The Belgian Malinois has been earning new fans left and right with his physical prowess, like scaling walls and jumping over cars in TikTok snippets.
While these hardworking woofs make an excellent addition to the right family, there are also Malinois mixes worth investigating for your next pup.
Below, we’ll share some of our favorite Belgian Malinois mixes and information about each.
The Basics of the Belgian Malinois
Before we meet these awesome mixes, we must get to know the basics of the Belgian Malinois. Let’s dig into what makes this breed so mighty!
History of the Belgian Malinois
The Belgian Malinois is a handsome four-footer with quite the story to tell. Originally a humble farm dog from Belgium, his name comes from the city of Malines, where he worked as a sheep and cattle herder.
He falls under the umbrella term of “Belgian sheepdog,” a moniker once encompassing four differnent breeds: Malinois, Tervuren, Lakenois, and shepherd. Today, these breeds are viewed independently.
As the breed grew in popularity and spread beyond Belgium, his fitness for other roles came to light, including working as a police and military mutt. He’s naturally dogged and scrappy, making him a perfect candidate for each.
Belgian Malinois Size
The Belgian Malinois falls into the medium to large-sized range, depending on the sex of the animal in question.
Males are 24 to 26 inches at the shoulder and weigh 60 to 80 pounds, while females are slightly smaller at 22 to 24 inches at the shoulder and come in at around 40 to 60 pounds. The Malinois should be well proportioned and muscular, never flabby; this should be one fit and trim Fido!
Temperament of the Belgian Malinois
Intelligent, loyal, and brave, the Malinois is a dog to be proud of, and he knows it.
When reared correctly, this canine has confidence for days and will tackle any challenge ahead with gusto. He also isn’t afraid to play when invited to unwind between tasks.
The Malinois isn’t likely to be the biggest cuddler in the canine kingdom, but he’s a definite shadow dog who prefers to hang near his people rather than alone. Leaving him alone in the yard or home for long stretches simply won’t fly with this floof. His watchdog ways don’t always work well when friends visit, either.
Training Your Belgian Malinois
The Malinois is sharp as a tack and a people-pleaser, making training easy in many ways. But his intelligence is a double-edged sword, which can also make training him challenging at times.
Boring, repetitive lessons will not work for this smart cookie, as he’ll quickly tune you out and look for something more interesting. You must change up obedience lessons and implement fun to hold his focus.
This breed also has a high prey drive, so he must remain in fenced areas, as he will chase anything he deems worthy, whether it’s a neighborhood cat, squirrel, or a passing cyclist. Early and ongoing socialization with people and other dogs is also vital since he’s naturally wary of strange faces. Build his confidence through regular, positive experiences.
Belgian Malinois Exercise Requirements
The farm roots of this four-footer means he’s no stranger to a long day’s work. He does best in settings where he can test his mental and physical skills daily. Being legendarily loyal, his role must involve frequent contact with his humans, preferably at your side. Hiking, jogging, and biking are excellent ways to work this woofer out.
Another option is to enroll your Malinois in a dog sport, like agility, herding, or tracking. The Mal is exceptionally good in Schutzhund and has been making a big splash in dock diving, courtesy of his speed and high-flying feats.
Grooming a Belgian Malinois
The easiest part of owning a Malinois is grooming him. His short coat is a breeze to care for, only needing occasional brushing to strip away loose fur and dirt.
Belgian Malinois Health Issues
As a larger breed, the biggest concern to watch for in your Malinois is joint issues, including hip and elbow dysplasia. Allergies are also occasionally reported in Mals, along with epilepsy, cataracts, and hypothyroidism.
13 Great Belgian Malinois Mixes
Belgian Malinois mixes come in all forms, from common mashups you might expect to rare ruffs that you’d never guess. Check out these bold barkers!
1. Labrador Malinois (Labrador Retriever x Belgian Malinois)
Sporty sensation meets farm dog extraordinaire in this breed mashup. With such busy barkers behind him, this mix isn’t for couch potatoes. He needs vigorous daily physical and mental exercise, or he’ll become a destructive force around the house. Active pet parents will likely rejoice since this blended buddy may be a prime candidate for canine sports like dock diving and obedience.
Labs are among the most affectionate dog breeds, so this pup may be on the clingy side with his favorite people. If you’re after a loyal legend, he might be your best bet. Fair warning: His Lab roots mean he may shed a fair amount!
2. Malinois Greyhound (Greyhound x Belgian Malinois)
Pairing the lanky greyhound with the leggy Mal is sure to create a string bean of a sniffer. This tall, thin frame potentially means he’ll glide like the wind and work well as a jogging companion. With the brains of a Malinois, teaching him to run at your side probably won’t be too tricky, either. Just keep those training treats handy to reward him for a job well done.
Both the Malinois and greyhound have high prey drives, which can be a concern around small dogs or pets, like cats and rabbits. This also means this pup shouldn’t be trusted off-leash outside fenced areas, as he’s probably one to bolt after perceived prey.
3. Australian Cattle Dog x Belgian Malinois
Want a dog who’s always – and we mean always – ready to rock? Then this may just be your blend of barker, as cattle dogs and Malinois are known to be next-level active, so combining the two may lead to one high-octane hound. All this energy needs an outlet, so if you’re not prepared to offer daily canine enrichment activities, this isn’t the pooch for you.
Cattle dogs and Malinois are also smart sniffers, so training this pup can be a delight, provided you mix up your routine to keep him engaged. Otherwise, this doggo will tune you out when boredom sets in. Positive reinforcement dog training is a must with this ruff, as he does not respond to harsh corrections.
4. Bull Terrier x Belgian Malinois
Energy likely won’t be short in this unique-looking pup, as his parents both have famously fiery temperaments. Daily exercise helps rein him in, preferably when it’s fun and interactive versus running alone. You’ll also want to watch him for dog selectiveness, as bull terriers can be standoffish with other canines.
There’s a decent chance this doggo could be one mischievous mutt, as the clownish bull terrier is known for cooking up some shenanigans. This can lead to goofy behavior at home and during lessons. Keeping him on task is much easier with dog training toys, as he can let his playfulness run free while still completing what’s asked of him.
5. Belusky (Siberian Husky x Belgian Malinois
Combining a cold-weather cutie like the husky with a Malinois might produce one fluffy floof! Heavy shedding is likely, so if you’re not into dog hair, this isn’t the Malinois mix or you. He may be the most handsome doggo in any room, however, especially if he inherits the striking blue eyes of some huskies.
Both parent breeds are active, intelligent, and strong-willed, making this pooch best for experienced dog owners ready to put in serious training hours in a fun, varied format. This pup can and will walk all over a beginner. Volume is also an area of concern with this canine, as the husky is one of the most vocal dog breeds. Apartment dwellers should look elsewhere.
6. Mali-Dutchie (Dutch Shepherd x Belgian Malinois)
Couch warming isn’t likely to be one of this shepherd mix favorite pastimes, as his working drive will keep him buzzing from point A to point B until the job is complete. Daily runs or long walks are vital for harnessing this busy energy into something positive, along with brain games and training exercises. Interactive dog toys are great for occupying him when you’re busy.
Experienced dog owners are the best match for this four-footer. He’s not a good match for apartment life, either, as his watchdog instincts can lead to noise complaints from neighbors. A large, fenced backyard or farm setting helps him thrive.
7. German Malinois (German Shepherd x Belgian Malinois)
Holy hounds, this is a lot of high-octane dog in one body. With parents prized in police and military work, the German Malinois is poised to be as courageous as he is intelligent. He isn’t a house dog in any sense, needing a daily life where he’s out and about with a job to do, whether he’s filling a role as your farm dog or lighting up the agility ring.
This barker is best suited for an experienced handler dedicating time daily to training, socialization, and conditioning. He’s also a great candidate to join you on a run or long hike through tricky trails, as he probably won’t find an obstacle he can’t overcome!
8. Belgian Boxer (Boxer x Belgian Malinois)
Likely bouncy and bold, this pupperoni may have too much energy for some people. Squeezing in more exercise can wear him down, though it’s a tall order to satisfy this cute combo canine’s daily needs. That said, this mix can also be very playful, lending well to family life with older, active kiddos.
Considering his chew-happy parents, this pooch will likely be tough as nails on toys, so look into the best indestructible dog toys. If not, you may find yourself constantly replacing his playthings, which can get pricey.
9. Akita Malinois (Akita x Belgian Malinois)
Work ethic can be a shining feature of this sniffer, as his parents are treasured working dog breeds. Daily physical and mental exercise are essential, best met through a sport like Schutzhund or hikinge. If you’re after a loyal adventure buddy, this barker may fit the bill! This pup’s coat may also need frequent care, as the Akita is a heavy shedder.
As with many Malinois mixes, this is not a dog for an inexperienced owner. His intelligence, size, and stubbornness are too much for beginners. He needs consistent, reward-based training with a steady hand and ongoing socialization work. Otherwise, he’ll be a real handful.
10. Dobernois (Doberman Pinscher x Belgian Malinois)
Loyalty and bravery probably won’t be lacking in this handsome pup, with the Mal and Doberman beloved for these traits. This combo has the potential to be a bonafide Velcro dog, preferring a place as your permanent shadow over being anywhere else. While some pet parents may not mind the clinginess, others prefer more breathing room.
Intelligence is likely a pillar of this pup’s personality, making everyday challenges a must in keeping him out of trouble. Both parent breeds are working woofers, after all. Engaging training sessions and canine sports can help shape him into his best self, while dog puzzle toys can occupy him at home. He’s sure to be happiest at work, so give this gorgeous barker a job!
11. Whippet x Belgian Malinois
This sighthound-herder mix may be one of the more lovey-dovey doggos on our list, with the whippet an infamous snuggle bug. This sweet nature meshes well with a family setting, provided your kiddos learn to treat this distinguished gentleman with kindness and respect. This best boy will shine with daily exercise (including off-leash running in an enclosed space) and one-on-one play with his people.
This mix will likely appreciate an extra layer in the winter since he will probably be on the lanky side and have short hair. Investing in a dog coat is recommended if you call a cold climate home.
12. Pit Bull Malinois (American Pit Bull Terrier x Belgian Malinois)
Talk about a brawny badass! This mixed mutt may be one of the most powerful on our list, potentially doing well in dog sports like weight pulling. He’ll probably appreciate dog exercise equipment more than most doggos, especially a spring pole, as they let him put his muscles and mind to work.
This tough doggy tornado isn’t for beginner pet parents, however, as he can and will challenge you often. He’s also prone to dog aggression, requiring early and ongoing positive socialization. Obedience training is also recommended since he can be bullheaded when he wants to be, no matter how biddable his parenting breeds can be. Both pitties and Mals can be rebels, too!
13. Border Collie x Belgian Malinois
Given its pairing of two working woofs with legendary minds, this combo cutie can be quite the brainiac. The border collie is among the smartest dog breeds, after all, so it’s safe to assume you’ll be working overtime to challenge this canine every day. If you don’t own a farm with tasks for this pooch to complete, a sport like agility or bikejoring is vital in keeping him content.
The grooming needs of this pup vary by whose ‘do he inherits. The shorter Malinois coat just needs an occasional brushdown to remove loose fur, while the collie’s requires more frequent attention to prevent tangles, particularly around the ears and tail.
Belgian Malinois Mixes: FAQ
Still curious about the Belgian malinois and its many mixes? Check out answers to the most commonly asked questions surrounding them.
How do you tell if your dog is a Malinois mix?
The only way to know if your pup is a Malinois mix is to have a dog DNA test done. Another option is to ask your vet, though, without testing, you’ll merely receive an educated guess. The Malinois looks remarkably similar to several breeds, making it a little harder to distinguish its mixes from other lanky shepherds.
If you’re curious about how these tests work, check out our review on the Embark DNA test.
Is a Belgian Malinois mixed with a greyhound?
No, the Belgian Malinois was developed in Belgium by breeding various local shepherd breeds until the perfect balance of athleticism and tenacity was achieved. While fast, greyhounds don’t have the herding skills needed for farm life.
Do Belgian Malinois only bond with one person?
No, Belgian Malinois can bond with several people, though they may pick a family favorite, like any dog. If your pup is a working woof, he may favor his handler over other family members. Don’t take it personally!
Are there different types of Belgian Malinois?
No, there is only one type of Belgian Malinois. However, there are four types of Belgian sheepdogs, including the Malinois. Others include the Belgian Tervuren, Laekenois, and Groenendael (Shepherd).
Do you have any of the Belgian Malinois mixes we listed? Do you have another at home that rocks your socks off? Tell us about your Malinois mix in the comments! We’d love to get to know your best buddy.