The Belgian Malinois is an impressive working breed, known for its intelligence, ability to learn, and perseverance when given a task to complete. Does Belgian Malinois shed a lot? At times, yes, and we are going to have a look at why the breed sheds, how much shedding is normal and what you can do to reduce shedding.
Dog hair is something you sign up for when acquiring a dog like the Belgian Malinois, and there is no way to eliminate shedding completely. However, there are a few things you can do if you feel your Belgian Malinois is shedding excessively.
Do Belgian Malinois Shed A Lot?
Belgian Malinois are considered medium shedders. That said, they do tend to shed heavily two times a year when they go from their winter coat and to their summer coat. It is a double-coated breed that has a short, straight and harsh topcoat, with a thick undercoat underneath that keeps them warm in the winter and dry when it’s wet outside.
Why Do Belgian Malinois Shed?
A certain amount of shedding is normal for the Belgian Malinois, and you will notice your dog starting to shed more as summer approaches, and then again when fall comes along. They shed to adapt their coat to the weather conditions, but can also shed for other reasons, like if they are stressed or suffer from a medical condition.
There is never going to be a time when a Belgian Malinois stops shedding completely, as they shed lightly all year round, but the shedding can be controlled with a few different methods which we will discuss further down in this post.
What Can Cause Your Belgian Malinois To Shed More?
Now that we know that the Belgian Malinois sheds, it is time to learn to see when the shedding is becoming excessive, to the point where something might be causing it.
A veterinarian can help determine if your Belgian Malinois is shedding excessively if you are struggling to make the call yourself.
Normal shedding would be when their winter coat is changed for a summer coat, and this can come as a surprise to new Malinois owners. Perhaps your dog wasn’t really shedding at all and then suddenly there is dog hair everywhere! This type of shedding is normal.
Seasonal shedding doesn’t have a start and an end date, and when it happens depends on the weather that year, your dog, and many other factors. A dog could start shedding its winter coat in September one year, and not until November the next.
The food your dog eats has a huge impact on coat quality, which directly affects how much dog hair will end up on your floor, furniture, and clothes. Have a look at what your dog eats and make sure you are feeding high-quality dog food.
You can easily recognize high-quality dog food by looking through the ingredients list on the back of the product, and learning what to look for. An animal protein (meat or meat meal) should generally be listed first, as this indicates a high protein content.
Avoid dog foods containing animal by-products. These are not considered high-quality ingredients as animal by-products are often slaughterhouse waste deemed unfit for human consumption. You also want to avoid fillers like soy, wheat, and corn. These aren’t necessarily bad but contain little to no nutritional value.
Never switch a dog’s food from one day to the other. If you want to introduce a new (and better) dog food, start by mixing in a small amount of the new food with the old food, and gradually increase the amount over the next couple of weeks.
Excessive shedding can be a result of allergies. Dogs have allergies just like humans, and food allergies or environmental allergies are usually the answer. Some dogs are sensitive to, for example, chicken, but it can take some time to figure out what your Malinois is allergic to.
Environmental allergies can be caused by pollen, dust, the detergent you use to wash your dog’s beddings, or anything else inside your home. If you think your dog has allergies – contact your trusted veterinarian for guidance, as they can help you figure out the next step.
Lice, fleas, and mites can cause your Malinois to shed more than what would be considered normal for the breed. Go over your dog on a regular basis to make sure there are no creepy crawlers living in their coat.
Also, it is recommended to use reliable flea and tick prevention, and especially if you live in a high-risk area. People are usually aware of the fact that tics carry diseases, but many forget that external parasites also affect the coat and the skin which could lead to excessive shedding.
Stress or Anxiety
When dogs get stressed or anxious – they shed more. The Belgian Malinois is not an exception, and you might notice an increase in shedding when you are out in public, traveling by car, going to the vet, or meeting up with other dogs. Dogs shed more when there is a lot going on.
Have a look at your dog’s daily routine, to see if there is anything that could be stressing your pup out. If there is only the occasional stressful moment – fine, but there may be something you can change to reduce your dog’s overall stress levels.
A dog that doesn’t drink enough water can easily get dehydrated, and dehydration leads to dry and flaky skin. When the dog’s skin isn’t healthy, it inevitably leads to hair loss and excessive shedding.
Most dogs are good at drinking enough water on their own, but some dogs may not be. Keep an eye on your dog’s water bowl and make sure you change the water frequently, as a dog may be less inclined to drink from a dirty bowl.
Other Medical Conditions
Other medical problems can also lead to excess shedding. Examples are bacterial infections, fungal infections, diabetes, and other diseases, and it is recommendable to book a vet appointment to rule out anything serious.
It is not a bad idea to start with this step when you are worried about shedding. Make an appointment for a check-up, and let your veterinarian know what you are worried about and what you would like them to check.
When Should You Worry About Your Belgian Malinois Shedding?
Knowing when your Malinois is shedding more than normal can be hard, but there are a few things you can look for. Dogs are very good at hiding their discomforts, If you see any of the below examples on your Malinois, while also noticing more shedding than usual, then it is time for a vet visit.
Remember that your Malinois will change coats and shed heavily a couple of times a year, but if your pup would suddenly start shedding massively in the middle of the winter, then perhaps something could be up.
Itchy skin can be caused by allergies, parasites, or a medical condition, and your dog is going to lose hair when he scratches himself. The more a dog scratches, the more it will shed. All dogs (including the Malinois) scratch themselves at times, but if you notice your dog scratching more than normal, or multiple times a day – consult with your vet.
Itchiness and redness go hand in hand, but the redness is something you can see on your dog even if you haven’t caught your pup scratching. Any type of skin condition can have a devastating effect on the dog’s coat quality, and as previously mentioned, poor coat quality leads to an increase in hair loss.
No matter how you look at it, a bald patch is never a good sign when it comes to shedding. Finding a bald patch on your Malinois means that something has caused the hair to fall off in that spot. Perhaps your pup has been licking himself or scratching, or maybe he is shedding so much that the fur doesn’t have time to grow back out.
In this situation, you definitely need help from a veterinarian, to try and determine the cause of your pup’s extreme hair loss. Even when it comes to seasonal shedding, it is not normal for a Malinois to end up with bald patches.
How To Reduce The Amount Your Belgian Malinois Sheds
You can’t magically make a Malinois stop shedding, even if their shedding is considered normal and not caused by a medical condition, but there are many things you can do to promote less shedding than what you are currently dealing with.
Remember, every dog is different and just because Belgian Malinois dogs look alike, it doesn’t mean that every method is going to work the same for every dog. You may have to try a few different options or combine several of them before you find what reduces shedding for your dog.
Brushing removes loose hair that would have otherwise fallen out and ended up all around the house. There are many different types of dog brushes that work well for a Malinois, but you may have to try a few different kinds to find the one you are the most comfortable with.
Furminators and de-shedding tools are great when grooming a Malinois, and they often have the capacity to remove much more dog hair than, for example, a slicker brush. What you want your dog brush to achieve is to get rid of dead dog hair before it falls off inside your house.
A Malinois may need to be brushed daily, especially during shedding season, and it is recommended that you set a few minutes aside every day. Grooming is also a great way to bond with your high-energy dog.
You can purchase an anti-shedding shampoo to try and see if it makes a difference. Back in the days, it was not recommended to bathe a dog too often, as it would strip their coat of its natural oils. This has changed now that dog shampoos meet much higher standards.
With a quality dog shampoo, you can give your dog a bath more frequently than you could in the past, and it could be beneficial to give your Belgian Malinois a bath once a month or once every other month.
As mentioned above, changing your dog’s diet could reduce shedding significantly, and especially if your dog was previously fed low-quality dog food, or if you have a dog that suffers from food-related allergies.
If you do opt for a diet change, keep in mind that you won’t notice the difference overnight. It can take a few weeks for the dog’s body to adjust to the new food, and for its benefits to start showing in the coat.
Shedding Suit for Dogs
If you are truly struggling with your Malinois shedding, such as if you have allergies yourself, you might want to consider using a shedding suit! These should never be used all the time or when the weather is too warm but could work for a few days while their seasonal shedding is at its worst.
Want 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!)
The Belgian Malinois sure is a beautiful dog and one that will most definitely shed and leave hair around your house. They are not the worst shedders out there, but they do tend to shed heavily two times a year.
It is important to determine if your Malinois is shedding normally or if you are experiencing excessive shedding; if excessive – step one is to determine the cause and to look at how you can reduce it.
Shedding can be dealt with in a variety of ways, for example, by brushing your dog daily, changing the dog food you are currently feeding or providing supplements. Dogs like the Malinois need regular grooming to look good, and during the hot summer months, it is important to remove loose fur with a suitable dog brush.