Are Belgian Malinois good with kids? This is a very important question for any family considering this breed. All dogs are good with children if raised properly, but with the Belgian Malinois, there are many special considerations. Their energy is at such a high level combined with strong protection and prey instincts that make them suitable only for families ready for their intensity. How good the relation between Belgian Malinois and kids is determined not just by the dog breed but also the personality of the child and their parents.
Belgian Malinois can be good with kids only if they have been fully socialized with children. Their tendency to nip and chase young children should always be supervised when interacting with them. Training and socializing them will be key to unlocking their positive traits.
Only highly active families with the time and energy for extensive dog training should consider this breed. Belgian Malinois are not for the faint of heart. While they can make amazing dogs like no other, they will be far too much dog for many families with kids.
These are the types of families where Belgian Malinois could be a good fit:
- Families interested in a large strong dog: Malinois can grow to be quite large often weighing between 55 to 75 pounds. While this may not seem that big, when combined with their immense athleticism allows them to pack quite the punch.
- Families tolerant of nips and rough scratches: Belgian Malinois are likely to chase running children. While with training and patience this train can be overcome. Still, there will probably be a few nips and rough tumbles in the future of any kid paired with a Belgian Malinois. If you’re okay with this then these could be good dogs for you.
- Those who want an extremely smart highly trained dog: There are few dogs that can be trained to the level that a Belgian Malinois can. This is the reason why they are one of the best police dogs in the world. You must have the time to unlock their full potential, however. Without extensive training, this intelligence can easily be turned into destructive tendencies.
- Families who want a strong protection dog: Amongst the Malinois many skills are protecting their families. This can have a downside though. Without enough socialization and exposure to the outside world. Belgian Malinois can become skittish and suspicious fo both kids and adults.
The types of families who wouldn’t do well with Belgian Malinois:
- Inactive sedentary families: These are very high energy dogs that need lots of exercises lest that energy is turned towards destruction. High energy families with active kids do well with Belgian Malinois, while a low energy family will struggle to keep up with their high intensity.
- Families with lots of other pets: While a Belgian Malinois can be trained to get along with other animals, it isn’t easy. Their high prey drive creates a lot of difficulties when other pets are concerned. If you don’t have the time to deal with this then this isn’t the dog for you.
- First-time dog owners: If this is your child’s first dog, then don’t get a Belgian Malinois. Belgian Malinois are good with kids only if the kid knows how to properly handle dogs.
Belgian Malinois Temperament With Kids
Fearless and with a drive capable of bulldozing through the walls of Jericho, Belgian Malinois will go to great lengths to protect children who belong to their family. When this breed is well trained there are few dogs who can top them when it comes to guarding loved ones.
Extremely athletic, with the ability to jump tall buildings with a single bound, okay maybe not that but they are fully capable of running an obstacle course and jump over poles that are really high. Belgian malinois will be perfect for older kids who have an interest in training them for fun higher-level activities like agility competitions.
The main concern with this breed is that due to their old-timey sheepherding instincts sometimes Belgian Malinois aren’t good with small kids. They have an urge to chase with a bit of nipping young running children. They usually don’t mean harm their just trying to direct them to where they think they will be safe. Sometimes they just get stirred up and wanna join in at too rough a level.
A very loyal thing that is not in question is they will be extremely dedicated to their families children and owners. Normal behavior includes following them around constantly keeping one eye on them and the other on the surroundings constantly scanning for danger.
Socializing Belgian Malinois To Be Good With kids
Begin socializing your Belgian Malinois early, young, and often. Their socialization should ideally start with the breeder. It’s important to try to find a reputable skilled breed or this type of dog. With their growing popularity, some breeders are not breeding them right leading to both health and behavioral issues. A good Belgian Malinois breeder will try to introduce them to a variety of circumstance even as a whee puppy.
Socialization is crucial with belgian malinois. They are such protective dogs that these instincts can come out on the dark side without the right precautions. Suspeciousness, aggression, shyness and even fearfulness are all traits that insuffecient early socialization could develope into.
By the time you receive the dog generally between 2 to 3 months old, then the job is in your hand. Ideally, you should bring them around as many as 50 people in the first month that they are with you. Introduce as many kids to your Belgian Malinois as you can. Of course, always be careful and heavily supervise them to both make sure the dog is nice and they are nice back to the dog.
Dog parks can be great places to get those friend numbers up for your canine companion. Lots of kids at the dog park who your Belgian Malinois would just love to meet to encourage their fondness for children. Have the kids bribe the dog with a few of their favorite treats. This way your Belgian Malinois fondness of kids will grow and they’ll associate them with good things.
Belgian Malinois Training
With such a highly intelligent dog, it would be a shame for it all to go to rust. Just doing the kinds of activities that any old dog might. This breed has a hard drive built for work, not just any work but some of the most important kinds. Without a cornucopia of mental stimulation. Not only will their beautiful minds be wasted but they could become bored. Boredom, high energy, and intelligence are a very bad combination in a dog. Your furniture and life will feel the consequences.
Possessing such a gifted trainability, along with a dominant will, you should probably seek the help of a professional. They can help you with the more thorny training issues like Belgian Malinois chasing kids and help you push your dog to their full capabilities. This is actually what this breed wants in an owner.
Your kid and Belgian Malinois should also participate in training together. Ideally, the whole family should. It’s important with a dog like this that its obedient not only to one member of the family but everyone that they will interact with on a daily basis. Training dogs can be a lot of fun. Getting your children involved in the training will give them lifelong dog skills and make the bond between child and Belgian Malinois closer.
Several things Kids Should Never Do to a Belgian Malinois
When dealing with dogs as temperamental as Belgian Malinois, it behooves you to set some ground rules with your kid’s interactions with the dog.
- Kids should never pull on the Belgian Malinois tail or other body parts: While Belgians can be tolerant, they like all dogs do have limits. Pulling on them could easily be the red line in the sand that kids shouldn’t cross.
- Don’t wake the dog suddenly from sleep: Kids love to do the darndest things. One of those might be to suddenly leap on you in bed when you’re snoring. With Dad, this might be okay but with the dog, it isn’t. A Belgian Malinois startled by a leaping child might not know what’s going on and do something they would both regret.
- Never throw things or yell at the dog: Belgian Malinois do not respond well to aggression. They’re far too tough to be timid mouses who shrink away. Yell at them too much or be too rough with them and their fighting spirit could emerge. Trust me you don’t want your kids on the wrong side of that.
- Don’t tease the dog with treats: While it’s perfectly fine and even encouraged for kids to give the Belgian Malinois treats, they shouldn’t show it to the dog and then take it away or worse pop it in their own mouth. This will lead to frustration which is never a good emotion in any canine.
Are Belgian Malinois Good With Babies, Toddlers, And Small Children?
While Belgian Malinois shines in many areas this is one where there will be a difficulty. They will probably be very protective of any small members of the family, but their combo of energy and mouthiness can make for a bad recipe.
Any young children should always be supervised around the dog. Some families with Belgian Malinois and small children have to develop a special way of moving through the house with the kid. Not because the dog is mean but just that it has so much energy and easily excitable that it can easily knock the child down.
So I would only recommend a Belgian Malinois to a family with babies or small children if the parents were very experienced with dogs and knew exactly what they were getting into.
Plus these dogs take a lot of time with training and their exercise requirements. It would be hard juggling both your responsibility to the dog and that of your young children. Now Belgian Malinois are good with older kids, once you get in the 10 plus age group the kids can help with the dogs training. They can take them for walks and their hopefully large enough to be able to hand this breeds athleticism.
Belgian Malinois are good with kids that are old enough to be able to handle them, an incredibly energetic dog only equaled by their intelligence. For an experienced dog family that’s interested in getting involved in agility competitions or other canine sports, there are few dogs better.
Inactive families and those with small children will struggle horribly with this breed. How good Belgian Malinios are with kids has a lot to do with the age of the child, activity level, and dog skills of the family. Inexperienced dog people should not apply for ownership of these incredible animals.