Belgian Malinois

Is the Belgian Malinois a Good Family Dog?

Are you trying to decide which dog is a good fit for your family? Have you heard that the Belgian Malinois is an excellent protector and you want to know if it will be a good family dog, as well? If so, you’re in the right place. We’ll share everything you need to decide if a Belgian Malinois is the right dog for your family.

What is a Belgian Malinois Like?

The Belgian Malinois is a dedicated, loyal, hardworking dog. These athletic animals were first bred to be working dogs, used to protect livestock. Thanks to their breeding, they have a high prey drive and boundless energy.
They are incredibly intelligent dogs. They can be trained to do nearly any task and function in a wide variety of roles. They want to work and are most happy when their days are filled with activity, and they are given a well-defined job to carry out.

When trained and properly socialized, Belgian Malinois are confident dogs who will be protective, calm, and ready for action no matter the situation they face. They are naturally wary and act aloof around strangers, but with family, they are loving and affectionate. The Belgian Malinois protection dog will form a close bond with families and see their role as a guardian for those they love. If you are bringing a Belgian Malinois into a family where there are small children, they will need to be socialized and trained to respond appropriately. They can learn, but they need the training for this. Nipping and chasing can be a problem if not properly trained.

What Does a Belgian Malinois Need?

Thanks to the way the Belgian Malinois were bred, they have a lot of energy and are incredibly intelligent. Because of these two traits, a Belgian Malinois needs to be constantly active and given jobs. What does this mean for a family?
A Belgian Malinois isn’t the right dog for everyone. They need to be part of a family that has time and energy to dedicate to their continual training. They also need plenty of regular activity to keep them mentally stimulated. As with any dog breed, a bored Belgian Malinois can get itself into trouble if they lack activities to keep them busy. What are some activities a Belgian Malinois family dog loves?

  • Regular Walks
  • Obstacle Courses
  • Training Classes
  • Fetch
  • Hikes in Nature
  • Sporting Activities

If you’re a family that has time to dedicate to your pup and enjoys sporting activities, you can enroll your Belgian Malinois into training and special competition events. These events are perfect for helping your dog get some energy out, learn new skills, and use their focus to perform a job they love.
It’s important to schedule at least 90 minutes of exercise and outdoor activity daily. If your family is not the “outdoorsy” type, or you don’t have a minimum of an hour and a half to dedicate to exercising your Belgian Malinois, you should consider a different breed, instead.

What Else Do You Need to Know?

If you’re still on board with getting a Belgian Malinois at this point, here are a few other facts to consider when deciding whether to bring a Malinois into your family.


Belgian Malinois do shed, but less than a German Shepherd. Expect to brush them at least twice a week throughout the year. During Fall and Spring, they shed heavily and will need to be brushed daily.

Other grooming requirements include:

  • Brush Teeth 3xs a Week
  • Clean Ears/Eyes Weekly
  • Bathe Occasionally
  • Trim Nails Every Four Months


Belgian Malinois need a high protein diet to aid in muscle development. As a puppy, they need a diet with approximately 25% protein. As an adult, they need anywhere from 1000-1600 calories of high-quality food a day.

Health Issues

Belgian Malinois can tend to develop three main health problems – hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and eye problems. To avoid these issues, make sure you purchase your dog from a reputable breeder who can provide documented proof of pedigree health.

Life Span

A Belgian Malinois who is healthy and has all their needs taken care of can live for 14-16 years.


Belgian Malinois are not inexpensive dogs. Puppies cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 depending on pedigree. If you purchase an adult who is fully trained as a family or personal protection dog, you should expect to pay significantly more. Most fully trained, pedigreed Belgian Malinois protection dogs start at around $20,000.

Belgian Malinois: A Cut Above

The Belgian Malinois is a loyal, dedicated, and hardworking dog. They need plenty of activity to remain mentally and physically engaged. They’re wary around strangers and naturally protective around their family. When socialized properly, they make wonderful family protection dogs. Now that you know more about this incredible dog, is it right for your family?

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