Belgian Malinois Dog Breed Guide | Dogs 101 – Belgian Malinois

When you see a Belgian Malinois, the first trait that comes to mind is they are extremely hardworking. You can see them walk tall and proud as they are handled by their trainers. 

This is one of the hallmarks of the Belgian Malinois breed. They carry their head proudly as their sharp, black ears point sky-high and their soulful, questioning eyes observe their surroundings. You’ll know how eager these dogs are to learn, to train, and to go on adventures. 

These are not the only characteristics that make them stand out from the rest. 

The Belgian Malinois is a squarely-built breed and an alert herder that can live up to 14 years. Their bodies are strong and well-muscled in an elegant and accentuated way. Sadly, these dogs are underemployed and neglected in some areas. If people only knew how outstanding they are as partners, comrades, and companions, more individuals will want to have one. 

However, not everybody can handle this breed. If you’re planning to have your own Belgian Malinois, here are facts and concepts you need to know first:


The Belgian Malinois originated from Belgium, specifically in the city of Malines where trainers and breeders raised and developed them. Hence, the Malinois name. 

It is a variety of the Belgian shepherd breed, developed in the late 1800s when they were initially registered as the Chien de Berger Belge in Belgium and France. 

The breed came to the United States in the early 1900s and immediately gained popularity. They were raised and trained as military working dogs during the First World War. Soldiers and enforcers found they are excellent in military operations!

Although the enthusiasm for Belgian Malinois declined during the Great Depression, it regained its spotlight in the 1950s and 1960s as it was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). 

By the time the 21st Century started, Belgian Malinoises were popularized for police and military companionship, specifically for drug detection and search and rescue operations. 

If you hear stories about Belgian Malinoises taking the bullet for their partners, that’s how loyal and patriotic these dogs are. They will risk their lives to protect their comrades in battle. Don’t fret! I’m sure they are equipped with body armors and night vision goggles to assist them in battle. 

Other Names

Its other names aside from the Belgian Malinois include:

  • Pastor Belga Malinois
  • Mechelse Herder
  • Mechelse Scheper
  • Mechelaar
  • Mechelse Schaper.

Whichever country you belong, I’m sure you heard any of these versions of the Malinois name. 


Criminals and offenders are terrified when Belgian Malinoises are involved in siege operations. You can only imagine a large, trained dog to attack you on sight. The male Malinois can grow up to 26 inches in height with a weight range of 55-75 pounds. The females, on the other hand, can reach up to 24 inches in height and 40-60 pounds in weight. 


Despite the common trend, the Belgian Malinois is not only for herding and law enforcement. With an experienced handler, they are intelligent, protective, and athletic. They easily get bored and tend to get destructive during these times.

They need constant and strenuous reinforcement and exercise. Otherwise, they will not achieve their full potential. If you have a sedentary lifestyle and you have an inconsistent routine, this breed might not be suited for you. 

Pet Compatibility

Belgian Malinoises are more sensitive than other breeds. They don’t tolerate noisy and chaotic households, especially if other dogs are barking towards them. They don’t socialize well with loud and rowdy dogs unless they have lived with them their whole lives. In this case, they develop some tolerance for it. Still, they have the knack to be aggressive, especially if they are irritated and agitated by other dogs. 

Other than that, they are one of the smartest breeds you will ever encounter. They are rated A++ in decision-making, focus, and intelligence. They can act on instinct. In cases of emergency, the Belgian Malinois will not hesitate to do his duties even without direct orders from his handlers. 

Belgian Malinoises are all over the news, saving drowning individuals, helping people during seizures, and diving into burning establishments to save others. This proves how outstanding this breed is in decision-making and problem-solving.


These breeds require high mental and physical stimulation. Without proper handling, they become restless and anxious. If this happens, they will spend their energy on disruptive activities such as biting, chewing, and digging. 

Poorly trained Malinoises display acts of aggression such as growling and snapping. If you think handling them is a piece of cake, think again. The discipline you observe on Belgian Malinoises is achieved through positive reinforcement and intensive training from experienced handlers. 

Besides brisk walks, they also need at least thirty to forty minutes of run time. When training a Malinois for the first time, be careful of their herding instinct while running or walking. They might snap cyclers or other joggers on their path. 

The longer you wait, the harder it becomes to train them. If you’re planning to have a Malinois, train them efficiently as early as possible. Better yet, seek assistance from an experienced handler to know the twists and turns of controlling the breed.

Family life

To control their aggression as early as possible, get them involved in family activities, even the simplest ones. Be it a walk in the park, grocery runs, hiking, biking, or playing fetch in the backyard, Belgian Malinois crave for these exercises. It’s also an excellent way to have them properly socialized. 

With regular training and stimulation, you can see how familial Belgian Malinoises are. They are protective of their family and friends. Plus, they are loving and devoted creatures. 

Children compatibility

The Belgian Malinois is amazing with children. If your kids love playing with dogs, these creatures are sturdy and patient enough to handle child plays. In fact, they are always game for hugs, cuddles, and kisses.

You might think visitors should get scared when there’s a Malinois around. Don’t worry, if your dog is properly socialized and introduced, they won’t display aggression to your guests. 

In fact, they know how to greet them properly with wagging tails and loving eyes. If you’re looking for a long term companion, the Belgian Malinois is ideal, provided they achieve their stimulation needs. 

Owning a Belgian Malinois

Like any other dog, the Belgian Malinois needs attention to maintain a healthy wellbeing. To care for this breed, you need to constantly check their skin, elbows, teeth, and ears for infection. 

On average, breeders spend $200 to $400 for dog food a year, not to mention veterinarian bills that could reach up to $300. I know it sounds overwhelming. But this does not compare to the love, protection, and devotion they will offer you and your family. 

Other than that, caring for Belgian Malinois is simple, especially in grooming. Regularly comb their hair using medium-sized bristles and check their nails to keep them dashing, bold, and attractive. 

There you have it! The Belgian Malinois is a highly-intelligent, athletic, and devoted creature. With proper handling, you can raise a proactive, caring, and sociable dog. Who knows? Maybe you could train them to do the groceries for you. 

With their intelligence and obedience, there are countless activities you can teach them. Prepare yourself for the ultimate companionship. What better way to enjoy life than with a devoted friend and an exceptional partner?

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