How Much Sleep Should A Belgian Malinois Have? (Explained)

How Much Sleep Should A Belgian Malinois Have

Belgian Malinois, being an energetic working breed, need a lot of sleep to rejuvenate their body and mind. So, how much sleep does an active Belgian Malinois need?

Adult Belgian Malinois, aged 1 to 8 years, need 10-14 hours of sleep every day. Belgian Malinois puppies require more sleep than adults. Older Belgian Malinois tend to have deeper and longer sleep periods.

The Right Amount of Sleep for a Belgian Malinois


On average, adult Belgian Malinois (1-8 years old) require 10-14 hours of sleep per day. Their ideal routine is:

  • 7-9 hours of nighttime sleep.
  • Several 30-minute to 2-hour naps during the day.

However, each Belgian Malinois is different. Your Belgian Malinois might need more or less sleep than this average.

Some signs that your Belgian Malinois is getting enough sleep:

  • Energetic, focused, and engaged in daytime activities.
  • Sleeps soundly at night without frequent waking or restlessness.
  • Does not act overly tired, lethargic, or hyperactive.

Consult your veterinarian if your adult Malinois’s sleep patterns differ greatly from these norms. An underlying health issue could be affecting their sleep.


Belgian Malinois puppies require more sleep than adults to support their fast growth and brain development.

Here are the average daily sleep requirements for Mals by age:

Age Sleep Needed Per Day

  • 8 weeks:18-20 hours
  • 3 months:16-18 hours
  • 6 months:14-16 hours
  • 9-12 months:13-14 hours

Puppies should mostly sleep at night because they need a lot of daytime activity and training.


When Belgian Malinois reach over 8 years old, they need slightly more sleep.  Aging Belgian Malinois tend to have deeper and longer sleep.

Expect senior Belgian Malinois to sleep:

  • 15-16 hours per day on average.
  • Take longer naps.
  • Display higher lethargy after intense activity.

Does Belgian Malinois Sleep a Lot?

In short, yes! Belgian Malinois need considerable sleep to recover their energy. Although known for their boundless energy, Belgian Malinois still require sufficient rest.

Understanding Malinois Energy

Belgian Malinois are known for their strong work ethic, as they were originally bred for herding sheep during the day and guarding at night.

  • High mental and physical stamina.
  • Intense focus and drive.
  • Exceptional endurance.
  • Tireless intensity.

But even the hardest-working dogs hit empty at some point!

Vigorous activity expends a ton of mental and physical energy. Belgian Malinois require downtime to restore their minds and bodies so they can bounce back ready for action.

Quality napping and nighttime sleep allow this breed to:

  • Process everything learned during training and activities.
  • Repair muscle tissue after strenuous workouts.
  • Support their famously fast reaction times.
  • Avoid hyperactive and unwanted behaviors that happen without an “off switch”.

Things That Change How Much Your Belgian Malinois Should Be Sleeping

Understanding what affects your Mal’s sleep helps you determine if they are getting enough restful sleep.

How Age Impacts Sleep Needs for Your Belgian Malinois?

The Belgian Malinois pup usually needs more sleep than the adult one. Puppies might sleep for 13 to 18 hours or sometimes even longer. This is normal. The pup is in a growing phase and needs all the sleep it can get. This might take up to a year before the sleeping hours taper off and the dog falls into the normal pattern of just a few hours of sleep every day.

As it gets older and slower, it might need to sleep a few more hours than usual. This increased sleep in older dogs is normal and not a cause for concern; they simply aren’t as agile as before.

How Health Impacts Your Belgian Malinois’ Sleep Requirements?

The health of your Belgian Malinois greatly affects how well and how much they sleep.

1. Infection & Illness

When sick, your dog’s body needs extra sleep to fight infection and recover – but their rest might seem uneasy.

Signs of health issues impacting sleep:

  • More sleeping with low energy.
  • Restlessness – trouble settling in.
  • Frequent night waking or crying out.
  • Loss of interest in playtime or training.
  • Accidents indoors due to deep sleeping.

Common conditions linked to excessive sleepiness:

  • Urinary tract, ear, or skin infections.
  • Dental infection or abscessed tooth.
  • Arthritis – joint inflammation causes pain and discomfort.
  • Cancer or organ issues making them feel unwell.
  • Diabetes, hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease.

Schedule a vet visit ASAP if your Malinois’ sleep habits seem very disrupted without obvious cause like weather changes or a normally tiring day. A chronic health problem likely causes their sleep struggles.

2. Injuries

Conditions like muscle strains, bone fractures, torn ligaments, or surgeries significantly affect your Mal’s sleep quality and needs.

Noticeable effects of injuries on sleep:

  • Excessive napping due to medication Side effects.
  • Nighttime restlessness and repositioning.
  • Sleep disrupted by bandages or splints.
  • Reluctance to lie down due to incision or fracture pain.

Follow all at-home care instructions from your vet, like:

  • Administering prescribed medications properly.
  • Ensuring limited activity and movement.
  • Monitoring the injury site.

Helping your Mal heal fully improves their sleep quality and aids in efficient recovery. Be vigilant about any health issues and discuss them with your vet.

Ensuring Comfort: The Secret to Quality Sleep for Your Belgian Malinois

Physical and mental ease leads to deeper, higher-quality sleep. Discomfort can prevent truly restorative rest, even if the sleep duration is adequate.

Bedding Comfort

Given that dogs spend most of their time sleeping, the comfort of their bedding is essential.

  • Older Belgian Malinois or those with joint issues benefit from orthopedic beds with bolsters and memory foam.
  • Plush, cushioned beds are best for puppies to prevent pressure sores.

Washability & Odor Control

  • Choose machine-washable covers to control both dirt and sleep-disrupting odors.
  • Dogs detect smells far better than we do! They get annoyed by scent buildup.

Hair & Allergies

  • Some dogs react badly to certain fabrics and stuffing materials.
  • Hypoallergenic options help prevent itching, sneezing, and irritation overnight.

Nesting Comfort

  • Pups can burrow and nest in fluffy, soft, or tent-style beds before settling in.
  • Beds with moldable support make it easier for dogs to shift their sleeping positions.

Proper Sizing

  • Measure your Malinois when it’s fully stretched out to find the ideal bed size.
  • Snug beds are comforting and help prevent falling or slipping.

Personal Preference

Try different styles to find what your pup loves. Customize the bed based on observed sleeping positions or habits.

Adjusting the bedding for maximum comfort leads to deeper, uninterrupted sleep all night.

Environmental Factors

  • Maintain ideal ambient temperatures
  • Filter loud noises that startle awake
  • Block excess light from windows or electronics
  • Diffuse calming scents before bed like lavender

How Lifestyle Impacts Your Dog’s Routine?

No two Belgian Malinois have the same lifestyle, from their careers to their activity levels. However, a dog’s lifestyle has immense influence over their sleep health and habits.

Career & Jobs

  • Working Malinois need more sleep overall and benefit from frequent, energizing power naps.
  • Retired working dogs transition to more sleep as well.

Activity Levels

  • Higher-drive Malinois need extra sleep to recover mentally and physically from hard training and play.
  • Less active, couch potato Malinois sleep less because they use less daily energy.

Dog Sports & Athlete Dogs

If your Malinois excels in sports like agility, dock diving, or fly ball, their training and competition schedule significantly affects their sleep needs.

  • Intense training days = naps allowed & 12+ overnight hours.
  • Pre-competition = unbroken deep sleep.
  • Post-event = potential exhaustion with extra napping.

Different Sleeping Positions and Their Meaning

Dogs sleep in different positions. The most common one is to curl around themselves, tug their tail under their leg and twist their neck up. This is the normal way to sleep and it means the dog is in good health and enjoying good sleep.

Other normal sleep positions include resting its head on its front legs. That too implies that the dog is totally relaxed and having a good night sleep. You shouldn’t disturb the Belgian Malinois when it’s sleeping. As it is, it doesn’t sleep much and needs those few hours of quality sleep.

Helping Your Belgian Malinois to Sleep Well Every Day

You can create a routine for your Belgian Malinois to help it get enough sleep without being distrubed. You should monitor its sleeping hours and send it to bed at the same time every night.

Also make sure that its bed is comfy and clean. If the pesky cat tries to sleep in its bed, send it back to its own bed.

How to Get Your Belgian Malinois to Sleep at Night?

Make sure it’s comfortable, has good food in its belly, and its bed is made and clean. Keep the room dim or dark the way the dog likes it. Ensure the dog gets enough exercise and socializing. Sometimes when they feel lonely or restless, the Belgian Malinois won’t get good sleep at night.

Sleeping Problems Found in Belgian Malinois

Even energetic Belgian Malinois have occasional sleep troubles. By understanding the root causes, you can find solutions to improve their nightly rest.


As an on-alert working breed, anxiousness and reactivity plague many Malinois day and night. Stress and anxiety lead to poor sleep quality in Belgian Malinois.

Signs of anxiety interfering with sleep:

  • Reluctance to settle at bedtime
  • Restlessness – frequent position changes
  • Sudden waking with barking/pacing
  • Sleep startle reactions to any odd sounds

Remedies to reduce anxiety:

  • Confidence-building activities during the day
  • Calming bedtime routine – massage, music
  • Anxiety-easing supplements or medications
  • Weighted blankets or thunder shirts
  • Separate anxious dog from the pack at bedtime

Pain or Discomfort

From joint issues to digestive upset, physical discomfort makes sufficient shuteye impossible.

Clues of pain/illness causing sleep struggles:

  • Frequent position changes attempting to get comfortable
  • Hesitance to lie down or sudden yelping when settling
  • Seeking hard floors over soft bedding
  • Sleeping more deeply but still exhausted upon waking

Address underlying health issues and optimize bedding comfort to ease pain during sleep.

What You Should Do if Your Belgian Malinois Sleep Too Little? (3 Steps)

What You Should Do if Your Belgian Malinois Sleep Too Little? Follow these vet-approved tips to help your under-rested Belgian Malinois improve their sleep.

Step 1: Identify The Cause

First, identify what’s disrupting your dog’s sleep to effectively target a solution. Common culprits include:

  • Anxiety or stress
  • Pain or illness
  • Environmental disturbances
  • Insufficient daily exercise
  • Attention-seeking behavior

Watch your dog’s behavior at bedtime. Look for signs like reluctance to settle down, distress from noises, or frequent changes in position that indicate discomfort.

Step 2: Address Health Concerns

Address any medical issues such as infections, arthritis, allergies, or gastrointestinal problems. Pain and illness often lead to significantly less sleep.

Work with your veterinarian to:

  • Diagnose and resolve conditions.
  • Discuss prescription medications if necessary for pain or anxiety relief.

Tip: Consider an orthopedic dog bed for joint, muscle, or injury recovery comfort!

Step 3: Structure The Ideal Sleep Routine

Create an environment with natural cues like dim lights and quiet, which induce drowsiness in both humans and dogs.

Your bedtime game plan:

  • Playtime in the evening to expend energy
  • Calm activities in the late evening – puzzles, chews
  • Relaxing massage before bed
  • Cuddle time while listening to soft music
  • Ignoring attention-seeking to teach settling
  • Dark, cool room away from noises

Follow this routine every evening until your dog associates it with sleep time.

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