Belgian Malinois are a great dog to have for a pet. They love to take part in family activities, their energy can lift anyone’s spirits, and their loyalty is a guarantee of a best friend, no matter the weather. Having a Belgian Malinois as a pet seems to only come with one drawback, and it’s a small one at that: shedding.
Belgian Malinois shed quite a bit. The Belgian Malinois sheds heavily twice a year and requires more than average care for their coat of fur.
If you would like to know more about the Belgian Malinois’s shedding habits and how to best deal with it, read on. We will discuss how, why, and when this breed sheds and some top tips for ensuring a healthy coat to deal with this shedding problem effectively.
How Often Do Belgian Malinois Shed?
The Belgian Malinois tendency to shed lasts year-round. However, they have heavier periods of shedding in the spring and fall. With the change in seasons, they must prepare their coat for the upcoming weather.
Although spring and fall are the two heaviest shedding times for the Belgian Malinois, their shedding is a regular occurrence during other times, just to a lesser extent. Their fur is not hypoallergenic so if you have a dog allergy or if having dog hair around your house is a problem for you, keep this in mind as you consider this breed for a pet.
How Much Do Belgian Malinois Shed?
The exact amount your Belgian Malinois will shed depends on the thickness of their coat. Each dog in this breed will have a varying thickness to their coat.
As mentioned before, spring and fall are the heavy shedding seasons. During these times, the Belgian Malinois is ridding itself of their winter and summer coats. That means there will be a significant amount of fur coming off of their bodies. Think of how much fur the Belgian Malinois has on their body and imagine getting rid of all of that to make way for a more weather-appropriate coat. That’s how much shedding you can expect from your pet.
Why Do Belgian Malinois Shed So Much?
The secret behind the Belgian Malinois’s amount of shedding is the make up of its coat. This breed has a double-layered, waterproof coat. The outer layer is the sleeker, rougher one. The bottom layer is the fluffier, insulating one.
When the Belgian Malinois sheds, there is more fur that meets the eye. They are not just ridding themselves of their top layer of fur; they are also shedding their thick, under layer. Their double-layered coat makes them so resistant to hot and cold weather. This resistance necessitates a good amount of fur and each season change requires the Belgian Malinois to get rid of that good amount of fur to prepare for a different season’s weather.
When Do Belgian Malinois Start to Shed?
Besides the seasonal shedding boost they get during the transition from summer to winter, and vice versa, the Belgian Malinois has another time factor that affects when they shed.
As the Belgian Malinois matures from a puppyhood to adulthood, their shedding habits change. As puppies, they have a puppy coat that typically remains the same for the first year to two years of their life. Once they reach the eighteen-month mark, they lose their puppy coat.
When this transition happens, their shedding habits become more regular and greater in volume. They establish the seasonal shedding cycle and lose their entire winter and summer coats in one go.
Things that Factor into the Amount of Shedding
The biggest factor in how much your Belgian Malinois will shed is the thickness of their coat. The thicker the fur, the heavier the shedding. Because of their double coat, Belgian Malinoises have thicker fur and, therefore, tend to shed more.
The second thing that can affect the amount of shedding is the time of year. Belgian Malinoises are between the “seasonal” and “frequent” classifications of shedding dogs. This means they shed year-round, but they also shed more during the shedding season. As mentioned before, this shedding season is during spring and fall, when this breed prepares for the hot and cold weather of summer and winter.
The third thing that affects shedding amount is your Belgian Malinois’s age. If they are still a puppy, they will not shed as much. Their puppy coat remains pretty constant until they reach maturity. Once they hit the eighteen-month mark, the Belgian Malinois will begin to shed more during shedding season and will shed a greater amount.
Your pet’s diet and exercise can also influence their shedding. If they do not have a healthy diet or are not getting proper nutrients, this can affect the health of their coat and can cause excessive shedding and hair loss.
Elements That Can Affect Your Belgian Malinois Abnormal Shedding
Poor diet and lack of exercise can negatively affect the Belgian Malinois’s coat health. This can lead to excessive shedding or hair loss.
Skin conditions, diseases, and pests can negatively affect the state of your Belgian Malinois’s fur. Ticks, infections, or other diseases can cause hair loss or thinning of a dog’s coat.
Improper care for their coat can also cause abnormal shedding. If they are not brushed regularly or well enough, their coat can become matted, tangled, or thinned. Excessive bathing can also dry out their skin and affect hair growth and loss.
Taking Care of Your Belgian Malinois’ Coat
Taking care of a Belgian Malinois’s coat requires no secret formula or magic ingredient. All that is needed is a routine of simple steps and dedication to that ritual.
Brushing your dog weekly is a good way to maintain proper coat health, keep their fur tangle and mat free, and control their shedding. In fact, some sources recommend brushing your Belgian Malinois’s coat twice per week. In spring and fall, you can use a shedding blade to help deal with the increased amount of shedding. Do this in addition to increasing the frequency of brushings.
Wash your dog only when you need to. Although bathing is an important part of a healthy coat-care routine, doing so too often could harm their coat health. You should use a dog wash free of chemicals and preservatives as these can dry out your dog’s fur and skin and have the opposite effect that desired.
One thing you should never do is shave your Belgian Malinois’s coat. This may seem like a great way to prevent shedding, but shaving your dog’s coat is actually very harmful for their health. They have their coat for a reason, and taking that away from them only serves to take away a natural barrier between them and the outside world. It is harmful to their skin health to not have that barrier and leaves them more exposed to weather and the elements.
How Often Should I Bathe My Belgian Malinois for Shedding Season?
Only bathe your Belgian Malinois when you need to. If your dog is often smelly or dirty, try towel or sponge baths to clean them off. If you bathe your dog more than once a month, this is too frequent.
During shedding season, this bathing frequency shouldn’t increase. It will still have the same negative effects on their fur and skin if you wash them too often. The only thing that should increase in spring and fall in the frequency of brushing.