General Information

Dog NameBelgian Malinois
Other NamesMalinois
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypeShepherd
Country of OriginBelgium

Physical And Size

Min Life Span14
Max Life Span16
Min Ideal Weight for male24
Max Ideal Weight for male24
Min Ideal Weight for female22
Max Ideal Weight for male24


Intelligent Rank
Affection Level
Social Needs
Watchdog Ability


TemperamentHardworking, Smart, Athletic
Prey DriveYes
Fighting DogNo


Stranger FriendlyMedium
Child FriendlyHigh
Cat FriendlyLow
Apartment FriendlyLow
Senior Citizens FriendlyLow
Service DogLow
Search and Rescue DogLow
Biting PotentialHigh
Country of OriginBelgium
Nicknames and Other NamesMalinois, Mechelaar, Mechelse,
Chien De Berger Belge, Mechelse Herder,
Mechelse Scheper
Pastor Belga Malinois
Scientific Name Canis lupus familiaris
Breed TypeShepherd
GroupHerding Group
Bred ForHerding and protecting livestock
Life Span14-16 Years
Ideal WeightMale: 55-66 pounds
Female: 49-55 pounds
Ideal HeightMale: 24-26 inches
Female: 22-24 inches
Fur TypeShort, Straight, Weather resistant
Common ColorsFawn, Red, Mahogany, Fawn sable,
Red Sable
MarkingsBlack Mask
AchievementsNational Champion in distance jumping
and fetch it with UAD
Suitable for ApartmentsNo
Used in World WarUsed in World War I as a military dog
Most Similar ToGerman Shepherd

Often being confused with the German Shepherd dog breeds, the Belgian Malinois are elegant and hardy dogs with coat built to survive on the Belgian damp climate.

Belgian Malinois are medium-sized dog bred to herd centuries back, and now they work as rescue dogs and police dogs. Bred in Malines, Belgium, Malinois are intelligent dogs with a great deal of stamina.

Origin And History

The Belgian Malinois is one of the four breeds of the Belgian Sheepdogs which were developed in the late 1800s in Belgium. In 1891, The Club du Chien de Berger Belge (Belgian Shepherd Dog Club) was formed to determine how many different dogs were formed only of the shepherd dogs in Belgium.

The breeders worked very hard to form Belgian Malinois breeding them with dogs who had similar temperament, coats, and looks. Then the Belgian Malinois flourished but unluckily, they were almost vanished because of the World War I being used as a military dog, and many lost their lives during that period.

After 20 years, the Belgian Malinois came to rise during World War II. Many servicemen brought back the Belgian Malinois to the US and the European countries also imported many dogs, from which the breed continues to increase the popularity.

Belgian Malinois were officially introduced in the U.S. by the American Kennel Club in 1959, and have been used as both military and police dogs ever since.

Is Belgian Malinois Child-Friendly?

Belgian Malinois can be good with children especially when they are raised with them. Because of their herding instinct, they may nip, bite and chase them. They may herd your children while playing. You can avoid these behaviors by teaching them these kinds of behavior are not acceptable.

You should also teach your children not to pinch or pull its tails and push Malinois, it may lose its temper and become aggressive.

Belgian Malinois Enjoying With Children.
Belgian Malinois Partying With Children. Image Source-YouTube.

Behavior, Temperament and Personality

Belgian Malinois are excellent watchdogs and will protect their territory and family until the end. They are very affectionate with their family but suspicious of strangers.

Belgian Malinois are happy when they are being used to work. These dogs are working dogs, are demanding and needs an experienced owner.

An Agressive Belgian Malinois.
Belgian Malinois aggressively Barking. Image Source-Goldendoodle Puppies HQ!

It is important that they should be socialized at an early age as they are wary of strangers and may become aggressive. Because of their herding heredity, they are likely to chase bikes, cars, and even children when they are bored.


Even though Belgian Malinois are willful and stubborn at times, but when it comes to training, they usually thrives on advance obedience, agility training and tricks. These dogs are highly trainable and can read even a small changes and movements on the facial expression. They are also known as “In Tune” because of being attentive to their trainers and one step ahead of the given commands.

This is something to watch!

Belgian Malanois are not for the first time owners because they are highly intelligent and manipulative. They can sense the lack of leadership and waits no time to rise on the position.

Facts About Belgian Malinois

  • Malinois is pronounced as MAL-in-wah.
  • Belgian Malinois is known to guard the White House.
  • They served in World War I and were used as messengers and to pull ambulance carts.
  • Malinois are lighter than German Shepherd which makes them easy to skydive.
  • Actress Eva Mendes has a Belgian Malinois to keep her safe from stalkers.

Health Issues

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesElbow Dysplasia, Eye Problem,
Epilepsy, Hip Dysplasia, Bloat, Obesity
Vaccination RequiredCanine Parvovirus, Rabies, Canine Distemper,
Leptospirosis, Canine Parainfluenza,
Kennel Cough, Canine Coronavirus
Weight Gain PotentialLow to Average
Separation AnxietyHigh
Diets and SupplementsProtein: 20%
Fat: 7%
Fish Oil

Usually, Belgian Malinois are a healthy dog but they tend to suffer from diseases like hip and elbow dysplasia, anesthesia sensitivity and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).

However, the health issues depends on the owner. If they take care of their canine they won’t suffer from diseases. If they do, an early treatment can save their life.

Color Patterns

  • Black-tipped fawn
  • Tan
  • Mahogany

Belgian Malinois Puppies

The average price of Belgian Malinois litter is between $4000-$9000.

Breeds Which Are Similar To Belgian Malinois

Visit Doglime for more dog breed information.