Belgian Malinois

Breed Information


2022: #32

2021: #36

2020: #37

2015: #51


Belgian Malinois

Other names

Malinois, Chien De Berger Belge, Mechelaar, Mechelse Herder, Mechelse Scheper, Pastor Belga Malinois



Breed Group

Herding (AKC:1959)(UKC)





Life Span

12-14 years











Male: 61–66 cm (24–26 in)

Female: 56–61 cm (22–24 in)


Male: 25–30 kg (55–66 lb)

Female: 20–25 kg (44–55 lb)


Red, Red Sable, Fawn, Fawn Sable, Mahogany

Litter Size

6-10 puppies

Puppy Prices

Average $1000 – $1800 USD

Usually, the average price of a Belgian Malinois puppy from a reputable breeder is between $800 and $1,800, while a top-quality Belgian Malinois puppy can cost as high as $3,500 and upward. The price depends on the dog’s lineage, conformation to breed standards, age, and training.

Disclaimer: While the characteristics mentioned here may frequently represent this breed, dogs are individuals whose personalities and appearances will vary. Please consult the adoption organization for details on a specific pet.

Breed Characteristics



Apartment Friendly


The Belgian Malinois will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is moderately active indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard. This breed prefers cool climates, but adapts well to others. It can live outdoors but would much rather be with his people.

Barking Tendencies



Cat Friendly


Child Friendly


Good with Kids: This is a suitable dog breed for kids. It is also friendly toward other pets and shy toward strangers.

Dog Friendly


Exercise Needs


This is a working dog that is accustomed to an active outdoor life. As such it needs a lot of exercise, including a long daily walk. In addition, it will greatly benefit being off the leash as much as possible in a safe area.



Low Maintenance: The Laekenois’ rough coat is easy to care for. Brush it weekly to remove dead hair and distribute skin oils.

Health Issues


Hypoallergenic: No



Ranking: #22 Full Ranking List



Shedding Level


Moderate Shedding: The Belgian Malinois has a short brown, grey or fawn coat with possible black-tipped hairs. It has a black mask and ears and a lighter underside. The Belgian Malinois should not be brindle (alternating stripes of color). Belgian Malinois shed heavily once or twice a year.

Stranger Friendly




Easy Training: Training will be enjoyable. This dog is inclined to listen to commands and obey its owner. This breed will require fewer repetitions to obey specific instructions, pleasing owners who like to see quick results.

Watchdog Ability


Belgian Malinois dogs are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and versatility. Whether you’re considering adopting one or just curious about this breed, you’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the Belgian Malinois dog breed characteristics, covering everything from their appearance to their temperament and care requirements. Let’s get started!

Belgian Malinois Dog Breed Characteristics

The Belgian Malinois is a remarkable breed known for its unique characteristics. Understanding these traits is essential for anyone considering bringing this breed into their home.

Origin and History

The Belgian Malinois, often simply referred to as the “Malinois,” originated in the late 1800s in Belgium. Initially bred for herding purposes, these dogs quickly gained recognition for their intelligence and work ethic. Today, they are not only outstanding working dogs but also beloved companions.

Physical Appearance

Size and Build

Belgian Malinois dogs are medium-sized, well-muscled canines. They typically stand between 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 40 to 80 pounds. Their sleek, athletic build makes them agile and robust.

Coat and Color

One of the most striking Belgian Malinois dog breed characteristics is their short, double-layered coat. The fur is dense, providing protection from various weather conditions. Common coat colors include rich fawn with a black mask and black-tipped hair.


Belgian Malinois dogs are renowned for their unwavering loyalty and strong work ethic. They are intelligent and eager to please, making them highly trainable. However, their intelligence can also lead to mischief if not mentally stimulated.

These dogs are protective by nature, which makes them excellent watchdogs. They are known for their alertness and can be reserved around strangers. Early socialization is crucial to ensure they are well-adjusted and friendly with people and other animals.

Exercise Needs

Due to their high energy levels, Belgian Malinois dogs require plenty of exercise. Daily walks, playtime, and mental stimulation are essential to keep them happy and prevent destructive behaviors. Engaging in activities like agility training or obedience classes can be particularly beneficial.

Grooming Requirements

Belgian Malinois dogs have low-maintenance coats. Regular brushing to remove loose hair and occasional baths are usually sufficient to keep their coat healthy. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, and dental care is essential to maintain good oral hygiene.


In conclusion, Belgian Malinois dogs are remarkable creatures with a unique set of characteristics. Their loyalty, intelligence, and protective nature make them excellent companions for the right owner. However, their high energy levels and need for mental stimulation require commitment. If you’re prepared for the challenge, the Belgian Malinois can be a loving and devoted member of your family.

Remember, when considering bringing a Belgian Malinois into your life, it’s crucial to understand and meet their specific needs. With proper care, training, and love, you can enjoy a rewarding relationship with this incredible breed.


Are Belgian Malinois dogs suitable for families with children?

Belgian Malinois dogs can be great family pets, but they require early socialization and supervision around young children due to their protective nature.

Do they get along with other pets?

With proper socialization, they can coexist with other pets, but they may have a natural herding instinct, which can lead to them trying to control smaller animals.

What is their life expectancy?

The average lifespan of a Belgian Malinois is around 10 to 14 years when provided with proper care.

Are they prone to any specific health issues?

Like all breeds, Belgian Malinois dogs can be prone to certain health issues, including hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy. Regular vet check-ups are essential.

Do they require a lot of training?

Belgian Malinois dogs thrive on training and mental stimulation. Consistent, positive reinforcement training is highly recommended.

Can they adapt to apartment living?

While it’s possible, Belgian Malinois dogs are best suited to homes with a yard where they can expend their energy.

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