Belgian Malinois Puppy
A Belgian Malinois puppy is a great choice of dog for active families. They are confident, protective and make excellent family pets and world class working dogs. As well as being in my opinion, one of the cutest dog breeds as puppies.
Many people mispronounce Malinois, myself included. The correct pronunciation is “Mal-in-wa”.
The Belgian Malinois have a proud stature and in terms of size, are in the category of medium dog breeds, often has a short fawn colored coat with the tips of their hair being black. They have a black muzzle and ears, yet they can vary greatly in appearance. And at first sight, they often get mistaken for German Shepard dogs (GSD). Malinois are smaller than GSD’s and have a square build as appose to the GSD having a long sloping back.
Malinois, Mechelse Schaper, Mechelse Scheper, Mechelaar, Mechelse Herder, Chien Berger Belge, Pastor Belga Malinois, Black Belgian Malinois
Male 24-26in (61-66cm)
Female 22-24in (56-61)
Male 55-66lb (25-30kg)
Female 59-55lb (22-25kg)
10 – 16yrs
Dog Breed Group
Tendency to Dig
Tendency to Snore
Tendency to Bark
Tendency to Drool
Belgian Malinois love to work and are in their element when they are put to task. A highly intelligent dog, which can master a wide range of commands. They are a playful, sensitive breed and don’t respond well to harsh methods of training. Some believe them to be more highly alert than German Shepard dogs and find them to be quick to respond too.
They can sometimes be reserved around strangers, but they are affectionate and loving with family members. Once a bond is formed with family members, they will naturally become protective of them. As these dogs can be reserved and even aloof with strangers, it is best to properly socialize Belgian Malinois puppies as early as possible to different people, situations, and animals.
Known to be very affectionate, these dogs want to be involved in all family activities and can be very clingy, therefore, if these dogs are to be a family pet, they are best suited to families which can spend a lot of time with them. As they can suffer from separation anxiety. The ideal family for these dogs would already have experience with training a high-energy dog.
Having a strong prey drive can lead to them chasing cars, joggers, bikers, and even grab or nip things that run near them, like other pets or children.
Because of their high energy and stamina levels, they make ideal working dogs for the police and military, which is what a lot of these dogs do.
The Belgian Malinois is not typically a family dog. They’re much better suited to being a working dog, as they need a lot of exercise, socialization, and stimulation.
When it comes to exercising your Belgian Malinois puppy, from nine to sixteen weeks old. Puppy kindergarten is a great idea, as they get the exercise, training, and also the socialization which they need. As well as this, aim to give your puppy at least 15 minutes of exercise yourself, by maybe going to a local park or your own garden and playing catch.
Gradually increase the exercise you give your pup, exercising during the cooler part of the day, avoiding exercise during the hottest part of the day during the summer months.
As your pup continues to mature, keep increasing the amount of exercise and avoid hard surfaces like concrete to protect their joints and bones while they are still developing.
These highly energetic dogs, once matured need around 90 minutes of exercise each day, broken up into 3, 30-minute sessions. As well as mental stimulation. Ideally with an outdoor lifestyle.
This must include runs, but can also include walks, hikes, playing fetch, hide and seek or even your dog running along while you take a bike ride.
Mental stimulation can be from training or treat puzzles.
If your Belgian Malinois doesn’t get enough mental and physical stimulus, destructive behaviors may arise in the form of barking or chewing, mainly of furniture.
It is advised, that if you cannot meet the exercise requirements of this breed yourself, you should choose a breed with lower exercise needs.
Problems training? If you don’t know how to train your puppy or dog, check out the link below for some great training advice from a professional dog trainer!
Shedding and Grooming
Grooming and inspecting your puppy frequently while they are young, will get them used to have their paws, ears, and mouths touched. Keep the grooming and inspecting of your dog a pleasant experience with plenty of praise and rewards. This will help as your dog get older and needs the attention of a veterinarian.
You can also use this time to check for any lumps, bumps, sores, rashes, or any other signs of infection or abnormality, which could help to catch any health issues early.
Malinois shed twice a year and has short straight hair, the Malinois is easy to groom. Brush once a week with a firm brush or rubber grooming mitt and only bathe when necessary. Usually every three months. During the period of time when Malinois shed (Spring and Fall), brushing may be required daily.
Top Tip: Brush them outside, unless you have a very good vacuum cleaner.
Ideally brush their teeth daily, or at the very least, two-three times a week to remove tartar and bacteria.
Trim nails regularly if they don’t wear down naturally. Trimmed nails help to keep their paws in good health, avoiding pain when running or walking, and also minimizes the number of scratches you as their owner receives from them.
It is best to clean their ears once a week at least to avoid infection.
The Malinois diet should consist of a high-quality diet, predominantly meat-based.
Up to six months old, a Belgian Malinois puppy should be fed four times a day, then dropping to two meals a day after six months old. Mature Malinois should be consuming between 1000 and 1600 calories a day.
However, feeding will depend on your dogs’ size, build, age, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs eat different amounts, and large dog breeds which are active will need to eat more than small dog breeds which are inactive.
The quality of dog food will also make a difference. The better the quality food, the more nourishing it will be and the less your dog will need.
Some dogs become overweight more easily than others, so you may need to monitor their calorie intake. Treats are essential as a training aid. However, too many treats can lead to weight gain and obesity.
If you are worried about your pooches’ weight or diet, seek professional veterinary advice.
Make sure your dog always has access to plenty of clean drinking water.
If you have other pets, Malinois should be brought up with these as puppies, otherwise, they will likely be aggressive towards them.
Even a Belgian Malinois puppy raised with children, due to the Malinois heritage of herding, they often nip at the heels of children when playing as if they are herding them. Malinois must be trained from an early age that this kind of behavior is not acceptable. They are best raised with young children from a pup, but children must also be shown how to approach and touch dogs.
Young children should always be supervised with Belgian Malinois to prevent any potential problems with either child or dog.
Children should be told not to approach any dogs when they are feeding and certainly never take their food away.
The more you socialize your puppy, the better they will be with other people and animals. If your dog wasn’t socialized properly as a pup, then it is very important, you keep your dog under control in the presence of other people and animals.
If you don’t know how to train your puppy or dog, or you are having trouble with a particular part of their training, it may be worth considering some training courses. Check out the link below for some great training advice from a professional dog trainer!
Belgian Malinois Work History
Originally bred as working dogs for herding cattle in the 1800s, the work of these dogs now mainly consists of personal protection, security, search and rescue, military and police work. They are also often used for detection work in tasks such as detecting odors in relation to explosives, drug detection, accelerants for investigation of arson, and tracking of fugitives.
The Royal Australian Air Force and the United States Secret Service use two main breeds of dog, their first dog of choice is the German Shepherd Dog (GSD) followed closely behind by the Belgian Malinois.
The Indian and Israeli military use the Belgian Malinois and two were used to apprehend a man who jumped over a fence surrounding the White House in Washington DC in 2014.
Belgian Malinois dogs are also used in the fight against rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, where they have been named, “Game Changer”.
Malinois are on the whole a healthy breed of dog, there are three main areas for concern which are: Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA).
Hip Dysplasia is a genetic condition that occurs when the ball and socket joint of a dog’s hips don’t develop properly. This can lead to painful arthritis and is the main course of lameness in a larger dog’s rear legs. Sadly, the onset of this can occur from birth.
Elbow Dysplasia is another genetic condition which occurs in large dog breeds and occurs when the three bones which make up the elbow, grow at a different rate of speed. This causes the elbow joint to become loose and leads to painful lameness.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy is an eye condition that causes sight loss and eventually blindness. There are two forms of PRA, one form shows up while they are a puppy and the second form doesn’t show up until the dog is older. PRA is a condition in which the rods and cones in a dog’s eyes die off.
To minimize the health risks of hip and elbow dysplasia, be sure to buy your Belgian Malinois puppy from a reputable breeder. Make sure to gain evidence from the breeder of a good hip and elbow score throughout the pedigree of the dog.
A hip score ranges from 0 -106, each hip is given a score, then all the scores are added together to give the overall hip score. You want to see a low score, the lower the better.
With elbow dysplasia, each elbow is graded from 0 – 3, and the highest grade is given as the overall score. Again, you want to see a low score, lower the better.
A few other health issues to watch out for are also, Dental disease and Thyroid problems.
Dental Disease affects 80% of dogs by the age of two years of age, and Malinois dogs are at higher risk of having problems with their teeth than most other dogs. It is important to clean their teeth to combat the buildup of tartar. If tartar builds up on their teeth, it will lead to infection of the gums and root of the teeth. If untreated, this will lead to tooth loss.
Thyroid Problems. Hypothyroidism is a common condition in Malinois dogs in which their bodies do not produce enough thyroxine, which controls the metabolism. The body can then no longer convert the food a dog eats into fuel at the correct rate. Symptoms can include weight gain, lethargy, seizures, and even heart problems.
Things to check when buying
When looking to buy a Belgian Malinois puppy, you will need to find a reputable breeder. Once you have found a breeder you believe to be reputable, you will need to visit the pup and assess its temperament.
Ideally, the puppy won’t be too shy but certainly not aggressive.
You also want to see at least one of the pup’s parents. As mentioned earlier in this article, Malinois can be weary or aloof of strangers. But make sure neither of the parents are showing any signs of aggression. If they do show any sign of aggression, it would be best to walk away and find another breeder.
If the puppy and parents show no sign of aggression and you are happy with the dog’s temperament. Be sure to get the results of the hip scores.
A healthy puppy should smell good and be running around confidently, wagging its tail, playing with its brothers and sisters.
What you don’t want to see, is a Belgian Malinois puppy that shy’s away from you as you go to stroke it, freezes when it is placed on the ground, and doesn’t play with the rest of the litter.
If you can find a reputable breeder, the chances are, all of the puppies will be healthy.
A Belgian Malinois puppy grows up to be a great dog but is certainly not a typical family dog, they need a lot of exercise, almost constant companionship, and ongoing training.
Because of their energy level and sensitivity. Malinois are only recommended for people who have previously owned dogs, with experience of high-energy dogs and dog training.
You need to have plenty of spare time to be with these dogs as they need a lot of mental stimulation and exercise, ideally with their owner.
If left alone for long periods of time, these dogs can become destructive due to separation anxiety, which will lead to barking and chewing.
Training should be carried out using positive reinforcement only (as with all dogs), otherwise, they may rebel.
With a Belgian Malinois puppy, training and socializing are best started as soon as possible.
However, if you can provide the care which they need. A Belgian Malinois Puppy makes for a loving and loyal family member which loves to work and will protect the whole family.