The Pros & Cons of Owning a Belgian Malinois

Owning a Belgian Malinois can be very rewarding, but it doesn’t come easy. This breed ranges from a moderate to extreme drive, meaning that they require constant stimulation whether mental or physical. This requires a lot of time from you as their owner. Most people today live a very busy lifesyle and incorporating a Malinois puppy into that schedule can be tricky.

2 months old
Owning a Belgian Malinois

Prior to purchasing our first Malinois puppy, we read so many opinion articles that could have possibly swayed us from our decision just because they all seemed to be negative regarding the ‘pet’ side of the breed. True, the Malinois breed is prey-driven, but I don’t believe we have ever owned a more loyal, compassionate, and attentive canine. We are currently awaiting two more pups and are very excited about their arrival. We are proud to be an owner of a Belgian Malinois.

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Training

When it comes to training, everyone has an opinion on the best method. Each pup has their own personality and therefore one method of training may not work as well as another on each individual puppy. The Malinois is a very intelligent breed and learns quickly. They love to please their owner by performing tasks given to them, and if challenged, will take their own initiative to find a way to accomplish this challenge. It is quite incredible to watch.

Belgian Malinois thrive on positive reinforcement and praise. Trying to strong-handle this breed or do an aggressive training regime is not suggested. They can be stubborn and strong-willed at times but always aim to please once they understand what you want. Owning a Belgian Malinois and providing the training program, it becomes your responsibility to find the best form of communication with your dog. Be advised that the Malinois requires constant mental stimulation which basically means that training never ends. You will always be looking for something new to teach your dog.

7 months old
Protection

Malinois grow into quite the protective family dog. Ours had very little bite-work done as a puppy and is very protective over her family as a whole. She is very good about being out in public as long as strangers respect her personal space. The problem with being in public is that most people have the desire to reach down and pet your dog without even thinking about it. It doesn’t matter how much socialization your dog has, this can be an ongoing issue with people. As an owner of a Belgian Malinois, it is your responsibility to be your dog’s advocate. Don’t ever be afraid to step between your dog and another person who is approaching her. We are not only responsible for the welfare of our dog, but also the safety of others.

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Activity Level

The Malinois loves being outside and being active! Did I say they love activity? Oh yes, I did! I can’t stress this enough. This is where people run into trouble and this beautiful dog is being turned over to Rescues. This breed is not content to lay around all day with minimal activity. When we first got our puppy, we spent about 8 hours a day with her, 7 days a week. Whether we were playing, training basics, grooming, or feeding, the time was invested. Here is where I will say that what you put into your Malinois is what you will get out of your Malinois.

A Malinois will become very attached to her handler and will look to your for guidance in just about every move she makes. Our pup is now 9 months old and she runs four times a day for an hour. When I say to make sure that your schedule can accommodate this exercise, I’m not being arrogant but realistic. It is not fair to any breed animal to be purchased and then not utilized according to what it was meant to do.

Nakita and our daughter, Michaela.
In Conclusion

Now, as far as my own personal opinion goes, owning a Belgian Malinois has exceeded my expectations. She never ceases to amaze me with her abilities and her eagerness to do anything I ask of her. There is a very quite, affectionate side to her that most visitors never get to see. She loves attention and wants to be near her humans at all times, which of course is sometimes very annoying. Owning a Belgian Malinois, you must be disciplined because this breed has a unique way of looking at you with those beautiful eyes that just melts your heart and you sometimes find yourself giving in to something that could soon become a bad habit. Our Malinois has most definitely challenged me as an owner/trainer as much as I have her. There is no doubt she certainly has kept me on my toes.

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