Are belgian malinois good family dogs? (detailed answer!)

A very common question that often comes to the mind of people who have just adopted or are considering adopting a malinois is, “are Belgian malinois good family dogs?”.

Great question! Without much ado, here’s the answer.

Does The Belgian Malinois Make a Good Family Dog?

Does the Belgian Malinois make a good family dog

Well, the answer is yes, the Belgian Malinois can be a great family dog, but it depends on several factors. If you are a highly active family and willing to include the dog in your every activity, then Belgian Malinois can be a fantastic family pet for you. 

If you own one, don’t be surprised when you wake up in the morning and the dog is ready to have a fully active day. 

A Belgian Malinois is an intelligent, energetic, and loving dog, but it is not a typical family dog. Why? Because Malinois is a robust working dog that thrives on stimulation. He is willing to do the tasks all the time and takes them very seriously. If not given one, he will find one himself. 

So unless you are willing to put time and energy in, Malinois is not a good family dog. 

The Core Traits of The Belgian Malinois Personality

Belgian Malinois is a dog of medium size that often resembles a German Shepherd at first sight. This dog has great stamina and loves to be active and playful. 

Here are some personality traits that will help you understand the nature of this dog better. 

  • Sensitivity: Belgian Malinois dogs are not only active and robust, as most people know, but also they are extremely sensitive. They don’t resonate with harsh behaviors; thus, you need to be very careful around them. 
  • Reserved nature: Belgian Malinois are very friendly with the owners, but they are reserved and quiet around strangers. They don’t mix up with others easily. 
  • High energy level: Malinois dogs are very energetic thus like to have extended exercise and playtime with the owner. Therefore they are not recommended for busy people. 

Is a Belgian Malinois Right for Your Family and Your Lifestyle? (pros & Cons)

Are belgian malinois good family dogs

It’s a tough decision to make whether a Belgian Malinois is the right fit for your family or not. I am listing a few pros and cons that will help you decide whether to buy/adopt this dog breed or not.


  • Belgian Malinois dogs have a natural-born instinct for protection. Thus they are of great help in protecting you and your family property. 
  • They are brilliant dogs with a high IQ. Their smartness makes them able to perform various actions as commanded by their owner. 
  • Since they are very smart, they are also highly trainable. They can easily understand new commands. This can help you train them better and utilize their energy in the right place. 
  • A Belgian Malinois keeps you fit and active because it needs a lot of physical and mental stimulation from the owner. So if you want to stay fit, Malinois is the right choice for you. 


  • The main disadvantage that can keep you from having a Belgian Malinois is that ‘it is not your average family dog.’ They come with unique requirements that need to be fulfilled so they can adapt well to your home. 
  • If you often travel and stay out of home for long, Belgian Malinois is not the right choice for you unless you hire a dog sitter because these dogs need a company to keep them busy constantly. 
  • If you are a lazy person or don’t love to exercise, think twice before buying a Malinois because this dog can keep you running all day long. 
  • Belgian Malinois needs exposure to different situations; hence often training is required, which can cost a lot of money. So if you can’t afford to train the dog, it’s better not to buy one. 

What a Belgian Malinois Needs From You

A Belgian Malinois is a great family dog if you are or can do the following things. 

  • You are ready to invest the required time and energy to train the dog and keep him busy. 
  • You will need to dedicate a specific time of the day for the training and exercise of the dog. The active time of the Malinois owners is around three to six hours. 
  • You need to have a very calm and patient personality to be able to deal with the high working drive of the Malinois. 
  • Remember that these dogs do not respond to harsh training, so you need to be very polite and friendly while training them. 

How to Make a Belgian Malinois a Good Dog for Your Family

Belgian Malinois though not an average family dog, can become one if trained well and given proper attention. This is how you can make a Malinois a good family dog.  

  • Provide them with a loving home environment with maximum attention and physical affection.  
  • Make sure that your dog has ample space to play and run. These dogs need a lot of activity to invest in their energy deposits. 
  • Train the Belgian Malinois to be friendly around small children. Due to their large size, they can mistakenly knock children down. You can get professional help here for the training of a dog. 
  • Let your dog interact with other dogs and people. This will help them to be friendly when around strangers and not see them as threats.

Should You Get a Belgian Malinois to Protect Your Family?

When do Malinois dogs stop growing - belgian malinois growth chart

Malinois dogs are quick learners and great human companions as well. They are an excellent choice for a family protection dog as they naturally possess protective instincts. 

Since they are highly intelligent and smart, you can train them to guard your house and family. It is better to train them professionally first, which will help ensure the complete safety of you and your family. 

If you don’t have a busy schedule and are ready to give certain hours of the day for the activity of a Malinois, this dog is undoubtedly the right choice for your family.

For further information about Belgian Malinois, click here.