Have you ever seen a dog that kind of looks like a German Shepard Dog but a little bit different and you could not quite figure out why? It was probably a Belgian Malinois!
Hi dog moms and dads, my name is Bri and I am the loving dog mom of a ten-year-old American Bulldog and Pitbull mix named Bruce.
We adopted Bruce about three years ago without really knowing anything about his breed.
It is safe to say he picked us instead of us picking him. However, as we got to know this dog, we learned more and more about him, we realized we were definitely not prepared for how much he sheds.
Before Bruce chose us, my husband and I always considered getting German Shepard Dog and got them confused with Belgian Malinois. They have similar features, and we sort of stumbled upon them.
We decided to learn more about this unique pup to see if it was a good fit for us.
Obviously, we ended up adopting Bruce instead, but we learned a lot about the Belgian Malinois, and I thought I might as well share some of that information for anyone else who might be interested!
Like I said about Bruce, the one thing we were really surprised by was how much he sheds. I am allergic to dogs (though that will never stop me from owning one) so this definitely had an affect on me.
That is what I am going to focus on in this article; the shedding habits of the Belgian Malinois!
I will cover their typical shedding habits along with health concerns, ways to manage their shedding and my favorite tools that I use to help maintain a clean home (and my sanity).
Before we dive in, let’s talk about the history of the Belgian Malinois.
History of the Belgian Malinois
These handsome pups are from the city of Malines in Belgium (if you could not tell that by the name) who were bred for herding.
They have been incredibly famous for their hard work as sheep herders and livestock herders.
They were brought to America in 1911 and were used for the exact same thing – herding! Over time, police and military caught wind of these hard workers.
Now, they join their cousins (German Shepard Dogs) and are known as some of the best police and military K-9s out there.
While they are not as commonly known to be house pets, they are starting to again popularity among families.
However, they tend to be overshadowed by German Shepard Dogs, so people just really don’t know much about them.
What is the Belgian Malinois Coat Like?
These dogs were born to work from their bone structure to their coats. Their fur is waterproof to keep them comfortable on the job.
Their fur is soft but does have more of a wiry texture which contributes to its waterproof trait.
They do not need much grooming or bathing which is convenient, but as I said they are working dogs so they will need the occasional clean up!
Do Belgian Malinois Shed? How Much?
The American Kennel Club has a helpful ranking system for how much different dog breeds shed. There are three categories: infrequent, seasonal, and frequent.
Belgian Malinois fall between seasonal and frequent. This means they shed heavier during shedding season (which we will talk more about soon) and shed steadily throughout the year.
These dogs are born to be outdoors, and their coats fully support that. That is part of why they shed the way they do!
That being said, they shed a lot. But it is manageable! Let’s talk more about those shedding seasons.
When do Belgian Malinois Shed the Most?
Several factors can affect how much a Belgian Malinois sheds, but there are a few that have the greatest impact. Let me explain:
Time of year
This is what I was talking about when I mentioned the shedding season. There are actually two shedding seasons in one year.
One season is during the transition from winter to summer, and again from summer to winter.
When the weather warms up, dogs, especially Belgian Malinois, shed their warm undercoats to keep themselves cool.
Then once the weather gets cold again, they shed those light summer coats to make room for the growth of the warm undercoats.
This helps them regulate their body temperature and keeps them healthy and comfortable!
During these seasons, Belgian Malinois will shed like crazy! This is normal and keeps them healthy and comfortable.
It is super important to keep up with brushing your Belgian Malinois during the shedding seasons.
If you do not brush them regularly, that dead undercoat could get trapped and with it, it will trap dirt and bacteria.
This can lead to more skin irritations later on, so grab that brush and get going!
Stage of life
If you have ever owned a dog as a puppy you might have already noticed the timeframe when they started to lose their puppy coats.
Puppies have their soft puppy coats for a while, but when they mature, they lose that coat and grow in their adult fur.
It is a lot like how people lose baby teeth. Once their adult coats are grown in, they shed more consistently throughout the year.
Once dogs get a bit older and start to slow down, you might also notice an increase in shedding. This is just part of the aging process!
Diet and Exercise
While it might not seem like it, this is actually something that has a major affect on the health of a dog’s coat.
Belgian Malinois have an extremely active lifestyle, which means they need the right nutrients to keep them going.
Without it, their fur could diminish and shed much easier. The same goes with exercise. Dogs will show signs of decreased health from the inside out.
This is commonly shown in a decrease in the health of their coats, which could mean more shedding than normal.
Skin conditions and pests
This one probably seems pretty obvious, but it is important. Pests like fleas and ticks can cause dogs to scratch and lick like crazy, which will cause them to shed in excess.
Skin conditions like allergies and more severe conditions like mange and alopecia can obviously cause excess hair loss.
These are sometimes harder to catch, so we need to pay particular attention to our pets to look out for these issues!
Ways to Combat Belgian Malinois Shedding
I will never recommend anyone trying to reduce how much their dog sheds. Shedding is important to the health of all dogs.
However, there are definitely ways to help maintain their shedding, so they do not cover your home in fur. Grooming is going to be your best defense here!
While these dogs do not need regular grooming, brushing them is definitely going to be effective to keep their shedding under control. Belgian Malinois should be brushed every few days at least.
During shedding season, you will want to brush them much more often. Daily brushing would be the best method because it will help all that lose hair come out and will promote healthier growth of new fur.
Again, regular baths are not typically necessary for Belgian Malinois. However, the occasional bath will help them stay clean and can also loosen up any dead fur that needs to be shed.
After their bath is the best time to brush them once they have fully dried! All that lose hair will be ready and easy to brush out.
Like I said, brushing like this can help promote healthy regrowth of fur. It distributes their natural oils to keep their skin healthy and in turn, keeps their fur healthy.
Tools and Equipment to Help Combat Belgian Malinois Shedding
Dog moms and dads need three major tools in their homes to keep their Belgian Malinois shedding under control, and to keep their homes at least somewhat clean.
These three items are a brush, a lint roller and a great vacuum!
For brushes, especially for the Belgian Malinois, I highly recommend a Furminator.
We use this brush on Bruce around two or three times a week and it works wonders. Plus, he thinks we are just petting him!
This brush gets through to the undercoat and gently pulls out any lose fur. It is extremely effective in getting a mass amount of fur out which will keep it off of your clothes, furniture and floors.
The next item on the list is a lint roller, only I do not like to use the common sticky paper roll lint rollers. They work, but you have to replace them, and it creates a ton of waste.
I highly recommend the MagikBrush lint brush. It is double sided and collects all the pet hair from my clothes, furniture and even my car seats and floors.
I also love that it is reusable! It saves money in the long run and is less harmful to the environment – win win!
Health concerns with Belgian Malinois Shedding
Belgian Malinois are relatively healthy dogs. However, all dogs are susceptible to different health complications and conditions.
All dogs can be affected by health conditions like allergies and skin issues, but these are usually treatable with some help from your vet and the right home remedies. Some, however, can be a little more difficult.
Mange is a skin condition caused by mites that causes severe hair loss in dogs. Mange is treatable, but it’s not easy.
Sometimes mange can result is alopecia, which is a more permanent hair loss condition. If you think your dog is showing signs of any of these conditions you need to take them to a vet right away.
They can be extremely uncomfortable for your pups, and mange is highly contagious to other animals.
Excess shedding is in general, unfortunately, is not typically a good sign when it comes to health in dogs.
It could be something relatively simple such as allergies or hot spots, but it could also be something more serious such as cancer or autoimmune diseases.
Shedding should be consistent in a healthy adult dog. If there is a sudden change in how much they shed, this could be a sign of a serious issue.
This is a crucial part of this whole article because monitoring how much your dogs shed can help save their lives.
By seeing the signs ahead of time, you can help catch and treat certain conditions much sooner!
Final Thoughts: Do Belgian Malinois Shed?
Belgian Malinois are smart, strong and hard-working dogs that make great house pets and helpful paws. They are extremely high-energy, so make sure you are ready to keep up with them!
As far as their shedding goes, it can be overwhelming if you do not prepare for it. However, we all know that dogs are well worth the time and energy it takes to clean up after them (at least I do).
If you get into a simple routine, it is not hard to manage how much these dogs shed. Regular grooming is key and will work if you let it.
Keeping your dog properly fed and groomed will work wonders! Plus, extra kisses and snacks are always a good go-to if all else fails.
Hopefully this information has been helpful in learning more about do Belgian Malinois shed! Happy Pup Parenting!