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Belgian Malinois


AKC Height:

22-26 inches

AKC Weight:

40-80 pounds


Rich fawn to mahogany, with black tips on the hairs, giving an overlay appearance. The mask and ears are black. The underparts of the body, tail, and breeches are lighter fawn.

Life Expectancy:

14-16 years


Herding Group

Belgian Malinois: The Vigilant and Versatile Working Dog

Welcome to the extensive guide on the Belgian Malinois, a breed esteemed for its intelligence, work ethic, and agility. This page offers an in-depth look at the Belgian Malinois, a breed renowned for its versatility in various roles, from police work to loyal companionship.

Physical Characteristics

  • Athletic and Strong Build: The Belgian Malinois is a medium to large breed known for its athletic build, enabling high levels of agility and endurance.
  • Distinctive Coat: They have a short and straight coat, typically fawn to mahogany in color, with black markings on the face and ears.

Temperament and Personality Belgian Malinois are known for their alertness, intelligence, and protective nature. They are extremely loyal to their families and are often reserved around strangers, making them excellent watchdogs.

Training and Exercise Needs

  • Training: Highly trainable and eager to please, the Malinois excels in obedience, tracking, and protection work. Early socialization and consistent, positive training are crucial.
  • Exercise: This breed requires a lot of physical activity to stay healthy and happy. Activities like running, agility sports, and advanced training are ideal.
  • Mental Stimulation: Their sharp minds need regular mental stimulation. Challenge their intelligence with advanced training and problem-solving activities.

Health and Nutrition

  • Diet: A balanced diet appropriate for their size and high energy level is essential. Consultation with a vet can help establish a healthy feeding routine.
  • Common Health Issues: Generally healthy, they can be prone to certain genetic conditions, including hip dysplasia. Regular health screenings and check-ups are important.

Grooming and Care

  • Coat Maintenance: Their coat is easy to maintain, requiring regular brushing to minimize shedding.
  • General Care: Routine health care practices such as dental hygiene, nail trimming, and ear cleaning are important.

Living with a Belgian Malinois

  • Family Life: They can be great family pets for active households. They are good with children and other pets if properly socialized.
  • Adaptability: Best suited for homes where they have space to exercise and play. They thrive with active engagement and tasks.
  • Companionship: Belgian Malinois form strong bonds with their owners and are best suited for those who can provide active engagement and leadership.

Responsible Ownership and Adoption

  • Selecting a Breeder: Choose a reputable breeder who provides health clearances and prioritizes the well-being of their puppies.
  • Adoption: Consider adopting from shelters or breed-specific rescues, as many Malinois are in need of loving homes.

Conclusion The Belgian Malinois, with its combination of intelligence, loyalty, and agility, is an excellent choice for active families or individuals seeking a high-energy and engaging canine companion. Their work ethic and versatility make them standout performers in various roles.


Puppies should be socialized and obedience trained at a young age. Belgian Malinois need a securely fenced yard with room to run and play. Twice-weekly brushing will help to control moderate shedding.


Active, alert and very trainable, the Belgian Malinois is a working dog that excels in agility, obedience, tracking, herding, police work and more. They are good watch dogs and are protective around children when raised with them, but it is always a good idea to supervise.

Belgian Malinois Housebreaking

Housebreaking the Belgian Malinois requires consistency on your part. Dogs are creatures of habit, and knowing the tips and tricks of training will make the process so much easier and less stressful.

Puppy Housebreaking     Adult Marking & Retraining

Find a Puppy: Belgian Malinois

If you are looking for a puppy or adult dog, please read our important information on choosing a puppy from a breeder and adopting a dog from a rescue. There are good dog breeders and good dog rescues and there are bad dog breeders and bad dog rescues. Our information will help you to make an informed decision and will give you tips on what to look for and what to avoid.

Pet shops are not the best place to look for a puppy. Dogs from pet shops often come from puppy mills, and puppy mill dogs are often kept in unhealthy conditions. The best way to end puppy mills is to rescue or buy from reputable sources.


The Belgian Malinois should only be fed high-quality dog food targeted toward the dog’s age, whether puppy, adult, or senior. Avoid cooked bones and food with high fat content. Talk to your veterinarian if you have concerns about your dog’s weight.


The Belgian Malinois is extremely eager to please their owners. At the very least, these dogs can benefit from learning basic commands, like sit, come, and stay. Because this breed is highly intelligent and easily bored, it is important to give them multiple challenging toys to keep this breed occupied.


(Click here for Health Dictionary)
Watch for: Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, PRA, and Epilepsy.