepherd Dog guideline, created in 1892 by Professor Reul, recognized three subtypes: dogs with short coats, long coats, and rough coats. The AKC’s Societe Royale Saint-Hubert equivalent, Belgium, recognized the Belgian Shepherd Dog as a breed in 1901.

Breeders decided to give each Belgian Shepherd dog variety a unique name. A club was founded in 1898 by the city of Malines to promote the fawn short haired Belgian Shepherd dog.

Since there were few sheep in Belgium in 1897, a man named Huyghebaert proposed that shepherd dogs hold riding competitions to show their wits, obedience, and loyalty. These trials evaluated a dog’s capacity for exercise and jumping.

M. van Opdebeek and his Malinois, Cora can’t Optewel, won the inaugural dressage competition in 1903 in Malines. The first police dog in Belgium was a Belgian Shepherd, also used as a guard dog and a draft animal. During World War I, they served as Red Cross, emergency care, or messenger dogs.

After World War I, several Belgian Shepherd Dogs were transferred to other nations, including the United States, where they gained popularity. By the end of the 1920s, the breed had become one of the top five breeds due to the establishment of the first Belgian Sheepdog Club of America in 1924. Even after the Great Depression, the breed’s popularity dropped in the 1930s and 1940s, and it was placed in the Miscellaneous School at AKC dog shows.

Belgian Malinois dogs’ work for the military, drug detection organizations, rescue and search operations, and police forces has garnered much attention recently. A second Belgian Sheepdog Club of America was established in 1949, and more people were breeding and exhibiting Malinois by the 1960s. In March 1992, the American Belgian Malinois Club received approval to become an AKC parent club.

More About Belgian Malinois

Malinois was created in Malines, Belgium, and is highly persistent and genuinely enjoys their work. They are skillful dogs who are intelligent and active.

People unfamiliar with the breed generally confuse Malinois with German Shepherd Dogs. But the two species differ significantly in terms of temperament and body type.

Malinois are generally small and have lighter bones. They have a square body shape because they support all their weight on their toes. They balance their weight more evenly on their feet. Modern German Shepherds have long and sloping backs.

The German Shepherd typically has a tan coat with a black saddle, whereas Malinois are generally fawn, brown, and red with black hair tips. The Malinois also has smaller and more triangular ears and a more refined and carved head.

Many believe the Malinois breed is more alert and responsive than the German Shepherd. Also, as these are sensitive dogs, harsh training techniques don’t work well. While some Malinois are outgoing and confident, some are reserved and distant around strangers. They must never be frightened or hostile.

Malinois are extremely intense dogs that enjoy taking part in all family activities. They are unsuitable for people who generally travel or work long hours while leaving their pets home.


Males weigh 60 to 80 pounds and stand 24 to 26 inches tall at the shoulders. Females weigh 40 to 60 pounds and are 22 to 24 inches tall.


Belgian Malinois Personality

Belgian Malinois are superb working dogs. They are assured and guarding in any scenario. They are pleasant with family members but reserved with outsiders until they get to know them. The Malinois has excellent watchdog skills. They only use small forces to defend their citizens and property. It is never acceptable in this breed to be timid or aggressive.

Puppies with good dispositions are playful, inquisitive, approachable, and eager to be cuddled. Several variables impact this breed, including training, socialization, and heredity. It may also be helpful to meet the dog’s mother, siblings, or other family members to understand how the puppy will turn out.

The Malinois requires early socialization or exposure to various people, environments, sounds, and experiences when young, just like every other dog breed. Socialization is critical to ensure the Malinois puppy develops into a well-rounded dog.

It’s a good idea to enroll them in a preschool for puppies. Regularly hosting guests and bringing your dog to crowded parks, dog-friendly shops, and relaxing strolls to meet the neighbors will also enable them to develop their social skills.

The Belgian Malinois is a versatile and exceptionally capable breed. They can survive in various environments and tasks with proper training and socialization. These dogs make excellent companions for those who value these qualities in a pet because they have a strong obligation and devotion to their owners.


Belgian Malinois dogs are spirited and constantly ready for action. They need a lot of mental and physical exercise to remain content and healthy. Their energy can be challenging for some owners, while those prepared to do the work will be rewarded with a devoted and obedient pet.

Belgian Malinois dog breeds have a friendly and loving temperament despite their excitement. They are known for forming close connections with their owners and enjoying social interactions. Due to their loyalty, they may become guarded and act defensively toward their families if they perceive a threat.


Although not all Malinois will experience these problems, it’s essential to be mindful of them if you consider bringing one home. One such disorder is a heritable condition called hip dysplasia, which can make one or both of the back legs painful and lame. This condition can be found through X-ray screening, and affected dogs shouldn’t be bred.

Environmental factors like rapid growth or injuries can also result in hip dysplasia. Another condition to watch for is progressive retinal atrophy, a regressive eye disorder that can result in blindness. Even though PRA is detectable early, affected dogs can still live happy lives by compensating for their senses.


This breed requires several hours of physical activity daily because it is so active and motivated to work. It particularly enjoys games combining physical and mental challenges, such as retrieving, agility, hopping, and herding.

The Belgian Malinois breed can develop into a gracious and calm house dog with sufficient exercise. It can be destructive and arrogant if not given enough exercise and training, particularly when young. Belgian Malinois enclosures might need a high-security fence due to the breed’s athletic ability.

The Belgian Malinois may heat up in warm temperatures due to its propensity to keep working when it does not have access to a water source where it can cool off. The breed can handle cold temperatures reasonably well. The coat may require daily brushing during the shedding season because it can occasionally shed heavily. It only needs to be brushed once a week and sometimes bathed.


2 to 3 cups of fine dry food should be consumed daily, split between two meals.

Depending on their age, size, build, metabolism, and level of activity, adult dogs vary in how much they eat. Like humans, each dog is unique, so they don’t all require the same quantity of food.

A highly active dog will require more than a lazy dog. The brand of dog food you buy also matters for your dog’s health. The more nutritious the dog food is, the less of it you’ll need to give to your dog, and beyond that, more of it will go towards feeding your dog.

If you need to know whether they’re overweight, have them perform the eye and hands tests.

Start from below. Its waist should be visible. Then put your fingers on their backs and your thumbs along the spine. Without exerting much pressure, you should be capable of feeling them without seeing their ribs. If you can’t, they should eat less and exercise more.

Coat Color And Grooming

Malinois dogs have straight, short hair that feels hard when touched. The hair is slightly longer near the neck. For dogs bred to work on farms in all weather conditions, their dense undercoat and hard topcoat give them weather resistance.

The usual color of the coat is fawn to solid wood, with black ears and black hair tips. Sometimes Malinois have their toe tips white or a small spot on their chest that is yellowish-tan.

The Malinois’s short and smooth coat is easy to maintain. Please give it a solid bristle brushing once a week, and only bathe it when necessary. Malinois shed all year but more so in the autumn and spring.

It would help if you brushed your dog’s teeth at least twice or three times per week to eliminate tartar accumulation and the bacteria that live inside them. Daily brushing is even better for avoiding bad breath and gum disease.

If your dog does not naturally wear down his nails, trim them frequently. Short, well-trimmed nails maintain the dog’s feet in excellent condition and prevent scratches on your legs when your Malinois greets you enthusiastically. They are too long if you can hear them hitting the floor.

When your Malinois is a puppy, get used to being brushed daily and examined. Dogs are sensitive about their feet, so they handle their paws regularly and examine their mouths and earlobes. Lay the groundwork for veterinary tests and other dealings when they are adults by making grooming a rewarding experience filled with encouragement and rewards.

Check your pet’s feet, nose, mouth, eyes, and skin for blisters, rashes, or infection-related symptoms like redness, softness, or inflammation as you groom them. The eyes must be clear and free of any discharge or redness. Your thorough weekly testing will enable you to identify any health problems.

Children And Other Pets

Well-socialized Malinois get along well with kids, especially if raised with them. It may be best for an adult Malinois who has never lived with kids old enough to socialize with them appropriately.

Always instruct kids on how to interact with dogs and watch over any interactions between young kids and dogs to avoid biting or pulling of ears. Teach your kids not to disturb dogs when they are eating or to try to take the food from them. With a child present, dogs ought to be supervised.

If not raised alongside them from a young age, these breeds can be aggressive toward other dogs and cats. Start early and praise your Malinois for good behavior if you want them to connect well with other animals. You must keep your Malinois under control around other animals if it has yet to be socialized.


The fascinating and versatile Belgian Malinois breed has a long history of serving in various capacities, including military, law enforcement, and search and rescue operations. It’s not surprising that these dogs have gained popularity over the past few years, given their intellectual ability, loyalty, and athleticism.

If you’re looking for a loyal friend or a loyal family member, consider the Belgian Malinois breed. These dogs are the true definition of man’s best friend, with their unique abilities and unwavering loyalty.


Are Belgian Malinois hostile dogs?

Due to their natural prey drive, Belgian Malinois can aggressively chase other animals, cars, and even young children. However, they can become lovable and valued family members with the proper training and socialization.

Which type of residence is ideal for a Belgian Malinois?

Belgian Malinois need a lively home with plenty of space to run around and play. They thrive in homes with knowledgeable dog owners who can give them the proper socialization and training.

Are Belgian Malinois heavy shedders?

Belgian Malinois shed, but not excessively, as they have a short, dense coat. They need regular grooming to keep their skin in good condition and avoid excessive shedding.

Does the Belgian Malinois get along well with kids?

Belgian Malinois can get along well with kids if adequately socialized and trained. But because of their protective nature and high energy level, they might not be the best choice for families with small kids.

How much resistance training does the Belgian Malinois require?

Due to their high energy level, Belgian Malinois need a lot of exercise. They should exercise for at least an hour daily, but they might need more depending on their particular needs.

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