Belgian Malinois is a medium-sized dog breed that is one of the four varieties of Belgian Shepherd dog breeds. It has a very lively, protective, and hard-working temperament. So, it is suited only for an experienced dog owner that knows its nature and can meet their energy level.
The Belgian Malinois can give birth to 5-7 puppies at a time. They need good care when they are very young, so they grow up to be a healthy and obedient adult.
Belgian Malinois newborn puppies cannot see, hear, or eat anything other than milk because they are born blind, deaf, and toothless. They are very week at this stage and rely fully on their mother for everything.
The puppies cannot generate heat on their own so their body temperature gets low and they might even die of hypothermia. Therefore, the mother keeps them warm by placing them close to her. Do not separate the puppies from their mother for few weeks.
Neonatal Stage (0-2 Weeks)
The stage from birth to 2 weeks is called the neonatal stage. In this stage, the puppies should only be kept near the mother and let them feed only the mother’s milk. The milk contains colostrum which is rich in antioxidants that keeps them safe from any kind of serious health problem when they are still puppies.
The Belgian Malinois puppies are not able to throw waste out of their body like peeing and defecating on their own. So, the mother licks their body which stimulates them to pee and defecates. She also keeps the puppies’ body clean by licking them from time to time therefore, do not bathe them for some weeks.
Transitional Stage (2-4 Weeks)
One of the very important stages in any puppy’s life is the traditional stage. In this stage, the Belgian Malinois puppies can see and hear for the very first time in their life. Their eyelids start to open when they are 10-12 days old but the vision is still vivid. By 14-16 days old, they are able to hear for the first time and get familiar with the voice of their mother and other littermates.
The puppies start making their own vocabulary to communicate with their mother and littermates by whining, yelping, and barking. They also start walking their wobbly walk and taste sold food for the first time from their mother’s plate. You can start feeding them little solid food as their teeth start to grow at this age.
Socialization Stage (4-16 Weeks)
When the Belgian Malinois puppies get above 4 weeks old, they need to be exposed slowly to the outside world. Before taking them out to socialize, train them to walk properly with leash on. After they get comfortable walking on the leash, take them to a park where you can introduce them to other human beings as well as other canines.
When they are 8 weeks, they need to be given vaccinations against different diseases like distemper, DDPH, adenovirus, rabies, and medication for heartworm.
Juvenile Stage (3-6 Months)
In this stage, the Belgian Malinois puppies slowly start losing their puppy face and look more mature. They are very active and enthusiastic at this age, so a proper training is required. Establish a firm and consistent leadership upon them and give them basic obedience training. As they get older, enroll them in agility or advanced training for their physical exercise and healthy life.
They might get scared or aggressive with strange people and other pets, so continue the socialization. Take them out for a walk regularly and let them meet new people and canine friends.
Adolescence Stage (6-12 Months)
The adult Belgian Malinois is lean, muscular, and very strong. They are very energetic, so involve them in regular physical exercise. Provide them with complete balanced diet and required supplements. They are more matured and fully grown.
Despite their physical and sexual maturity, they are still not ready for mating and breeding. The female experience her first heat, but is not ready to have puppies. So, do not involve them in breeding for at least 18 months old.
Visit Doglime for more information about puppy behavior of different breeds.