Belgian Malinois are one of the hardest-working, most intelligent dog breeds. Often mistaken for a German Shepherd, a Belgian Malinois is a medium-to-large size Belgian herding dog and is actually one of 4 types of the Belgian sheepdogs that exist. They are commonly seen and used as police and military dogs, security dogs, and any dog profession requiring highly trained canines.

The Belgian Malinois has received special attention lately in popular movies. However, careful research is required before owning a Belgian Malinois puppy to make sure you can determine if this breed is a good match for you and your household, as they are probably not a good starter breed for first-time dog owners looking for a cuddly couch buddy.

With the right training and ownership bond, a Belgian Malinois puppy becomes a spectacular, attentive dog and also a great family companion.

General Characteristics

A Belgian Malinois puppy is a beautiful canine with a dignified, regal stance. When fully grown, Belgian Malinois puppies can attain 55-73 lbs., stand 22-25 in. tall, and live to be 10-15 years old. They have large ears that stand up straight from the top of their head. Their large, powerful muscles and lighter weight carried on their toes create a square body type that differs from the German Shepherd’s long, sloping back.

A Belgian Malinois’ coat is short, red, gray, or fawn-colored with a black mask and black tips on the hair. A Belgian Malinois puppy will have large, inquisitive, dark eyes and a slightly bushy tail.

Activity Levels

When searching for a Belgian Malinois puppy, you’ll see this breed needs a huge amount of both mental and physical stimulation. They are working dogs, and as such, will keep themselves busy at all times in ways you may not want them to! That’s why it’s so important to keep up with their need for exercise.

Using a variety of exercises to cater to their physical and developmental needs is key when keeping Belgian Malinois dogs active. This breed will not be happy with just 30 minutes a day or a romp around out in the yard as the sole means of exercise. Rather, a Belgian Malinois will need a minimum of one hour and up to 2 hours or more of hard activity a day. An exhausted Belgian Malinois puppy is content and will behave much better than an under stimulated puppy.

Activities that will keep a Belgian Malinois puppy active include several walks a day, puzzle toys, a scent scavenger hunt, playing fetch, and getting involved in agility, Schutzhund, obedience classes, fieldwork, herding, and specialized training programs.


A Belgian Malinois is energetic, intelligent, powerful, and hard-working. They are a fantastic fit for an active individual or family with older children that have the time and energy to put into raising a happy, healthy Belgian Malinois puppy.

A Belgian Malinois has a confident, obedient, strong temperament and is fiercely loyal to its family. They can be reserved with strangers but are extremely affectionate with their families. Belgian Malinois puppies love spending quality time bonding with their owners.

As a naturally alert dog due to their herding background, a properly trained Belgian Malinois puppy can make an excellent guard dog while knowing when to back off due to their obedient nature. Despite their sometimes scary facial expressions when their teeth show, properly trained Belgian Malinois puppies should never be aggressive or attack unless under explicit instruction from a trainer.


If you’ve noticed these spectacular dogs in movies, you’ll find these working dogs can have lots of jobs that require specialized training. That’s because Belgian Malinois puppies inherits traits that make them hard-working, smart, and eager to please.

Early socialization and basic commands are imperative when owning a Belgian Malinois puppy. These dogs are better suited for an experienced dog owner who understands the amount of time and consistency these high-energy breeds truly need.

Using a firm yet gentle training method is key because Belgian Malinois puppies can be sensitive at times. Owners are highly encouraged to consult the expertise of a professional trainer to gain proper breed-specific training tips and techniques rather than going through a regular puppy class for one session.

They excel at many canine sports such as agility, obedience, tracking, skijoring (a winter sport where they pull people on skis), and more. Belgian Malinois puppies make great service dogs due to their high intelligence and the level of obedience training they can receive.


Belgian Malinois puppies are relatively easy to groom and maintain. They are medium shedders that blow out their coats twice a year. Their double coat will need to be brushed regularly to remove loose hair, dirt, and debris to keep their skin and coats healthy.

You can give your Belgian Malinois puppy a bath using mild, dog-friendly shampoo every 2-3 months or so or when they develop a doggy odor. Be sure to routinely check their paws, legs, and gait due to their outside activity level. Maintain clean ears and eyes and clip their nails regularly to avoid foot and mobility issues.