Fun Belgian Malinois Facts For Kids

Akinwalere Olaleye
Oct 20, 2022 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Read Belgian Malinois facts about the high energy level dogs that are perfect for search and rescue missions with police and military.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.5 Min

The domestic dog, Belgian Malinois (Canis lupus familiaris) is a popular rescue dog breed. The Belgian Malinois, also known as the Belgian Sheepdog or the Chien de Berger Belge, is a medium sized Belgian herding dog breed. This is the brave dog breed that helped to capture dreaded terrorist Osama Bin Laden. Due to their large size, these herding dogs are susceptible to a variety of health problems like elbow dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy. This breed draws its name from its native city of Malines in Belgium. These dogs have a hard topcoat and dense undercoat that requires weekly brushing.

This dog breed gained immense popularity between the year 1911 and World War II. Here are some interesting facts on Belgian Malinois. You can also browse through these Berger Picard facts and black German shepherd facts for more information about highly intelligent dogs.

Belgian Malinois Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Belgian Malinois?

Belgian Malinois, or Mals as they are more often known, is a powerful and aggressive breed of dog. They are a breed of exceptional Belgian sheepdogs that were produced in the nation in the 1800s and are frequently compared to their German shepherd counterparts.

What class of animal does a Belgian Malinois belong to?

The Belgian Malinois dog breed belongs to the mammalian class of animals as these shepherd dogs give direct birth to their puppies. This is one of the most popular dog breeds across the world and is generally found in fawn to mahogany color double coats.

How many Belgian Malinois are there in the world?

Their populations are hard to estimate because of their widespread presence.

Where does a Belgian Malinois live?

The Belgian Malinois is a breed that was designed to live on a farm. These dogs were developed as sheepdogs to herd sheep for extended periods of time without supervision. This is why these dogs have a lot of stamina and a desire to spend more time outside.

What is a Belgian Malinois's habitat?

A Belgium Malinois prefers a colder environment with plenty of areas to run around and exercise is best for a Mal, although these dogs are a very adaptable breed of dog. While nothing beats a garden to play in, these dogs can also adapt to apartment areas and communities as long as this dog receives enough exercise. Because they are now widely used as K-9 units in the police, military, and navy, these dogs are frequently reared in camps and facilities as puppies and are taught a range of tasks to prepare them to be outstanding security and search dogs.

Who do Belgian Malinois live with?

Malinois can be hostile against other dogs and cats if not raised with them from puppyhood. You must start early and praise acceptable behavior if you want your Malinois to get along with other animals. While they are incredibly active and demanding, their loyalty and playfulness make them excellent home dogs.

How long does a Belgian Malinois live?

Belgian Malinois has an average life span of 12-14 years. Some of the common health problems that these Belgian Malinois rescue dogs suffer from include elbow dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy that can affect Belgian Malinois lifespan adversely.

How do they reproduce?

Belgian Malinois reproduces in the typical mammalian manner. The male and female engage in sexual mating. The gestation period lasts between 71-90 days after which the female gives birth to a litter of 6-10 Belgian Malinois puppies. After six months, the female Malinois is ready for mating and her heat for mating lasts for two to four weeks. These female Malinois go through heat cycles every six months, during which they are ready for mating activities.

What is their conservation status?

As the Belgian Malinois breed is rather popular and has not been unusual in the last century or so, it is not regarded to be in danger of extinction or population decline. The IUCN, however, has not formally assigned it a conservation status category.

Belgian Malinois Fun Facts

What do Belgian Malinois look like?

The Belgian Malinois has a thin, two layered coat that is weather resistant. Fur colors range from dark fawn to crimson or mahogany to black, with a black coating on the hair tips. The underside, back, and tail are often a lighter tan tint, whilst the mask and ears are black. Their dark eyes are almond shaped, and their earlobes are erect and triangular. Male Belgians are larger than females, both in height and in weight. Their fur is fairly coarse and sheds twice a year, with a thinner, more ventilating fur coat in the summer and a thicker hairy coat in the winter. It has a very erect, beautiful form, giving the breed a robust and durable attitude. While the Malinois is well muscled and muscular, these dogs are not bulky, which allows their body to move quickly.

A Belgian Malinois has a black mask shading on its face.

How cute are they?

While Belgian Malinois may not appear to be charming and friendly at first look due to their tough and aggressive character, these Belgian shepherds do have a gentler side. These herding dogs are not generally especially cuddly or friendly with their owners; nevertheless, if properly educated and trained from a young age, they will adapt and be friendly with everyone. Different Belgian Malinois colors make this pet dog breed extremely attractive and endearing. Some of the most popular color variations being black Belgian Malinois and blue Belgian Malinois.

How do they communicate?

Belgian Malinoises are known for being a chatty and noisy breed of dog. These herding dogs have a propensity to be quite loud and raucous while protecting something or just suspecting any strange person or situation because they were genetically raised as herd dogs on the farm. These short haired herding dogs are raucous and aggressive barkers that will instantly frighten any outsider. They also howl regularly and must be punished and made to behave properly.

How big is a Belgian Malinois?

The Belgian Malinois dog breed can grow as big as 22-26 in (55.8-66.0 cm). The Belgian Malinois size for the males of this breed group is taller than the female Belgian Malinois dog.

How fast can a Belgian Malinois run?

Belgian Malinois is one of the fastest dog breeds in the world. They are highly swift and nimble. A Malinois has been known to reach speeds of up to 30 mph (48 kph). So, the next time you try to outrun the dog on your bike, remember that it will catch up with you in no time!

How much does a Belgian Malinois weigh?

The Belgian Malinois is a medium sized sheepdog breed. Female Malinois are a bit smaller and weigh approximately 60 lb (27.2 kg). On the other hand, male Belgian Malinois weight is approximately 80 lb (36.2 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for male Belgian Malinois as it is known as a dog. On the other hand, the female Belgian Malinois is known as a bitch.

What would you call a baby Belgian Malinois?

The Belgian Malinois dog breed baby is known as a puppy, very similar to puppies of other dog breeds.

What do they eat?

A Belgian Malinois is a medium to large breed that demands a lot of meat. Because it is an active breed, offer it a higher protein diet, including 25-30 percent protein. Furthermore, there should be more than 10 percent fat to guarantee proper energy levels.

Are they aggressive?

Yes, although the Belgian Malinois is a high energy and a very intellectual dog breed. However, if Belgian dogs are not socialized from a young age, you may observe aggressive tendencies. Chewing, barking, and separation anxiety are just a few of the behaviors that this Belgian Shepherd dog breed might exhibit as they grow. This is, however, most likely due to a lack of activity and boredom. Belgian Malinois training should be provided from an early age to manage the behavior of the dog for the longer run.

Would they make a good pet?

The Belgian Malinois is well known for its ability to defend animals, but it is also noted for its ability to defend humans. These shepherd dogs are noted for having a lot of energy, which means they need a lot of activity to keep in shape. They may make a terrific home pet if properly trained. Belgian Malinois temperament is extremely friendly and caring for its human family. Moreover, Belgian Malinois shedding is not a big concern as the short hair does not shed much.

Did you know...

During World War I, Mals performed crucial duties, including delivering messages, hauling ambulance carts, and supporting the Red Cross.

Halle Berry not only played a role that led a pair of canine troops in 'John Wick; Chapter 3: Parabellum', but she also became a dog trainer, connecting with and teaching the five Belgian Malinois utilized during production.

When you compare Belgian Malinois vs German Shepherd, you would be able to analyze that the German Shepherd is often heavier in weight as compared to the Belgian Malinois.

How to pronounce Belgian Malinois?

Belgian Malinois pronunciation is bel-juhn ma-Luhn-vaa.

Having your own Belgian Malinois

A Belgian Malinois should be chosen with caution because it is an expensive breed with a lot of energy. The Belgian Malinois price for a healthy Belgian Malinois puppy can go up to $2,500 in the United States while the price for a Belgian Malinois mix will be slightly lower. Monthly maintenance costs might range from $35-$100 or more.

Belgian Malinoises are clever dogs that may be trained to do a variety of jobs. They are highly sensitive and reactive to emotions and tone of voice, therefore avoid rough or harsh treatment with them as they may likely revolt. Because of their fear of strangers, socialization is critical with this breed. As a herding dog, one of its well-known characteristics is nipping, biting, and chasing. To satisfy their mental stimulation demands, they also require the discipline of a training schedule.

You can train your Belgian Malinois dog into a perfect family dog. However, a Belgian dog does need to be paired and kept with a suitable family. They have a high prey drive and are known to chase young children when they move quickly. They love to bite, but this love of biting can make them unsuitable for certain families. They are intelligent but need a strong leader with the time and knowledge to train this dog properly.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these bulldog facts and cane corso facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Belgian malinois coloring pages.

Belgian Malinois Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Small animals and birds

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?

6-10 puppies

How Much Did They Weigh?

60-80 lb (27.2-36.2 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?


Where Do They Live?

us, europe, australia, and asia

How Long Were They?


How Tall Were They?

Male: 24-26 in (60.9-66.0 cm)Female: 22-24 in (55.8-60.9 cm)‍







Scientific Name

Canis lupus familiaris

What Do They Look Like?

Fawn to mahogany color

Skin Type

Hard topcoat and dense undercoat

What Are Their Main Threats?

health conditions like elbow dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy

What is their Conservation Status?

Not Listed
We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

Read full bio >
Read the DisclaimerFact Correction