Belgian Malinois

There are four varieties in the collective group of Belgian sheepdogs. The four breeds are the Belgian Groenendael, the Belgian Tervuren, the Belgian Malinois and the rare Belgian Laekenois. Resembling a German shepherd, the Belgian Malinois is a protective guard dog and loyal family member. The Belgian Malinois originated in the Belgian town of Malines, where shepherds utilized the herding dogs for tending and guarding their flocks during the late 1800s. The dogs' agility capabilities and guarding skills were enlisted into police work and military service. After World War II, more of these dogs were imported into the United States. In 1959, the American Kennel Club recognized the Belgian Malinois as a distinct breed in the herding group.

Originally bred for herding, the Belgian Malinois is an athletic and heavy boned dog breed. It can sprint at great speed and loves to herd in circular motions. It has a short, straight coat with a dense undercoat. The sturdy Belgian Malinois stands 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 40 to 80 pounds. Often mistaken on site for a German shepherd, its appearance is strikingly similar. The Belgian Malinois wears a thick coat that is short, straight and weather resistant. The coat color ranges from fawn to mahogany, and the hairs are tipped in black. The face is covered with a black mask. The ears are black, pointy and erect. The Belgian Malinois has a thick tail that is carried downward when relaxed, and its brown eyes exude intelligence and alertness. The top of the dog's back has a slight, downward slope over the hindquarters. Personality: This dog breed has high energy and high intelligence, that's why they need regular exercise and will not be happy with a comfortable walk on the leash. They need mental stimulation and are smart and alert, making them an ideal watch and guard dog. They are intense and hard to train and are known to go through a "juvenile" phase when all their training goes out the window. They need to be properly trained to reduce their will to dominate. They can be aggressive towards strangers or other dogs if they feel threatened. The Belgian Malinois is intelligent, obedient and adept at learning a variety of tasks. This working dog needs to feel useful and be kept mentally occupied. The breed is territorial, courageous, alert and protective, making it an outstanding guard dog. The Belgian Malinois also has a strong herding instinct, and it will attempt to herd small children and other pets. The Belgian Malinois is guarded around strangers, but it is loyal and loving with its family members. This breed must be consistently socialized from the earliest age to prevent shyness and potential aggression, and it must be trained to interact peacefully with other household pets. The Belgian Laekenois has a lot of energy, and it requires daily physical exercise in a fenced yard to expend it. This is not a breed for inexperienced dog owners and handlers. To ensure that a Belgian Malinois becomes an ideal family companion, diligent obedience training by an experienced and assertive owner who can fill the alpha role is essential.

Belgian Malinois image
Breed Type
Pure
Origin
Europe
Family
Function
Life Span
12-14 Years
Hypoallergenic
No
Other Names
Malinois, Chien de Berger Belge, Mechelaar, Mechelse Herder, Mechelse Scheper, Pastor Belga Malinois, Belgian Shepherd Dog, Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois Build Information

Size
Large
Length (Male)
22-27 in.
Length (Female)
22-24 in.
Weight
> 65 lbs
Litter Size
5 - 10 Puppies
Tail Dock or Crop
No
Preferred Climate
Any Climate

Originally bred for herding, the Belgian Malinois is an athletic and heavy boned dog breed. It can sprint at great speed and loves to herd in circular motions. It has a short, straight coat with a dense undercoat. The sturdy Belgian Malinois stands 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 40 to 80 pounds. Often mistaken on site for a German shepherd, its appearance is strikingly similar. The Belgian Malinois wears a thick coat that is short, straight and weather resistant.

The coat color ranges from fawn to mahogany, and the hairs are tipped in black.

The face is covered with a black mask. The ears are black, pointy and erect. The Belgian Malinois has a thick tail that is carried downward when relaxed, and its brown eyes exude intelligence and alertness. The top of the dog's back has a slight, downward slope over the hindquarters.

Behaviour and Personality

Kid Friendliness
Affection Level
Activity Level
Energy Level
Independant
Good to Other Pets
Dominating or Submissive?
Guardian Skills
Barking
Aggressiveness Level

This dog breed has high energy and high intelligence, that's why they need regular exercise and will not be happy with a comfortable walk on the leash. They need mental stimulation and are smart and alert, making them an ideal watch and guard dog. They are intense and hard to train and are known to go through a "juvenile" phase when all their training goes out the window. They need to be properly trained to reduce their will to dominate. They can be aggressive towards strangers or other dogs if they feel threatened. The Belgian Malinois is intelligent, obedient and adept at learning a variety of tasks. This working dog needs to feel useful and be kept mentally occupied.

The breed is territorial, courageous, alert and protective, making it an outstanding guard dog.

The Belgian Malinois also has a strong herding instinct, and it will attempt to herd small children and other pets. The Belgian Malinois is guarded around strangers, but it is loyal and loving with its family members. This breed must be consistently socialized from the earliest age to prevent shyness and potential aggression, and it must be trained to interact peacefully with other household pets. The Belgian Laekenois has a lot of energy, and it requires daily physical exercise in a fenced yard to expend it. This is not a breed for inexperienced dog owners and handlers. To ensure that a Belgian Malinois becomes an ideal family companion, diligent obedience training by an experienced and assertive owner who can fill the alpha role is essential.

Appearance

Colors
Fawn Mahogany
Shedding
Constant
Grooming
Low Maintenance
Coat Type
Dense

The coat of a Belgian Malinois requires minimal grooming. The breed sheds heavily, so brush the coat once or twice a week to remove the dead hair, restore luster and minimize the accumulation of shed hair on the floors and furniture. Inspect the ears weekly, and keep them clean and dry to prevent ear infections. Brush the teeth every other day to prevent periodontal disease and preserve his overall health.

Breed's Talents and Facts

Training
Hard
Hunting Companion
No
Jolly for Jogging
Yes
Sighting Capabilities
No
Ideal for Tracking
Yes
Retrieving Skills
Yes
Pointing Breed
No
Herding Skills
Yes
Dutiful Watchdog
Yes
Security Guard Capable
Yes
Police Performer
Yes
Wet Water rescues
No
Assist Disable Owners
No
Dog Sledding
Yes
Able to Perform Dog Carting
Yes
Agile/Zippy
Yes
Fun with Lure Coursing
No
Obedient
Yes
Possible Schutzhund Work
Yes
Trainable for Tricks
Yes
  • The Belgian Malinois originated in Malines, Belgium
  • The Belgian Malinois is also called a Belgian shepherd Malinois, a Malinois and a Mechelse shepherd
  • The Belgian Malinois is intelligent and courageous
  • It makes an effective guard dog, and it is easily trained to carry out ther working tasks
  • This breed is energetic and confident, and it needs an experienced owner who will be able to take charge through early obedience training and socialization
  • The Belgian Malinois stands 22 to 26 inches tall and weighs 40 to 80 pounds
  • The Belgian Malinois has a high energy level
  • The Belgian Malinois requires minimal grooming
  • The average lifespan for a Belgian Malinois is 12 to 14 years

Are you a Belgian Malinois Parent?

Make your dog famous and share your pictures with our community!

Upload a Pet Photo

Leave a review of this Breed

Is this information incomplete? Help us improve this dog breed profile, by submitting your information here.

Common Health Conditions in Belgian Malinoiss

The Belgian Malinois lives an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years. Some health conditions to watch for in this breed include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, chronic superficial keratitis, cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy. The deep-chested physique of the Belgian Malinois increases the risk for gastric torsion, or bloat, which is life threatening and requires immediate emergency intervention.

Belgian Malinois Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

Insure your Belgian Malinois

Learn more about pet insurance here to keep your pet healthy and request your FREE Quote now!

Are you Belgian Malinois Breeder?

We have the most complete database with over 10,000 dog breeders in the USA! We would love to be in contact with you because we get many requests on our website of pet owners looking for this breed. You can contact us here to join our dog breeders directory now! We can help you find homes for your Belgian Malinois puppies. Register as a Breeder!

Our website does not take any position with or against designer dog breeds or mixed breeds. We also stay neutral about the buying or adoption of pets. Our main goal is to keep users informed about the dog breeds and the multiple options they might have when getting a new pet.
Get a Quote!

Get A FREE, No Obligation Pet Health Insurance Quote within 5 Minutes