belgian malinois jumping over water

The Belgian Malinois: thinking about getting a Belgian Malinois? reading-time-icon 2 min read

Proud standing and pointy-eared, the Belgian Malinois is a loyal, intelligent breed that thrives on mental and physical stimulation.

Often classed as the Belgian Shepherd, they share many characteristics with their German counterparts and have been used as police dogs.

Place of origin: Mechelen in Belgium

How big do Belgian Malinois get? 56 – 66cm

How heavy are Belgian Malinois? 25 – 34kg

Life Expectancy: 12 – 14 years

Colour: Tan, Mahogany, Black-tipped Fawn


Please note: a dog’s exercise, training/stimulation and grooming requirements can depend on several factors such as age and health. The same goes for ongoing costs of ownership. For advice on one specific dog, we always advise chatting with a vet.


How much exercise does a Belgian Malinois need?

The Belgian Malinois was originally used for herding. Their energy levels are among the highest in the dog world; they tend to have puppy-like energy until the age of 3, or even 5 years old.

To burn off their surplus of energy, a Belgian Malinois will need regular exercise – three walks a day consisting of high-level activity should do the trick. A Belgian Malinois would be the perfect companion for an owner who’d like a dog to join them on hikes, jogs or bike rides. If you don’t class yourself as an overly active person – or don’t intend to become one – they may not be the breed for you.

Training: how to train a Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois are highly intelligent dogs and have even been used by the police as tracking or rescue dogs. They’re often happiest when given clear boundaries and when they know what’s expected of them. If you’re seeking a companion who can learn a boatload of tricks and take well to agility classes, a Belgian Malinois may just be the breed for you.

belgian malinois in tall grass

Grooming: do Belgian Malinois shed?

Belgian Malinois have short fur that may feel coarse to the touch. Although they do moult all year round, a weekly brush should suffice to keep their coat in tip-top condition. Depending on your situation, you might seek the help of a professional groomer when it comes to bathing your dog – Malinois are fairly big!

Complete your grooming routine with regular tooth brushingnail clips and ear checks.

Belgian Malinois temperament, socialising and ideal home environment

Belgian Malinois are loyal, fun-loving dogs that will make great companions for owners who are keen to get out and about with their pets. They respond well to training and no amount of outdoor activities is too many!

If you lead a busy lifestyle that doesn’t allow much time for adventures or human-and-dog time, a Malinois may not be the breed for you.

As natural herders, a Belgian Malinois may be inclined to exhibit herding behaviour towards other dogs and small children. If you begin training from a young age, using positive reinforcement, this behaviour is easy to correct.

Cost of owning a Belgian Malinois

When you’re considering the lifetime cost of owning a Belgian Malinois, remember to take into account:

As a rough guide, allow £100 to £150 a month for the ongoing costs of ownership.

Need more info?

For more info on finding the best dog breed for you and your lifestyle, have a chat with your vet.

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