Temperament, Facts, and Information Regarding Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois dogs got initially been bred for the herding purpose. Also, these dogs work as military and police, protective, and loving dogs for the family members. These dogs are intelligent, intense, and athletic friends who are highly energetic and need daily exercise. These dogs might not fair appropriately in an apartment or some other small living spaces. Here are the facts that need to be considered by the dog owner.

Belgian Malinois is a medium-sized shepherd dog that has a resemblance to the German Shepherd breed. It is a short-haired fawn-colored dog that has a black mask. There are four types of Belgian dogs shown in the US as the separate breed of 1959. The dogs got bred initially in Belgium that has a good deal of stamina for those who genuinely enjoy working. They are active and intelligent dogs who excel at many challenges. In addition to this, the dogs also perform well in police work like search and rescue.

The Four Varieties Of Belgian Shepherd

Belgian Malinois Dog Breed Information, characteristics, Facts, Pictures

  • Groenendal: Long-haired and the only black one
  • Tervueren: Coat of grey-carbonate of fawn color, with long hair and black under the mask
  • Malinois: Single short-haired, fawn-colored with black mask
  • Leaknois: Hard and coarse hair, the only fawn color. This variety is slowly disappearing, being the least appreciated on an aesthetic level.

Read also: Types of shepherd dogs 


Belgian Malinois Dog Breed Information, characteristics, Facts, Pictures

The Belgian Shepherd is an active, intelligent animal, capable of obeying and performing various types of work. It is an easy animal to train with the necessary dedication and experience because it will always try to please its owner. This dog is very faithful and affectionate, playful, and easy to adapt to any situation. Malinois dog gets along very well with children and adults, and he is quite sociable by nature, so it is easy to get him to get along with other dogs if he is treated in the right way.

The character of the Belgian Shepherd is without a doubt enviable. They are very balanced and calm dogs when they need to be, but they can also be impulsive and emotional. They need a high volume of attention and affection, and also a high level of daily exercise. He creates very close relationships with his family, and he also has a strong protective instinct towards his own, but he is not an aggressive dog in nature.

They can develop separation anxiety, and if they leave too many hours alone at home, they can have undesirable destructive behaviors inside the house. However, with the proper care and training, it is really easy to enjoy a balanced dog with an enviable temperament.

People generally confuse these dogs to be German Shepherd. However, there are a lot of differences between the two. It can be in the form of temperament or body structure. Malinois has light bones. They can stand appropriately on the toes, which provides them with a square body profile. Belgian Malinois is a red, brown, or fawn-colored dog that possesses black hair tips. People usually think that dogs are quicker and alert in giving a response. These are also sensitive dogs who do not respond well to the training methods.

Most of the Belgian Malinois is friendly and of aggressive nature, while others are reserved for strangers. The dogs must not possess a fearful or aggressive temperament. It is all because of the energy level that Malinois is only for those who are not first-time owners. They must have experience in dog training. These dogs like to be included in family activities. These dogs are quick learners and complete their tasks; you ask them to perform.

Basic Highlights

Belgian Malinois Dog Breed Information, characteristics, Facts, Pictures

These dogs have a good deal of energy and need to perform a lot of exercises. But make sure you give them room and time to have it.

These are intelligent and alert dogs who possess strong herding instincts. Early training is critical.

They are good-sized dogs who are people-oriented and want them to be included in the family activities.

These dogs are the constant shedders who shed mostly two times a year.

These are the intense dogs that are sensitive and play-oriented. They must be given a fun, positive, and consistent training.

Malinois is suitable for experienced owners because they are highly energetic and intelligent dogs.

Breed Overview

Belgian Malinois Dog Breed Information, characteristics, Facts, Pictures

  • Origin: Belgium
  • Height: 24 to 26 inches, Female: 22 to 24 inches
  • Weight: Male: 29–34 kg, Female: 25–30 kg
  • Lifespan: 12 – 14 years
  • Colors: Tan, Black-tipped Fawn, Mahogany
  • Temperament: Active, Intelligent, Loyal, Affectionate, Protective, Stubborn, Playful, Hard-working, Guard dog.

Belgian Malinois Appearance

The Belgian Shepherd dog has a rather large size, as shown in the Enci breed standard. Despite everything, it is a perfect candidate for a happy coexistence in an urban environment and does not suffer in particular from sharing even small spaces. Specifically, it can be said of the Belgian shepherd dog that it is square in size and that it has a relatively powerful body that is not characterized by particular heaviness. As well as the body, the legs also share this characteristic, even if at night they seem to have an accentuated muscularity. Unlike Laekenois, Malinois, and Tervueren, all with fawn, fawn, and carbonate gray variants, the Groenendael is only allowed with a black backpack coat.

Physical characteristics admitted by the standard

  • Colors: Fawn, black, charcoal
  • Hair: dense, hard, smooth, rough, short, long
  • Coat: masked, uniform, dense


It is an outstanding working dog that is very confident and protective. They have affectionate for the family but are reserved towards strangers until they do not figure them out. The watchdog abilities of the dog breed are very excellent. They can protect property and people with as much force as they can. The personality of these dogs gets affected due to many factors like training, heredity, and socialization. Puppies that have excellent temperaments are very playful and curious. They are willing to approach the people and could be held by them.

Health Care And Grooming

The Belgian Shepherd is a fairly healthy breed of dog, less prone than other breeds to suffer from certain health problems. They do not develop hereditary diseases and traditional diseases such as hip dysplasia or stomach torsion rarely occur in them. Maintaining healthy habits in their daily life, it is possible to enjoy this animal for many years, since it is also a fairly long-lived breed. The most advisable thing to keep it in perfect condition is to take it to the vet approximately every six months, keep its vaccination schedule up to date and deworm it internally and externally as often as necessary.
On the other hand, the Belgian shepherd Malinois has a short, straight, and weatherproof coat with a dense undercoat. Their coat will require specific care the Malinois is known to have relatively high shedding especially during the change of seasons. So brushing 1/2 times a week is more than enough, and with full baths with specific shampoos with these guidelines your dog will have a healthy and shiny coat since it does not usually present too many complications. This breed fills their nails naturally by walking on the sidewalk but be sure to check their nails regularly. Dental hygiene is also very important, if possible, brush the dog’s teeth 2/3 times a week with special toothpaste for dogs.


You also have to take into account its diet, which should not be excessive so that it does not gain too much weight, since it is a dog that must always remain athletic and agile. High-quality food whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval rationed throughout the day is the key to taking good care of your dog’s health.

Amount of food to serve to your Belgian Malinois puppy in its first year of life

  • 3 Month: From 150 to 200gr. per day, distributed in 4 daily rations. Ideally, these servings are offered as porridge, sweetening the commercial feed with hot water before offering to the puppy.
  • 4-5 Months: From 250-300gr. per day, in 3 portions per day. At this time, the puppy can chew the feed well, it’s not important to temper or softens it.
  • 6-8 Months: From 300 or 400gr. per day, divided into 2 or 3 portions per day.
  • 8-12 Months: From 400 to 500gr. per day, in 2 or 3 daily doses.


Another of the most important things for the Belgian Shepherd is the one related to exercise and learning. As we have already seen, it is an animal that can be easily educated with the right tools, but that also requires high levels of exercise to expend all the energy it contains. The most advisable thing is to take long daily walks with them, but they also need spaces where they can run freely and activities that keep their mind awake.
With these training and education guidelines, and good socialization from a puppy, you will have an ideal dog as a pet and as a companion for all adventures. If you consider that this breed is the best for you and for your lifestyle, then you should look for an expert breeder. In general, you can find people dedicated to one of the varieties, so that you will get the puppy you want with all the guarantees regarding its health and genetics.
The Belgian Shepherd, in any of its varieties, is a very special breed, so it is convenient that you learn a lot about it and its needs before making the decision. Only a connoisseur of the breed will be able to offer you all the information regarding their temperament and characteristics, so stay away from private sellers or puppies from shops of dubious origin. Your new best friend deserves the effort to find a breeder who offers guarantees in all aspects.


The ancestors of the Belgian shepherd dogs were medieval European shepherd dogs. For the first time, individuals similar to modern Belgian shepherds are mentioned in 1650, but these were dogs of different colors, sizes, and coat structures. They were united only by the ability to “group” sheep and, if necessary, to protect the wards from predators: four-legged or two-legged.
In 1891 the Belgian Shepherd Dog Club was organized. A year later, a detailed standard was developed. But the dogs were still very diverse, and the standard did not have official status. As a result, it was not until 1901 that the first Belgian Shepherds were registered with the Royal Saint-Hubert Society Stud Book.
In subsequent years, enthusiasts sought to bring the dogs to a common type and correct the initial mistakes. By 1910, the type and character of the Belgian Shepherd Dogs had been established.
As for the color, initially, it had three options: black dogs with long hair (Groenendael), red-brown short-haired (Malinois), gray wire-haired (Laquenois). However, this excluded many valuable individuals from breeding. Their resentful owners set up their own club and bred dogs in various shades of black, gray, and brown.
In 1885 the two clubs merged and the standard was changed. Four varieties of Belgian Shepherd Dogs have emerged: Groenendael (long-haired black), Laquenois (wire-haired gray or red-brown), Malinois (short-haired red-brown), and Tervuren (long-haired red-brown).
At the moment, in France, dogs are also bred in gray and silver-steel colors, but the Belgians categorically refuse to recognize them.
In the USA and Canada, only Malinois and Groenendael are still called Belgian Shepherds. The Tervuren is considered a separate breed, the Laquenois is not recognized.

Where did the four varieties of the Belgian Shepherd come from?

In the 70s of the 19th century, the owner of a cafe called “Groenendael” in the town of the same name discovered a black puppy among the young of his dog. The kid got the nickname Piccard d Uccle. Subsequently, he had his own offspring, and one of his children is considered the ancestor of all Groenendael.
Laekenois was named after the royal castle of Laeken. The shepherds who lived there bred wire-haired dogs. This variety was less fortunate than the rest. They are not as attractive as Tervuren and Groenendael and are inferior to Malinois in terms of performance. In addition, closely related crossbreeding led to the massive manifestation of diseases such as dysplasia, hemophilia, osteochondrosis.
The name “Malinois” is associated with the small town of Malines. Local breeders focused on performance rather than the exterior.
The Tervuerens were also named after their hometown. Their distinctive feature is long dark mahogany hair with black tips.
During the First World War, Belgian Shepherds actively participated in hostilities: they took out the wounded, brought shells, delivered reports. And in the future, they have established themselves as excellent working dogs.
In Belarus, the most widespread variety is the Malinois.