Whether you have a farm, a big mansion, or you’re just so into dogs you like to have more of them, one way or the other you’ll find yourself thinking about breeding them. Apart from designer dogs, many people go for pure breds because of the advantages they have over mixed breeds.
The best age to breed a new Belgian Malinois is once the dog has reached adulthood. This usually is between the ages of 3 and 7. While the female Belgian Malinois can be fertile way into her old age, it’s not recommended to breed an older female since that would impact the offspring. The same applies to male dogs.
But it’s not as simple as introducing the male and female Belgian Malinois to each other and hope for the best. Making babies is a complex process in all mammals, dogs included.
The Best Age to Breed a New Belgian Malinois (Male and Female)
Whether it’s a male or a female Belgian Malinois, you need to wait for the dog to be physically mature. Usually it’s the male that develops first while the female takes a few months after that to be ready for her duties as a mother. Some dogs even mature by the end of the first year of their life. But that doesn’t mean you should breed them at this early age.
You should wait until the dog has reached its third year. By this time it’s body is physically ready and you have a better chance of breeding healthy pups. While their fertile years can go all the way to their tenth year, it’s not advised to keep breeding the dog after their 7th year. Both the dog and the offspring tend to suffer if you breed them either before or after those marks.
Why This Age is Best?
Just as children marriages are frowned upon in civilized societies, you shouldn’t subject your unprepared dog to the perils of pregnancy at an early stage. Mother Nature has its own rules and tends to take things slow to allow the emotional and physical development of the dog. Be it male or female, they need to be well developed to handle this burden.
The same applies to breeding dogs well beyond their prime. The female Belgian Malinois becomes too frail to carry babies and the babies themselves are born sickly and with health issues. The quality of the sperm also degrades the older the male Belgian Malinois gets which means the new breed will be prone to falling ill.
Understanding the Heat Cycle of Your Belgian Malinois
Just like most mammals, except for humans, once the male and female Belgian Malinois reach puberty, they go through heat cycles. They’re not in the mood for love all the time and every time the way a randy human teen is. It comes and goes, which makes your job as a breeder all the more difficult.
So you need to understand the signs, wait for the right time, then introduce the male and female to each other and hope for the best.
Signs of the Heat Cycle
When the male Belgian Malinois is in the mood, he will make his intentions clear to anybody with eyes to see or legs for that matter. The dog becomes too friendly with anything that moves. He will also get in the habit of humping legs and pieces of furniture. You can’t miss any of these signs.
As for the female, she also tends to get too submissive. She doesn’t rebuff the advances of the male dogs and starts a game of catch where she pretends to be disinterested, but she keeps sending the right signals to the male.
How Long is a Belgian Malinois in Heat?
That phase doesn’t last long. In most cases it is about a few days before the female loses interest and you lose your chance to breed her. The male on the other hand is usually in heat most of the time as long as it’s healthy and getting good food and exercise.
This is why you need to look for the signs and get the male with the female at the first opportunity. If you wait too long, the female will be out of the cycle and you have to wait for the next time.
Choosing the Best Mating Day
Once you have detected the signs and know that the female is ready and in the mood, you shouldn’t waste time. As we saw, you have a narrow window and it’s important you get the male and female together when the female is ready.
Pick that day carefully. It should be when the female is at her peak. She keeps giving the male the looks and he will smell it on her. Allow the female and male some privacy. Although they are not shy by nature, it’s important you put them in a separate room away from other dogs that might interfere. You would want this part of the process to go as smoothly as possible with mutual satisfaction for all the parties involved.
Things to Keep in Mind for Belgian Malinois Breeding/Mating
Now that the male Belgian Malinois has done his part, it’s the female that gets all your attention. The male can go look for another female in the mood, but the one that just mated needs special care from now until she gives birth.
How to Take Care of Your Pregnant Belgian Malinois?
At the same time, you need to make sure that the female is well taken care of and is comfortable. It’s the same way with all pregnant mammals. Any stress or physical discomfort could have a negative impact on the pregnancy and the health of the babies.
The diet of the pregnant Belgian Malinois is not the same as one that’s not carrying babies. Since it needs more food, you should increase the portions of the food. Aim for food that offers a lot of nutrients and is well balanced with special focus on protein. You should also offer the dog food supplements to keep her strength.
Your pregnant Belgian Malinois needs a good deal of exercise. Keep in mind that this shouldn’t be the kind of exercise that gets the dog exhausted or put out. Aim for gentle exercise like walking, or a little hike that doesn’t require strenuous efforts.
Avoid anything such as jumping or running for long distances. The exercise should make the dog feel invigorated and refreshed, not tired and wanting to rest.
Also take breaks between workouts and don’t let the dog spend too much time outdoors when it’s either too hot or too cold.
You should take the dog to the vet for regular checks. That’s the best way to make sure your pregnant Belgian Malinois is healthy and her pregnancy is normal. The vet will run regular tests and assure you about the babies. This helps stave off any health issues before they develop and become too serious. The vet will also recommend the best food and exercise regimens to keep the dog healthy.
As the months go by and the pregnant Belgian Malinois shows the signs of being tired most of the time, you should make sure she gets enough sleep.
Keep the dog in her own enclosure and don’t let other dogs come near her. Avoid anything that stresses her out or disturb her sleep such as light or noise.
How Many Puppies Do Belgian Malinois Usually Have?
On average the pregnant Belgian Malinois will give birth to a litter of 3 to 4 babies at a time. Sometimes this will only be 2 pups while other females have given birth to 5 pups. It’s an exhausting process and leaves the mom totally worn out.
After the mom gives birth, you need to be there to assist her in getting her energy back. Offer the mom a good meal with food supplements and make sure she’s comfortable. Also check the babies are all healthy and getting fed. It’s normal for the mom to be a little moody and sleep more than usual.
How Long are Belgian Malinois Pregnant for?
On average the pregnant female Belgian Malinois takes about 63 days from the day of conception until she finally gives birth. Keep in mind that you can’t always get it right and know for sure when the female will give birth. She could be late by a few days or even early.
Usually it’s the age, health, food, and other conditions that determine the pregnancy period of the dog. A female in her prime will have a normal pregnancy and deliver healthy babies. But one who’s a little older or younger than she should, could have trouble and deliver the babies either earlier or later than average.