Belgian Malinois are smart, hardworking dogs that were originally bred to herd sheep in Belgium. These days, however, they share a similar calling to the German Shepherd given they make tough K-9s, versatile working dogs, and loyal companions that stand by your side through thick and thin.
How much do they shed? Belgian Malinois are a double coated breed that sheds moderately most of the time, except twice per year when the molting increases. Their outer coat consists of short, straight, weatherproof hair and their undercoat is soft and dense.
Read on to learn more about how much Mals shed and the amount of effort that’s needed to maintain their coat and keep your home as fur-free as possible.
How Much Do Belgian Malinois Shed?
Overall, Belgian Malinois are considered a moderate shedding breed.
However, twice per year, they shed more due to seasonal shedding. This is a normal occurrence that generally happens in fall or spring, and lasts for about two-three weeks.
This seasonal “coat blow” is something most double coated dogs do. They are simply preparing themselves for the change in weather. So for example in spring they shed their thick winter coat because they don’t need this for the coming summer months.
They don’t shed as much seasonally as some dogs though. Dogs like the Belgian Sheepdog or Akita, for instance, shed so heavily during certain times of the year that you’ll be filling up multiple garbage bags of fur.
Thankfully, you shouldn’t have to contend with that amount of molting with a Mal. But at the same time, they do shed more than other large dogs, like the Cane Corso.
So, overall, they’re not the heaviest shedders out there, but they aren’t the best dog for those who want a completely hair free home either. There are ways you can manage the shedding (which we’re about to discuss), but the truth is there’s no way to completely stop it. So you are going to notice some hair on your floor and furniture.
Also worth mentioning is that they’re not a hypoallergenic breed. Which means that they are not the most suitable dog for those who suffer from dog related allergies.
What Are Mals Like to Groom?
Belgian Malinois are fairly easy to groom. For the most part, a weekly brush should be enough to maintain their coat and keep him looking great.
The reason for this is mostly because of his short coat. Dogs with short coats are easier to brush and aren’t as likely to have mats and knots as dogs with longer coats. Nor are they as likely to get debris caught up in them.
So it simply won’t take you as long to brush and you generally won’t have to brush him as often as a longer coated dog.
With that being said, he does have a double coat.
Which means instead of having just one layer of fur, he has two – an outer coat and an undercoat. His outer coat is short, straight and weather resistant, and comes in a variety of colors. Mostly variations of fawn and mahogany with a black mask. And his undercoat is dense and close lying.
This type of coat is well suited to dogs that were bred to herd and work in cold climates. But his undercoat also helps keep him cooler in summer, so you should never shave this completely.
When it comes to brushing, the best sort of brush to use really depends on your personal preference. But I have found that a bristle brush and metal comb, or deshedding tool, works well on short-coated dogs like the Mal. See our full guide to dog grooming brushes to learn more.
Other things to factor into your grooming routine include the occasional bath which helps keep his coat in good condition, and regular nail trimming as with all dogs.
How to Reduce Malinois Shedding
Limiting the shedding in a Malinois mostly comes down to regular grooming and proper diet. Together, these can make a big difference as to how much fur you’ll find floating around the home.
So let’s take a closer look at each of these.
Regular grooming is really your front line defence against shedding. Not only does brushing keep the hair off of your floors and furniture, and on the brush, but it can also help to keep his coat in good condition. And this is because, when you brush, you spread the natural skin oils more evenly over his coat. Which in turn can help prevent dryness, a leading cause of shedding.
Related: Why Do Dogs Shed?
And while he doesn’t need to be bathed very often, bathing more often during shedding season can make a huge difference. Especially if you combine this with a thorough brushing session after he’s been bathed. It’s important to use a good quality dog shampoo though, and avoid over bathing. Otherwise you run the risk of drying out his coat and in turn causing excess shedding.
Apart from grooming, proper diet is key. Your veterinarian is going to be the best person to help you select a good dog food. But, generally speaking, dog food that is rich in vitamins, minerals, things like Omega-3 and Omega-6, and that is made from high quality ingredients, can go a long way to reducing unnecessary moulting.
And this is simply because a healthy dog is naturally going to have a healthier coat. And a healthier coat tends to hold onto hair more than one that is lacking nutrition, or one that is dry and irritated.
At the end of the day, it’s not possible to completely stop shedding.
But you can keep it to a minimum and reduce the amount of time you need to spend vacuuming and cleaning the fur off of your furniture and clothes. And thankfully this mostly comes down to a few simple tasks that, with consistency, can make a huge difference.