Belgian Malinois: Confident and smart

Belgian Malinois
The Belgian Malinois is a well balanced, elegant dog

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The Belgian Malinois, which is pronounced MAL-in-wah, is a medium-size Belgian shepherd dog! You’ll agree that this dog at first glance resembles a German Shepherd Dog. According to the AKC, this breed ranks 43 on the list of most popular dogs. This breed was originally bred to be a herding dog, however today they have a different job.

Also read: German Shepherd – An All-Round Dog

In this article we’re going to take a look at why the Belgian Malinois is so special. We’re going to talk about their personality, needs and health.

Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois is a truly special dog breed. They are very strong and well-muscled, but at the same time very elegant. Unlike other muscular breeds, they aren’t bulky at all, but rather thin and strong. They are fairly tall too. Males tend to be between 24 and 26 inches at the shoulders, and females between 22 and 24 inches. Weight-wise the males are a little heavier than the females. Males weigh between 60 and 80 pounds, whereas females weigh between 40 and 60 pounds.

Malinois have short, straight hair. It actually feels quite hard to the touch. They also have a very dense undercoat. Their coat is typically fawn or mahogany-colored with a black mask on the face, black ears, and black tips on the hairs.

The Belgian Malinois’ coat is typically fawn or mahogany-colored with a black mask on the face


Also read: Bernese Mountain Dog – Complete Breed Info

The Belgian Malinois is a great dog! They are very diligent, confident, and protective of their people and their people’s property in any situation. At the same time, this breed is affectionate with their family but does tend to be a bit reserved with strangers.

The Malinois is very smart too! They are quick learners and kind of people pleasers. They are eager to do whatever their people ask of them.

One thing you need to take into consideration that this breed needs early socialization. This means they should be in contact with many different people (young and old), sounds, and experiences. The issue with poorly socialized Belgian Malinois is that they could get aggressive.


You might’ve guessed it, the Belgian Malinois needs a lot of exercise! Generally speaking they need 20 to 30 minutes of exercise three or four times a day. They love long walks, runs and hikes, and just a quick walk won’t be enough for them.

These dogs will thrive with an owner who will work with them and teach them many tricks. They need an owner who will have time to tend to their exercise needs. Simply put, they need an active owner who will be firm, but calm, and consistent with them. 

Also read: Pointer Dog Breed Information


Belgian Malinois are very healthy dogs, however, please look out for symptoms of certain health conditions. There are certain health issues Malinois could potentially face.

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Anesthesia Sensitivity


In conclusion, the Belgian Malinois is an amazing dog! Very loyal, smart, and loving. However, they are not for everyone! They need a very responsible owner, who will have a lot of time for them. Who will take good care of them and their needs, which includes hours of exercise daily! Generally speaking, they are great with other pets and children. However, because they were bred for herding, they could try to nip at your child’s heels and in order to herd them when playing. This kind of behavior is another reason why they need a firm and responsible owner.

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