Belgian Malinois

Breed Summary

The Belgian Malinois is an elegant, well-proportioned, natural, medium-sized, square dog in appearance with an exceedingly proud carriage of the head and neck. This breed is strong, agile, well-muscled, and alert. The whole conformation gives the impression of depth and solidity without bulkiness. The coat is comparatively short, dense, and straight with a color of rich fawn to mahogany. The male is more impressive than his female counterpart, which has a distinctly feminine look.

Country of Origin: Belgium

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 43 of 196

AKC Classification: Herding Group

UKC Classification: Herding Dog

Exercise Requirements: >40 minutes/day

Height: Female: 22-24 inches; Male: 24-26 inches

Weight: Female: 40-60 lbs; Male: 55-75 lbs.

Physical traits: Well-balanced, Medium to large-sized, Strong, Square dog

Coat: Length: Short

Characteristics: Double coat, flat, straight

Colors: Rich fawn with black-tipped hairs, mahogany with black-tipped hairs

Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate

Personality traits/Temperament: Confident, Smart, Hardworking

Energy Level: Very energetic

Tendency to Drool: Low

Tendency to Snore: Low

Tendency to Bark: Moderate

Tendency to Dig: Low

Social/Attention Needs: Moderate


The Malinois is a healthy breed. Their life expectancy is 14 to 16 years. A responsible breeder needs to screen their breeding stock for certain health conditions like hip and elbow dysplasia and certain eye problems such as retinal atrophy, glaucoma, corneal disorders, etc. Some dogs can develop itchy skin conditions where baths with a high quality dog shampoo and conditioner is recommended. Flea control is also essential. As with all breeds, the ears should be checked regularly for signs of infection and build-up of wax, and the teeth should be brushed regularly to avoid dental diseases.


Adequate nutrition provides the best health care for your Belgian Malinois. The Malinois should do well on high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Supply clean and freshwater regularly to avoid digestive problems. Add a high-quality dog multivitamin to complete the nutritional circle. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog becomes overweight.


Malinois have almost similar behavior like other herding breeds. They have a high prey drive and are strongly interested in moving or running objects. This behavior leads them to chase children, vehicles, or other animals. This activity needs to be restricted by regular obedience and early socialization training. Boredom may result in destructive behavior to this breed.


The Belgian Malinois is a highly intelligent, athletic, muscular, and exceedingly devoted breed. Malinois needs to be mentally and physically engaged with his owner. Daily walks can contribute to this bond. Use paw balm daily to protect their feet. This dog can’t be left in the backyard and daily walks are not enough for them. Plenty of exercises is necessary for them. They love a human companion and are good at running, hiking, and biking. Sometimes, they participated in activities like tracking, herding, obedience, and protection competitions.

Fun Fact

Belgian Malinois Served in World War I and work with Navy SEALS.


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