Are Belgian Malinois Aggressive Or Dangerous? (9 Reasons)

The Belgian Malinois is a wonderful companion, providing protection and defense for home, family, and property. These kinds of dogs are beautiful, quick, and take on a similar appearance to German Shepherds.  They are a true wonder to behold.

Bred for farm work and hunting as herding dogs, Belgian Malinoises are vibrant, active, and energetic. This means it needs to have a job and lots of activities to remain vital, healthy, and well behaved. Undesirable character traits and behaviors develop if an owner fails to train them or meet their needs.

Are Belgian Malinoises Known to Be Aggressive?

Any dog can be dangerous and aggressive, especially if it has poor training, lacks socialization, and doesn’t have its daily exercise requirements. Belgian Malinoises will exhibit undesirable behavior if it doesn’t have these things. But it isn’t in their nature to be aggressive off hand. If this dog has aggression in its temperament, it’s more than likely something genetic.

What Makes a Belgian Malinois Dangerous or Aggressive?

There are several reasons why Belgian Malinoises become dangerous and aggressive. But, it’s first important to understand this is usually a problem that stems from their owner not caring for the dog the way they should.


Sometimes, a Belgian Malinois will be aggressive because they received it as a genetic trait from their parents. This can be a difficult hurdle to overcome, and you may not notice it upon first meeting the dog. Patience and training can treat the problem, but it must be thoroughly watched.

Poor or Not Enough Training

Mals are very active, intelligent, and hard-working dogs. If they do not get the proper guidance necessary, their behavior will become difficult, to say the least.

Bad Socialization Habits

In the event of poor socialization or a lack of it, a Belgian Malinois can be very dangerous. This is because of their innate desire to hunt and chase things that move. If an owner fails to acclimate this dog with children, visitors, and other animals, it will chase them down and attack.
Also, this is a very confident dog and isn’t shy or scared in new situations. Poor socialization will not foster their confidence and may bite, snap or nip at people out of fear.

Not Enough Activities

These dogs need more than daily walks, and a Frisbee throw in the backyard. Belgian Malinoises require interactive play with their owners that exhausts their energies and consumes their mental capacity. You can’t leave this kind of dog alone in the yard too long or confine it to a small space.

Without involved activities all day long, this dog will come up with its own things to do. Most of which can be destructive, dangerous, and terrorizing.

Unmet Interaction

The owner of a Belgian Malinois must be as active and athletic as the dog. More than many others, they require constant human interaction and approval from their masters. It’s why the military and police often use these dogs. They are great partners for joggers, runners, hikers, and other lovers of outdoor activities.

Your Behavior Matters

Believe it or not, if you act stressed, angry, tense, or anxious, it will rub off on your dog. This includes family fighting. These feelings will force your Belgian Malinois to act in aggressive or dangerous ways because they reflect the stress.

Why Does a Belgian Malinois Show Aggression Toward Other Dogs?

When your Belgian Malinois is aggressive towards other dogs, this is a sign of inadequate training or a mix-up with the dog’s genetics. It’s not normal for a Belgian Malinois to be particularly aggressive. If this is a serious problem every time your Mal sees another dog, it’s imperative to consult a behaviorist.


If you’ve been training and socializing your dog and it’s still aggressive toward other dogs, it could be something in your Belgian Malinois’s genetic makeup. In this case, you’re going to have to make great efforts to keep it at a safe distance from other dogs, so it doesn’t become stressed.

Training and Socializing

If you didn’t socialize your dog with other pets and neighborhood dogs when it was very young, it might develop a poor attitude toward other dogs. Proper and adequate training should take care of this issue. If not, consult a behaviorist or a vet for help.

They’re Playing

It’s in a Belgian Malinois’s nature to play games and have fun. But, for other dogs, this can be terrifying. Because of how rough Mals can play, it can come off as aggression to other owners and dogs.

What Methods Help a Belgian Malinois to Not Be Aggressive?

The first step to ensuring your Belgian Malinois isn’t aggressive is to get your dog from a reputable breeder known for providing dogs with a good temperament. A rescue, hybrid, or pet store dog will come with many uncertainties that you may not want to deal with or have the capacity to handle.

Start Them Young

The minute you get your pup, start on their training and building up their social skills. Begin with all the basic commands: come, sit, stay and etc. Introduce them to children, other pets, neighbors, and visitors right away. This will get your Belgian Malinois to know them, helping them to understand who’s good and who’s questionable.

Find a Reputable Trainer

If you already have a Belgian Malinois and they developed an aggressive nature, get an in-house trainer to evaluate your dog and its behaviors. But, you want to make sure their discipline and rewards for the dog won’t be harsh or physical. This will only make it worse on the dog’s aggressive behavior.

For puppies, start taking them to training school at around four weeks old. Trainers will give you tips and tricks to make them more dutiful to your commands. As they grow, ensure they get regular training with agility and obedience. This will curb any aggressive behavior.


Between four and 14 weeks old is when you should expose your Belgian Malinois to a variety of people, places, animals, and other situations. Take them for walks or carry them in busy shopping areas, streets, and main throughways. This will decrease any tendency to be afraid or confrontational around strangers.

Exposing them to as much as possible will get them used to things, accustomed to your life, and help them decipher who’s okay and who isn’t. It also helps them make better judgments in the event of a home invader or someone attempting to hurt you.

Quality Time

It’s crucial that you spend as much quality time with your Belgian Malinois as possible. Without that essential daily interaction, you are robbing the dog of its very reason for existing. When the dog has enough mental and physical activity, they show top-notch loyalty and love.

Mals are very affectionate and love being with their humans. So, you want to start building your relationship with the dog right when you get it. At least 30 minutes per day of active, intense play will be necessary for your puppy. As they get older, that time slot will elongate. Play with the dog by providing games, balls, and other toys you can use together.

Be Gentle

It’s of the utmost importance that you use a firm voice when reprimanding a Belgian Malinois. Don’t yell, scream, hit or beat. Of course, you want to curb any negative behavior and nip it in the bud before it becomes a problem. Always use redirection and train your dog to do what you want.

Neuter or Spay

Another way to ensure aggression stays under control in your Belgian Malinois is to get your puppy spayed or neutered as soon as it’s old enough. This will reduce hormonal aggression.

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

Because of the intelligent nature of Belgian Malinois, there are many things owners should not do. This will not only keep the dog’s aggression under wraps but will also ensure the dog’s overall happiness and vitality.

Don’t Abuse the Dog

Like other guard dogs, Belgian Malinoises are very aware of abuse and mistreatment. Do not use physical punishment on this dog; it will fight you if you do it often enough. They will not respond well to yelling, hitting, or spanking.

Do not isolate or remove affection from the dog if it does something wrong. This will not produce the results you’re looking for. Always use positive reinforcement and redirection with a firm tone.

Remember, there’s a difference between being strict and forceful. Being forceful shows a lack of regard for the dog’s intelligence and ability to understand.

Don’t Leave the Dog Alone

Because Mals require lots of human attention, exercise, and mental workouts, it isn’t advisable to leave the dog alone for too long. This is especially true if you have to go to work for extended periods of time and the dog doesn’t have enough activities to keep itself occupied.

It can develop aggressive behaviors that can destroy your yard or home, along with terrorizing neighborhood animals and children. When leaving the dog alone for longer than you would like, hire a dog sitter or have another family member care for the dog.

Avoid Over and Under Feeding

Even though most Belgian Malinoises can eat basic, overall dog food, it’s imperative that you manage their calorie intake and keep them on a strict feeding schedule. They can gain weight, which can make a Mal cranky and aggressive. Likewise, if they’re constantly hungry, they will lash out.

Ensure the food you feed them is well-balanced and packed with nutrients so that it matches the dog’s active, hard-working lifestyle.

Be Consistent

It is crucial to understand that you must be consistent in everything you do with your Belgian Malinois. This includes training, exercise, walks, and quality time, as well as reprimanding. Aside from reprimanding, try to do these things with your dog at the same time every day. This way, your dog will know when to expect certain activities, which will help curb aggressive behavior.


Are Belgian Malinoises Good Around Children?

Yes, when socialized in the correct manner, Mals are great with children. But, leaving the dog to its own devices all day without supervision or reinforcement can be a terror for neighborhood children running and playing outside. The dog will chase and bark at them.

Will a Belgian Malinois Get Along with Other Pets?

If you have other animals in your home that aren’t dogs, like a cat, hamster, or bird, it may not work out well with a Belgian Malinois. Because of their need to hunt smaller animals that run or move fast, they will chase them.

Even though the dog may think it’s only playing, the other animal will experience horror at how the dog approaches it. But, of course, every dog is different, and if you socialize the Mal to other pets right away, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. That said, you do want to keep an eye on how your pets interact with each other.

Will a Belgian Malinois Bite Their Master?

Yes, there are various reports of Mals biting their owners. But this is usually due to poor training, lack of socialization, lack of quality time, and/or abuse. Belgian Malinoises love their masters and families; it’s not like them to bite for no reason.


Belgian Malinoises are fabulous dogs that show unconditional love and loyalty when they’re happy. It takes a lot of work to keep them content because they require constant attention, training, socialization, and plenty of activities. They need more than the average dog with additional mental engagement.

These dogs need to work and have several walks per day along with vigorous exercise. So, they’re good for physically active people who can guarantee the Belgian Malinois gets the necessary activity. For instance, they’re excellent for those who are very athletic, have a farm or homestead, or work in the protection industry.