Originally bred to be herding dogs, Belgian Malinois, are now used as guard dogs and police dogs as well. Their intelligence and love for athletics have got them to serve multiple police missions and it goes without saying that this breed is the toughest and most courageous of all.
They are not typical family dogs but are appropriate for people who are highly patient and are specialized in training such breeds. Learn in detail about the breed and its characteristics before bringing a Belgian Malinois home.
Belgian Malinois Facts
Belgian Malinois Colors
The coat colors of Belgian Malinois are mixed. They can be fawn to mahogany with their mask, ears, and tips on the hairs are black. They appear in tan, black-tipped fawn, fawn sable, red and red sable, and black too. A four-year-old black Belgian Malinois, Billie, acted in the “Reed and Billie” series by Dustin Stevens.
Belgian Malinois Pronunciation
There will be no confusion about the first word “Belgian”. But, you have to pronounce the second word as “Mal-in-wah” and not “Mal-i-noise”.
Belgian Malinois Shedding
As Belgian Malinois is a double-coated breed, it sheds two times a year generally. If you want to keep the dog in good condition, give a shampoo bath when he or she is dirty, brush one or two times a week and clip the nails.
Belgian Malinois Size & Weight
Height of a Belgian Malinois – These dogs are mostly 23 to 26 inches tall.
Weight of a Belgian Malinois – This breed can weigh between 60 and 80 pounds.
Their height and weight may vary based on the gender; female Malinoisusually weighs a few pounds lesser than the males.
German Shepherd Vs Belgian Malinois
Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd have a quite a few differences. Let’s look at them
|Characteristic||Belgian Malinois||German Shepherd|
|Efforts||Heavy exercise, good training||Regular exercise and need of veterinary attention|
|Shedding||Two times a year||Seasonal|
|Availability||Rare to get||Easy to get|
|Life Expectancy||13–14 years||11–12 years|
Belgian Malinois Lifespan
Many Belgian Malinois dogs have been recorded to have lived as far as 16 years. Mostly this breed has an average life span of 12 – 14 years but as a matter of fact; the healthiest pet gets to live longer.
Belgian Malinois Temperament
This breed is quite active and requires a lot of physical and mental exercise. They may turn aggressive if left neglected for a long time.
Just like all Belgian sheepdog breeds, the Malinois were bred to protect cattle; owing to this birth trait, they need to be kept active all the time. Malinois always expect their masters to take them on a long walk or play around with them for a while.
So, if you are planning to bring home a Belgian Malinois, then ensure you have the time to spend training and taking care of your pet. Alertness, watchfulness, a little tinge of stubbornness and lot of protectiveness are a few characteristics that define this breed’s nature.
Belgian Malinois Health Problems
Belgian Malinois is a dog breed known for its sturdiness and excellent physical endurance. Nevertheless, there are times when this dog to suffers from health issues that do turn fatal sometimes. Here’s a list of health issues found commonly in Belgian Malinois;
This degenerative disease is common in all dogs and Malinois is no exception. Hip Dysplasia may go unnoticed in the early stages but if left untreated will result in the pet’s lameness. If you note any of the following symptoms, then ensure to take your dog to the vet;
- Difficulty in jumping, running, etc
- Swaying gait
Balanced and quality diet, a lot of exercises and a maintained weight are enough to keep the dog healthy and void of such diseases.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
This eye disease is mostly a hereditary problem and its severity may vary from one breed to another. Here are a few common symptoms of eye disease in the canine breeds;
- Loss of night vision
- Failure in responding to light
- Early cataracts
If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms; ensure to take your pet to a vet specialized in eye treatments and get all necessary medications as early as possible.
Belgian Malinois suffer from hypothyroidism; this again could be counted as a genetic disorder and is very common in all types of dog breeds. Hypothyroidism can be marked by unexplained weight gain, skin problems, and sudden changes in the behavior.
Feeding A Belgian Malinois
This is a good-sized breed and it will require a heavy yet balanced diet. When you are buying a pup from the breeder, ensure to inquire about the food brand that he has used to feed the pup all these days.
A sudden change in food habits can cause digestive problems; so, in order to avoid this, ensure to change the food brand gradually.
A healthy level of DHA is required to be given in order to help their brain development in the early stages.
Start giving them wet food only after they are slightly grown up and trained enough to allow you to clean up their teeth and gum. Until then keep feeding them with dry food that has equal proportions of all nutrients.
Tips To Train A Belgian Malinois
Socialization is the very first training process you must impart when your pet is still a pup.
Obedience and loyalty training should be next in the training process. Malinois pups are prone to boredom and anxiety; this is one of the reasons why they must not be left alone for a long time.
Negligence is their greatest enemy and continued ignorance can turn them to be more aggressive. To avoid this behavior, you need to train them quite early when they are still young and can easily grasp tricks and lessons.
5 golden tips to remember while training
- Gain the pet’s confidence
- Don’t rush into giving big lessons right from the beginning
- Never encourage the wrong behavior from your pet even if it seems cute.
- Keep the training sessions consistent. Train your pet exactly the same time every day.
- Appreciate their attentiveness and give them treats when they succeed doing a trick.
Interesting Facts About Belgian Malinois
- This breed was named after the Belgian city.
- Malinois are great skydivers.
- They are great at detecting explosives and have served in World War 1.
- Few Mals are even reported to have turned destructive when not given the required hours of exercise.
- The Belgian Malinois is believed to guard the White House.
Belgian Malinois Dog Names
Belgian Malinois Dog Price
The average price range of a Belgian Malinois is $1500 – $2500; few breeders may even charge you extra for additional medical reports, vaccination details, and health guarantee papers.
As a final advice, buy a Malinois pup only if you are ready to match up to its exercising habits and willing to spend time taking care of it.
Belgian Malinois Dog Breeders
Finding a good breeder is growing to be more important than choosing the right puppy. You need to thoroughly research about a breeder before buying a pup from him.
As a rule of the thumb, avoid buying Mal pups from puppy farms or mills and if you are buying from one, ensure they are licensed and have a good reputation.
You should avoid bringing home an unhealthy pup since it would lead to over expense on your end as years go by.
Beyond expenditure, you will have to compromise with your affection and emotions while you watch your pet suffer from a disease. So, getting a guaranteed paper signed from the breeder would be best while buying a pet.
Consider buying from rescue groups because these shelter homes are run by experts who work towards restoring dog’s health.