Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois is originally a herding dog breed, which is a widely popular dog in Europe and the US. The Malinois is extensively used in protection and law enforcement for crime and police tasks like detecting odors of explosives, drugs, tracking criminals, in search works and rescue missions etc. They are highly sought after as police and military K-9s.


The Belgian Malinois canine breed is one of the varieties of the Belgian shepherd. All are named for Belgian villages: Groenendael, Laekenois, Mechelar (Malinois) and Tervuren. These dogs originated in the 1800s in Belgium and mainly served the purpose of sheepdogs.

Today the Malinois is popular military and a police dog and can be a good family companion in the right home. He ranks 76th among the breeds registered by the AKC.


A strong, well-built dog, the Belgian Malinois is squarely built, standing 22 to 26 inches. These medium-large sized dogs have a well-proportioned and elegant body.

They have a short and straight coat, hard enough to be weather resistant, with a dense undercoat. Its coat may be fawn, red and mahogany—with or without black tips.

It has a powerful, flat-topped head with a sharp muzzle, black nose and triangle-shaped straight up ears. Its dark brown eyes have an alert expression. It has a thick neck, level back and a low-hanging tail.

Shedding: Belgian Malinois is a moderate shedder. However, it sheds heavily only twice every year.

Belgian Malinois Pictures

Quick Information

NameBelgian Malinois
Other NamesBelgian Shepherd Dog, Malinois
ColorBlack, black and tan, gray
CoatDouble coat, fine, wired, flat or straight.
Breed TypePurebred
Breed GroupHerding Group
SizeMedium - Large
Hieght22 to 26 inches
Weight60-80 pounds
Life Span/Life Expentancy14-16 Years
TemperamentSmart, Intelligent, Confident,Loyal, Responsive, Alert
SheddingModerate, Seaonal
Barking LevelModerate
Energy LevelVery Active & Energetic
Good with ChildrenNo
Good with Other DogsSupervision Reqd
Litter Size6-10 puppies at a time
Competitive Registration/Qualification InformationCKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, NKC, NZKC, ANKC, APRI, ACR, DRA, NAPR

Temperament & Behavior

The Belgian Malinois is intelligent and easily trainable breed. They are a loyal, obedient, committed, friendly and affectionate friend. These active canines are highly energetic and terrific at search and rescue, agility, and pretty much anything else you can train him.

They are good with children and would socialize well if taught from puppy hood days. These dogs need extensive socialization from puppy days, and firm, but not harsh, training. It truly thrives on love, and affection, and tasks.

Owing to their territorial traits and herding behavior like chasing,
circling, are often seen in them. Owing to their aggressive and preying characteristics, Malinois are not recommended for first-time dog owners with little or no experience. They prefer cool climates but adapt well to warmer environments.

Care ~ Exercise

These working dogs are very energetic and need plenty of exercises, long walk, jogs, and outdoor activities for them to be mentally and physically stimulated and fit.

Malinois make a great running, hiking, and biking companion, and they excel at agility, herding, and tracking making outstanding working dogs.

These dogs enjoy many games and are huge fans Frisbee and fetch games and are happy to develop a closer bond with their owner.


The Malinois is a moderate maintenance dog. The short, smooth, and waterproof coat of the Malinois are easy to groom and take care of. Brushing occasionally with a medium-bristle brush will keep the dog looking his best, distributes skin oils throughout the coat and promote new hair growth too. Since they shed twice a year, during that time brush him daily with a slicker brush will help to remove the loose and tangled hair.

Like other grooming regimes, trim the nails as needed, usually every few weeks. Brush the teeth frequently for high overall health and fresh breath. Bathe him only when needed.

Health Problems

The Belgian Malinois is generally healthy and hardy dogs with a lifespan of 12-14 years. But like all breeds, they’re prone to certain health conditions. These purebred dogs may suffer from minor physical or mental problems including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, eye problems, skin allergies, excessive aggressiveness, etc.

These canines are sensitive to anesthesia. Gather health history of the puppies’ parents from their breeders.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club

  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation


The Belgian Malinois is a highly intelligent and trainable breed. However, they may be stubborn at times and need a confident owner who can command and lead him.

These dogs are hyperactive when training them, and you need to spend a lot of time outdoors as they require a lot of physical and mental stimulation.

Positive reinforcement mixed with affirmative obedience training is the perfect blend for a well-trained Belgian Malinois.

Early socialization from puppy days and obedience training are a must since their adulthood behavior & temperament depends on how good the puppy was trained.


These dogs are highly active and do well on high-quality dog food which is rich in nutrients whether commercial or homemade.

You can work out a diet under the veteran’s guidance which is appropriate for the dog’s age and size (puppy, adult, or full-grown).

The recommended daily amount for a Belgian Malinois is 2-3 cups of high-quality dry food per day, given in 2-3 portions in a day. They are meat dogs and love to eat plenty of meat, and hence, a bone per week or an oxtail suit should suffice their craving.

Do note, they have fast metabolisms, so they may often require more than expected feed. They have a tendency to gain weight, so watch the calories intake for your pooch and do not go overboard with the treats.

Clean, fresh drinking water should be available at all times.

Belgian Malinois Puppies Images

Video: Belgian Malinois, Amazing Athlete

Interesting Trivia

  • The Malinois is one of four Belgian herding dogs that are all considered varieties of a single breed in their homeland.
  • These dogs have served with such distinction that the Fayetteville, North Carolina, memorial to military dogs features a life-size bronze of a Belgian Malinois.

Belgian Malinois vs German Shepherd vs Dutch Shepherd Dog Breeds

People who are not familiar with the Malinois often confuse him with the German Shepherd Dog (GSD), but there are considerable differences in the body and temperament of the two breeds.

Point of Difference Belgian Malinois
German Shepherd Dutch Shepherd
Height; Weight

24-26 inches; 65-75 pounds 26-26 inches; 85-100 pounds 22-25 inches; 50-70 pounds
Coat Type Fine, wire Medium Long, Flat
Group Herding Herding & Working Herding
Hypoallergenic Breed No No No
Shedding Seasonal Constant Seasonal
Temperament Loyal, Alert, Responsive, Intelligent, Independent Loyal, Alert, Intelligent, Loyal, Alert, Responsive, Intelligent, Independent
Life-Span 11-13 Years 9-13 Years 12-15 Years

If you pet a Belgian Malinois, please share your experiences in the comments section below. Let us know how you got one, from a breeder or a rescue shelter!!