Belgian Malinois are not your typical dog breed.
Described as a world-class working dog by the American Kennel Club, this is a breed that needs to be assigned a task or have a sense of purpose.
If you want a dog that is happy to spend most of the day napping or pottering around the home, Belgian Malinois probably aren’t for you.
Belgian Malinois want to take an active part in your life and relish learning new commands, lessons and tricks.
Of course, as with any dog, one of the big considerations is shedding.
Whether you’ve got allergies or you’re just not a fan of dog hair, it’s important to know whether a certain breed are big shedders before you bring a dog or pup home.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at Belgian Malinois shedding. We’ll break this article into the following sections:
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What is a Belgian Malinois?
Belgian Malinois is, as you can probably figure out, a Belgian dog breed.
Their origins can be traced back to the Belgian Shepherd dog, of which there were four different varieties. Each were named after region around Brussels. Hence, the Malinois are linked to the Malines region (the other varities are Tervuren, Groenendael and Laekenois).
Malinois were originally bred to work as farm dogs. The American Kennel Club describe the breed as a “peerless livestock herder”. They performed an important function for Belgian shepherds and Belgian cattlemen. They weren’t developed to be pets.
The first Belgian Malinois arrived in the USA in 1911. They became increasingly popular during World War 1 and World War 2, although their importation to the USA from Europe came to a halt during wartime.
With their numbers dwindling after the punishing wars were Belgium suffered immensely, the Belgian Malinois breed bounce back in the 1950s and 1960s. The American Kennel Club recognised the breed in 1959.
You’ll probably have seen Belgian Malinois working with the military, police and security services. They can also work as search and rescue dogs and service animals.
The American Kennel Club rank the Belgian Malinois as the 43rd most popular breed in the USA.
Belgian Malinois appearance
Belgian Malinois can often be confused for German Shepherds. Let’s take a look at the American Kennel Club’s breed standard for Malinois:
The Belgian Malinois is a well balanced, square dog, elegant in appearance with an exceedingly proud carriage of the head and neck. The dog is strong, agile, well muscled, alert, and full of life. He stands squarely on all fours and viewed from the side, the topline, forelegs, and hind legs closely approximate a square. The whole conformation gives the impression of depth and solidity without bulkiness. The male is usually somewhat more impressive and grand than his female counterpart, which has a distinctly feminine look.
Belgian Malinois are medium-to-large dogs with a height ranging from 24 to 26 inches and weighing between 60 and 80 pounds. Females are slightly smaller at 22 to 24 inches and 40 to 60 pounds.
They’ve got a basic coloring of rich fawn to mahogany, with black tips on their hairs to provide an overlay appearance. Their facial masks and their ears are largely black in color, while the underparts of their body, tails and breeches are light fawn. The AKC outline that white markings are considered a fault except when found on the tip of their toes or their breastbone.
Do Belgian Malinois shed?
So you’re thinking about a Belgian Malinois but you have allergies to some dogs. Belgian Malinois aren’t considered hypoallergenic, which means they aren’t a breed that are less likely to trigger someone’s allergies. We’ll touch upon this further a little later.
Belgian Malinois may have a short-haired coat but these working dogs do shed. They’ve got short, straight coats that shed regularly. In fact, the Belgian breed usually shed twice a year at the changing of the seasons. Apart from shedding season, Belgian Malinois will shed regularly throughout the year. So you can expect to find a moderate amount of hair on your clothes, furniture and floor.
Belgian Malinois grooming
These striking dogs will need to be groomed at least twice a week and even daily during their shedding season. By brushing your Belgian Malinois on a regular basis, you will remove debris or dead hair from their coat, which helps to maintain the health of the coat. Furthermore, consistent brushing can help to distribute natural essential oils in their coat.
Aside from brushing their coat, Belgian Malinois have other care needs. For example, you’ll need to check their ears to make sure there’s no potential infection. Their nails will need to be trimmed, while it’s a good idea to regularly brush their teeth.
It’s not advisable to bathe your Belgian Malinois regularly as it can affect the waterproof qualities of their coat.
Are Belgian Malinois hypoallergenic?
The American Kennel Club outlines that no dog is 100 percent hypoallergenic but there are some breeds that are considered to be have more hypoallergenic qualities.
Breed such as Poodles, Schnauzers and Sealyham Terriers are hypoallergenic but the Belgian Malinois is not one. To check out the breeds that the AKC recommends as hypoallergenic, click here.
Belgian Malinois exercise
While it’s not a grooming requirement, another basic care need for Belgian Malinois is exercise. As we mentioned above, Belgian Malinois are dogs that need a purpose to thrive in life. They’re highly intelligent as well as being athletic and muscular. The AKC write on their website that Malinois need to be actively engaged with their owner, both mentally and physically.
Belgian Malinois require around 120 minutes of daily exercise, whether that’s going for a long walk, a run, an activity or playtime in your backyard. They like to accompany their owner in carrying out a function or task. The sense of purpose is key to the breed’s happiness.
The AKC add that Malinois make great running, hiking, and biking companions, and they excel at agility, tracking, herding, obedience, and Schutzhund (protection) competitions.
What do Belgian Malinois owners say about their dog’s shedding?
More to follow.
Anything else to consider?
If you’re thinking about a Belgian Malinois but you want to learn more about the breed, you could also reach out to owners on social media.
There are a lot of Belgian Malinois on Instagram – and we’ve picked out 20 of the best accounts for lovers of this hardworking breed.
In our experience, Belgian Malinois owners are usually forthcoming with information about their dogs to help other potential owners.
So there you have it, Belgian Malinois shed regularly throughout the year. You’ll need to be prepared to brush your Belgian Malinois twice a week.
They blow out their coats twice a year during shedding seasons when pet owners will need to groom their Malinois every day.