Belgian Malinois – A Complete Guide To The Belgian Malinois Dog Breed With Pictures

Belgian Malinois

Ever wondered how Belgian Malinois dogs have continued to enjoy a steady growth in popularity across the globe? For a country dog best known for her loyalty?

This native Belgian dog is one of the four Belgian shepherd that is loved for their loyalty and friendliness. On top of that, it is versatile. 

This means that this dog is not limited to things it can do as compared to other dogs. 

Belgian Malinois dog breeds are avid swimmers, endurance runners (runs for long periods of time) and keen hunting dogs. 

All these characteristics shows that the Belgian Malinois is a very active dog and strong-willed dog.  

Often mistaken for a German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois dog breed is not connected or directly related to the German shepherd dog breed. 

If you live in an apartment complex, you need a quiet dog that rarely barks, and the Belgian Malinois dogs are hyperactive and not suitable for apartment living

And, if you are a home bird who loves to curl up on the sofa for a Netflix binge-watching, Belgian Malinois is not your ideal dog breed. 

The Belgian Malinois demands intense activity levels, who do not suffer lazy pet owners.

Are the Belgian Malinois friendly dogs?

Yes! Belgian Malinois dog breeds are indeed one of the medium to largest dog breed known for their playful and friendliness in the canine kingdom, but only to people that they know. 

They like playing with everyone in the family, even kids who have been trained to handle large dog breeds of this temperament.

However, caution must always be taken every time young kids are left to handle such a hyperactive dog. 

In any case, they should always be kept under minimal supervision if they are playing with either young adults or very small children as they may unintentionally knock the kids over.

Does Belgian Malinois make good guard dogs?

Because Belgian Malinois are such loyal dogs, they tend to be overprotective of their owners when they see a stranger. Unlike the quite dogs that rarely bark, Belgian Malinois have an intimidating presence paired with a loud bark which, on its own, can scare away an intruder or predators like Coyotes. 

So, are Belgian Malinois good guard dogs? 

Yes, Belgian Malinois make excellent watchdogs who will guard and protect you and your home.

Most of these dogs are widely used to guard estates as well. This means you can leave your house with a peace of mind- knowing that burglars will not even attempt to come into your compound.

Quick Facts About The Belgian Malinois Breed

  • Weight: 49 to 66 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
  • Height: 22 to 26 inches

The Belgian Malinois originated in Belgium and named after a city called Malines.

 It was initially bred as a working dog, and as a result, the Belgian Malinois became a multi-skilled dog that could do anything to keep up to its master’s needs. 

History of the breed

As an overview, the Belgian Malinois dog breed originated and named after the city of Malines. It was bred by competently trained breeders whose goal was mainly to produce a working dog. 

Belgian Malinois are widely used in the law and enforcement as well as a military service dog for detecting explosives, while police use them to track humans who were suspects and also in search and rescue operations. 

Breeders needed a dog that would be strong, obedient, and one that would have a great sense of smell that would enable it to track efficiently, and they got pretty much what they wanted. 

After this breed was first produced, people were amazed by what it could do, and it wasn’t long before the Belgian Malinois dog breed grew in popularity across the world. 

In the year 2011, the Malinois breed was a preferred choice for use as a war dog in an operation in which Osama Bin Laden was tracked and killed. 

This not only shows the amount of trust the army put in the Malinois but also that this dog is very skilled and easily trained which makes it reliable.

Today, a lot of these dogs are still used as working dogs in the Military where they detect bombs and track down people for search and rescue teams. 

The TV hit shows “The SEAL Team” whose Amazon CBS Prime Video 7 Day FREE trial is available here, also use the Belgian Malinois dog breed as the tracking lead dog which is seen going into the rooms before the SEAL Team cast goes in. 

But that’s not all! This dog breed is also currently used by the US Secret service to guard the white house.

So, if you thought that the Belgian Malinois is your average dog, now you know that ’s one fantastic breed. 

Besides that, they are kept by many families as pets and they make excellent companions. Its other names are Mechelse Herder, Mechelse Scheper and Mechelse Schaper. 

The Belgian Malinois Physical Appearance

If you have ever wondered what a Belgian Malinois looks like, you are not alone! 

In fact, at your first glance at the Belgian Malinois, you would probably mistake it for a German shepherd as there is a close resemblance between Belgian Malinois and German shepherd.

So, What does a Belgian Malinois look like?

The Belgian Malinois is a medium-sized Belgian shepherd dog that has a double-layer of shorthaired, fawn-colored dog coat. 

To their muzzle, the Belgian Malinois comes with a black mask that is distinctly prominent for the Belgian shepherd breed. 

All in all, Belgian Malinois breeds are easy to recognize and distinguish from other dogs such as German shepherd. 

The Belgian Malinois is synonymous with their brown-ish/ sand-looking short coat which, in some breeds has a black or fawn color. 

Along with that, they have a black muzzle as well as black ears. 

Male dogs are much larger in size and they weigh heavier than female Belgian Malinois breeds. 

Females’ height range from 22 inches to about 24 inches while the male Belgian Malinois’ height ranges from 24 inches up to as high as 26 inches. 

In terms of weight, the males have a weight range of 55 pounds to 66 pounds while in females, the weight usually ranges from 49 pounds to 55 pounds.

The Belgian Malinois Temperament: Are Belgian Malinois Aggressive?

On paper, Belgian Malinois look frighteningly intimidating. However, they are gentle dogs with kids and family members. Besides being a typically aloof if not an outgoing type of a dog breed, Belgian Malinois are fearless, shy but not aggressive.

These dogs have so much of an active history for them not to be active dogs.

 If you come across a Belgian Malinois that is lazy, that probably is not a Malinois. These dogs are very athletic and can play all day. 

If you do not have an active lifestyle yourself, I suggest that you start looking for another dog. 

This is because active dogs like these need to be exercised regularly to drain away some of their energy. Some dog owners may find this to be too much work. 

More Characteristics of this breed

Belgian Malinois are hard-working 

This is the type of dog that are very determined and strong-willed in what they do. They always like to be given something to do, and they accomplish it. 

 Belgian Malinois are Intelligent And Easy Dogs To Train

The concept is that the more intelligent the breed is, the more it will be easy for it to remember its training and commands. 

Generally, if the dog is able to easily remember and perform tricks then that dog is easy to train.

Belgian Malinois are prone to boredom and do well when they have ample space to roam and prance.

Here when we say ample space, we are talking about you the space that the dogs can roam. 

Before you buy your own Malinois, consider moving to a place where your dog will have a lot of space to play around the house-preferably having a tall fence around that compound. 

With that being said, they are not suitable for you is you live in a small place or an apartment. 

Food Requirements For Belgian Malinois

Food is an important part to be considered if you want to keep your canine companion for a longer life. 

The Malinois must be given a food that provides a balance of nutrients depending on the dog’s age and activity levels- consider introducing your dog to a balanced diet. 

Water must always be made available for your dog to drink. 

It’s best to buy a water bowl and always make sure that it is clean to avoid any diseases and reactions that may occur as a result of drinking contaminated water. 


Because the Belgian Malinois is a working dog, it will need a diet that has more proteins as compared to other dogs. 

The right proportion of proteins should be about 28% of their overall diet. You can also supplement that through protein-containing treats, especially during exercises.

Do they need to be exercised?

The Belgian Malinois is an active dog that needs regular exercises. 

Exercises not only keep the dog healthy, they also drain their energy and makes them happy.

 If these dogs are bored, they can develop a destructive behavior that you probably will not like. 

They also like to play sports so this is the dog that can participate in activities like agility trails, biking or even hiking. You can take this dog out with you and play games like fetch. 

A walk down the street and back is not enough for these dog. If you like running for miles then you can definitely take this dog with you. 

It is the ultimate physical exercise you will ever need to do. In addition to the physical exercises, you must also mentally exercise your dog. 

How often do they need to be groomed?

Although they require grooming, they certainly do not require it as frequent as other dog breeds. Their coat sheds twice a year during shedding seasons. 

They need to be brushed a lot more during these seasons to remove the dead fur on their skin and prevent you from vacuuming it later in your house. 

Besides that, the Belgian Malinois breeds need to be bathed at least once a month and be brushed weekly to reduce the amount of dander on their skin. 

Also, when brushing them, check for any signs of skin infection because Malinois dogs are known to develop that kind of conditions at times. 

The dog’s nails must also be clipped once a month to keep the dog looking good.

Health Concerns

In reality, we all want a dog that won’t make us spend too much money at the vet. You will be happy to know that the Belgian Malinois is not one of the dogs that has too many health problems. 

However, most of these dogs are known to have a few health issues when they are at an old age. 

Hip Dysplasia

This attacks the hip joint and causes the dog to become lame- it is basically joint arthritis for dogs. Although it is a common disease that occurs to Malinois breeds, its occurrences have decreased other the last decade. 

Once you notice any signs or symptoms that might indicate arthritis, take your dog to the vet immediately so that it can get an early treatment. 

The main symptom is a change in the way your dog walks because it feels pain in its joint. Some symptoms hit so severely that the dog is not able to walk at all. 


Another health issue associated with these breed is cataracts. This is an eye problem which causes the dogs eyes to become cloudy. This impairs the dog’s vision. 

The good news is that cataracts are treatable if the symptoms are noticed early. 

Waiting only makes the cloudiness of the eyes to worsen, which can eventually lead to blindness. 


A Belgian Malinois breed’s lifespan ranges from 10 all the way to 15 years. Some even live longer if they are fed well and properly cared for.