Belgian Malinois Brindle: 12 Things You Need To Know (Guide)

Choosing a puppy is a very important decision, one that people put a great deal of thought into. Part of that process is determining what kind of dog you want. Since different breeds thrive in different lifestyles, it’s important to learn about their traits to make the best choice for you and your family.

The Belgian Malinois Brindle is a wonderful dog for people who have an active lifestyle. Whether you’re looking for an exercise buddy, need a four-legged work companion, or are on the hunt for a guard dog, this breed could be a great choice for you. 

Belgian Malinois Brindle
The Belgian Malinois is a popular police and military dog.

What is a Belgian Malinois Brindle?

The Belgian Malinois Brindle is a strong, energetic dog who does well as a working dog, especially with herding. They have a slighter frame than you’d expect for their strength and carry their heads proudly. 

If you’re looking for a watchdog, the Malinois would be a great choice. They are very protective of their family and property and can be easily trained.

The Malinois is one of the most popular breeds used by police forces and the military worldwide, including the U.S. Navy SEALs.

This is their breed of choice for several reasons:

  • Easy trainability
  • No-nonsense attitude
  • High energy levels
  • Strong bonding with their handler

Belgian Malinois look very similar to German Shepherds and have several possible coat colors, including:

  • Brindle
  • Black-tipped Fawn
  • Tan
  • Mahogany

Of these coat colors, shade can also vary. If a Belgian Malinois has a Brindle coloring, this can cover all or only part of its body, with the second color typically being Fawn or red. 

While the Belgian Malinois is an accepted breed by the AKC, the organization doesn’t accept the Brindle coloring. A Brindle Belgian Malinois can’t compete in dog shows.

Interested to find out which breeds are commonly brindle? Check out our guide to the Best Brindle Dog Breeds!

Where to Find a Belgian Malinois Brindle

Brindle BM
Although Brindle color is unique it shouldn’t cost more

There are a few different ways that you can find a Brindle Malinois. Each of these methods has both positives and drawbacks, as well as its own price points. You can buy your dog through a reputable breeder. If you don’t know any, the AKC Marketplace is a great place to start, since all of their advertised breeders are vetted. 

A purebred puppy will set you back anywhere from $1,000 to $3,500, depending on several different factors:

  • Lineage
  • Breeder reputation
  • Local supply and demand

If you choose to adopt from a shelter, the price will be much lower, anywhere from $50 to $300. While you won’t know your new puppy’s lineage, this can still be a great option if you’re on a budget. PetFinder is a great website when looking for a specific breed in shelters.

Word of mouth is also a method to find puppies. Ask your network if they know anyone who’s selling Belgian Malinois Brindle puppies or putting them up for adoption. You’ll have to be a bit careful with this method to be sure you’re buying your pup from a reputable source.

Traits of a Belgian Malinois Brindle

When choosing your new pet, it’s very important to look at each breed’s dominant traits and choose one that will fit in well with your family. This will save you the headache of trying to train your new dog against his or her instincts or innate personality.

There are several traits to consider.

These include:

  • Personality traits
  • Exercise needs
  • Grooming needs
  • Potential health problems
  • Whether they’re good with children
  • Whether they’re good for first-time dog owners

Below, we’ll go over each of these traits in detail so that you can make an informed decision before bringing your pup home!

Personality Traits

The Belgian Malinois has an interesting and varied personality. They’re considered intense dogs who bond very tightly with their owner. They can be a bit standoffish with strangers and may require some extra training attention in this area.

The Malinois has a very strong prey drive. For this reason, they’ll likely not do well with small animals such as cats. They can also struggle with other dogs due to their protectiveness.

When thinking about getting a Belgian Malinois Brindle, there are a few traits that stand out.

These include:

  • Loyalty
  • Intensity
  • Working dogs
  • Aloofness

Training a Malinois is simple since they’re very intelligent and want so badly to make their owners happy. Reward-based training, especially with affection and praise, is the way to go.

Exercise Needs

The Belgian Malinois Brindle is a very high-energy dog and isn’t at all suited to confined spaces. They’re well-known for running in circles if they aren’t given ample exercise and running space. 

When exercising your Malinois, you should choose activities that allow him to run around at high speeds. They don’t appreciate solo exercise, since they prefer to do pretty much everything with their owner. 

Some great activities for the Malinois are:

  • Herding
  • Tracking
  • Hunting
  • Fetching
  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Obstacle courses

Since these dogs thrive on near-constant exercise, they’ll do especially well in active environments with jobs to do, such as farms and ranches. 

Grooming Needs

The Belgian Malinois is very easy to groom. Weekly brushing is generally enough, though you might have to brush your Belgian a couple of times a week during shedding season. 

Unless they’ve had an especially dirty day, bathing every few weeks is plenty. Because they have shorter coats, they don’t get dirty too easily. They usually enjoy the water, so bathing should be an enjoyable time for both you and your pup!

You should also take care of your dog’s paws. They should be clipped every few weeks, or as soon as you hear him clacking when he walks. Nails that aren’t properly taken care of can cause skeletal deformities in your dog’s feet.

If you aren’t comfortable clipping a dog’s nails, a professional can do this for you at a groomer’s shop. You can also consider a nail grinder, which can be less stressful than clippers for both dog and owner.

We did an in-depth review on the 12 Best Dog Nail Grinders to help readers find the right nail grinder for their dog! Discover the good, the bad, and the ugly about the top products in the dog grooming world.

Potential Health Problems

The Belgian Malinois Brindle is a very healthy breed overall. Unlike some breeds, you likely won’t be faced with extraordinary vet bills on the regular. 

You should still make sure that your Malinois makes it to the vet regularly for annual checkups and to keep his vaccinations up to date. This will ensure that your dog stays healthy and lives as long as possible.

They do have some conditions that are more likely to happen than others, which are:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia 
  • Eye conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Hemangiosarcoma
  • Pannus

If you start to see symptoms of any of the above conditions, you should bring your Malinois to the vet for treatment.

Will a Belgian Malinois Brindle be Good with Children?

The Malinois can do well with older children, but caution is strongly advised with younger ones. They may attempt to herd your young children or gain the upper hand over them. This can result in your child getting injured unintentionally.

Due to their possessive and protective nature, food and toy aggression are potential problems. This can be especially difficult with young children who haven’t yet learned boundaries.

Are They Good for a First-Time Dog Owner?

The Belgian Malinois is not recommended for first-time dog owners, which is mostly because of their energy level. Since they require a lot of exercise, the first-time owner may find this tough to deal with while learning about dogs in general.

They can also be tough because of their standoffishness to strangers, which can turn into aggressiveness if they aren’t properly trained and handled. Overcoming this can take some work and prior knowledge of dogs’ behaviors.

If you already lead an active life that you want to include your dog in, such as daily running or outdoor work, it may be doable. You’ll just need to make sure that you’re prepared to meet all of their needs and that it won’t overwhelm you.

What We Like About the Belgian Malinois Brindle

The Belgian Malinois Brindle is a majestic dog with many wonderful qualities. Some of these include the following:

  • Their intelligence is higher than most breeds, so they can learn to do many different tricks and tasks. This also makes training them relatively simple, so long as you can stay in control.
  • They’re committed work animals, especially suited to hunting and tracking. They also excel in emergency services, particularly search and rescue.
  • They’re great dogs if you’re looking for an exercise partner. They can easily go for a run with you or even keep up with a bicycle.
  • They make excellent watchdogs since they’re protective of their family and home.
  • Their grooming needs are minimal. Even during shedding season, they only need a couple of brushes per week.
  • The Malinois is extraordinarily loyal and makes a wonderful companion.
  • Many people find the Malinois to be a regal breed, mainly because of the pride in their carriage.

For these reasons, the Malinois truly is a unique breed with many positive qualities. Keep reading to learn about the potential drawbacks of the Malinois.

Potential Drawbacks of the Belgian Malinois Brindle

While the Malinois is a fantastic breed, they do have some potential drawbacks, depending on your lifestyle.

These are a few of them:

  • They’re not suited to apartment living or any home without enough space to run. When they don’t get enough exercise, they can become destructive or start running around in circles.
  • They can have a hard time with strangers and young children. An undersocialized Malinois can gravitate towards either extreme shyness or aggressiveness toward strangers.
  • They require a high level of exercise, which requires dedication on the owner’s part.
  • The Malinois is an expensive breed.
  • Once they start chasing something, it can be hard to get them to stop. While it’s important for them to get off-leash exercise, that space may need to be enclosed. They should never be off-leash around unfamiliar dogs.

If none of these are obstacles for you, then the Malinois may be the breed you’re looking for!

Belgian Malinois Brindle Dogs at a Glance

While each individual animal is different, there are some characteristics that are almost certainly consistent within a breed. The standard characteristics are laid out in the table below.

Lifespan10 to 12 years
Weight60 to 65 pounds
Height22 to 26 inches at the shoulder
Good withFarms, working environments, high energy families
Grooming needsWeekly brushing, occasional baths
TemperamentLoyal, standoffish to strangers, high energy, protective, possessive
Health ConcernsOverall very healthy. Somewhat prone to dysplasia, some eye conditions, and cataracts

Overall, the Belgian Malinois Brindle is a well-rounded dog that will do particularly well as a working dog, though personal ownership is certainly possible as long as you can provide your Malinois with enough exercise.

If you have decided that the Malinois is the right breed for you, the only thing left to do is to find your new puppy!


The Belgian Malinois Brindle is often confused as a Shepherd, and rightfully so! However, this breed weighs less on average and is more sensitive to new environments.

It’s highly recommended that an experienced owner takes the lead with these pups. A calm, responsible, and steady hand is the best method to nurture them, and given their needs, keep them separated from other pets and small children. 

If you’re seeking a working dog that will stay by your side in the long term, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by these incredibly intelligent Belgian Malinois.

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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