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Male vs Female Belgian Malinois: What are the Differences?

Nicole Cosgrove

If you are planning to get a Belgian Malinois dog, you are likely wondering which gender is better for you to pick. Male or female?

Although there are some distinct differences between the genders, neither is downright better than the other. At last, it is more about which gender is the perfect fit for your lifestyle but not which one is superior overall.

However, depending on the circumstance, certain sex of Malinois may be a better option. For instance, female Belgian Malinois are more oriented to stay close to their owners and easier to handle due to their small size and submissiveness. Contrary, males tend to be more daring and playful.

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Visual Differences

Female vs Male Begian Malinois
Image Credit: Female Belgian Malinois, Piqsels | Male Belgian Malinois, Flickr upload bot, Wikimedia CC 2.0

At a Glance

Males Belgian Malinois
  • Average heigh (adult): 24-26 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 60-80 pounds
Females Belgian Malinois
  • Average heigh (adult): 24-26 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 40-60 pounds

Belgian Malinois 101

The Belgian Malinois (MAL-in-wah), is famous for its confidence, intelligence, and athleticism. Malinois is a medium to large dog with a robust, chic body. This energetic breed needs much daily arduous exercise and mental enrichment but low maintenance.

Honored for their sturdy work ethic and intelligence, the Belgian Malinois is a top pick for military K-9 and police units. Although more often seen on the work than at the park, the Malinois’s gentle, loyal, and playful behavior can make them an excellent family companion.

Malinois are packed with solid muscles, yet their bodies have an elegant look. They are tall, up to two feet at the shoulders, and often wary, with lifted ears, dark chocolate eyes, and a lightly fuzzy tail. The Malinois thick, short coat carries shades of red, mahogany, or fawn, and it is common to see black ears and mask.

At a quick look, Malinois dog is often confused with a German shepherd. Although they have similar appearances and both are a top pick for militaries and police worldwide, these dogs are distinct and unique breeds. The average weight of the Belgian Malinois is 40-80 pounds, and male Malinois are often larger than medium-sized female dogs.

The Malinois’ waterproof coat is easy to maintain. Brushing his coat once a week can help get rid of dander and rubbing healthy oils will keep your dog looking shiny.

This breed does shed its coat twice a year. So, to avoid the risk of your home being invaded by dog hair, you will need to continue brushing your pup at least once a day.

Luckily, the Belgian Malinois can go a while without baths. And unless they have rolled in something stinky, they will not require to be wholly bathed more occasionally.

Male Belgian Malinois Overview

Belgian Shepherd Malinois_Flickr upload bot_Wikimedia
Image Credit: A male Belgian Malinois, Flickr upload bot, Wikimedia CC 2.0

Just like most dogs’ breeds, male Belgian Malinois are bigger than females in size and is some inches taller to boot.

Personality/ Character

Male Belgian Malinois are usually known to be more adventurous and exuberant. As their owner, you will probably adore their relaxed nature and patient attitude towards strangers and other pets.

Malinois is famous for being energetic, and the males are usually the high-spirited of the two. So, expect them to be ponderous, unruly, and often more chaotic.

Male Milionis are known to be stubborn, which means they require steady and firm guidance from their owner or trainer. Furthermore, estrogen makes them prone to being violent with other males.

Their homes can be a bit territorial since most male breeds are somewhat jealous of their owner when it comes to their homes. Don’t be astonished when your male Malinois becomes clingy with one particular person.

Training

Since male Malinois are slower to mature, they use more time in their juvenile stage, where they love playing and fiddling around.

You are likely to have a more challenging time drawing their attention and keeping them focused during this period. This can increase the time and effort you require to housebreak and train your dog appropriately.

The Belgian Malinois high-energy nature combined with the adventurous spirit of a male breed means that they will often be ready and excited for the next task you offer them. However, they might be too restless to focus on your commands.

This is likely to occur in public where more disturbances can take their concentration, including other canines and small creatures.

male belgian malinois playing on grass
Image Credit: Piqsels

Health & Care

Generally, Belgian Malinois are at risk of developing hip and elbow dysplasia eventually in their lives. This occurs when the bones in their hip or elbow joints don’t align correctly, resulting in pain and discomfort.

Male breeds are at higher risk of developing and aggravating the condition due to their enormous size and muscular build. That leads to more tears and wear on their bones. Furthermore, improper nutrition and too much or little exercise can influence a male breed’s risk of developing hip dysplasia.

Talk to your vet concerning the proper diet for your dog and the right amount of exercise your pup needs each day to keep them in appropriate physical condition.

Breeding

Male Belgian Malinois go through heat cycles once they reach puberty. They are not in the mood all the time, and so you need to understand the signs, wait for the appropriate time, then introduce the male and female to each other.

When the male Malinois is on heat, he will make his intentions evident to anybody. The dog becomes too affectionate with everything that moves. Besides, he will get into the habit of lifting legs and pieces of furniture.

Male Belgian Malinois Pros
  • They are more likely to get along with a female dog in your home
  • Territorial temperament makes them great protection dogs
Male Belgian Malinois Cons
  • Vigorous exercise requirement
  • Sensitive by nature, a bit slow to mature
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Female Belgian Malinois Overview

female belgian malnois
Image Credit: Piqsels

Female Belgian are usually a few inches shorter than males. They are 22-24 inches tall and weigh anywhere between 40-60 pounds.

Personality/ Character

Female Malinois mature more rapidly than males, making them more amenable and easier to train. Furthermore, they are more wary and focused than males. Due to their gentle character and smaller sizes, female Malinois are a perfect choice for first-time owners of the breed.

Contrary to males, female Malinois are intolerant towards strangers and other canines, which can make them an ideal pet for those looking for a watchdog. However, it is a bit of a drawback for someone looking for a fun-loving pet.

When you take them on a walk or to a park, you will require to give them a little more time to adapt to their surroundings. However, they are not aggressive towards the same gender as males.

Females often adopt a group mentality, making them more territorial regarding the family. They are not likely to have a close bond with one person, but they love the family equally.

Training

Due to their ability to reach maturity faster than males, female Malinois are more efficient to train since they can assimilate more at a younger age.

Furthermore, they are more submissive towards their owners, and they are much better at maintaining concertation. This makes female Malinois an easier choice for training and dogs’ exhibitions.

In addition, you are likely to have an easier time training female Malinois due to their small size and less muscular body, which makes them a bit smoother to handle.

female belgian malinois
Image Credit: Piqsels

Health & Care

Healthy female Malinois are less susceptible to develop hip and elbow dysplasia. Thanks to their smaller and lightweight build. And when they do, it is easier to manage the condition and prevent it from exacerbating.

Along with dysplasia, both genders of Belgian Malinois are equally prone to developing hemangiosarcoma, cataracts, progressive retina atrophy, and pannus.

Female Malinois are also prone to obesity, so you must pay attention to their weight. To prevent obesity, allow your dog to have regular exercise. These may include playing a game with her or taking her for a walk.

And most importantly, make sure that your dog gets an annual check-up with your vet. This way, they will remain healthy and age well.

Breeding

When in mood, the female Malinois tends to get too receptive. She does not resist the approaches of male dogs and initiates a play of catch where she pretends to be unfeeling, but she keeps making the right signals to the male.

The heat cycle in female Malinois has four stages:
  • Proestrus: The first stage of estrus can last 1-27 days, although the average length is nine days. During this phase, your dog’s vulva becomes swollen, and you might observe blood vaginal discharge.
  • Estrus: At this stage, female Malinois are ready to mate. The vulva is less swollen, and bloody discharges are reduced.
  • Diestrus: This phase may last up to two months. It is likely for your dog to have a swollen vulva and bloody discharge though little.
  • Anestrus: This stage is the longest and can last up to four months. There are no clear signs.
Female Belgian Malinois Pros
  • Observant, watchful, and caring
  • They have a quick maturity rate
Female Belgian Malinois Cons
  • Aggression toward strangers and other animals
  • High energy requirements

Which Gender is Better for Your Family?

Both male and female Malinois can be great pets for your home, but what if you have a family?

Generally, a female Malinois is best to have if you have younger kids. It is not that males are aggressive towards children or can harm them intentionally, but these dogs can at times be chaotic and oblivious. This can make them knock down your children or even bite them when they shouldn’t.

Contrary, females are much more conscious and caring towards kids. Thus, they make excellent family pets. Furthermore, females are lightweight, so they will not hurt your children while playing with them. Besides, they are more of a family-inclined mentality; thus, they will care for their whole family, not just their primary owner.

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Which Breed is Right for You?

Before you adopt or buy a new pup, there are critical aspects to examine that can help you determine the perfect possible gender for you.

Male Belgian Malinois usually becomes clingy to one person. Their adventurous nature makes them more friendly with people and other dogs. If you are looking for a pup that will protect your home, a male Malinois is the best choice for you.

Another aspect to consider when selecting your Malinois gender is whether there are other dogs in your home. A male and a female pup are more compatible than bringing together two or more territorial males to live harmoniously.

Female Malinois have a tranquil temperament, which is ideal for younger and delicate kids. Their rapid maturity rate allows sooner training and housebreaking. They are more protective of their owner when in public, and female Malinois love all family members equally.

Concerning cats and other pets, female Malinois have similar hunting habits as males. However, due to their receptive nature, there are more likely to listen to their owners.

Regardless of which Malinois gender you choose, you should know that both sexes are perfect family pets, provided you socialize them properly.


Featured Image Credit: Female Belgian Malinois, Piqsels | Male Belgian Malinois, Piqsels

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.