The Belgian Malinois is a smart and very loyal dog. They are strong and powerful animals that are bred to be hardworking herders. The Belgian Malinois makes for a great guard dog. They form a very strong bond with their owners and are quite protective. For this reason, Belgian Malinois are used as military and police dogs. They are good at detecting drugs and explosives as well as for search and rescue missions.
The Belgian Malinois would certainly look intimidating to a burglar or a narcotics smuggler, but for families with children, they are loyal and protective animals. They are eager to please and are very trainable. These dogs need a lot of exercise so children who play and exercise with the dog will form a strong bond with the animal. There do need to be ground rules established for children and the Belgian Malinois. These dogs do not respond well to aggressive behavior, however, children can be taught to be gentle with the dogs and should be socialized together from a young age.
With just a little training children and the Belgian Malinois will be playing together quite nicely. Here is some more information on how the Belgian Malinois and children get along.
Belgian Malinois Qualities That Work Well with Children
Although Belgian Malinois may look frightening at first, these dogs are very protective and make excellent guard dogs for your children. When trained and socialized properly, they can aid in protecting your dog if anything dangerous comes near.
With their supreme athletic abilities, they make excellent training or workout partner. For older children who like to run, play tag, or do agility training, the Belgian Malinois can jump over objects like an obstacle course. If socialized properly, they can play with children, make great partners walk, or help children feel less lonely.
What Belgian Malinois Can Offer Children?
Despite their reputation for aggression and high prey drive, Belgian Malinois can make a great family pet. If properly trained, you can have your children and your dog enjoy playtime together. Your children and your dog will need plenty of exercise, so why not do them together?
Have your children play dog sports or fetch with your dog. If properly socialized, they will view your children as part of their pack. This breed tends to bond well with their family. They require lots of physical and mental attention to make them happy.
Children also have lots of energy. This means your child can spend lots of time playing with them, which will keep them both happy! And if your kids ever get into trouble, the Belgian Malinois are excellent guard dogs.
Teaching Kids About Belgian Malinois (Things Your Kid Should Never Do)
When it comes to teaching your kids about the Belgian Malinois, it’s important to establish some rules about interacting with them. Without these rules, they set off the Belgian Malinois aggressive side and endanger your kids.
First off, never yell or throw things at a Belgian Malinois. These aggressive behaviors can tick them off. By throwing things or yelling at them, these dogs may see it as starting a fight. This puts your kids in harm’s way of getting hurt.
Secondly, do not use treats to tease your dogs. It’s encouraged to give your dog treats as a reward for good behavior such as going potty or commanding them to sit. However, showing them a treat, and taking it away can lead to frustration.
Additionally, do not pull on any body parts, especially the tail of a Belgian Malinois. This is a line kid should never cause. No matter how short or long their tail is, pulling on it can lead to injury. Their tail is connected to their spinal cord, leading to balance problems or their tail to sag permanently.
Lastly, do not aggressively wake up your dog from their sleep. If a Belgian Malinois is startled, they might find themselves jumping and getting scared or attacking back at your child. Either scenario won’t be good.
Training Your Belgian Malinois to Be Around Children
Without proper training, Belgian Malinois can develop destructive behavior. The good news is that these are very intelligent dogs that can be disciplined and trained well. Make sure to purchase these dogs from reputable breeders. If not, train them as soon as they are puppies. A strict and professional training program should be incorporated.
Ideally, have your kids trained with your dog. Getting your kids involved during training is a great way to build a bond between them and give your children lifelong dog skills. The key to effective training is using treats and using positive reinforcement when good behavior is displayed, such as not biting or chasing.
A Belgian Malinois Needs
This breed needs early and frequent training and socialization from an early age to get their best qualities. They are distinctively protective with other dogs, so make sure you get them around other pets and family members.
Belgian Malinois are a high-energy breed, meaning they need a lot of exercises. Typically they require about 20 minutes of physical activity about three to four times a day. Feel free to go on a jog with them, play fetch in the yard, or go on a hike with them. They require about two to three cups of dry food per day split into two meals for food.
Taking Care of Your Belgian Malinois’ Emotions
This breed requires a lot of physical and mental stimulation. Belgian Malinois aren’t an ideal dog to be left alone in the house or yard. The best way to care for their emotions is to ensure proper amounts of exercise and mental stimulation. Playing hide and seek, playing fetch, going on hikes, swimming in the water, running, and walking are ways you can stimulate your dog.
Additionally, use a positive tone of voice and avoid using harsh treatment because they like to rebel. Avoid dominant-based training at all costs.
Activities for Kids and Belgian Malinois
A Belgian Malinois is a breed that needs mental stimulation. One activity that you can have your kids play with your dog is creating an agility course. DIY agility courses are a fun way to get your dogs and kids moving outside.
Simply search online on how to build one or purchase one that is already pre-made. With an agility course, you can have your child run, play, and jump by crawling through hoops, going around obstacles. See who can complete the obstacle course faster, your kids or your Belgian Malinois!
Another game to help build the bond between your children and your dog is called Hot and Cold. This game is meant to help train your dogs with their listening skills and establish communication between your pooch and children.
The game works by hiding a treat somewhere in the house when your dog isn’t looking. Command your dog to find the treat. When they get closer to the treat, talk to them in an enthusiastic tone. As your dog moves away from the treat, talk to them in an unexcited tone.
Temperaments That You Should Be Aware Of
There’s an ongoing debate whether the Belgian Malinois should be a family dog. That’s because this breed has a high prey drive and has been bred to protect livestock. They have been bred originally as herding dogs. However, today, they serve as military and police dogs to sniff out drugs and other illegal activities.
With that being said, be aware of their high energy levels. They need proper physical and mental stimulation to prevent aggression. Belgian Malinois also may chase young children due to their high prey drive. This means you need to socialize and train your dog to be around children early.
Additionally, they also like to bite things. Make sure to keep your dog away from biting your kid’s toys, furniture, pillows, or anything else around the house. Use chew toys to satisfy their biting needs.
Grooming Belgian Malinois with Kids
Having your kids help groom your dog is one way to develop a deep sense of bond. This breed has a relatively straight and short coat of fur. However, they do shed quite heavily.
In particular, their coat is much thicker on their tail, behind their thighs, and around the neck. Brush your Belgian Malinois weekly to distribute skin oils evenly, and remove dead hair. Brushing your dog is an excellent way to keep loose hair from getting all over your clothing, floor, and furniture.
Is a Male or Female Belgian Malinois Better for a Family?
Female Belgian Malinois tend to be more social and playful than male ones. Furthermore, female ones tend not to be as aggressive or timid. A female Belgian Malinois has a natural focus to work closely and protect her loved ones.
However, males are usually more confident and like to explore a territory to see which portion they can claim for themselves. If you’re looking for a guard dog for your family to protect against potential robbery or threats around your house, a female Belgian is the better option.