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Belgian Malinois– Fun Facts and Crate Size

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 Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois

Quick Facts:

  • AKC recognized in 1959
  • Lifespan: 14-16 years
  • Size: large
  • Energy: high
  • Recommended Crate Size: 42” dog crate* up to 48" dog crate* (depending on size)

Return to main Dog Crate Size Breed Chart.

Table of contents


The Belgian Malinois (pronounced MAL-in-wah) is one of four types of herding dogs from Belgian. 

The Belgian Malinois is often mistaken for German Shepherd because they have a similar color, but they are a distinct dog breed.

They are a native dog breed from Belgium and named after the town they come from, Malines.

The Malinois is a medium to large sized dog with a high energy level and protective personality.

This dog breed is very active and has a great deal of energy. They are also very alert and intelligent with a strong instinct. They can be aggressive to other animals that they do not know.

This dog breed is usually used as a working dog for various tasks such as odor detection, narcotics, accelerants, search and rescue missions, as well as for tracking humans.


The American Kennel Club formally recognized the Belgian Malinois in 1959.

These high energy dogs are known as Mechelse Herder, Mechelse Scheper, Mechelse Shepherd, or the Belgian Shepherd Malinois.

Malinois is a protective and confident working dog in any situation. They have a natural instinct to protect their property and people, with all the force they have. Due to their strong instinct of protection, the Malinois is very alert, watchful, and loyal. 

This dog is play-oriented as well as sensitive therefore training should be consistent, positive, but also fun.

They are popular because they are obedient and intelligent, with a strong observant, territorial and protective instinct.

The Malinois is great as a working dog, making an excellent guard and police dog.

They sometimes still also present herding behavior such as circling and chasing or simply moving effortlessly for hours.


The Malinois is the type of square-proportioned dog with a short mahogany coat and black markings. They have black muzzles and black erect ears.

Since the Malinois was originally bred as a working dog and not primarily for shows, their appearance can vary greatly.

The male Malinois height is around 24-24 inches and the female is around 22-24 inches.

The Malinois' body is often described as square, especially if the legs and topline are seen from the side.

The overall size of Malinois head is proportional with the body.

They have the type of double-coat with straight and short hair which is water resistant. The hair around neck area appears like a collar, longer than the rest of its body.


It is recommended to provide feed formulated to large-sized breeds. It is highly recommended to discuss your dog’s feed with your veterinarian and/or breeder in order to determine the size and frequency of meals in order to ensure a healthy, long life. It is also important to ensure that clean, fresh water is always available.


The Belgian Malinois has a short coat and straight hair type which feels hard to the touch. The hard top coat combines with the dense undercoat to give them weather resistance while working.

The grooming requirements are quite easy with a weekly brush using a firm bristle brush. One thing to remember is Malinois sheds heavily all year round with once or twice heavy sheds during hot weather. Malinois prefers cool weather instead of warmer environments due to the hair shedding.

Bathing can be done when necessary.

This dog breed shed all year round, especially during fall and spring.

Teeth brushing can be done two or three times a week to get rid tartar build-up and prevent bacteria.


This dog breed will thrive when they receive sufficient exercise.

They are suitable for cool and moderate climates but they also adapt well in warmer climates.

Malinois require 20 minutes of exercise every day for three or four times each day. They need more than just a leisure walk because they are specifically built for action.

If possible, Malinois should enjoy off-leash exercise within a fenced area, in addition to everyday exercise. This dog is suitable for active and experienced people.

Pet Crate Size

Pet Crates Direct recommends a 42” dog crate* up to 48" dog crate* for most adult Belgian Malinois.

 Return to the main Dog Crate Sizes Breed Chart.

* Links for crate sizes will bring you to the most appropriate Amazon page.

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