A Guide to the Belgian Malinois, The Affectionate Herder What Traits Make This Breed Special

Belgian Malinois photo
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Is the Belgian Malinois right for you?

  • 1 Belgian Malinois are most known for their endurance, obedience, and loyalty.
  • 2 Belgian Malinois puppies are very trainable and often are used as police dogs and for search and rescue.
  • 3 Belgian Malinois typically have puppy-like energy until the age of 5.


Named for their city of origin, Malines, the Belgian Malinois Shepherd is one of the four Belgian Shepherds (Tervuren, Groenendael, and Laekenois) that fall under the same breed standard in most kennel clubs. They were first used as herding dogs but today excel in a number of lines of work, from police and military jobs to search and rescue, guarding, and professional obedience training. While not popular in the United States, the Malinois is one of the more common breeds in Belgium.

Quick Facts

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    12-14 years

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    Hair Length


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    Male Height

    24-26 inches (61-66 cm)

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    Male Weight

    65-75 pounds (29-34 kg)

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    Female Height

    22-24 (56-61)

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    Female Weight

    55-65 pounds (25-30 kg)

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    Litter Size

    6 to 10 puppies


A smart, obedient, brave and confident breed, the Belgian Malinois typically lacks any aggressive tendencies or shyness. They are very loving to their family but they can be wary of strangers. They are not typically overprotective, but without proper socialization and training, this may become an issue. They require a sure hand when training, as they do not respond to weakness, or to harsh tones. They are great with kids, but they tend to assert dominance over other dogs, and can be outright aggressive towards smaller animals. .


The Belgian Malinois generally can be seen in a fawn color with a black on their muzzle, ears, and chest. Occasionally they will be completely black or fawn, but the mixture is more common.

Health Concerns

The Belgian Malinois has no major health concerns. Sufficient exercise should take good care of the breed. Minor health issues include:


A strong, athletically built dog, the Belgian Malinois has a relatively square body. They have large, triangular ears that sit atop their flat head. They have a long, somewhat pointed muzzle, and a very long tail. Their fur, unlike the other Belgian Shepherds, is a short, straight coat.

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