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Why shouldn’t you get a Belgian Malinois?

Why shouldn't you get a Belgian Malinois?

Why shouldn’t you get a Belgian Malinois?

There are a few reasons why someone might choose not to get a Belgian Malinois as a pet. Belgian Malinois are known for their high energy levels and need for regular exercise and mental stimulation. They are also highly intelligent and require consistent training and socialization to prevent behavior problems.

Additionally, their strong prey drive and protective nature can make them a handful for inexperienced owners. It’s important for potential owners to thoroughly research the breed and consider whether they can provide the time, effort, and resources necessary to meet the needs of a Belgian Malinois.

What are some other dog breeds that are similar to Belgian Malinois?

Several dog breeds share certain similarities with Belgian Malinois in terms of temperament, energy levels, and working abilities. Here are a few breeds that are often compared to Belgian Malinois:

German Shepherd: German Shepherds are highly intelligent, versatile working dogs. They are known for their loyalty, trainability, and protective instincts. They require regular exercise, mental stimulation, and socialization.

Dutch Shepherd: Like the Belgian Malinois, Dutch Shepherds are intelligent, energetic, and often used in various working roles, such as police or military work. They are known for their agility, endurance, and strong drive.

Border Collie: Border Collies are highly intelligent and energetic herding dogs. They excel in activities like obedience, agility, and herding trials. They require ample exercise, mental stimulation, and a job to do.

Australian Shepherd: Australian Shepherds are active, intelligent, and versatile herding dogs. They are known for their agility, trainability, and loyalty. They require mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom.

Siberian Husky: Although not as commonly compared to Belgian Malinois, Siberian Huskies share some similarities. They are energetic, independent, and bred for endurance. Huskies require plenty of exercise, mental stimulation, and a secure environment.

It’s important to note that while these breeds may share certain characteristics with Belgian Malinois, each dog is an individual with its own unique personality and needs. Proper research, training, and socialization are crucial, regardless of the breed.

Why shouldn’t you get a Belgian Malinois?

If you have not raised and trained a large breed working group dog like a German Shepherd Dog, Australian Cattle Dog, Blue Heeler, Vizsla, Labrador Retriever, Husky, Malamute, etc. and trained them to pass a 3rd party evaluation like “Canine Good Citizen” or “Public Access,”???


No matter how many other breeds you may have had experience with…

I have lived, loved, and trained dogs for 50 years, and I am not ready for a Malinois.

There is no comparison to the energy and “bite drive” of a Malinois. and they are the first choice for military and police working dog training at the highest levels for a good reason.

They are called “Maligators by those who love them…That should be a hint that they are not for everybody.

Why shouldn't you get a Belgian Malinois?

Take my word for it, or FAFO at you and your dogs peril…

What is it like to own a Belgian Malinois?

Crazy. Awesome. Great exercise. Good thing that I don’t have many other hobbies… I have owned two Belgian Malinois and currently own a Belgian Laekenois (in most countries, they are considered varieties of the Belgian Shepherd; in the US, where I live, the AKC considers them separate breeds).

They are physical; they were born playing full-contact rugby with the entire world. If you are scared of being body-checked, leaned on, side-swiped, or furry canon-balled to the ground, don’t get one.

They are mouthy; the herding style of the continental shepherds (upright and physical, with gripping a sheep by the wool being an important tool to keep control) has been amplified in the breed or variety more than in the still-mouthy other Belgian Shepherds. If you are scared to get bit and gripped, if you can’t handle dog teeth caught in your clothes and a dog “holding” your hand, don’t get one.

They are smart; there is a reason that they are used by American Special Forces, and it isn’t because they’re pretty. How smart is smart? My second Malinois was adopted between 1 and 2 years old. When I got him, he was: ~15 lbs underweight, didn’t know what “sit” meant, not housetrained, and had major separation anxiety. In 7 and 1/2 weeks, we achieved a prenovice obedience score of 194 1/2 (for reference, that is out of 200; most dogs are trained for ~6+ months before their first competition, and a qualifying score is 170 out of 200; if you’re in the 190’s, you’re doing really well).

They are high-energy, bred to trot all day, every day, in all weathers, ready to sprint in an instant if a sheep makes a break for it. They were bred to herd sheep, but largely to contain them in large, fenceless, fallow fields while they grazed. They will run in circles for literally hours. They will hike the Appalachian Trail with you. They will help you train for that triathlon—yes, all three parts.

They are natural guards. Most people think this is great, but what it means is that you have a loaded gun. The dog will take out perceived threats and is large enough to cause significant damage. Training and management are a must with this breed, or someone is going to get hurt. You must have the training and trust there so that the dog instantly responds when you say “come,” “down,” or “leave it,” even when they are sure that the houseguest knocking on your bedroom door to ask about extra towels is an axe murderer.

Now, I hope that I have properly scared you. Breed rescues for Malinois are always chock full of young dogs dumped because someone didn’t take the realities seriously when they got a pup. When we who love them say “crackheads” and “Mali-gators” and “batshit crazy,” we mean it. They are also the best dogs in the world, if you can live with them. Living with them requires a lot of time, work, and effort, a certain personality, a streak of crazyness, and an understanding of their crazyness.

My last Malinois moved across the country with me twice and lived for two years with me in a studio apartment. As a middle-aged dog, we still ran 4 miles every morning, trained an hour every afternoon, and walked an hour every evening just to keep the edge off. Best dog I’ll probably ever own, but he needed 3+ hours a day of my time just to keep from eating the apartment. Worth it? For me, yes, but certainly not for everyone.

How can I look up someone’s license plate information?

Is a Belgian malinois protective?

Originally Answered: Is a Belgian malinois protective? One day, a big wasp bit my stepfather.

Soon after this, he started having a very bad allergic reaction. As the wasp hit his throat, it became harder for him to breathe. He could not shout or speak, and no one was next to him when it happened.

No one but one of our Belgian Malinois, a 5-year-old female.

She immediately came to us, barking, and led us to him. The emergency services came fast enough to save him. Since then, my dear dog has never stopped following any wasps coming too close to my stepfather.

Should I get a Belgian Malinois?

It depends. Malinios is a high-maintenance breed. They need a job to do or will find one themselves. I know someone who owned and bred them for a time and said they were not a breed for everyone.

  • 1. If you can’t spend at least 1 hour a day with training, don’t get one.
  • 2. If you can’t exercise them for at least 2 hours, don’t get one.
  • 3. If you don’t have experience with dogs, don’t get one.
  • 4. If you don’t have experience with high-maintenance breeds, don’t get one.
  • 5. If you shy away from a bossy dog, don’t get one.
  • 6. If you work long hours and are rarely home, don’t get one.
  • 7. If you’d rather spend more time indoors than out and about, don’t get one.

They are a very difficult dog for people who don’t know what they’re doing. More than likely, if you don’t know how to train and manage a difficult, stubborn breed, a Mali is going to chew you up and spit you out.

If you can handle a stubborn breed, you might be okay. If you can spend hours with mental and physical stimulation on your dog, you might be okay. If you know how to train with a firm hand (no, I don’t mean hitting),. If you think that, you might not need a Mali, and if you don’t let your dog pull the wool over your eyes, you might be okay. If you’re all that and a bag of rice, you can handle a Malinois.

But, word of caution: Keep in contact with the breeder you buy from, and if you see any behavior issues you can’t manage starting to form, contact a professional trainer immediately. This breed isn’t one you can let get away with things that are undesirable (biting, lunging, aggression). It will be a danger to you and society.

Pros and Cons of a Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois is a highly intelligent and versatile dog breed known for its work ethic, loyalty, and trainability. However, like any breed, there are both advantages and challenges associated with owning a Belgian Malinois. Here are some pros and cons:


  1. Intelligence and trainability:
    • Belgian Malinois are highly intelligent dogs and are known for their trainability. They often excel in obedience training, agility, and other canine activities.
  2. Versatility:
    • These dogs are versatile and can be trained for various roles, including police work, search and rescue, protection, and as service dogs. They thrive on having a job to do.
  3. Loyalty and bonding:
    • Belgian Malinois form strong bonds with their owners. They are known for their loyalty and dedication to their families.
  4. Athleticism:
    • Malinois are athletic and energetic dogs. They are well-suited for active individuals or families who enjoy outdoor activities and exercise.
  5. Protective Instinct:
    • Belgian Malinois have a natural protective instinct, making them excellent guard dogs. They are often protective of their home and family.
  6. Low grooming needs:
    • Compared to some other breeds, Belgian Malinois have relatively low grooming needs. Their short coat requires minimal maintenance.


  1. High Energy Levels:
    • Belgian Malinois are extremely active and have high energy levels. They require regular exercise and mental stimulation. Without proper outlets, they may become bored and potentially exhibit destructive behavior.
  2. Not for Novice Owners:
    • Due to their intelligence and energy, Belgian Malinois may not be the best choice for first-time dog owners. They need consistent training and an owner who understands their needs.
  3. Potential behavioral issues:
    • Without proper socialization and training, Belgian Malinois may develop behavioral issues such as excessive barking, aggression, or anxiety.
  4. Needs Mental Stimulation:
    • These dogs thrive on mental stimulation, and a lack of it can lead to boredom. Bored Malinois may resort to undesirable behaviors.
  5. Strong Prey Drive:
    • Belgian Malinois have a strong prey drive, and caution should be taken around smaller animals. Early socialization is crucial to managing this instinct.
  6. Health Concerns:
    • Like many purebred dogs, Belgian Malinois may be prone to certain health issues, including hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy. Responsible breeding and regular veterinary check-ups are essential.

Before deciding to bring a Belgian Malinois into your home, it’s important to thoroughly research the breed, understand its needs, and be prepared to invest time and effort into training and socialization. Additionally, consider adopting from reputable breeders or rescue organizations to ensure the health and well-being of the dog.

Should I get a Belgian Malinois? Are they aggressive, and how many physical and mental stimuli are there?

Are they aggressive?

Yes and no. They are naturally protective dogs, and if you don’t channel or control that, they will do something stupid and hurt someone. There is a reason that they excel in protection sports, and it ain’t their good looks.

They are also highly physical dogs, so even their “play” is often rather dangerous; they like to body-slam people, mouth people, grip or grab people, and “clack” their teeth together in people’s faces.

I have had Malinois who, in play, ripped the seats out of people’s pants and body-slammed a whole group of children to the ground, and I’ve had Malinois mouths on me more times than I can count.

How many physical and mental stimuli?

A Malinois either needs to be a working dog with a full-time job or they need to be basically your other full-time job. They don’t sleep; they power nap. Count exercise in miles, not in minutes, and their training in hours to keep them happy.

I lived with a middle-aged Malinois in an apartment for two years and spent about three hours a day taking the edge off so that the dog didn’t twitch funny. We ran an hour, trained an hour, and walked an hour every day.

There are Malinois who will work a full day and then obsessively spin in their crates rather than settling down to sleep. There are Malinois who will crash through sliding glass doors without hesitating.

(original caption on this photo: “Max gave himself a window so I need to go buy a $700 reinforced crate.”)

At one point, we had three dogs. Two of the three learned to slow down to take the sharp turn on tile to get to the front door when the doorbell rang. The Malinois learned the optimum angle to bank off of the wall.

Should I get a Belgian Malinois?

Probably not. They are great dogs, but they are insane. They make working lines for German Shepherd dogs and Border Collies look easy most of the time. They are highly physical, highly reactive, highly intelligent, and highly driven dogs.

They are insanely good at doing jobs—and insanely “good” at making up their own jobs when they are bored (i.e., removing all of the baseboards, neutralizing the “threat” of the mailman, and scaling the 8-foot fence to “herd” the bicyclists by body-checking them).

Why are Belgian Malinois replacing German Shepherds?

I don’t see the Malinois “replacing” the GSD. The Malinois is lighter and thus less prone to orthopedic injuries than the heavier German Shepherds, thus giving the Maligators a longer average service life in the most active and aggressive jobs.

The breeds are otherwise equal in intelligence, trainability, drive, and loyalty, and both breeds are still finding plenty of work with military, police, private security, and personal protection services. It’s honestly a bit sad that in the military, police, and border guard duties, German Shepherds are seen less often day by day.

I do understand that the Belgian Malinois is usually more agile, faster, can tolerate heat, is easier to carry around, and is a healthier breed that lives longer too. But honestly, I still prefer the good old German Shepherd. I think there is this certain image surrounding them and their role as police dogs that a Belgian Malinois will never get. On top of that, they are bigger, more powerful, less nervy, and more drivey, which means they have a better off-on switch and are more gentle.

There’s nothing wrong with the Belgian Malinois, though; that’s not what I’m saying. I just personally prefer the German Shepherd.

While it may seem like Belgian Malinois are replacing German Shepherds in some roles, such as police and military work, it’s essential to note that both breeds continue to be widely used in various capacities. The perception of Belgian Malinois gaining popularity over German Shepherds in certain roles is influenced by several factors:

  1. Size and Agility:
    • Belgian Malinois are generally smaller and more agile than German Shepherds. In some situations, particularly those requiring agility and speed, the Malinois may be preferred.
  2. Energy Levels:
    • Belgian Malinois are known for their extremely high energy levels and endurance. They are often perceived as having a greater work drive and stamina, making them suitable for tasks that demand sustained activity.
  3. Adaptability:
    • Belgian Malinois are adaptable and versatile dogs. They excel in various roles, including police work, search and rescue, and detection work. Their ability to adapt to different environments and tasks may contribute to their popularity.
  4. Trainability:
    • Both Belgian Malinois and German Shepherds are highly trainable breeds. However, some trainers and handlers may find that Malinois pick up commands more quickly, leading to their preference for certain training programs.
  5. Versatility:
    • Belgian Malinois are often chosen for their versatility. They can handle a wide range of tasks, from detection work to protection duties. Their ability to multitask may make them suitable for various roles within law enforcement and other organizations.
  6. Perceived Health and Genetic Concerns:
    • Some individuals and organizations may perceive Belgian Malinois to have fewer health and genetic concerns compared to German Shepherds. However, responsible breeding practices are crucial for the health of any dog breed.

It’s important to note that German Shepherds continue to be highly valued and widely used in many roles, including police work, search and rescue, service, and as family companions. The suitability of a particular breed often depends on the specific requirements of the task, the training methods employed, and individual dog characteristics.

Both Belgian Malinois and German Shepherds are intelligent, loyal, and capable working breeds. When selecting a dog for a particular role, it’s crucial to consider the specific needs of the job, the temperament of the individual dog, and the expertise of the handlers and trainers involved.

Why are Belgian Malinois dogs nicknamed “maligators”? What are the pros and cons of owing a Belgian Malinois?

“Maligators,” as in alligators, are born wanting to grab the whole world with their mouths. What are the pros and cons? The best dogs in the world exist if and only if you can live with them, and most people shouldn’t even try! They are the pro-rubgy player rhodes scholars on speed with ADHD in the dog world. Many don’t have an “off switch.”

When I was in graduate school with a middle-aged Malinois, that dog was about 3 hours a day every day to keep happy and healthy. We ran an hour, trained an hour, and walked an hour almost every day to just keep the twitch level at a 7 instead of a 10. He still got up at least once an hour all day and all night to do a “perimeter check” for anything he thought was a threat (I didn’t always agree with him on what was or wasn’t). There is not a level of tiredness you can get from a Malinois where they stop being a Malinois.

Once, a friend was helping me fix my car, and while pulling apart two rusted pieces, I apparently made some sort of sound like I needed help. There was VERY SUDDENLY A MALNOIS. 65 lbs of dog put 200 lbs of my 6′+ friend up against the old Jeep with a shove, and then the dog stood there with every fiber of his being vibrating taut, waiting for a release or reason to mess up my friend.

It was only because of years of consistent, daily obedience training that the dog listened to my instant call-off and we didn’t end up in the ER or with the cops involved in an incident report (my dad never worried about my safety while I had that dog). There is not a level of training you can get to where they stop being Malinois.

Malinois are great dogs, but they are not “easy” dogs. Untrained, they are a loaded gun in the hands of a toddler. Unexercised, keeping them in a house or yard is like trying to wrangle a wild bobcat into a bubble bath. If you can really, honestly, commit to doing both for the dog’s entire life, then they are incredible dogs. If you can’t, then don’t get one.

What are some tips on training a Belgian Malinois?

Depending on the Malinois, the training method. Some Malinois are very intense and require a stronger approach.

Other Malinois are rather balanced, and it doesn’t take much for them to grasp what you’re asking of them.

Always keep this in mind.

Not all Malinois are the same.

There are typically three main training styles: (There’s a lot more, but to make things simpler, we’ll leave it at three.).

The first method is the most widely known, the Positive Reinforcement method

This works well with medium-intensity Malinois.

Usually, these Malinois are very in touch with their handler and don’t need much correction.

With these, too much correction would actually backfire.

However, with Malinois that are more intense, this training method perhaps wouldn’t be as effective.

The second training style is the Alpha method.

This method is a little more intense, which works rather well with more intense dogs.

Sometimes higher-intensity dogs don’t respond well to the positive reinforcement method because, to them, you are of lesser status.

So it doesn’t matter how much you beg them; they will not budge.

In order to get a dog like this to realize that you’re the pack leader, you have to outrank him or her.

This is usually accomplished by being a little more serious, more firm, and offering stronger leadership.

It’s all psychological…

It’s not until they realize that you’re the alpha of the pack that they will back off and relax as they let you lead them.

It doesn’t mean that you have to be abusive or domineering.

It just means that you have to communicate clearly with your dog that you’re the pack leader.

Simple things like feeding from your hand can help establish this.

For that reason, this level of Malinois requires an experienced dog trainer because an inexperienced person might resort to harsh, coercive tactics that will only ruin the relationship.

For the most part, this is what makes dog training both an art and a science.

If it were just a science, then anyone with a book would be able to train, which we know is not the case.

The third training style is the scientific method.

It’s called the Scientific method because, like scientists, we try to figure out the dog’s motivations and learning style. and then we tailor our approach so that we accomplish the behavior we desire.

This is my favorite method of training because it’s less dogmatic.

To reiterate…

No one training style fits all Malinois.

Every dog is different.

Learn what style your dog has.

Build a relationship.

And you should be on the right path with your Malinois.

I want a Belgian Malinois, would you recommend it?

The truth about the Malinois is tough to swallow. My rule of thumb is that if you need to ask, you’re probably not ready. These dogs, generally speaking, are simply too much for the everyday dog owner. They absolutely require experience with working dogs and/or dogs with very high drives and the potential for significant aggression.

Think of the Malinois as the indy car of the dog world. In the right hands, it can do amazing things no other car can, but in any other hands, you’ll wreck it on the first turn in a blaze of chaos.

Do you live on a farm, or do you work in search and rescue, law enforcement, or other active dog jobs? Do you have hours a day to exercise your dog? Are you willing to commit to consistent training and willing to take on a clever dog with a super-high energy drive? Are you willing to let the dog set the schedule for your day? If you answered no to any of these questions, you are NOT ready for a Malinois.

I love these dogs, I would work one any day of the week, but I would NOT live with one. They are not good house dogs and honestly not good service (ie guide dogs) either. They are working dogs, the NEED to work. If you are looking for a pet, you should look to another breed.

Is a Belgian Malinois a good guard dog?

For a Nuclear Submarine Base…??? PERFECT.

For your cozy suburban Home….???? NO NO NO NO…!!!!!

Get one of these instead…

Paco here will give you plenty of warning of intruders…

Why don’t people in Europe have Belgian Malinois?

Troll better, not simply harder M dear

Belgian Malinois are indeed popular in Europe, and they are recognized for their intelligence, versatility, and suitability for various working roles. However, the distribution of dog breeds can vary based on factors such as regional preferences, cultural influences, and the specific demands of different regions.

It’s not accurate to say that people in Europe don’t have Belgian Malinois. In fact, these dogs have been widely used in European countries, including Belgium (where they originated), France, Germany, and the Netherlands. They are often employed in police and military work, search and rescue operations, and other working roles.

The popularity of dog breeds can fluctuate over time and may be influenced by factors such as media exposure, trends, and the specific needs of different regions. While German Shepherds have historically been more commonly associated with police and military work in certain European countries, Belgian Malinois have gained recognition and acceptance for their capabilities in recent years.

It’s important to remember that dog breed popularity can be subjective and may vary between regions and communities within Europe. Belgian Malinois are appreciated for their intelligence, trainability, and versatility, and many European dog enthusiasts and professionals actively choose and work with this breed. If there is a perception that Belgian Malinois are less common in certain areas, it may be due to regional preferences or historical associations with other working dog breeds.


You should not get a Malinois if you don`t intend to train it daily, work it in some job, or compete with it in a dog sport. Most Mali`s have `ants in their pants` and want to be on the go all day. They do not make good `just pet dogs` and need loads of mental stimulation. ok?

The Mal is typically (but not always) a very high-strung breed. A very high prey drive. They typically are not for a novice owner and require stimulation and work. I have been a K-9 handler for search and rescue work for nearly 20 years.

I worked with two German Shepherds and have several friends who had mals. I strongly prefer the German Shepherd over the Mal, as I feel the GSD is much more stable overall. You will find plenty of people who say Mal is the greatest—and in some ways they are, but not for most people.

There are more reasons not to get a Mal than there are to get one! A well-bred Mal requires an inordinate amount of mental and physical stimulation every day. My KNPV female requires 4-5 hours! A well-bred Mal has drives in excess of even working-line GSDs. A well-bred Mal is “generally” not suitable as a pet.

They need to work a lot! They are not couch potatoes! If you are afraid of blood, don’t get a Mal! There will be a lot of blood—probably yours! Finding a well-bred Mal is getting more difficult due to an increase in popularity. This has brought out backyard breeders in hoards. A poorly bred, nervy Mal is a tremendous liability!

Why shouldn’t you get a Belgian Malinois?