Belgian Malinois 

Breed History

Belgian Malinois puppy

Medium to large size working dog that is from Belgian. Intelligent, muscular, athletic, and strong prey drive is what most would describe about this breed. Excellent in herding, tracking, agility, and obedience training with a strong work drive.

One of four Belgian Sheepdogs Most of the difference between these breeds comes from different hair colors, texture, and how long it is. Being so similar they have the same breed standard in some Kennel Clubs for four different breeds.

Their name, Malinois, comes from Malines which is a city in Mechelen, France. At this location it is known that the breed standard began and they’ve the privilege of being named after the city.

First documentation of the breed in America is with the New York Police force in 1908. Soon as they came to the states, they were here working helping a police department.

A larger amount of imports would happen in 1911. Police and Military K-9 dogs are known to be German Shepherds, but it is hard to find a Police force without a Belgian Malinois.

Separation from other Sheepdogs in 1959 with the American Kennel Club and they’ve been their own breed for decades now.


Belgian Malinois is known all over the world and have registration internationally and with all the major kennel clubs. Some Kennel Clubs choose to only acknowledge all Belgian Sheepdogs consisting of four dogs.

Others have a different approach and choose to have them separate listing the differences they all have which is small at best.

Here are the major Kennel Clubs that recognize this breed.


Male Height: 24-26 inches

Female Height: 22-24 inches

Male Weight: 65-75 pounds

Female Weight: 55-66 pounds

The male dogs are much bigger than the females. The biggest female would only be the size of one of the smallest males. They never look like a big dog but more athletic and slenderer than their Shepherd counterparts.

Litter Size

Average size of a litter of Belgian Malinois is 6 to 8 puppies. It is not uncommon for the mother dog to have up to 10 puppies or more with one litter, but it happens less often.

Belgian Malinois Colors

  • Rich Fawn
  • Mahogany
  • Black tips on the hair
  • White toes
  • Small white spot on chest

Different Types

Tervuren – Has longer hair on the coat. One of the most popular dogs of the group of Belgian Sheepdogs. Mostly black with tan all over the body.

Groenendael – has a longer coat as well. All black and taller than the other sheepdogs.

Laekenois – mostly a white color and the least popular of the group.

Belgian Malinois Price

The price of the Belgian Malinois is $1,000 to $3,000 for a puppy with papers. Getting documentation on the dog ensures the quality and expectations of what kind you will be receiving.

When you don’t get papers, you will pay around $200-$400 for a puppy without papers. Of course, you will not have any guarantees about the bloodline of the dog. That will always remain in question.


These dogs are not hard to groom. They do have a few You will always need to follow these areas when looking to properly groom a Belgian Malinois.

  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

Brushing the dog will come in handy daily. Taking care of this will help you out because this dog will shed all year long. You will have fur in your car, couch, carpet, and every other area you place the dog.

Combing will not require the amount of attention that brushing does. Animals who fur can get matted will need to get a comb more often. If you never use a comb on this dog their fur will be fine.

Bathe the dog as you see fit. Schedules are popular and other people just wash the dog when they dirty. Choices like that are up to you and how you want to handle that situation.

Keeping the ears clean is a big part of being a dog owner. Infections in the ear can become costly and cause discomfort for your dog at the same time.

Nail trimming can take place during two different ways. You can exercise the dog and they will become trim or you can buy clippers and clip them yourself. Exercise is the easier of the two options in my opinion.

Professional help will not be needed, but if you want to take care of the dog and get them a new experience take them to the local grooming spot.

Life Span

They live a long time and average around 12-14 years. Whenever you get one of these dogs it is best to plan on owning the dog for over a decade. Some dogs live longer than others and some will go earlier than expected.

Health Issues

Hip Dysplasia – is a condition where the dogs’ legs and hip socket don’t properly align. The signs that your dog has this is when they don’t want to engage in physical activity, difficulty jumping, hopping and hopping while walking are just a few symptoms. You can use joint lubrication products and pain medicine, but it is a condition they will have their whole life.

Elbow Dysplasia – Abnormal cell growth on the elbow will cause discomfort. Symptoms include limping, stiff or woolen joints, and irregular feet placement.  Physical therapy that increase the movement and mobility helps the condition. Steroids are an option for dogs to keep the inflammation down.

Eye Issues – All dogs will have to eye issues at one point or another. Glaucoma, cataracts, and cherry eye can all become an issue at one point or another in the dog’s life. Once the dog is older you can expect some type of health issues that can progressive cause blindness in some cases.

Epilepsy – Seizures are passed from the parents to the puppies and most people can’t describe any other reason for the condition. Dogs can show signs of odd behavior such as twitching, excessive drooling, chewing their tongue, chasing after nothing at all, and barking at nothing can be the signs you’ll see.

Breed Group

Herding group is a set of dogs known for herding other animals from one location into another location. These energetic dogs that are in control of the livestock or protection of territory.

Exercise Needs

Belgian Malinois are very high energy and if you think you won’t need to exercise them every day, think again. Average exercise requirements can total two hours per day minimum.

Dogs like this should have an owner that will show the commitment to getting them the proper amount of exercise they need. If you don’t take this part serious you can be confident that this relationship will end badly.

Exercising is a function of getting your dog a decent amount of exertion that they would give themselves in the wild. Honestly, if you don’t get them the exercise, they will get it in other ways.

The ways are biting, digging, nipping, excessively barking, too much excitement, and high levels of energy. With this breed it will become worse and worse every day.

Here are our recommendations

Morning: Hour (Run)

Evening: Hour (Run, walk, or treadmill)

Taking them on a run every day will help to establish a legitimate outlet and channel some of their high energy. Second sessions will be a normal activity with this breed and not so much with other breeds.

Determining how much is up to you. We will always suggest you look at the dog’s behavior and increase or decrease from your evaluation. When the dog is misbehaving you want to increase exercise. Without any doubt that is the first action you take.

Although it may sound like punishment it is helping the dog at any stage in their life. Younger dogs need more, adults start to get less energetic, and senior dogs will only need one session most likely not a run.


  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

The best way to train a day is to start with a decent exercise program. No dog of this energy level that needs a job and daily outlet is going to behave without an exercise regimen. Failure to meet this basic need will quickly lead to bad behavior that will take much training to undo.

Command training will come easy to this intelligent dog. Repetition will be the best teacher with the dog. Have the dog sit before they come out of a door, use the bathroom, go in the crate, come out the crate, before they eat, before the walk, after the walk, and many other times. Use basic commands all throughout the day.

Socializing this dog will be very important. Take them to the dog parks, walk them all the time, go to the vet properly, and keep them around kids and other animals if you have them.

Correcting this dog, the right way is the best method. Use the lowest levels of force to get the dog’s attention and that’s how simple it is. If correct verbal and it doesn’t work give them a slight leash correction and see if it works. If not, then increase.

Are Belgian Malinois Good Pets?

It depends on what type of owner this dog ends up with. The dog is better off with a job or a strong workout routine or the dog won’t find fulfillment and it will show. Family, kids, and other dogs the can get along with without issues.

Trainability of the dog is a no brainer. Issues you will run into is the boredom of dog domestication. Finding the right amount of exercise will be the best indication of how good the dog can be at any time.

Belgian Malinois vs German Shepherds?

German Shepherds are a larger dog than the Belgian Malinois. Aggression, speed, and energy levels would have to go to the Belgian Malinois.

Both are very smart but you can’t make a bad decision either way.