Before getting a Belgian Malinois, a new owner usually wants to know what needs the dog will have.
They will also want to find out about their personality.
A Belgian Malinois is known to be extremely intelligent, bright, and loves to work with their human.
They are loyal and form a great bond with their owner – and will want naturally want to protect them.
This breed may sound like a perfect dog for someone who wants a companion and a guard at the same time.
However, because of their protection and guardianship instincts, combined with high energy, a person might wonder if this dog will bark a lot.
A lot of dog breeds that are naturally territorial and defensive cannot stop barking at anything that moves.
Similarly, do Belgian Malinois bark a lot?
Do Belgian Malinois Bark A Lot?
Yes, Belgian Malinois are known to be a breed that barks a lot. They tend to be very vocal dogs.
This is also true for other shepherd dogs such as German Shepherds and other, closely-related Belgian Shepherds.
Belgian Malinois do this because they like to express themselves.
They cannot talk like humans, but they can let their feelings, emotions, and wishes be known by barking.
The guarding instincts of the Belgian Malinois will also compel them to bark as they protect their owners.
Barking to indicate they want something can be very useful for the owner to read their Belgian Malinois needs.
In such cases, it can be a good thing.
However, constant barking, especially for a better part of the day, can be a formidable nuisance.
Not only can it be annoying and frustrating for owners, but it also can lead to big issues with neighbors.
In some cases, complaints about noise levels caused by barking could even be reported to the local council.
So why then are some Belgian Malinois prone to barking so much?
Why Do Belgian Malinois Bark?
Being bored is one of the most common reasons why a Belgian Malinois will bark, as this dog wants to always have something to do.
Belgian Malinois are full of energy and the drive to work and stay active.
If they are not given enough physical exercise, space, and things to occupy their time and stay busy, this breed will begin to vocalize their boredom.
This means they will bark a lot.
As they are dogs that are naturally protective, Belgian Malinois will also bark instinctively as an alarm because they want to protect and guard their owners.
They may bark at passers-by as a means of telling them to stay away and to tell their owners about them.
Other reasons for barking could be any of the following:
- They are seeking attention from their owners. This could mean they simply want to be noticed.
- They want to go outside.
- They want to play.
- They are distracted by different things, like noises, rushing-by cars, other dogs, or passing-by people.
- They are hungry and want food.
- They may bark to show their frustration, anxiety, or annoyance due to a specific factor.
- It could indicate excitement in your dog.
- They may be frightened by something.
How To Stop A Belgian Malinois From Barking?
First and most important of all, make sure your Belgian Malinois has things to do to be entertained.
By being kept busy at all times, Belgian Malinois will not have as much desire to bark.
They can be occupied with toys to chew on and play with to keep their mind off other things like barking.
You also need to remember to socialize and play on a regular basis with your Belgian Malinois.
Your dog might simply want attention from you or to play with you.
So make sure you spend some time of your day to attend to your dog’s socialization needs to keep him happy and prevent unnecessary barking.
If you spend enough time with your Belgian Malinois and give them plenty of attention, and they are still barking all day, ignore them.
Teach Them Independence
In the case where you have been playing with your Belgian Malinois and he still continues barking after you have finished, it may indicate that your dog has not learnt independence.
Your dog will need to learn that you cannot give them attention every hour of the day.
You also have other things besides constantly playing with them for hours. If they bark and you react every time, they will know that this gets your attention.
If you ignore them, they will soon learn that barking does not succeed in getting noticed by you, and they will stop it altogether.
Reward your dog after he finally stops barking at times like this. Soon they will learn that there is a time to play and have fun with you, and a time to leave you alone and rest instead.
This will instill independence in them and they will not use barking to get your attention all the time.
Give them Enough Exercise
Always remember, however, to exercise your Belgian Malinois.
These dogs are athletic and physically active, working animals, therefore they need to have action and exercise.
Ideally, your Belgian Malinois should get twenty minutes of exercise three to four times on a daily basis to keep them happy and satisfied.
This could come in the form of play, a jog, a brisk walk, or a fun game, for instance involving fetching.
With regular exercise, Belgian Malinois dogs will not have so much excess energy to burn off and they won’t become bored.
As a result, they won’t feel the need to bark as much.
Don’t Forget Their Mental Stimulation
Another thing that the Belgian Malinois must receive is mental stimulation.
These dogs like a challenge, they like to work, and they like to have something to do.
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You can give your Belgian Malinois chew toys, rawhide bones, or treat dispensing or puzzle dog toys to satisfy their mental stimulation need.
You can also give your dog more time to sniff and to explore on walks, to find out about things that are around him to appease his natural, instinctive curiosity.
Belgian Malinois also will enjoy having work to do and to be trained, as they always want to please their owner and perform commands.
To placate this desire, you could teach your Belgian Malinois new skills and tricks, or even start to train him in obedience or agility.
This will additionally ward off boredom and the desire to bark.
As well as that, it will let your Belgian Malinois show off what they can do, and give them both physical and mental exercise at the same time, which is a bonus.
Don’t Leave Them Out Alone For Too Long
If your Belgian Malinois spends most time outside and you live in town or on a busy street, a good idea is to keep him at home more often.
This is also true in the case where you live in the country or in a suburban area. In this matter, your dog might not bark at people or cars, but at wildlife, birds, or even squirrels.
Belgian Malinois are territorial, so they will bark at things in the yard, or whenever they see people or dogs walk by.
Especially if someone gets near to their gate, these dogs will want to inform their owners. They see these passers-by, cars, and the likes as potential threats.
Keeping your Belgian Malinois at home more often will prevent the dog being alarmed and wanting to protect their owner by barking.
Close The Curtains
On the other hand, if your Belgian Malinois already spends most of their time in the house, close the curtains.
A dog that barks may be watching the street or yard out of the window and barking at any distraction in alarm.
By closing the curtains you will remove that distraction or threat.
Either that or you could simply keep your dog away from the windows where he watches the street and what is going on.
This will keep his mind off distractions such as that and things that startle and alarm him.
Look For Other Reasons Why Your Belgian Malinois Is Barking
Remember that your Belgian Malinois may not just be barking because of boredom, excess energy, or by being distracted by things.
They might be trying to tell you something, as a form of communication. They could be barking as a way of telling you that they want to eat something, or need to go outside.
They could be frustrated by something, or scared. Always look out for your dog if you find them barking more than usual or displaying strange behavior.
It may be time to investigate if you think something might be wrong.
Barking when you are away could indicate separation anxiety, for instance.
Perhaps if your neighbors are quick to tell you that your dog will not stop barking as soon as you leave for work, this could then indicate separation anxiety.
How To Teach Your Belgian Malinois To Stop Barking At Strangers?
Your Belgian Malinois might not want to stop barking whenever the postman, delivery man, or someone else comes to your door.
This is a natural reaction as a result of their instincts. These dogs always want to protect their owners from harm, and warn them about possible danger.
They will alarm their owners about anything unknown or strange to them.
Nonetheless, there are things to combat barking at strangers.
One good way is to order your dog or bribe them with a treat or toy to go to their bed.
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When they do this, reward them with a treat or toy. Every time someone knocks at your door, you can now order your dog to go to bed.
If they lie down and remain calm without barking in alarm, reward them.
You can do this each time until they learn to go to bed on their own when a stranger comes, knowing it pleases you.
If this doesn’t work, you could also try another method.
Hold Their Muzzle Together
This would involve going up to your barking Belgian Malinois, holding their muzzle together gently and telling them the command ‘Quiet’.
When the dog remains calm for a while, reward him. If your dog begins to bark again as soon as you let go of their muzzle, try the routine again.
Repeat this every time your dog barks at strangers. After a while, your dog learn that you want them to stop barking when you give the command, ‘Quiet.’
If you think your dog has learnt the command, you can try it without holding their muzzle. If the dog obeys, reward him immediately.
Belgian Malinois learn quickly and are obedient, so they should be able to learn and follow your command very soon.
Remember never to shout at your dog when they are barking, as this will alarm and startle them, or excite them even more.
They will also think that you are joining in and barking along with them.
Do Belgian Malinois Howl?
Just as with barking, Belgian Malinois do howl a lot as well.
They are a vocal breed, so barking is not the only way they will communicate and let their wishes be known.
Dogs descend from wolves, so it is only in their nature and instinct that a Belgian Malinois will howl.
Just like wolves, Belgian Malinois will most likely howl to communicate. They might be howling at other dogs in the neighborhood and even awaiting a response.
They might howl at strangers as a signal of their displeasure at them, and to repel them away from their territory and home.
They could also be howling to express themselves and their feelings more than just by barking.
Belgian Malinois might also simply be howling as a greeting when they see you, which will likely be a shorter series of howls rather than one long one.
In conclusion, do Belgian Malinois bark a lot?
They are a vocal breed that barks a lot, and even howls.
They use barking as a way to express themselves and to communicate. They will bark to alarm about a perceived threat, because they are startled, and to ward off strangers.
Of course, a bored Belgian Malinois will bark to give themselves something to do and to unload energy.
Barking excessively and uncontrollably may seem like a problem, but there are many ways to prevent it.
Of course, remember to look after your dog’s needs. Your Belgian Malinois wants to be occupied and get their daily exercise.
If your dog barks at strangers, there are ways to train him to calm down when someone knocks.
Hence the Belgian Malinois’ intelligence and fast learning, it won’t take long before they realize that you prefer them to keep quiet while having people over.