Understanding the Belgian Malinois Temperament

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Belgian Malinois dogs have gained immense popularity in recent times, owing to their loyalty, intelligence, and agility. These dogs are commonly known as Malinois and are known for their exceptional work in police and military operations. Despite their sturdy built and impressive stature, Belgian Malinois are extremely affectionate, loyal, and social dogs that love to be around their human families.

Origin of Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois belong to the family of Belgian shepherd dogs and were originally bred in Belgium for herding and guarding purposes. The breed was named after the Belgian city of Mechelen, where it was initially developed in the 19th century. The Belgian Malinois was bred specifically to handle livestock and serve as a watchdog. The breed’s exceptional qualities led to its extensive use in police and military operations around the world.

Physical Characteristics

Belgian Malinois are medium-sized dogs with a well-muscled and athletic build. They typically stand at around 22-26 inches in height and weigh between 60-80 pounds. These dogs have a short, straight coat that comes in shades of fawn, mahogany, or red. Their ears are erect and triangular in shape, and they have a keen, intelligent expression in their eyes.

Personality Traits

Belgian Malinois are highly energetic, intelligent, and affectionate dogs. They are extremely loyal to their owners and have an innate drive to protect them. These dogs are known for their alertness and vigilance, which makes them exceptional watchdogs. They are also highly trainable and have been used extensively in police and military operations around the world.


Belgian Malinois are loyal and affectionate dogs that love spending time with their owners. They crave human attention and love nothing more than cuddling up to their owners on the couch. Despite their work-driven nature, Malinois are exceptionally loving and are great companions to have around.


Belgian Malinois are highly intelligent dogs and are quick to learn new commands. They have an exceptional memory and can remember commands and training from a young age. Their intelligence and work-drive make them perfect for police and military operations, as they can quickly learn to track and protect their owners.


Belgian Malinois are protective dogs that are always on high alert. They have an innate drive to protect their owners and can become extremely aggressive towards strangers if they feel their owners are in danger. Their protectiveness and alertness make them excellent watchdogs and ideal guard dogs.


Belgian Malinois are highly trainable and thrive on a job or task. They have an innate drive to please their owners, which makes them excellent candidates for obedience and agility training. Malinois require consistent and firm training, as they can become easily bored with repetitive tasks. Positive reinforcement is highly recommended when training Malinois, as they respond well to rewards and praise.

Exercise and Activity Requirements

Belgian Malinois are highly active dogs and require a significant amount of exercise and activity to stay healthy and happy. These dogs love to play and need plenty of space to run around and burn off their excess energy. Daily walks, runs, and hikes are essential to keep Malinois physically and mentally stimulated.

Health Concerns

Like all dog breeds, Belgian Malinois are prone to certain health concerns. Some of the common health issues associated with the breed include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and epilepsy. Regular checkups with a veterinarian can help prevent and treat these health issues in Malinois.


Belgian Malinois are a unique and exceptional breed of dogs that possess intelligence, loyalty, and affection in abundance. They require consistent training, exercise, and attention, but their loving and protective nature makes them ideal family dogs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How long do Belgian Malinois dogs live?

A. The average lifespan of Belgian Malinois is 12-14 years.

Q. Are Belgian Malinois good with kids?

A. Yes, Belgian Malinois are great with kids, especially if they are socialized with children from an early age.

Q. How much exercise do Belgian Malinois need?

A. Belgian Malinois require at least 2 hours of exercise and activity each day to stay healthy and happy.

Q. Are Belgian Malinois good guard dogs?

A. Yes, Belgian Malinois are excellent guard dogs owing to their protective nature and exceptional trainability.

Q. Do Belgian Malinois shed a lot?

A. Yes, Belgian Malinois have a thick double coat and tend to shed a lot, especially during seasonal changes. Regular grooming and brushing can help control shedding in Malinois.