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  • Post published:28/04/2021
  • Post last modified:28/04/2021

I have always admired the Belgian Malinois Dog Breed even though I do not own one.

They are well built physically, smart, and very active. I did some research on the Malinois dog and I have a lot to share.

As you read on, you will find its history, personality, and more.

Let’s dive in!

Brief History

The origin of the Belgian Malinois Dog breed can be traced as far back as the 1880s.

At that time, Belgian shepherds together with German shepherds, French shepherds, and Dutch shepherds were called Continental Shepherd Dogs.

And the Malinois dog is a variety of the Belgian shepherd. It derived its name from its Belgian village, Mechelar.

When the Belgian Shepherd Dog Club was formed in 1891, the Malinois dog was distinguished because of its square, medium-sized form, and well-set triangular ears.

By 1892, the Belgian shepherd dog had three defined varieties: long coats, short coats, and rough coats with the Malinois dog falling under the short coat category.

This breed first appeared in the United States earlier in the 1900s. And the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1959.

Regarding popularity, the Malinois dog presently ranks 43 of 196 breeds in the AKC.

Moving on, we will see the physical characteristics and temperament of the Malinois dog.

Keep reading!

Physical Characteristics Of The Belgian Malinois Dog Breed

Overall, the Malinois dog is a well-sculpted and good looking dog.

It has the following unique features:

Head: the head features a very short coat. This dog has a black mask and square ears. The ears are black too.

Neck: the coat around the neck appears to be longer and tries to form a collarette.

Coat: this breed has a comparatively short and straight coat with a dense undercoat.

This shields the dog from harsh weather and the damp Belgian climate.

The coat is longer around the neck, on the tail, and backs of the thighs. It conforms to the dog’s body in a sleek manner without hanging down or standing out.

Generally, the coat of the Malinois dog has a rich fawn to mahogany colour with black tips on the hairs.

And since it is a double-coated breed, it sheds twice a year.

Legs: the coat around the legs is short. These legs are super strong to carry the weight of the dog even to jump heights.

Weight: male Malinois dogs weigh 55 to 75 pounds while the females weigh 40 to 60 pounds.

READ ALSO: Golden Retriever Dog Breed – History, Characteristics, Personality Traits & Care For Them

Height/size: the males are usually 24 to 26 inches tall while the females are 22 to 24 inches.

It is a medium-sized dog.

Belgian Malinois Dog Breed Information

Gait: the Malinois dog is quick and active. It has an elegant appearance as it carries its head and neck proudly.

When it stands tall, its legs seem to form a square with its topline.

This dog is properly balanced, well-muscled, alert, and full of energy.

Life Expectancy: 14-16 years

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The Belgian Malinois Dog breed has a very impressive personality.

It has protective and herding instincts. The dog is very determined and observant.

Therefore, this breed does very well as police/guard dogs. They are full of strength and love to be assigned tasks.

Furthermore, when the Malinois is properly socialized, he can make a great companion for his owner and accommodate visitors.

If you are looking to adopt this lovely breed, you must be willing to create time for him.

This dog loves to be busy. He is not the kind to be comfortable in a kennel.

To get the best out of the Malinois dog, it is vital to train him as a puppy.

Then as he grows, an adequate diet and regular exercise should not be missing from his schedule.

Also, this dog has a tendency to be aggressive and overbearing. As such, he requires a firm and confident leader.

Next, I shared some activities of this breed and how to care for them.

Tag along!

Activities Of The Belgian Malinois Dog Breed

Following its agile nature, the Malinois dog can engage in several relevant activities including:

  • Hunting
  • Dock diving
  • Police searches
  • Tracking events
  • Herding
  • Flyball
  • Dog agility trials
  • Showmanship
  • Protection sports like the Schutzhund

Impressively, the AKC awarded 39 new herding titles to Belgian Malinois in 2011.

And it is said that it was the Malinois dog that captured Osama bin Laden for his arrest.

Cool, right?


Needless to say, this breed requires proper care if they will stay at optimal health.

Listed below are different means to care for the Malinois dog:

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  1. Feeding

Daily, this dog should be given 2 to 3 cups of high-quality dry food.

The quantity you give your dog per meal will be determined by his size, age, metabolism, and activity level.

You can also ask your vet to help you identify any specific nutritional needs of your dog and how to go about it.

  1. Grooming

Beginning from the coat, your Malinois dog has a short-haired coat that is easy to clean.

Simply brush the coat regularly (2-3 times weekly) with a firm bristle brush.

If your dog is not dirty, there is no need for a bath. Bathing can remove the waterproofing of your Malinois coat.

You do not want your dog to get a cold. Do you?

Secondly, your Malinois’ teeth require daily cleaning if you can afford to. Or, you can brush his teeth 2 or 3 times a week.

This will help prevent tartar buildup and get rid of harmful bacteria.

Another area you should give attention to is his nails. Once you hear those nails beating on the floor, it is time to trim them.

Short clean nails mean a healthy condition for your dog’s feet. You are also safe from scratches when your dog jumps on you to say hello.

Moreover, it is important that you examine your dog daily. Check his eyes, nose, ears, skin, paw, etc.

Whenever you notice any disturbing changes, report to your vet for an immediate solution.

(Ps: always reward your dog after a cooperative grooming session).

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  • Exercise 

As we have already established, the Malinois is an outdoor dog that loves to work.

It would really hurt if you do not exercise this breed. So, take him for a long walk daily. He can go jogging with you as well.

And whenever it is safe, let him out of the leash.

If you can handle it, involve him in family fun time too.

It will also be great if you can map out a section of your yard for him to play off the leash.

To sum it up, always ensure your Malinois dog gets 20-30 minutes of exercise daily.

READ ALSO: How To Crate Train Your Dog

And they are never too young to play, it is natural for them.

  1. Living conditions

The Belgian Malinois prefers cool climates but can adapt well to others.

Also, he will not mind being indoors or outdoors so long as he gets enough exercise.

Providing him with an average-sized yard is not a bad place to start.

In the next section, I described the health problems associated with this breed.

Read on!

Health Problems Associated With The Belgian Malinois Dog Breed

The Belgian Malinois Dog is one of the healthiest dog breeds. They may not have any health problems if they are given adequate care.

However, there are minor health problems that may affect this breed. They include:

  1. Hip Dysplasia

This is a condition where the thigh bone fails to fit perfectly into the hip joint.

It can result from a fall or rapid growth from feeding on high-calorie foods.

Most times, affected dogs do not show any signs of discomfort.

But some dogs experience pain and even lameness on one or both rear legs.

And they may suffer arthritis as they age.

Hip dysplasia is discovered via x-ray screening and treated with surgery.

It is hereditary and as such, dogs with this condition should not be bred.

  1. Elbow Dysplasia

Here, the three bones in the dog’s elbow grow at different rates.

This causes joint laxity and affected dogs may experience painful lameness.

Elbow dysplasia is also a heritable condition. It can be corrected by surgery.

You can also administer pain relief medications.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

PRA is a degenerative eye disorder that can lead to blindness.

Blindness occurs when the photoreceptors at the back of the eye are lost.

Gladly, PRA can be detected during regular examinations by your vet before your dog begins to show any signs of blindness.

There is no treatment for this condition. But administering antioxidant supplements or vitamins can help reduce the stress on your dog’s eye lens.

It is also a hereditary condition.

  1. Anaesthesia Sensitivity

The Malinois dog is highly sensitive to anaesthesia. Due to their high muscle to fat ratio, the risk of death is high when these dogs are given anaesthesia.

Not sure whether you will adopt this breed? Read the next section to know my view.

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Is The Belgian Malinois Dog Breed A Good Pet?

Being a pet is not the first thing that comes to mind when the Malinois dog is mentioned.

This dog is fashioned for outdoor activities and may get aggressive while doing his work.

Malinois Dog

The Malinois dog breed is doing a great job in the police, army, and navy.

On the other hand, when the dog is raised as a pet from puppyhood, the chances of making a great companion are higher.

The dog is intelligent and easy to train. With a firm and confident owner, the Malinois dog can become very sociable.

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You can train your dog to behave well with kids, visitors, and other pets.


We have now come to the end of our discussion on the Belgian Malinois Dog Breed.

This dog is super active, intelligent, and ever ready to work. It will make an excellent guard dog and or homely pet (depending on the training he receives).

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Now over to you:

Would you adopt a Malinois dog?

Perhaps you already have one. What has it been like living with him?

Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments section right now. Also, share this article with your friends, thank you!

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