22 January 2024
The Belgian Malinois is an extremely popular working breed. Commonly employed by military and police units as well as commercial security handlers, it also excels at family protection work, and is one of our favourite dogs to work with. Highly intelligent, it is one of the easiest breeds to train for a working role given their speed of learning. Originally developed to protect and herd livestock, it is a true working breed whose versatility is only matched by German and Dutch Shepherds. It is one of the few breeds capable of both protection and detection work, and equally comfortable in either role in military and police units around the world.
While energetic and intelligent, a well-bred Belgian Malinois will be comfortable and readily adapt well to modern home and family settings if offered enough exercise and mental stimulation. Best suited to active families, it can easily double as a both a pet and guardian when properly trained and prepared for this role. One of its notable differences from the German Shepherd is that it tends to shed less, so can be a better option for families seeking a dog with slightly lower grooming requirements.
If you are considering a Belgian Malinois as either a pet or working dog, training and exercise are of paramount importance. Short daily walks are unlikely to satisfy them, and younger dogs often seem to have inexhaustible energy levels. Longer walks and off lead free running as well as plenty of access to intellectually stimulating activities throughout the day are key to ensuring a Belgian Malinois’s wellbeing. Regular short training sessions built around mealtimes, uninterrupted garden access, and lots of playtime are good starting points, but more will be better than less.