Belgian Malinois Dog Breed Facts & Information

Belgian Malinois dogs are large, intelligent, and loyal dogs that are from the herding group. They are known for their confidence, hardworking demeanor and bravery, often serving in wars and on police squads to combat crime and save lives.

Police Dog With Official Collar
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While they are not the best dog for families, they are going to be perfect for an owner who can devote ample time and attention to his dog. An owner will know his Belgian Malinois will be there with him until the end.

The basics

Belgian Malinois pups are very smart and courageous dogs that will stick by their owner's side in any situation. They are one of the larger breeds, and they also live longer than many other dogs. They were bred to be hard workers and to be tough no matter what the circumstances, which is why they were picked to help soldiers in World War I and are often seen on police squads. The Belgian Malinois needs plenty of exercise in order to be happy and function at his highest capacity. If this dog is left inside all day or doesn't have enough space to run around, he is not going to be very happy.

The history

The Belgian Malinois was first bred in the northwestern region in Belgium around a town called Malines. It is one of the four breeds that is closely related to Belgian herding dogs. These dogs were the number one pick for Belgian cattlemen and sheepherders.

Portrait of a Belgian Malinois puppy
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They were imported into America in 1911, and while they are still popular today, they're mostly seen in service positions with the military and police force. In the early 1900s, the New York City police department started using these dogs to assist with operations. In World War I, they were messengers for the Red Cross, and one of them even helped take down Osama bin Laden in 2011. In Fayetteville, North Carolina, where there is a memorial for military pups, a life-size bronze statue of a Belgian Malinois stands tall.

The personality

The Belgian Malinois is an intelligent and loyal dog that is also protective and territorial. They need a lot of love and a true companion owner in order to thrive. They are also recognized for their obedience and their herding behaviors, like circling and chasing. These dogs are extremely energetic, so they need plenty of exercise to expend their energy.

The appearance

The Belgian Malinois is a truly large dog. Its typical height is 24-26 inches for males and 22-24 inches for females. Males will usually weight between 60-80 pounds, and females will weigh between 40-60 pounds. It is very muscular, and has a range of coat colors. Some Belgian Malinois dogs' coats will be mahogany, while others will have a rich fawn color. It has a short, flat and straight double coat as well as naturally upright ears.

Malinois on the stairs by the pond
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Belgian Malinois dog breed essential facts

  • Personality: Loyal, confident, brave, obedient
  • Energy Level: High
  • Trainability: Easy, but they must be trained early on and learn how to socialize well with other dogs.
  • Good with Children: Not usually. They will try to train children to act in a certain way, like they would while herding sheep and other animals. If there is a screaming, active toddler, for instance, they will try to get the toddler to stay in one place.
  • Good with Other Dogs: Yes, but only with the right socialization from an early age.
  • Shedding: Low, however, they do shed twice a year.
  • Grooming: They should be occasionally groomed with a hound glove, medium-bristle brush or a rubber grooming mitt.
  • Barking Level: Moderate
  • Height: Males, at the withers: 24-26 inches. Females, at the withers: 22-24 inches.
  • Weight: Males: 60-80 pounds, Females: 40 to 60 pounds.
  • Life Expectancy: 14-16 years.