Belgian Malinois are a beautiful and active breed.
They are considered to be highly intelligent and may also be high maintenance.
They are often a working dog, so as a pet they need a lot of exercise and stimulation to keep them happy.
Belgian Malinois are often very vocal dogs, meaning that they may bark a lot to communicate with you and other dogs.
You may find that your Belgian Malinois barks a lot, particularly if they are bored. It is important that you train your Belgian Malinois early on that excessive barking is not desirable.
This post will help you to learn why your Belgian Malinois is barking and how to deal with it.
Do Belgian Malinois Bark A Lot?
Belgian Malinois are a very vocal breed and may bark very often.
Belgian Malinois were originally bred for herding and used their bark to communicate with their herd as well as to protect them.
Today, Belgian Malinois are also used by military and police forces as well as for private security and protection. This means that their bark is often a way of communicating with their handlers and protecting people.
When they are kept as pets, they will bark often to communicate and protect their families from potential dangers.
Why do Belgian Malinois Bark?
Your Belgian Malinois may bark for any number of reasons. Some of the most common reasons that you will hear them bark are listed below.
Belgian Malinois are very territorial and will do just about anything to protect their families.
If they sense that something is a threat, or that someone is threatening their territory, they are likely to bark and growl as well as show defensive body language such as having pinned ears and raised hair on their back.
Depending on the dog and their training, they may find many things to be threatening. Even having a person ring the doorbell could be seen as a threat to your dog, and they are likely to bark and become defensive and territorial.
Belgian Malinois are very active and love to be kept busy, so they may bark out of excitement when they see that it is time to go for a walk.
If you get their leash, you may notice that they bark and seem very excited. This is because they know that the leash signifies a walk or other exercise.
You may notice that these excited barks are quite high pitched.
High pitched barks are how packs of dogs (or wolves) express excitement toward each other. When your dog barks in a high pitch like this, he is telling you that he is happy and excited for what is to come.
Usually, your dog’s high-pitched barks will be accompanied by positive body language like perked up ears and a wagging tail.
Belgian Malinois are not a breed that like to be left on their own or left to entertain themselves for long periods of time.
A Belgian Malinois has no trouble reminding you often (and loudly) that it is time to pay attention to them, take them outside or take them for a walk.
When your Belgian Malinois is telling you that they need attention, they will likely stare straight at you and bark many times in succession.
Fear or Anxiety
Your dog may bark if they are in a situation that makes them anxious.
Belgian Malinois are a tough and protective breed, but this doesn’t mean that they are immune to fear.
Many things could trigger a dog’s fear and anxiety response. They could be anxious around other dogs or unfamiliar people or become anxious when left alone.
Some dogs will start barking and become very unsettled when they see their owners putting on their coats or shoes and getting ready to leave the house. The dog understands that he will be left alone and becomes anxious and may start to bark, whine or follow you around.
A big barking trigger for Belgian Malinois is boredom.
Since they are bred as a working dog and highly intelligent, they can become a bit of a nightmare when they are bored.
Belgian Malinois need to be exercise a lot and need to be kept busy to avoid becoming bored. If they do get bored, you may notice them barking excessively and doing things like tearing up your house and furniture out of frustration.
Your Belgian Malinois may give a single surprised bark if you sneak up on them or they see something move quickly in the grass when you are walking.
You likely won’t hear surprised barks from your Belgian Malinois very often as they are usually on high alert and few things will surprise them, but it can happen if they are relaxed, and something takes them by surprise.
Dogs may bark when they are in pain, which can help them tell you that they need help or that an action is causing them pain and they want it to stop.
This type of bark can be seen when your Belgian Malinois is playing with other dogs. If the other dogs are playing very rough, your Belgian Malinois may get bumped or bitten and will bark to tell the other dogs to stop.
If your dog barks like this when you are petting them, it may be an indication that something is wrong. They may have an injury that you will need to take care of and you should take your dog to the vet to see what is wrong.
As dogs age, their eyesight and hearing may tend to deteriorate. Because of this, they may bark at things that aren’t there or that they are not hearing properly.
When their eyesight or hearing start to go, they may become startled by you if they do not hear or see you coming. This could cause them to bark in surprise.
Cognitive function also tends to decline in older dogs, so they may bark for seemingly no reason at all. If you notice this when your dog is elderly, you can have a vet check them over and see if there is anything they can prescribe to help your dog feel calmer.
How Do You Stop A Belgian Malinois Barking?
Belgian Malinois may bark a lot, so it is important that you train them to not bark at every little thing.
Keep Them Well Exercised
This is one of the most important points when it comes to stopping your Belgian Malinois from barking.
Often, Belgian Malinois are on high alert and are ready to bark at any little thing. This is heightened when your dog is ready to exercise and has lots of energy.
If you exercise your Belgian Malinois enough, (for some dogs, this may be several hours a day), then they are less likely to bark at everything they see.
In general, a tired dog is a more laid-back dog, and this is especially true when it comes to the Belgian Malinois.
This is one breed that is very likely to bark when they are bored and need attention, so it is important to tire them out daily to keep them happy and calm.
Along with being well exercised, it is important to keep your Belgian Malinois mentally stimulated.
When they have other things to focus on, they are less likely to bark at you or bark at everything that passes by your house.
You can try giving your dog some enrichment toys that they can play with. There are tons of these toys available, and it will help to keep your dog busy and focused on something positive.
Remove the Motivation to Bark
Belgian Malinois may be very territorial and will want to protect their home from strangers.
This may translate into them barking at every person who walks by your house.
If you find that your dog is barking every time someone walks by the front window, remove the temptation to bark by closing the curtains or keeping your dog away from that part of the house.
Ignore the Barking
If your Belgian Malinois is barking to get your attention, do your best to ignore the barking.
It can be difficult but try not to talk to them or even look in their direction.
Once the dog finally stops barking, reward them with a treat. This can be really difficult as excessive barking is likely to drive you crazy, but it will be an effective way to teach them that barking at you will not get your attention.
Ask For a Different Behavior
When your dog is barking, you can ask them to do something that is incompatible with barking.
An example of this would be to ask them to go to their bed and lie down when they are barking at the door.
To teach your dog to not bark when the door opens or they see someone come in, put a treat on their bed and ask them to go to their bed.
Once they are lying on their bed, you can try opening the door. If they get up from their bed or start to bark, close the door again and ask them to lie down on their bed again.
Continue this activity until they lie quietly on their bed when the door opens. When they are successful, make sure to reward them with treats.
Work With a Professional
If you are finding that your Belgian Malinois is barking excessively and you cannot manage it, you should contact a professional dog trainer to help you.
There are many cases of people getting Belgian Malinois and then not being able to handle their excessive barking and demanding personalities.
It is especially important to work with a professional if you have not trained dogs in the past, as they will be able to help you with a variety of problems that you may face from your Belgian Malinois.
How To Train Your Belgian Malinois With Peace Of Mind:
If you haven’t trained your Belgian Malinois properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.
The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.
With Brain Training For Dogs you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.
So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!
And in most cases it’s still going to be:
- Cheaper than hiring a professional.
- Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
- And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.
Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your Belgian Malinois completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT.
And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!
So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior, or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!
(You can also check out a full review here, to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)
What Should You Avoid Doing?
When teaching your dog not to bark, there are many things you should avoid that can exacerbate the problem.
Don’t Yell At Your Dog
You should always avoid yelling at your dog when they are barking or doing anything that you don’t like.
Yelling at them usually just encourages the barking and gets them more riled up and excited. This is especially true when they are barking at you to get your attention. If you yell at your dog to be quiet, they have succeeded in getting your attention and will continue this strategy to get your attention.
Dogs don’t really understand the idea of negative attention when it comes to attention seeking behavior and will feel rewarded even if you yell at them.
Don’t Hit Your Dog
Hitting your dog is never acceptable even if they are frustrating you with their barking.
Hitting a large and powerful breed like a Belgian Malinois may be very dangerous for you. Your dog may become fearful, and they may feel like they have to fight to protect themselves.
With a powerful dog like the Belgian Malinois, you could end up being bitten or seriously injured.
Hitting your dog will never help you to manage your behavior and will only cause further problems and cause your dog to lose trust in you.
As a rule, you should try not to react in any way when your dog is barking, especially to get your attention.
You should of course take steps to stop the barking, ie removing the motivation to bark as listed above. However, you should not react to your dog’s barking by yelling, hitting, looking at them or paying them any attention.
Reactions like this will cause them to bark more and will not help to alleviate the barking.
Don’t Think It Will Stop Without Intervention
One mistake that many dog owners make is to just hope that the barking will go away on it’s own.
This does not happen and acting this way will not help you or your dog.
It can be tough to put the work in to get them to stop bad behaviors and barking, but it will be worth it. You will not be as frustrated by your dog and will be able to better appreciate your pet when they are not barking excessively.
Don’t Avoid Getting a Trainer
Many dog owners think that calling on a trainer for help is admitting defeat or giving up.
This is definitely not the case and working with a trainer can really help to improve your quality of life when it comes to dealing with a barking dog.
Many owners will want to handle any problems with their dog themselves, but sometimes this is not possible. It is easy to become frustrated and emotional when training your dog, so having a professional who can help you may be life changing.
Working with a trainer is not a cop out and does not mean that you aren’t a good dog owner. It just means that you need to get some extra help when it comes to your Belgian Malinois.
Often, with the help of a trainer you can learn some strategies to help your Belgian Malinois to stop barking excessively. This may drastically improve your life and your dog’s life.
Belgian Malinois are an excellent breed and are very loyal and protective.
However, this desire to protect can often turn into excessive barking.
Belgian Malinois may bark when they sense a threat and may likely bark when they want your attention.
Belgian Malinois are a very demanding and high needs breed. They require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation in order to be content.
At times, Belgian Malinois may bark out of boredom and frustration. One great way to alleviate this is to exercise them adequately so that they are tired.
When a dog is tired and has been well exercised, they are less likely to bark to get your attention or to alleviate boredom.
For Belgian Malinois, adequate exercise may be several hours a day of walking, jogging and playing fetch.
This dog has been bred to be a working dog, so their default is to be on high alert. This may mean that they are highly sensitive to stimuli and may want to bark at every person that goes by and every noise they hear.
When this happens, you can try removing the stimulus that they are barking at such as closing the curtains so they cannot see passersby.
Dealing with a dog that barks excessively can be frustrating, but it is important to never yell at your dog. Yelling can just reinforce their barking and make them more excited.
Under no circumstances should you hit your dog. If you are frustrated by their barking, try ignoring them or taking other steps to train them not to bark rather than hitting them.
When you hit your dog, you break down any sense of trust between you and your dog. A dog that is fearful of you may be likely to bite you or snap at you in order to protect themselves.
As a Belgian Malinois owner, you may want to seek help from a professional trainer to find more solutions to ease their excessive barking.