Belgian Malinois temperament makes them great watchdogs and guardians. The breed’s personality makes them a perfect military, service and police dog. They are smart, cooperative, protective, defensive and confident, coming from working herding roots. These brave and loyal dogs are affectionate companions, but their athletic build and energetic nature can be a lot to take. Belgian Malinois temperament includes high levels of intelligence that need focussing and channelling with socialization and positive reinforcement training methods. They thrive in adult only homes that can give them lots of attention and keep those working, herding instincts in check.
Problem behaviors are possible and usually include chewing, digging and noise, but these are all manageable as the breed is easy to train. Kids are usually not a great match for the breed, but they can get on well with children they know. They are good with dogs they know, but can be wary of strange dogs and other animals.
Working Belgian Malinois Temperament
While the Belgian Malinois was originally bred as a sheep-herding dog, their intelligence, trainability, and tenacity have led this breed to serve as police and military dogs. They are also active and competitive in conformation, obedience, herding, sledding, agility, therapy and tracking.
The Typical Temperament
Belgian Malinois dogs are usually active, intelligent, friendly, protective, alert and hardworking. However, they can also be suspicious of strangers, overly confident and if left unsupervised they are quick to become destructive.
Whether it’s a formal role on a ranch or with search and rescue, or fun tracking games or agility, they do best when occupied. And it’s not just for a few hours a day. These dogs need to spend most of their waking hours with their handler and making good use of that busy brain.
Are Belgian Malinois Easy To Train?
Though the Belgian Malinois temperament is sometimes willful and playful, they are highly trainable and thrive on obedience, trick, and agility training. They can read the smallest of movements and even detect changes in facial expression. This breed is highly intelligent! However, this does not make them ideal for first-time dog owners.
Positive reinforcement training is the best way to train a Belgian Malinois, as discipline can lead to bad behavior and stubbornness. Malinois need a lot of high-intensity training and require strenuous activity to remain happy and healthy.
Is Belgian Malinois Temperament Friendly?
The Belgian Malinois can typically be aloof and outgoing, but should never be fearful, shy, or aggressive. They make a great watchdog and have the ability to be protective when necessary.
When the Belgian Malinois is raised with children, they can be very accepting. But they might be uneasy around your kids’ friends. Do not forget that this dog was bred for herding and may begin chasing and nipping the heels of people, which doesn’t mix well with younger kids. Malinois are best suited with a family that has older children that understand how to treat a dog properly.
Since the beginning of the Malinois, they were bred to be herding dogs and were able to defend their master and their master’s home. The Belgian Malinois temperament still possesses these traits today. They should not and usually do not respond with aggression or nervousness when introduced or confronted with an unfamiliar person. Instead, this trait is usually a sign that they have not been properly socialized.
However, they can still snap or growl out of fear or aggression. For these reasons, it is highly recommended to adopt a Belgian Malinois from a reputable breeder, who produces dogs with a good temperament.
Do They Like Other Dogs?
These confident guardians can extend their protective tendencies towards other animals, including dogs. Although they are generally fine when they have grown up with another dog or been introduced to them slowly on neutral territory.
Herding is what Belgian Malinois were bred to do. This instinct can lead them to chase and nip. They also tend to chase bikes, cars, kids, and other animals. Malinois require a high amount of exercise, and if they do not get this exercise, they can become bored and start herding children and nipping at people heels.
This herding instinct also makes them protective of their families and home. This can cause them to be wary of unfamiliar people. It is imperative that they are socialized from an early age to be more welcoming of new people and other dogs.
If they aren’t socialized from an early age, then you may notice aggressive tendencies. Chewing, barking, and separation anxiety are a few more things that this breed can develop. However, this is most likely due to lack of exercise and boredom.
Adopting a Belgian Malinois will in return give you an active lifestyle. If you do not want to take care of an active dog, then we do not recommend adopting this breed.