Belgian Malinois Dog Breed: What You Need to Know

belgian malinois

Often mistaken as a small German Shepherd, it’s actually part of the Belgian sheepdog family and the Belgian Malinois is one of the most obedient dogs you’ll ever meet. That’s one of the reasons this lovely breed is so popular in so many homes. One of the most desirable traits in any dog is one that listens, learns and behaves well when his or her owners provide instruction. No one wants a dog that does not listen or respect its owner; it’s one of the biggest reasons so many dogs are surrendered each year – that and many owners are unaware of how they have to behave and treat their animals if they want them to listen. However, the Belgian Malinois is a very determined dog with a lot of love for its humans.

If you are looking into the Belgian Malinois as a breed for your family, you will want to get to know the breed as intimately as possible prior to bringing home the breed. Are you the right family for this particular dog? Is it the right dog for your family? Find out now with our comprehensive overview of this lovely animal and what it has to offer your family.

Personality and Temperament

The Belgian Malinois is a sweet dog with a very determined personality. It has a very bright outlook, and it listens well. In fact, your kids might learn a thing or two from how well this dog listens to its owners. One thing to consider with the Belgian Malinois is that it requires an owner with consistent training and a firm command, but not one who is harsh. Being too mean, overbearing or heavy-handed with this dog does not go over well, and the dog will learn to disobey and become a problem in the household. It very much requires a consistent relationship with a lovely owner.

If you do plan on bringing home the beautiful Belgian Malinois, it is imperative that you bring home a dog that you plan on socializing. Since it is a very protective breed, it can easily become wary of strangers and unkind to all people not living in your home. Since we assume you are not a hermit who does not ever have guests, it’s a good idea to get your dog used to those around you so that it responds favorably to strangers rather than with fear and resentment. This is a dog that is great with kids, provided it is properly socialized around kids.

A herding dog by nature, the Belgian Malinois is a dog that might spend hours and hours playing at your feet in an attempt to herd you as often as possible. It’s a dog that does enjoy spending quality time with its owners and it does love to learn. It’s highly intelligent, so it catches on quite quickly to anything that you might want to teach the dog, and it does display overwhelming loyalty to its family. It’s all right with other animals, but it’s recommended you seek caution introducing this animal to smaller animals, and take care that your dog is not dominant with other dogs.

Lifestyle and Expectation

Once you get the Belgian Malinois home, what is it that you can expect from this breed? It’s not always going to be as easy as saying you can expect a dog that is like this or that, but there are some generalities you can expect with this breed once you do get it home. For one thing, you can expect that the Belgian Malinois will live to be around 14-years-old as 12-14 is the average lifespan for this breed. It’s also a larger dog that tends to stand around 26 inches tall and weighs around 65 pounds though many do grow a bit larger. Females are typically a bit smaller than males, too.

This is a very healthy breed, and that’s just another reason that so many people love the Belgian Malinois. As far as breed-specific health issues are concerned, there are none. The dog is very healthy in terms of its overall health, though it’s not unlikely that you might notice your dog experiences a few skin allergies or eye issues. If not properly socialized, it might even be on either end of the spectrum as far as being very shy or very aggressive. Your Belgian Malinois is just as likely as any other dog to develop any health issues, but it’s not overly likely to develop many health issues simply because of its breed, and genetic issues are virtually unheard of with the Belgian Malinois.

If you live in a small home or apartment, you might wonder if the Belgian Malinois is the right dog for you. It’s not a dog that does poorly in an apartment, but it needs to have ample exercise. It does require a very long walk every day, and some time to play in a yard or in a park will do wonders for this breed in terms of keeping it happy and well exercised. As far as grooming is concerned, you’re going to find that a regular brush with a tough bristle brush keeps your dog from shedding excessively at home by removing dead hair in the brush rather than on the furniture or carpet. It doesn’t require any frequent trips to the groomer, and bats are something that is only required when absolutely necessary and unavoidable.

Breed History

Not a very popular dog in the United States, the Belgian Malinois is very popular in Belgium. There it is found in most homes, and it is a dog that is revered with respect and love. The dog was developed in Belgium and used for herding, part of the Belgian sheepdog family. It’s been around for centuries, doing the same job time and time again. Because it is such an intelligent dog, it has always been very easy to teach and that is why so many people appreciate having this dog at home to handle their herding issues. That is just part of the reason that the Belgian Malinois is such a beloved dog.

Photo by Getty Images

One Response

  1. The old Sarge January 9, 2016

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