Should I Get A Male Or Female Belgian Malinois? (2024)


Hailing from the Belgian town of Malines, the Belgian Malinois was once used as a working dog on farms.

Intelligent, loyal, and energetic, today, the Malinois is one of the most popular working dogs frequently employed in several roles in the military and law enforcement.

Aside from working and herding, they excel at policing, search and rescue, and competitive disciplines such as agility.

However, their high energy levels and extremely workaholic personalities make them unsuitable for many households, especially sedentary or inexperienced owners. 

If you’re thinking about getting a Belgian Malinois puppy, one of the first things that come to mind is whether to get a male or a female.

In this blog post, we’ll look at the significant differences between a male and female Belgian Malinois and help you decide whether this breed is for you. 

Other articles you would like: Why Do Police Use Belgian Malinois? and Proper Exercise For A Belgian Malinois

What’s The Difference Between A Male And a Female Belgian Malinois? 


Belgian Malinois, like any other breed, have distinct personalities irrespective of their gender.

However, female dogs, in general, are more likely to stay attached to their owners and are simpler to manage since they are smaller and more responsive.

They also have less aggressive and dominant tendencies, although, in a powerful breed like the Malinois, females can exhibit these traits just the same. Males, on the other hand, are more protective and daring.

Though some believe that a dog’s energy, concentration, or qualities are more predictable by genetics rather than gender, others believe that gender does have a significant influence on a dog’s skills and personality. 

Whether male or female, it would be prudent to spend a significant amount of time with a Malinois before acquiring it, as it is a breed with a strong personality and both genders can exhibit all kinds of tendencies that might not suit your lifestyle. 

Physical Features


Male and female Belgian Malinois have similar appearances and might be difficult to distinguish at first sight.


Male Belgian Malinois, like most dog breeds, are bigger in stature and a few inches taller than females. The males are also likely to be somewhat more muscular as a result of the increased testosterone, but this will be difficult to recognize due to their thick fur.

The most noticeable difference between the genders is their size. Male Belgian Malinois are typically larger than females, weighing between 60 and 80 pounds and reaching 24 to 26 inches tall from the shoulder down.


Female Belgian Malinois, on the other hand, are typically a couple of inches shorter than males, measuring 22 to 24 inches tall and weighing 40 to 60 pounds.

Females are generally recommended by trainers and seasoned Mali owners to novice Mali owners because of their smaller size, which makes them simpler to handle.

Regardless of the obvious differences in height and weight, it can be difficult to determine the gender of a Belgian Malinois based just on looks.



Belgian Malinois, like other dog breeds, have distinct personality qualities based on whether they are male or female.

Though this isn’t always the case and can also be influenced by their genes and upbringing, a Malinois’s gender can help you sway their temperament to something more suited to you.

Males are more daring, fun-loving, and protective. They might be more suspicious of strangers and will require extensive socialization.

All the extra testosterone gives males a more dominant, driven personality which is why males are frequently employed as working dogs for law enforcement and the military. 

Males can also be more stubborn, requiring a firmer hand when training and more consistent instruction. They are also more likely to try to dominate other dogs, especially males.

They are devoted dogs that can be possessive when it comes to their homes and owners.

Female Belgian Malinois mentally mature quicker than their male counterparts, making them easier to socialize and train at a younger age. They tend to be more attached to the owners and calmer, while males might have high energy levels.

While they can still have dominant and aggressive tendencies, females tend to be warier but less confrontational. 

Females might have a stronger pack mentality and might attach themselves to the whole family, wanting to care for everyone equally. In contrast, males might be more independent and attach themselves just to one.  



Belgian Malinois are very clever, active canines who are frequently preferred as working dogs rather than companion pets. They must be continually engaged, given frequent exercise, and, most importantly, properly taught with a strong hand.

Young males are boisterous, mischievous dogs that can get into a lot of trouble. Throughout this phase, owners will most likely have difficulty drawing their focus and keeping them engaged, extending the time and effort required to effectively teach them.

The lively character of the Belgian Malinois, along with the inquisitive attitude of the breed’s males, implies that they’ll always be ready and thrilled for the next activity you assign them, but they may be too restless to focus on your instructions.

This is especially common in public, where there are more distractions, such as other dogs and small animals, to divert their attention.

Females are also believed to be more sensitive to their owners and to be much better at maintaining focus, making them the more popular choice for obedience training and dog competitions.

They too, are high-energy and easily distracted, but have the potential to be more laid back than the males. 



The Belgian Malinois, like most purebred dogs, is prone to acquiring certain ailments based on its breed. However, the likelihood of your Mali developing some health concerns may also be affected by their gender.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia 

Belgian Malinois in particular is susceptible to hip and elbow dysplasia, which occurs when the bones in their hip or elbow joints do not line up correctly, causing discomfort and pain.

Males are more prone to developing and worsening the illness due to their greater stature and bulkier build, which causes more pressure and strain on their bones.

Females are less prone to suffer hip and elbow dysplasia due to their smaller and lighter bodies. 

Aside from dysplasia, both male and female Belgian Malinois are equally susceptible to cataracts, pannus, progressive retinal degeneration, and hemangiosarcoma. Both genders have the same lifespan range of 10 to 14 years. 

Like any female dog, being unspayed opens a female Malinois up to diseases like ovarian and uterine cancer, while male unneutered dogs can be more prone to prostate and testicular cancer. 

With Other Dogs And Animals


Not all dogs get along with other animals, or even other dogs. If you keep another animal at home, it’s vital to understand the different attitudes male and female Malinois have toward other dogs and animals so you can pick the gender that best fits your family.

Neutering a dog will greatly reduce aggressive and dominant behavior tendencies, which is why many working dogs remain unneutered to avoid reducing testosterone. 

If you have an unneutered male Malinois at home, chances are he will want to dominate all other animals, especially the males. 

A male Malinois’ energetic and perky personality suggests that they may get along just fine with other female dogs. 

Having other little pets in the house, such as cats, is a different matter. Belgian Malinois have a robust hunter’s impulse, and they will most likely chase after tiny animals. 

If you would like your male Belgian Malinois to get along with your cat or other fuzzy small pets, introduce him to them as puppies and nurture them together.

Female Belgian Malinois are more careful about encountering other dogs since they are often unwilling to leave their owner’s side. On the bright side, because of their confidence, they are less prone to get into fights with other dogs.

But it doesn’t mean they’re immune to same-sex violence. Female Belgian Malinois are equally as prone as males to get into a fight with their own gender.

If you have another female dog in the house, it is ideal if there is a large age difference between them or if the female Malinois is introduced as a puppy.

In terms of cats and other animals, female Malinois have the same hunting instinct as male Malis, but they are more likely to pay attention to their owners due to their more responsive temperament.

Which Is A Better Guard Dog, Male Or Female? 


Males are bigger, more muscular, and physically stronger. Because of their territorial nature and greater strength, males may make better guard dogs if their protective instincts are strong.

However, if untrained, they can be easily distracted and take off from their duties. 

Females mature faster and can be taught sooner. They are more inclined to stay closer to their owners and make excellent personal protection dogs. They also have cautious of other dogs and strangers but can be trained to wait for instructions before reacting. 

If you want to protect your home, a male Malinois’ protective instinct is likely to be stronger, making them a superior choice.

However, if you are looking for a personal protection dog to keep you safe while on a walk, a female’s natural apprehension of strangers combined with their tendency to be close to their owner might make them a better choice.

Which One Makes a Better Pet? 


The Belgian Malinois is a high-energy, intense dog that has many physical and mental needs. If you can meet the needs of Malinois, they make excellent, protective family members.

Both males and females will have high amounts of energy and suit families with older children that are active. Typically, males will get along with female dogs but if you have two dogs of the same sex and one is a Malinois, they might be some conflict. 

Females might have a milder disposition and be more suited for the calmer owners. They are more attentive to their owner in public and are extremely committed to their families. 

Which Gender Should You Opt For?


The decision to adopt a male or female Belgian Malinois should be determined by your preferences and lifestyle. 

Males will be suited for high-energy families with older children that want a reliable guard dog. Females might suit younger children and families that take the time to exercise their dogs, but they might not need to run circles around you every day.

Conclusion For “Should I Get A Male Or Female Belgian Malinois”


Regardless of gender, the Belgian Malinois is a high-energy, determined dog that can get into a lot of trouble if they are unsocialized and untrained. They will need a firm, consistent owner and extensive socialization as young pups. 

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For more information about the Male and Female Belgian Malinois, check out the video below: