Meet the Breed: The Belgian Malinois




  • Height: 22"- 26”
  • Weight: 55-75 pounds
  • Historical function: Herding
  • Modern function: Narcotics/explosives detection, agility, etc.
  • AKC classification: Herding

Physical Characteristics:

The Belgian Malinois is an athletic squarely-built dog with a fawn to mahogany-colored coat with a dark mask. The coat is short.

History of the Breed:

The Malinois is one of four Belgian herding dogs that are all considered varieties of a single breed in their homeland and was named after the Belgian city of Malines. While the Belgian Malinois is still rare in the USA, it is popular in Belgium.  The Malinois is bred primarily as a working dog for personal protection, detection, police work, search and rescue, and sport work.


The Belgian Malinois, like most herding dogs, is highly intelligent and active. He requires lots of mental and physical stimulation to be at his best, both behaviorally and physically.

  • Best suited for: These high energy, extremely intelligent dogs need leadership, to be challenged, and well exercised daily and therefore are not for everyone, but can make an excellent family companion with the right owners.
  • Preferred living conditions: These working dogs love to have a job to be challenged.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: Easy-care coat requires occasional brushing to remove dead hair and distribute oils that keep the coat waterproof. Only bathe occasionally. Constant light shedder except for heavy seasonal shedding.
  • Exercise needs: Daily walk, but would prefer a run or hike. Active games are a must.
  • Life expectancy: 12-14 years.
  • Health concerns: This is a healthy breed with occasional eye problems and hip dysplasia.

Breed Club Links: American Belgian Malinois Club Perfect Pairings:  EzyDog Dogstar Flyer Dog Toy - Red

Have any stories about a Belgian Malinois? Please share!

Photo courtesy of D. Williams (Intrepid Malinois.)

This entry was posted by Mary.
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