Unraveling the Belgian Malinois: A Guide to Understanding this Dynamic Dog Breed

the Belgian Malinois

Unraveling the Belgian Malinois: A Guide to Understanding this Dynamic Dog Breed


The Maltese is a German breed that made its way to the United States in 1911. Imports dried up between World Wars, but the breed became popular again in the 1960s.

Maltese dogs need rigorous exercise and need to be active. Fortunately, they are relatively easy to train, and the benefits of owning one far outweigh the negatives.

Read on to learn more about this wonderful dog. The Malinois is an intelligent, obedient dog. The breed is friendly and affectionate with family and friends but is highly suspicious of strangers.

With a high prey drive, the Malinois requires a larger home. This dog does well with children, but can struggle with other animals and is not recommended for apartment living. Here’s all you need to know about the life and features of this breed.

Belgian Malinois Breed

The Belgian Malinois breed is a versatile and renowned work dog. Its many talents include herding, police work, protection, bomb detection, tracking, obedience, and agility.

malinois dog breed

Although the Belgian Malinois is known for its intelligence and love of people, this energetic dog also has some health concerns, such as skin allergies.

If you are considering purchasing a Belgian Malinois for your family, you should keep in mind that the breed has a high energy level and needs plenty of exercises.

Its energetic nature also means that it can easily become destructive and clingy. For these reasons, the Belgian Malinois breed requires daily exercise.

While the Belgian Malinois breed is very energetic, it does require plenty of mental stimulation and can enjoy a wide range of toys and training exercises.

Generally healthy, the Belgian Malinois can suffer from bloating, which is common among dogs with a large chest and a large stomach. If your pet experiences symptoms of bloating, visit your veterinarian for treatment.

Epilepsy is an inherited condition in this breed, and hip and elbow dysplasia can occur in older dogs. The Belgian Malinois is an easy-to-groom dog with short, dense hair. Its short coat requires weekly brushing.

malinois dog breed

It will shed more during the spring and fall. It should also be trimmed every month, as its nails naturally wear down with activity. The Belgian Malinois breed is a highly intelligent and trainable dog and responds well to positive reinforcement.

The Belgian Malinois is a highly intelligent breed with a strong herding instinct. Because of their herding instincts, they need lots of exercises, and they need to be socialized to be able to handle the high energy level they require.

Because of their large size, the Belgian Malinois breed should not live in an apartment complex or a city. They prefer the open countryside but do not like living outside in kennels.

Health Issues

Belgian Malinois is a breed known for its intelligence, agility, and versatility. Like any breed, they can be prone to certain health issues. Here are some common health concerns associated with the Malinois dog breed:

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malinois dog breed

Hip Dysplasia:
  • Issue: Malinois, like many large breeds, can be prone to hip dysplasia, a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t fit into the hip socket properly.
  • Prevention/Treatment: Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and responsible breeding practices can help reduce the risk. Screening for hip dysplasia in breeding dogs is essential.
Elbow Dysplasia:
  • Issue: Elbow dysplasia is another orthopedic issue that can affect Malinois, causing lameness and arthritis in the affected leg.
  • Prevention/Treatment: Similar to hip dysplasia, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and regular vet check-ups are crucial. Responsible breeding practices also play a role in reducing the prevalence.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA):
  • Issue: PRA is a group of genetic diseases that cause the gradual deterioration of the retina. It can lead to blindness.
  • Prevention/Treatment: PRA can be identified through genetic testing. Responsible breeding, avoiding mating dogs carrying the gene, can help prevent its spread.
  • Issue: Malinois may be prone to epilepsy, a neurological condition that causes seizures.
  • Prevention/Treatment: While the exact cause of epilepsy is often unknown, regular veterinary check-ups and appropriate medication can help manage seizures in affected dogs.
Thyroid Issues:
  • Issue: Hypothyroidism is relatively common in some dog breeds, including the Malinois. It can lead to weight gain, lethargy, and skin problems.
  • Prevention/Treatment: Regular thyroid screenings and a balanced diet can contribute to early detection and management of thyroid issues.
Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI):
  • Issue: Malinois can be susceptible to EPI, a condition where the pancreas doesn’t produce enough digestive enzymes.
  • Prevention/Treatment: Management involves enzyme replacement therapy with meals and a specialized diet.

Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and responsible breeding practices are essential for the overall health and well-being of Belgian Malinois dogs.

Always consult with a veterinarian for specific advice tailored to your dog’s individual needs.


The Belgian Malinois is a highly intelligent and versatile dog breed known for its strong work ethic and loyalty. Here are some key temperament traits associated with the Malinois breed:

malinois dog breed

  • Description: Malinois are exceptionally intelligent dogs. They are quick learners and often excel in obedience training and various canine sports. Their intelligence makes them suitable for various roles, including police and military work.
  • Description: Malinois are naturally alert and vigilant. They have a keen sense of awareness, making them excellent watchdogs. They are quick to notice changes in their environment and can be protective of their family and territory.
  • Description: Malinois are known for their high energy levels. They thrive on physical activity and mental stimulation. Regular exercise and engagement in activities such as agility, obedience training, or interactive play are essential to keep them happy and healthy.
  • Description: Malinois form strong bonds with their families and are highly loyal. They are often protective of their human pack members and can be reserved or aloof around strangers. Early socialization is crucial to ensure they are well-behaved in various situations.
Work Ethic:
  • Description: Malinois have a strong work ethic and a desire to have a job or purpose. This makes them well-suited for various roles, including search and rescue, police work, and as service dogs. Without sufficient mental and physical stimulation, they may become bored and potentially exhibit destructive behaviors.
  • Description: Due to their intelligence and eagerness to please, Malinois are highly trainable. Consistent and positive reinforcement-based training methods work well with this breed. Early socialization is crucial to ensure they are well-behaved in different environments and with various people and animals.
  • Description: Malinois can have an independent streak. While they are loyal to their owners, they may not always be overly affectionate. They appreciate having their own space and may not be as prone to constant cuddling as some other breeds.
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  • Description: Malinois are adaptable dogs, but they do best in environments where they receive the mental and physical stimulation they require. They can thrive in various living situations, including urban environments, as long as their exercise needs are met.

It’s important to note that while the Belgian Malinois can be an excellent companion for the right owner, their high energy and intelligence require commitment and dedication to training, socialization, and exercise.

Potential owners should be prepared to provide the mental and physical stimulation necessary to keep a Malinois happy and well-balanced.

malinois dog breed


Whether you’re planning to train your dog for agility, and protection, or just play with him on a daily basis, there are plenty of things you can do to give him the mental and physical exercise he needs.

malinois dog breed

Malinois dogs were bred for working and herding purposes and are very athletic, strong, and alert. They can also fight twice as big predators as they are!

And, of course, their loyalty and intelligence make them an ideal choice for work in hazardous environments. One of the best ways to exercise your Malinois dog is to take it for a long walk.

Walking is the most basic form of exercise for these dogs, and they can easily burn off energy by jumping when they see the lead. This is a tried and true method for exercising your Malinois dog.

So, how do you keep him active? Listed below are some exercises for your Malinois. Make him part of the herd. Your Malinois needs to be part of the “herd” and exercise.

If you can’t exercise him outside, he may become depressed and aggressive. Exercise should also be paired with obedience training to prevent him from becoming bored or anxious.

malinois dog breed

Remember, however, that your Malinois may have separation anxiety, and you’ll want to keep your dog around for a couple of hours each day, even if that means letting him play in a park.

Aside from daily exercise, you’ll want to socialize your Malinois puppy with other dogs in the neighborhood. You’ll want to show your dog a non-threatening tone to other dogs and give him praise when he does good work.

Adding these two things will help to curb his aggression and help him develop a positive image among others. And once you’ve trained your Malinois, don’t stop working on teaching your pup how to behave.


If you are looking for a family pet, then a Malinois is the perfect fit.

malinois dog breed

Their body is described as square, with a head that is proportionate to their body size. The coat of the Malinois is water-resistant and easy to groom.

It sheds lightly but heavily twice a year. It is best to talk with your breeder or veterinarian about feeding your Malinois to ensure that it gets the proper nutrition and exercise.

The size of a Malinois is slightly smaller than a German Shepherd. Their smaller size is a result of their lighter bone structure. The Malinois stands with its weight on its toes, rather than its back.

This is the main difference between the German Shepherd Dog and the Malinois. They are both fawn-colored, with black tips on their ears. They are medium-sized dogs, weighing anywhere from 65 to 85 pounds.

Male and female Belgian Malinois are similar in size, with females weighing around 55-80 pounds. Both breeds are compact and sturdy, and they are a good choice for people who like to spend time outside.

malinois dog breed

They are energetic and protective, and they can be an excellent choice for people who like to work in the yard. Their short coats allow them to be lightweight, yet still, maintain a large level of obedience.

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The Belgian Malinois is an athletic-looking breed that reaches full adult size around 18 months. At full adult size, the Belgian Malinois can reach its full height and weight. They are usually in their mid-seventeens and eighteen to twenty-four months.

They are considered medium-sized dogs, and they can be confused with German Shepherds. Depending on the breed, the Malinois may have the same adult height as a German Shepherd.


If you have been thinking of adopting a Malinois Dog but have not yet gotten around to it, there are many great options out there.

malinois dog breed

There are rescue organizations and breeders and rehoming malinois dog shelters. You can also take a look at the Malinois Rescue League, a relatively new organization dedicated to rescuing malinois dogs and rehoming them to loving families.

They take in dogs in need of a home and have foster homes around the country. Rescue organizations are the best place to start looking for a Malinois dog. Malinois dogs are incredibly trainable and some of the best competitors in obedience.

Therefore, owners need to spend a great deal of time training their dogs and finding fun activities for them to do daily. Otherwise, they may begin to develop behavioral issues.

Because of their work-intensive lifestyle, Malinois must be active and busy throughout the day. The Malinois Rescue Committee is comprised of volunteers, coordinators, and foster families.

They are always ready to help identify a Malinois in need and answer any questions you might have. The committee will also help you find a Malinois that best suits your lifestyle.

malinois dog breed

It is important to note that the committee is not exclusively composed of Malinois, but includes other breeds as well. As with any other breed, rehoming a Malinois dog is an excellent choice for people with experience with dogs.

You can adopt one at a local shelter, breed rescue group, or breeder. If you adopt a Malinois dog from a shelter, make sure you read its description carefully to learn all the information about the breed before adopting it.

When rehoming a dog from an animal shelter, make sure to ask about its temperament. This breed is known for its strong protective instincts.

Questions People Also Ask: (FAQs)


What makes the Belgian Malinois stand out among dog breeds?

The Belgian Malinois stands out for its exceptional intelligence, high energy levels, and versatility. Known for its work ethic, this breed excels in various roles, including police work, search and rescue, and as a loyal family companion.


What are the key characteristics that potential owners should be aware of when considering a Belgian Malinois?

Prospective owners should be aware of the Malinois’ high intelligence, need for regular exercise and mental stimulation, strong loyalty, and protective instincts. Understanding these traits is crucial for providing the right environment and training for a happy and well-balanced Malinois.

How can one effectively train and socialize a Belgian Malinois?

Training a Belgian Malinois involves positive reinforcement, consistency, and early socialization. These dogs respond well to clear leadership and thrive in environments where they are exposed to various people, animals, and situations from a young age.


What type of living environment suits the Belgian Malinois?

The Belgian Malinois can adapt to various living environments, including urban settings, as long as they receive ample exercise and mental stimulation. Owners should be prepared for an active lifestyle, including regular outdoor activities and interactive play.


What health considerations should Malinois owners keep in mind?

Common health considerations for the Belgian Malinois include potential issues such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and thyroid issues. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and responsible breeding practices can contribute to the overall health and well-being of the breed.

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