Belgian Malinois

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Belgian Malinois

Burly, strong and muscular, the Belgian Malinois is one of the most active and hardworking breeds, sometimes they are classified as Belgian Shepherd dog rather than a single breed. As they are intelligent, energetic and alert, Belgian Malinois are popular as police and military working dog for detection of odors, and search and rescue missions.

Other Names Belgian Shepherd Dog, Belgian Shepherd Dog Malinois, Malinois, Chien de Berger Belge
Color Fawn, Fawn Sable, Mahogany, Red, Red Sable
Height Males: 23-27 inches. Females: 21-25 inches.
Weight Males: 55-66 pounds. Females: 44-55 pounds.
Life Span 14-16 years
Personality Confident, Smart, Hardworking
Exercise Energetic
Popularity #41
Groom Needs Weekly
Kids Friendly Yes with supervision
Dog Friendly Yes with supervision
Watch Dog
Family Dog
Litter Size 6-10

Belgian Malinois Pictures

Belgian Malinois Video


It’s not a name that people hear a lot of, this hardworking, loyal Belgian Malinois. Some people get confused with them and the German Shepherd, as they are pretty similar; however, the German Shepherds are bigger and are more heavily boned than the Malinois. You say the word Malinois like this “Mal-In-Wa”. Today, they are dogs of action and many of them can be found with the elite group, the Navy SEALS. Can you remember the brave dog, Cairo? He was the dog that helped the SEALS take down Osama bin Laden in 2011. Isn’t that incredible! He had his own special doggy armor and night vision goggles to help him do a sterling job! The Malinois weighs in at around 75 lbs, and his height is about 26 inches at the shoulders. Being a very energetic dog, he needs at least 40 minutes a day of exercising. He has a short coat with a rich fawn color with black-tipped hairs. These dogs aren’t kennel dogs; they want nothing more than to be with their people. He can be hyperactive and intense so he needs the training to tolerate kids. It is imperative to teach kids to behave properly around dogs. This breed has a high herding instinct as well.

Living with Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois’ short, waterproof coat is easy to groom, brushing a few times a week with a medium-bristle brush, a rubber grooming mitt or tool, or a hound glove can keep your dog neat. They shed twice a year, a daily brush could help remove and loose hair and promote new hair growth. And a bath once a month can keep Belgian Malinois clean and smelling pleasant. 

Also, you need to brush Belgian Malinois’ teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is better to keep fresh breath and prevent gum disease. 

Check their ears and gently clean with a mild cleanser once a week to prevent wax buildup and ear infections.

Trim their nails regularly to avoid the dog pain as well as walking and running problems. 

A healthy Belgian Malinois requires several hours of vigorous exercise every day. Daily walks are not enough for this highly active and intelligent herding breed, it needs a lot of exercise opportunities, at least one and a half hours per day. Plenty of exercise, perfectly side by side with the owners, is good for the breed’s health and pleasure both in body and spirit.

If you like to hike or jog, Belgian Malinois is a great companion, and if you are a big fan of exercise, it is a fantastic choice for you. Also, they excel at agility, tracking, herding, obedience, and Schutzhund (protection) competitions. 

Generally, Belgian Malinois require two to three cups of high-quality dry dog food per day, divided into two meals. Importantly, the food amount needs to vary depending upon the size, weight, activity level, and age of your dog. And there should be clean and fresh water at all times. 

As a big-sized dog breed, Belgian Malinois may require to consume a bunch of meat, the owner needs to watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, don’t give too many to your dog because it may cause obesity. 

You need to know that Belgian Malinois actually has a light frame, though it looks relatively big, and if you are deceived by his big size, it is able to overfeed your dog and cause obesity.

Belgian Malinois may be prone to the following conditions: Elbow dysplasia, Cataracts, Pannus, Progressive retinal atrophy…

Minor concerns: CHD, elbow dysplasia

Occasionally seen: pannus, PRA, cataract, hemangiosarcoma

Suggested tests:

Elbow Evaluation

Hip Evaluation

Ophthalmologist Evaluation

Total Annual Cost: $3239

Cost is estimated for the first year and may vary depending on many factors, such as dog food, health care, leash, collar, licensing, possible fencing, crates, training and obedience classes, dog-walking, grooming, treats, toys, flea, tick, and heart-worm meds, microchips, etc.

Like most herding breeds, the Belgian Malinois is always attracted by moving objects and have a high prey driving force. This trait may lead to chasing children, vehicles, or other animals, so early socialization and obedience training are must for Belgian Malinois. 

Besides, advanced obedience and dog sports training are important for Belgian Malinois, because they need plenty of mental stimulation and exercise. And they can excel in canine sports such as rally, flyball, tracking, and Frisbee. More importantly, Belgian Malinois will have territorial awareness and fear of strangers if they are not properly raised; they will become uncooperative if they do not receive obedience training. Once Belgian Malinois was raided with proper training, there are few dogs that are more loyal and obedient than Belgian Malinois.


This breed was developed long ago in the Belgian city of Malines – it’s named after its birthplace. 

The Belgian Malinois first arrived in the USA around 1911. This breed came rather prevalent during the Great Depression, and then more enthusiasm grew for it in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was first recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1959. When they came to the US, people heard in police circles that five magnificent Belgian sheepdogs had been added to the police force of New York City. Being relatively new to the USA, it was the first time some people heard them mentioned. 

Years later, this magnificent dog is a top breed that is chosen by police departments all over the country. They’re used to this type of work because they started their military career during World War I when they were assistants to the Red Cross. Because they are lighter than German shepherds they are favored for many military operations, even being trained to jump from parachutes. 

In 2011, Eva Mendes had a nasty stalker but her magnificent Malinois, Hugo, kept her feeling safe and secure. 

These magnificent creatures are now employed as well by the Secret Service to patrol the White House grounds. Who wouldn’t want to salute this magnificent dog breed?

Helpful Information


Breed Club Link:

Breed Club Rescue: ABMR (American Belgian Malinois Rescue, Inc)

Breed Club Rescue Link: