Belgian Malinois, German Shepherds, and other guard dog breeds are often portrayed as scary or intimidating.
It is such breeds that are mostly used for protection and defense, as they are watchful, alert, and strong.
They can attack an intruder or bite if their family is in potential danger.
Belgian Malinois are one of the most common breeds used by police, and for good reason.
This dog possesses many features that are needed for this intense job. These swift, fast dogs chase down criminals and leap on them with apparent agility.
They can hold them down with sheer strength as they wait for the police to arrive. They can even bite on command to protect their masters.
But are Belgian Malinois really that scary as they seem?
Are Belgian Malinois aggressive or dangerous?
Are Belgian Malinois Aggressive?
Belgian Malinois will not be aggressive toward their owners, family, or other people they know well or are familiar with.
However, they can be aggressive toward other unfamiliar dogs or animals, and even sometimes people they do not know.
This is not true of every Belgian Malinois individual.
Nonetheless, a lot of Belgian Malinois are very wary of other members of their species, and those they are not familiar with.
Reasons For Aggressiveness
Therefore they could show aggression, because they are protecting their owner or family.
Signs of aggression are mostly apparent in Belgian Malinois that have not been properly socialized as puppies or trained well.
As well as that, some Belgian Malinois are naturally aggressive because it is a genetic characteristic they have inherited.
Or they could not be cared for properly, and their boredom and ill-treatment could lead to aggression.
Belgian Malinois that do not have their needs satisfied and are not kept busy could potentially have behavioral issues.
How To Prevent Aggressiveness
No matter what, it is always critical that Belgian Malinois at a young age are introduced to other people and especially dogs.
They also need to know basic commands and be trained what behaviors are appropriate and which are inappropriate.
Otherwise, this dog could not know how to act properly around others and act hostile or aggressive toward them.
They could even chase other dogs, cats, rabbits, or squirrels, as a result of naturally possessing a high prey drive.
Are Belgian Malinois Dangerous?
Since some individuals do have a tendency to be aggressive toward other dogs or even strangers, they can be dangerous.
Of course, this is not true of all Belgian Malinois.
However, Belgian Malinois need proper socialization and training to be able to behave well around others.
Without this socialization and training, Belgian Malinois can have a range of behavioral problems.
Among these is aggression. Aggressive Belgian Malinois can be dangerous.
Dangers Of A Belgian Malinois
The dangers a Belgian Malinois could hold includes chasing children, dogs, cats, and other animals.
They could also chase after pedestrians, bikers, or joggers.
Or, they could even chase after cars, which is perilous to themselves, as they could get lost or injured.
Other dangerous behaviors of an aggressive Belgian Malinois could include attacking other dogs and hurting them.
This is especially hazardous to small dog breeds. As well as that, they could even snap or bite strangers.
When A Dangerous Belgian Malinois Is Needed
Sometimes an aggressive or dangerous Belgian Malinois is desirable when working for the police or in the military.
This is because this dog needs to show hostility toward criminals on the run.
Belgian Malinois also need to be able to catch them and intimate them into surrendering.
These dogs need to be able to bite on command or attack when threatened.
A friendly and gentle Belgian Malinois in police forces or the military would not be good for this kind of job.
However, Belgian Malinois need to have self-control.
When working, they need to be trained when it is acceptable to bite or attack and when it is not.
A Belgian Malinois that does not undergo this kind of proper training can be dangerous to normal people.
Why Do Belgian Malinois Bite So Much?
Belgian Malinois bite so much because they have an instinctive high prey drive.
As well as that, they were originally bred and used as herding dogs.
Therefore, it was normal for them to sometimes nip or bite at the heels of sheep.
If the sheep were stubborn and would not move, the Belgian Malinois dog would nip or bite them to hurry them along.
These herding instincts have stayed with the Belgian Malinois until this day.
Although your dog may not be biting you intentionally or aggressively, they do it because of their natural instincts.
They also tend to chase and nip smaller animals and children. This could quickly get out of hand and become a real problem.
These dogs could also be biting out of boredom or lack of exercise.
Biting Out Of Boredom And Excess Energy
As a matter of fact, Belgian Malinois need both physical and mental exercise.
They need to stay active, but this alone is just not enough, as this dog’s big brain loves a challenge or a fun interactive game.
If they have excess energy which has not been used up during the day, they will feel restless, nervous, hyperactive, or even irritable.
The dog will not be able to properly practice self-control and self-regulation. As a result, it could give them a tendency to nip or bite their owner.
At the same time, boredom and having nothing to do could also move these dogs to nip or bite.
Biting As A Form Of Play
As well as that, Belgian Malinois, just as other dogs, could be biting as a form of play.
Puppies in the litter often play fight, which involves biting and wrestling in competition with their siblings.
Belgian Malinois will thus treat biting as just a play game.
This breed especially likes to play roughly, so they do not know how their biting could impact someone or hurt them.
If the tendency to bite stays with a dog till adulthood, this is an even bigger problem.
These dogs have very sharp teeth and strong jaws as adults, so it will mean that their biting can cause even more damage or injury.
Play biting could for the most part be dangerous to small children.
Since they are more fragile, a Belgian Malinois that nips or bites when they are playing could unintentionally injure them.
This is why it is vital to start teaching Belgian Malinois dogs in their puppyhood about behaving properly around others.
How To Train Belgian Malinois Not To Bite?
Belgian Malinois may bite due to coming out of the puppyhood stage, or it may still remain as a behavior trait in adulthood.
Either way, biting should not be a permitted way of conduct. Training should start early for a Belgian Malinois.
If, however, your adult Belgian Malinois still bites, it is important to start training as soon as possible.
How can I train my Belgian Malinois not to bite?
There are a couple of things you could do to prevent biting in your Belgian Malinois.
Stop Biting With The Help Of Chew Toys
First of all, when your Belgian Malinois bites you, you could try and redirect his attention straight to a chew toy.
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This would show your dog that chew toys are better for biting than your hand.
However, this does not always work, and it does not stop the behavior of your Belgian Malinois completely.
Stop Biting By Ignoringing Your Belgian Malinois
Instead, when he begins to bite you, make sure you make an exclamation or a sound of disapproval. Then walk away or ignore your dog completely for a short while.
Belgian Malinois will soon see that biting ensues in you stopping to interact with him. Whenever your dog calms down, reward him.
If he bites again, repeat the same actions to show that you disapprove of it.
Stop Biting By Pulling Your Belgian Malinois Head Away
Another way if the dog keeps biting your hand, especially a younger dog, is to grab the dog under the collar from the side.
You must be holding your dog on either side of his head and pointing your finger, under the collar, toward his head.
This way your dog will not be able to reach around and bite you more.
This is because you now have additional control and you can pull your dog’s head away if he bites.
Whenever he attempts to try to bite you, give him a slight shake.
Each time he begins to snap, continue giving him a shake. When he calms down, reward him immediately with a treat.
Soon your Belgian Malinois will learn that the shake indicates your displeasure, whereas if he stays calm and still he will get a treat.
Stop Biting By Making Your Belgian Malinois Aware That It Hurts
Additionally, you could also give a high-pitched yelp when your Belgian Malinois bites you.
This will indicate that you are in pain. It may startle your dog and it will occur to him that his biting is hurting you.
As soon as he stops biting, reward him to show him your approval.
A Belgian Malinois is smart and will learn quickly that biting is not an acceptable behavior, and it is disapproved by you.
Belgian Malinois are eager to please their owner, and will not want to do something you disapprove of.
Biting Due To Aggression
However, sometimes biting is due to a serious aggression problem in the dog.
A rescued Belgian Malinois may display this behavioral trait if he has been treated badly by the previous owner.
Biting due to aggression and not merely playing or prey drive is a large problem and can pose a threat to you and to other people.
In difficult cases, it could be time to seek an experienced professional’s help.
Belgian Malinois Temperament
Belgian Malinois are active, intense dogs with one of the most exceptional temperaments in the world.
These dogs have energy and a high work drive which can last them hours on end, unrelenting.
They are dignified, confident dogs with an intelligence which allows them to learn fast during training and remember a whole range of commands.
They are vigilant dogs, full of life, which are willing to please their owner, obey them, and work with them.
They love physical activity, challenging situations, and solving problems.
They need a lot of mental stimulation to keep them from becoming bored, and showing problematic behavior as a result.
These dogs love to fulfill their master’s wishes and show off their incredible skills and what they can do.
The Belgian Malinois is devoted, loyal, and loving to their owner and family. They are very protective dogs, and will guard and protect those they love.
As well as that, they are territorial, so males will spend a lot of time marking their territory and guarding their property.
Sometimes, Belgian Malinois can be stubborn, since they are strong willed and dedicated to work they were set out to do.
If they set their minds to something, they will not give up on it easily.
To strangers, the Belgian Malinois is usually very reserved and indifferent. They are cautious and wary of people they do not know, and don’t pay much interest to them.
Very few Belgian Malinois will act friendly or playful to people they meet for the first time. They would much rather give them the cold shoulder and watch them carefully with alertness.
As well as that, they will always look out for their family around strangers, to make sure they are not under threat.
Most well trained, well behaved, and properly socialized Belgian Malinois should not show direct aggression toward strangers.
However, in some individuals, it could happen. It occurs most commonly when in contact with new stranger dogs and other animals they meet.
This is why it is vital to keep Belgian Malinois under close supervision while they interact with unfamiliar humans or animals.
Do Belgian Malinois Make Good Pets?
Belgian Malinois make great pets because of their devotion and loyalty to their family, and their natural protection abilities.
They are good with children and will protect and guard them.
They also do better in families that lead an active lifestyle and engage in much exercise and physical activity.
Also, Belgian Malinois are better for people that already have experience with dogs, and have owned dogs in the past.
This is because the Belgian Malinois can be a difficult to manage dog, especially for the first-time owner.
It must be remembered that Belgian Malinois need proper training, socialization, and exercise to bring out the best in them.
For owners looking for a Belgian Malinois as an affectionate family pet, it is recommended to get a female.
This is especially true for families in which there are children. Even though males also make great pets, females are softer and easier to handle.
They also do better with children, because of their family orientated temperament.
Males are playful and adventurous, but may be more territorial and more driven to do work.
Both dogs, however, will be an outstanding guard dog that will protect their family, and make sure they come to no harm.
Do Belgian Malinois Get Along With Other Dogs?
Since Belgian Malinois make good pets, will they get along with other dogs?
Are Belgian Malinois aggressive or dangerous toward other pets?
Belgian Malinois will do fairly fine with pets as long as they are properly socialized upon first meeting.
Females will be more hesitant or cautious when coming face to face with new household members.
They may need longer to properly socialize with them and to adapt.
However, not every Belgian Malinois will adjust well to small dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, ferrets, or rodents.
Their natural high prey drive may incline them to chase such smaller animals.
They could also potentially injure them, either from nipping them too hard or harsh play.
Overall, Belgian Malinois dogs seem to do better in a household with no other pets, or just one pet which is not a small breed.
As well as that, a Belgian Malinois will not tolerate snappy dogs, or dogs that try to dominate them.
If a dog – most likely it will be of the same sex – stands up to a Belgian Malinois, it could result in a fight.
Therefore, Belgian Malinois tend do better with dogs of the opposite sex.
In conclusion, are Belgian Malinois aggressive or dangerous?
It is a true fact that some individuals could be. This is usually toward other dogs and animals, and sometimes even toward people they don’t know.
This could be due to a number of factors. This includes improper socialization as puppies, poor training or lack thereof, or simply a hereditary gene.
An experienced owner will know how to properly handle their Belgian Malinois and train him to display good behavior.
This will prevent aggression toward others and the risk of biting.
Belgian Malinois also make great pets because of their devotion to their family. They get along with children, and some pets with proper socialization.
With smaller animals, however, they tend not to do very well.
They also prefer dogs of the opposite sex, as two males could potentially try to show dominance, which could lead to a fight.