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Have you ever confidently guessed the breed of someone’s dog, only to be corrected with a breed you’ve never heard of? That is exactly what happened to me, the first time I ever met a Belgian Malinois.
The Belgian Malinois is a determined, working breed favored for their stamina and intelligence. They are often mistaken for the German Shepard. These athletic beauties are simply one of a kind, especially when it comes to working, and are regarded as one of the world’s smartest dog breeds!
You may be wondering though, do Belgian Malinois shed?
If you’re currently looking for a new fur-baby, it’s crucial to do your research on different dog breeds. You’ll need to ask yourself questions like, “What’s right for my family and my/our lifestyle?” Another question that many people forget to consider is, “What kind of temperament am I looking for in a dog?
It’s important to note that Belgian Malinois are high energy dogs. They are not known to be a typical family pet, but with proper training can make great companions. Getting the best dog collar for your Belgian Malinois is very important to train them.
However, these dogs are like workhorses and are not meant for being idle. If you’re not an active person, I would suggest something more like a Basset Hound, as opposed to a Belgian Malinois.
These dogs are incredibly athletic and require at least 2 hours of steady exercise per day. It’s crucial to get them into obedience training as soon as possible to ensure that they have manners and, you know, will listen to you.
Like a hyper child, a dog that doesn’t know any better can become a handful very quickly. Their high energy and rugged athleticism can get them into a lot of trouble, which can be overwhelming for someone who isn’t ready for it.
Another important factor that will influence your choice of dog breed is allergies in your home. Short hair does not always mean less shedding. Truthfully, all animals with fur will shed. There is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent shedding completely.
What this means is that no dog is purely hypoallergenic. The term implies that they shed the least, making those breeds the least likely to trigger dog hair and dander allergies. Poodles and Schnauzers are among the hypoallergenic breeds, but the Belgian Malinois is not.
Please feel free to read our guide called Are Belgian Malinois Hypoallergenic?
So, Do Belgian Malinois Shed?
Short Answer. Yes, they do.
Long Answer: The Belgian Malinois is characterized as an average/seasonal shedder, which means they shed year-round, but they shed more heavily during shedding season.
These dogs are perfect for being outdoors and their coat is specifically tailored to withstand all types of weather. They have a waterproof double coat that they will drop twice a year to adapt to the different seasons. Their coat is versatile and tough, just like they are.
Shedding is a natural process and is nothing to be that concerned about. If you’re willing to brush your dog a couple of times a week, you’ll be just fine in the shedding department.
To learn more about how a Belgian Malinois coat works, let’s peek into these super dogs’ history!
Belgian Malinois Coat Characteristics:
Belgian Malinois have a two-layered weather-resistant coat that protects them from all the elements of an outdoor working dog. Their sturdy coat is almost as finely engineered as the breed itself is made to withstand the elements of an outdoor lifestyle.
Their dense undercoat helps to keep them warm during the winter months. It’s made up of shorter and thicker hair. At the same time, their longer outer layer has a rougher, almost stiff feeling, attributing to the coat’s water resistance.
It’s quite common for a Malinois to be mistaken for a German Shepard, even though they are leaner and typically have shorter coats. Their closest relative is the Belgian Shepard. Other dogs that look like Belgian Malinois are the Dutch Shepard, the East-European Shepard, and the Tervuren.
The “standard” for the Belgian Malinois coat is typically fawn, which is a lighter shade of tan, with black tips. This creates a sort of ombre or marbling effect in some dogs.
Other colors can range from all black to mahogany. The common feature among every color variation is the black “mask” covering most of their face, from their eyes to their nose.
When Do Belgian Malinois Shed The Most?
The shedding season for the Belgian Malinois happens twice a year, in the spring and the fall. Though they shed throughout the year, this is when your dog will start dropping clumps of hair, instead of just the regular strands that you can get rid of with a lint roller.
In the spring, you’ll notice your Malinois shedding more than usual. You may even start to ask, “Why is my Belgian Malinois shedding so much?”
Don’t worry; they’re just getting rid of that fluffy winter coat to make room for a thinner undercoat for the warmer months ahead. Their outer coat will stay slightly longer to keep them water-resistant. And, with that fluffy winter coat, you may be wondering: ‘Do Belgian Malinois like to cuddle?‘
They’ll still have an undercoat during the summer, but it will just be much thinner to keep them cool. When the weather starts to cool off again in the fall, they’ll shed the thinner summer coat and grow their thicker winter coat again.
As whacky as it sounds, their undercoat helps to keep them cool during the summer. That’s why most groomers recommend against clipping a dog “down to the bark”. This is similar for other breeds with thicker coats like the Golden Retriever, German Shepard, and Bernese Mountain Dog.
Not only does it provide an extra layer of protection from the sun, but their undercoat also helps your Malinois regulate their body temperature. So, if you remove it, your pup can overheat in the sun.
During the shedding season, you’re going to want to brush your Malinois every day to help them along with the process and get rid of any dirt or bacteria build-up. Brushing will make shedding season a breeze!
Can I Change How Much My Belgian Malinois Sheds?
It’s important to remember that it’s impossible and unethical to prevent any animal from shedding. It’s a natural process the Belgian Malinois has to go through, whether we like it or not. That being said, Malinois shedding is manageable.
Many factors play into how much your dog will shed. You already know that the seasons will affect how much your Malinois will shed, but there are other components.
Another critical element is exercise. Is your dog getting the proper amount of exercise time every day? Remember, they’re high energy dogs that require a good workout.
Other things that can affect shedding is age. Belgian Malinois puppies have different fur than they do when they’re adults. You’ll probably notice your new puppy shedding his fuzzy coat, trading it in for a much sleeker look. This usually happens when they reach six months.
Older dogs will shed a little more frequently than a younger adult, which is equivalent to our grey hairs. They may also need more grooming than before.
When dogs age, they tend to produce more oil, which can build up and cause skin conditions for your dog. We’ll get into skin conditions in a moment.
Regular grooming can make all the difference. Grooming your Malinois will involve more brushing than bathing. You’ll probably bathe your Belgian Malinois after they go for a run in the mud or a roll in the pasture. As a rule, they only need to be bathed once a month.
Brushing your Malinois just once a week can vastly cut down the amount of hair they regularly leave behind them. During shedding season, bump that up to once a day. Using the right brush for a Belgian Malinois can make grooming so much easier.
When you’re choosing a brush for your pup, you’ll want to find a fine-tooth brush that gets right down to the undercoat. A fine-tooth brush is the best brush for Belgian Malinois. The Furminator is a popular favorite among Malinois moms and dads!
The Belgian Malinois is an incredibly versatile breed that demonstrates skills like no other! Their obedience and trainability make them highly sought out for working purposes, which they love to do.
These Belgian beauties love to work, and they live for that purpose, whether it’s herding or skydiving! They are true athletes with a whole lot of heart and a whole lot of hair.
While many factors can play into how much your Malinois can shed, it’s fair to say that they do shed regularly. You should be ready to brush them daily during the shedding season.
Remember that the Belgian Malinois coat can stand up against the weather. Their fur is custom made for them and plays a significant role in protecting your fur-baby from the elements.
All this being said, Malinois shedding is 100% manageable. The amount of hair left behind is just a small price to pay for such a terrific dog.
They may not be for everyone, but if you’re up for the energy and willing to put in the effort to train them properly, the Belgian Malinois can be the “pawfect” pup!