Lean, athletic, and workaholic, the Belgian Malinois is one of the most popular working dogs employed the world over. They are exceptionally adaptable canines due to their excellent intellect, trainability, and adaptability which begs the question, when do Belgian Malinois stop growing?
The breed of dog has a rich history dating back to the late 19th century. Developed in Belgium as a herding dog, it was first recognized by the Belgian Kennel Club in 1891.
Some Belgian Malinois may continue to gain weight until they are two years old, which is largely dependent on a combination of genetics, diet, and lifestyle.
Belgian Malinois Development Phases
Although all dogs develop at various speeds, there are distinct stages that all canines go through throughout their lives. Let us explore the important growth phases in the life of a Belgian Malinois.
0 – 2 weeks – Neonatal stage
The neonatal stage begins at the age of two weeks. At this point, the puppies are kept close to their mother and given only her milk. The milk includes colostrum, which is high in antioxidants and keeps dogs healthy while they are still puppies.
2 – 4 weeks – Traditional stage
The traditional period is an extremely important time in the life of any puppy. The Belgian Malinois puppies can hear for the very first time at this stage. At the age of 10-12 days old, their eyelids begin to open, but their eyesight is blurry.
They may hear for the first time and become acquainted with the sounds of their mother around 14 -16 days of age.
4 – 16 weeks
Once Belgian Malinois puppies reach the age of four to sixteen weeks, they must be progressively introduced to the outside environment once fully vaccinated.
Socialization must begin, and they are likely to leave their littermates and mothers at eight weeks.
3 to 6 months – Older pup
While they are still pups, they are growing rapidly and starting to get more active. Training should start, and extensive socialization should be done to ensure that the pup is exposed to as many stimuli.
Socialization is critical for the Malinois which can be a dominant, protective breed.
6 to 12 months
They reach the teenage period around 6 -12 months and are more eager, active, and muscular. Encourage them to participate in regular physical activity and continue to feed top-quality puppy food.
They are also likely to reach sexual maturity at this stage so it might be time to think about spaying and neutering.
Female Belgian Malinois will have a heat cycle twice a year. This indicates that if they are not spayed, they will be able to produce at least two litters every year.
Males often take longer to reach sexual maturity. They will remain sexually active all year, but they will be most fertile between the ages of 12 and 18 months.
12 to 18 Months
Now they are technically young adults, a Malinois training must be firm, extensive, and consistent. A Malinois with behavioral problems will be difficult to handle!
Over the age of 18 months
There are not many changes to look forward to in the adult period. Conditions are likely to remain the same as your dog grows older.
If you see any unexpected weight increase or decrease, call your local veterinarian right away. Your dog may have a medical problem that has to be addressed.
Factors Influencing The Growth Of A Belgian Malinois
A Belgian Malinois puppy’s growth can be influenced by a number of things like genetics, diet, and lifestyle.
The primary cause of any change in a Belgian Malinois’ size is heredity and inherited issues.
Many disorders that cause a Belgian Malinois to look overweight or underweight are genetic. The same is true for the genes that influence the size of the dog.
This suggests that the puppy has a good probability of growing to be as big as his parents. This is why it’s critical to buy from trustworthy breeders who will let you view the dog’s parents.
The easiest method to predict how large your dog will be is to look at his sire and dam.
Many dog breeds have some degree of sexual dimorphism. This implies that there are certain variances between the genders, with height and weight being two of them.
Males are often taller than females in canines. This size difference can be practically imperceptible at times, especially if dealing with a large female and a small male.
The secret to a dog’s growth may be proper nutrition during puppyhood. The diet you feed your dog has a significant influence on its capacity to grow to its eventual size. This is why it’s critical to feed your puppy the best Belgian Malinois dog food available.
If a puppy does not consume good food that has all of the nutrients it needs, his growth and development may suffer.
Low-quality, low-cost food frequently lacks the nutrients and vitamins that your beloved dog needs. You are what you eat, and that applies to our pooches as well!
Physical Activity and Health
Belgian Malinois are active, energetic dogs, so make sure they receive enough exercise. Most dog breeds demand less activity and training than Belgian Malinois.
If you don’t let energetic dogs run about as much as they require, the growth of their muscular structure and bones might be impeded.
Various medical issues may slow the dog’s development pace. Ringworms, for instance, can cause canines to develop slower since they absorb the majority of the nutrients your dog consumes.
This is why it’s critical to take your dog to the veterinarian if you find he’s not growing as much as he should or if he gains weight unexpectedly.
Belgian Malinois, fortunately, are not susceptible to many health issues, which accounts for their relatively long lives of 10 to 12 years. Nevertheless, all dog breeds might have health problems that can limit their growth.
How Big Does The Belgian Malinois Get?
When it comes down to size, male Belgian Malinois are larger and taller than their female counterparts. They are also more muscular as a result of their increased testosterone, however, this might be difficult to see beneath their thick fur.
Male Belgian Malinois have an average weight of 60 to 80 pounds and a height of 24 to 26 inches from the shoulders down.
Male dogs of this breed should weigh between 23 and 27 pounds at three months and 43 and 52 pounds at six months. When they are a year old, their weight should be between 59 and 70 pounds.
Female Belgian Malinois, on the other hand, are a few inches shorter than their male counterparts. Female Belgian Malinois stand around 22 to 24 inches tall and weigh 40 to 60 pounds on average.
At three months, they should weigh between 17 and 25 pounds, and at six months, they should weigh between 32 and 46 pounds.
Common Health Problems For Belgian Malinois
While the Malinois is a generally healthy, athletic breed, like all dogs, they are predisposed to a few genetic conditions.
Hip dysplasia is a condition that can affect dogs of all ages and breeds, but it is especially common in large breeds.
The condition occurs when the ball and socket of the hip joint do not fit together properly, causing the joint to rub and grind instead of moving smoothly.
This can lead to pain, lameness, and eventually arthritis. While there is no cure for hip dysplasia, there are treatments that can help to relieve pain and improve mobility.
Surgery is an option for some dogs, but many people choose to manage the condition with medications and weight management.
Keeping your dog at a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to prevent or slow the progression of hip dysplasia. If your dog is diagnosed with hip dysplasia, don’t despair. There are many ways to help your furry friend live a long and happy life.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Early detection is essential for managing progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) in dogs. PRA is a degenerative disease of the retina that leads to blindness. Symptoms usually appear slowly, starting with night blindness.
As the disease progresses, dogs may have difficulty seeing in dim light or during the daytime. Unfortunately, there is no cure for PRA, but treatment can help to manage the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.
The earlier PRA is detected, the better the chances are for successful treatment. That’s why it’s important to take your dog to the vet for regular check-ups so that any changes in vision can be promptly addressed.
With early diagnosis and treatment, dogs with PRA can continue to enjoy a good quality of life.
Just like humans, dogs can develop cataracts as they age. Cataracts occur when the clear lens of the eye becomes opaque, causing blurred vision. Though cataracts are not painful, they can eventually lead to blindness if left untreated.
Surgery is the only way to remove cataracts, and it is typically very successful in restoring vision.
If your dog has been diagnosed with cataracts, you may be wondering whether surgery is the right choice. The decision ultimately comes down to the quality of life.
If your dog is having difficulty seeing and performing everyday activities, surgery may be the best option.
However, if your dog is still able to get around and enjoy life despite cataracts, you may choose to leave them untreated. When in doubt, always check with your veterinarian.
Do Belgian Malinois Run away?
Belgian Malinois are notorious escape artists and might try to get out from your yard or home.
A Belgian Malinois is an active working dog that will require tons of training, exercise, and playtime. If your Belgian Malinois is bored or under-stimulated, these agile canines can leap high fences and get out of your yard.
Ensure that your backyard is adequately walled in so that your Malinois cannot escape on its own.
If you don’t have a fence and don’t want one, keep your dog indoors in a crate. If you don’t want to do this and want to let it run free, keep a watch on it so it doesn’t escape via an open door or window.
Be extra cautious when youngsters are around, since they may accidentally open the door for the dog.
Belgian Malinois are free thinkers and very bright, thus it is not unusual for one to become bored with training and decide to run away, especially in a busy dog park with tons of other stimulation.
However, once they form a link with their owners, these dogs are extremely faithful and loyal to just their families.
Conclusion For “When Do Belgian Malinois Stop Growing?”
The Belgian Malinois is an impressive, incredibly versatile breed. They will reach their full height at about 10 months old and their full weight a few months later.
A lot of their growth is dependent on factors like genetics, lifestyle, and diet, so be sure to feed your Malinois only the best dog food to keep up with their active lifestyle!
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For more information about the Belgian Malinois Breed, check out the video below: