Dog Breed

Belgian Malinois

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Primary image of Belgian Malinois dog breed
Full Name
Belgian Malinois
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Life Span
14 - 16 years
45 - 70 pounds

An incredibly intelligent, devoted, and motivated dog, the Belgian Malinois has been a favorite amongst police forces around the world, and for good reason. They are motivated to not only please their owner but to perform a job that they can focus on. The Belgian Malinois has a medium build and is very fast and agile.

Their intelligence mixed with discipline and willingness to learn means that the Belgian Malinois can be a fantastic dog, but it also means they are more demanding. They need a strong leader who they are able to look up to and who they respect. They need both physical and mental challenges.

Bred For
    Family Considerations
    Child Friendly

    Is the Belgian Malinois good with children?

    Yes, the Belgian Malinois is very friendly with children. We still recommend introductions to children while they are young so they get used to them, but the Belgian Malinois naturally loves children.
    Stranger Friendly

    Is the Belgian Malinois friendly with strangers?

    The Belgian Malinois is about average in how friendly they are with strangers. They can be timid or protective, but with proper training and socialization can be fine for any household.
    Dog Friendly

    Is the Belgian Malinois friendly with other dogs?

    The Belgian Malinois is about average in how friendly they are with other dogs. They can be timid or defensive, but with proper training and socialization can be fine for dog parks and living with other dogs at home.
    Likes to Cuddle

    Does the Belgian Malinois like to cuddle?

    The Belgian Malinois likes to cuddle up every once in a while. They appreciate physical affection, but probably won't stay in your lap for extended amounts of time.

    Does the Belgian Malinois like to play?

    The Belgian Malinois is playful both as a puppy and as an adult dog. As they get older they may appreciate their alone time, and may not be in the mood for constant play, but certainly will have plenty of time for play as well.
    Service Dog Ability

    Does the Belgian Malinois make a good service dog?

    The Belgian Malinois is a common service dog. The Belgian Malinois is smart, dedicated, and patient. However, despite the Belgian Malinois being an excellent breed for service work, they must pass through an extensive training period and only some will be up for a life dedicated to service work.
    Overall Ease of Breed
    Ease for Novice

    Is the Belgian Malinois good for first-time owners?

    The Belgian Malinois is not the easiest breed for first-time owners, but can certainly still work out if the owner is willing to put the time into training and exercise.
    Training Potential

    How well can the Belgian Malinois be trained?

    The Belgian Malinois can be trained to the highest level and is oftentimes seen in various competitions. The Belgian Malinois is not only intelligent, but it wants to please its owner and is motivated with competition, especially if it feels like it has a job assigned to it.
    Amount of Shedding

    Does the Belgian Malinois shed a lot?

    The Belgian Malinois is an average shedder. Belgian Malinois owners will probably still tell you it's a lot of shedding, but certain breeds shed even more.
    Ease of Grooming

    Is the Belgian Malinois easy to groom?

    The Belgian Malinois requires some grooming, but less than the average dog breed. Typically you will not need to take the Belgian Malinois to the pet salon, and occasional combing at home should be enough.
    Exercise Need

    Does the Belgian Malinois need a lot of exercise?

    The Belgian Malinois needs a daily exercise partner! The Belgian Malinois is best suited for a family where it will get plenty of daily exercise; it has so much energy that exercise is mandatory to avoid destructive behaviors.

    How smart is the Belgian Malinois?

    The Belgian Malinois is one of the smartest dog breeds. Having a very smart dog is fun, but it is also demanding- they require mental challenge and stimulation just as much as physical exercise.
    Amount of Barking

    How much does the Belgian Malinois bark? Does the Belgian Malinois bark too much?

    The Belgian Malinois barks a lot. This is important to consider with your living situation- will it be ok when you leave them at home alone or will they disrupt the neighbors? The Belgian Malinois will oftentimes bark just to express their thoughts... even just to be heard!
    Guard Dog Ability

    Is the Belgian Malinois a good guard dog?

    The Belgian Malinois can serve as an excellent guard dog. It is both physically intimidating and also enjoys having a "job" to protect its family and property.
    Tolerates Being Alone

    Is the Belgian Malinois good at staying alone? Is the Belgian Malinois independent?

    The Belgian Malinois does not enjoy being left alone for extended periods. They can do well for a couple of hours alone, but may have anxiety for time beyond that.
    Home and Environment Considerations
    Good for Apartment Living

    Is the Belgian Malinois a good apartment dog?

    The Belgian Malinois is not a good dog for apartment living for several reasons. It is still possible to make it work if the owner is dedicated to plenty of training and daily exercise, but it may be challenging.

    How big is the Belgian Malinois?

    The Belgian Malinois is a medium sized dog breed. They can range in size depending on genetics, and males are larger on average than females.
    Tolerates Heat

    How much does the Belgian Malinois tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a Belgian Malinois?

    The Belgian Malinois can tolerate hot weather well. They still prefer having some variation and a cool space to sleep, but overall they can do well in warm climates.
    Tolerates Cold

    How much does the Belgian Malinois tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a Belgian Malinois?

    The Belgian Malinois can tolerate cold weather well. Play time in the snow or on particularly cold evenings may need to be limited, but overall they can do well in cold climates.
    Potential to Run Away

    Does the Belgian Malinois try to run away?

    The Belgian Malinois has huge wanderlust, meaning that it's natural for them to want to run away. They are known as escape artists. It's important to test your yard and have a tall fence that cannot be jumped or climbed over. Sometimes the Belgian Malinois is not well suited for being off-leash, even if they are well trained.
    Physical Characteristics
    General Health

    Is the Belgian Malinois a healthy dog? The health of a Belgian Malinois should be measured not just by how many years they live, but also by how many health issues they've had. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

    The Belgian Malinois is very healthy, but it is still important to feed the Belgian Malinois high-quality food and to live a healthy lifestyle.
    Energy Level

    How energetic is the Belgian Malinois?

    It seems like the Belgian Malinois never runs out of energy. If you are looking for a 5 AM run partner, the Belgian Malinois is your dog! A dog's energy level is one of the most important considerations when getting a new dog, and we would only recommend the Belgian Malinois for a family where it will get plenty of exercise.
    Amount of Drooling

    How much does the Belgian Malinois drool?

    The Belgian Malinois drools an average amount- typically only after heavy exercise or if you are eating their favorite human food in front of them.
    Prey Drive

    Does the Belgian Malinois have a large prey drive? Does the Belgian Malinois like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals?

    The Belgian Malinois has a high prey drive and has a natural tendency to chase after any small animal. Every case is unique, but the Belgian Malinois may not be the best dog for living with other cats or small animals.

    Is the Belgian Malinois atheltic?

    The Belgian Malinois is a true athlete. The Belgian Malinois is both fast, strong, and has a ton of endurance that suits it well for runs, hikes, and even marathons!

Breed Variations

  • Image for the Black variation for dog breed


  1. Herding
  2. Shepherd / Sheepdog
  3. Belgian Malinois
The Belgian Malinois is a purebred dog that belongs to the Shepherd / Sheepdog sub group, which falls under the larger Herding dog breed group.
Herding group: The Herding group dogs all share an instinctual ability to control the movement of other animals. They have traditionally been raised on farms to help herd and protect valuable livestock. They are intelligent, and have been bred to treat each day like they have a "job" they must do. Their innate herding ability is such a big part of who they are, that they are known to even "herd" their owners, children, or other small dogs. Some can seem stubborn and even obsessed with their herding, since they take it seriously! They have high expectations, and must be stimulated mentally just as much as physically. The reward to these "high expectations" is that they can be trained very well, and are oftentimes used in competitions. Certain breeds such as the well known German Shepard are also used by Police forces, because of their discipline, intelligence, and ability to be trained.
Shepherd / Sheepdog sub-group: Shepherd dogs are the super performers of the dog world. For many generations they have served their owners by performing their job of helping in the farm- guarding, protecting, and herding. Shepherds were bred based off intelligence and temperament, and willingness to serve their families. Today they are excellent family dogs, but also excel as military service animals, emotional therapy dogs, and in competitive obedience competitions. They are highly trainable and intelligent, but that does not necessarily mean they are an easy dog or optimal for first time owners. With this potential comes greater responsibility from the owner. They need a firm owner who is willing to stimulate them both physically and mentally from an early age. They need a leader. If they have one, you will be rewarded with one of the friendliest and most intelligent dogs in the World.

Belgian Malinoiss for adoption

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