A Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois mix dog is a dog that will have a distinctive personality born of generations spent as a working dog.
Hybrid or “designer” mix dogs are not the same as the so-called “mixed breed” dog or mutt. A hybrid dog mix is a puppy that contains only two genetic lines. Each line is from a specific purebred dog breed.
In this article, we will be talking about the Dutch Malinois, a mix puppy that has parent dogs as one Dutch Shepherd parent dog and one Belgian Malinois parent dog.
These dogs can be great fun to own if you are an active, outdoorsy, and athletic person who loves to make your dog the center of your world.
However, it is important to make sure you can provide the level and type of intense activity, exercise, training, and socialization these dogs need to be healthy and happy in a companion canine role.
In this article, learn all about the Dutch Malinois dog.
Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois Mix: Dog Breeds History
One of the hands-down best ways to prepare to welcome a hybrid dog breed into your life is to research the history and evolution of each parent dog’s breed history.
In this section, we take a closer look at how the Dutch Shepherd and Belgian Malinois purebred dog breeds have evolved over time.
Dutch Shepherd history
The Dutch Shepherd hails from The Netherlands, where they are thought to have arisen naturally.
When a dog is said to be “naturally occurring,” what this means is that either the origin of the breed is not known or that it is known the dog has self-perpetuated organically, rather than through man-made manipulation.
Often naturally occurring dog breeds look a lot more like wolves than do many modern dog breeds (such as the dachshund or Maltese, for example). This is definitely the case with the Dutch Shepherd.
The Dutch Shepherd has a long history of working alongside humans in herding cattle and roles of livestock protection dogs.
Today, Dutch Shepherds are also popular service canines, working military and police K-9s, and stellar canine athletes.
Belgian Malinois history
The Belgian Malinois looks sufficiently like the iconic German Shepherd in general size and coloring that the two are often confused.
If you look closer, however, you will start to see the two breeds don’t actually look that much alike.
The Belgian Malinois is nowhere near as famous or recognizable as the German Shepherd, but in the police, military, and security sectors, these dogs are famous for another reason: their talent in protection roles.
Malinois are also incredible canine athletes and excel as herding and livestock dogs.
Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois mix history
This overview lets you know upfront what you are in for when you choose a Dutch Malinois as your companion – you are going to get in shape and stay that way!
These dogs simply live to stay active, but they are also coming from a long, shared history of working closely with people in herding, guarding, and protection roles.
So your Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois will be happiest when exercising with you.
Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois Mix Personality & Temperament
Learning more about the personality and temperament of a Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois dog is the best approach to take when you are trying to decide if this hybrid dog is the right fit for what you have to offer a dog.
Dutch Shepherd personality and temperament
As CC Protection Dogs points out, obedience, protectiveness, and loyalty are hallmark personality traits of the Dutch Shepherd.
They are very smart and pick up new commands with ease.
However, because these dogs have such a strong protective instinct, they need a strong owner to help them learn how to live peacefully in a family and community without responding to every perceived threat.
Ultimately, the Dutch Shepherd is a dog that will always want to be with its people, both because of its loyal, loving nature and because of its strong protective instincts.
Belgian Malinois personality and temperament
Like the Dutch Shepherd, the Belgian Malinois has everything it takes to excel as working protection, guarding, and be like good livestock herding dogs.
As Vetstreet points out, these dogs are extremely loyal and loving towards “their” people and want to be the center of their human life.
They also have a very strong guarding, herding, and protection instinct, which means they will need help figuring out how to know when to protect their people and when to stand down.
Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois mix personality and temperament
When you choose to share your life with a Dutch Malinois, you will never have to worry about not having a canine protector who will lay down their life for you.
You will also have a dog that needs and craves human company and wants to be with you all the time. These dogs cannot be left alone for long before they get bored and destructive, which is something not every dog owner can cope with.
Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois Mix: Size, Height, and Weight
Learning more about the expected size, height, and weight of your Dutch Malinois puppy can help you plan and prepare as your dog grows up.
Dutch Shepherd size, height, and weight
The Dutch Shepherd can weigh anywhere from 42 to 75 pounds in adulthood, which is a rather unusually wide weight variance for a dog breed.
These dogs typically stand between 21.5 and 24.5 inches tall (from paw pads to shoulder tops) as adults.
Belgian Malinois size, height, and weight
The Belgian Malinois can weigh anywhere from 40 to 80 pounds when they reach adulthood, with males generally outweighing an average female dutch shepherd by up to 20 pounds.
Malinois typically stands anywhere from 22 to 26 inches tall as adults, with males standing about two inches taller than females in general.
Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois size, height, and weight
The Dutch Shepherd and the Belgian Malinois are quite similar in adult size, height, and weight.
Both are lean and rangy working dogs with long legs, lean torsos, and long, narrow muzzles. In both cases, male adult dogs can be considerably bigger than females.
However, the best way to predict your Dutch Malinois dog’s adult size is to meet each parent dog to get a guesstimate of the weight and height range you are working with.
Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois Mix: Training and Exercise Needs
As this article has already mentioned, the Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois mix dog combines two intelligent, self-motivated, hard-working, high-energy, and active dog breeds.
This means you are looking at a significant daily time commitment to train and exercise your dog.
Dutch Shepherd training and exercise needs
Dutch Shepherds need to run, play, exercise, and burn off their copious energy reserves every day. This is the only way to keep a Dutch Shepherd happy as a family pet.
The Dutch Shepherd dog’s natural protective instincts also require special handling and training so your dog learns to look to you for their cue before reacting to a perceived threat.
Belgian Malinois training and exercise needs
The Belgian Malinois is arguably the most popular and talented K-9 of choice for military, police, and private security work. No other dog breed is in higher demand around the world for these types of roles.
Belgian Malinois needs tremendous training and structure to temper their natural protective instincts, prey, chase drives, and high energy levels to acclimate well to life as a family pet and personal protection dog.
Your dog will need a lot of help from you to learn how to accept (if not welcome) visitors and guests in your home and how to deal with strange people and dogs when you are out and about.
Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois training and exercise needs
For both the Dutch Shepherd dog and the Belgian Malinois dog, your puppy will need immediate and ongoing socialization and training to provide structure and guidance.
The best way to make sure your Dutch Malinois puppy adjusts well to the daily life of the family and community is to provide this training from the first day your puppy comes home to stay.
Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois Mix: Coat Care, Shedding & Grooming
Many people today are sensitive or allergic to pet dander and it can be a problem in shedding season.
Although actually, as the Allergy and Asthma Association of America points out, the allergy is really to a protein present in a dog’s saliva, urine, and skin.
People who love dogs but have this allergy often do better with dogs that shed less. Unfortunately, neither the Dutch Shepherd nor the Belgian Malinois is a good choice for people with pet dander allergies.
Dutch Shepherd coat care, shedding, and grooming
The Dutch Shepherd is a purebred working dog breed. These dogs have the characteristic thick, versatile double coat layer nearly all working dog breeds have.
The coat serves two functions. The outer layer is water-resistant and protects the dog from the elements. The inner layer is soft and insulating and keeps the dog warm and dry.
In order to do its job well, the coat needs to replenish itself regularly, which means year-round and seasonal shedding. During the changing of the seasons, the undercoat will shed profusely, turning your home into a snowstorm of fur.
The best way to control the shedding is regular brushing to catch the dead rough hair and remove it before it falls to the floor. This is especially true if your Dutch Shepherd is long-coated or might have a rough coat (dogs having a short coat need less maintenance relatively).
Belgian Malinois coat care, shedding, and grooming
The Belgian Malinois has a short, neat, double-layer working-dog coat. While these dogs don’t tend to have a lot of trouble with tangles and mats, they do shed year-round and seasonally just like other working dogs.
By taking the time to brush your Malinois regularly, you can control the amount of shed of different coat types, dead hair you have to sweep and vacuum up during the coat blow periods.
Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois mix coat care, shedding, and grooming
Overall, your Dutch Malinois is going to shed year-round and go through one or two “coat blow” sheds each year when the seasons change.
While this dog will not need a lot of baths (unless your pup rolls in something stinky) the more brushing you do, the less shed hair you will have to clean up.
Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois Mix: Longevity & Health Issues
Health and longevity have become serious issues for many modern purebred dog breeds. Luckily, both the Dutch Shepherd and the Belgian Malinois have a reasonably long life expectancy.
But both have certain known genetic health issues it is important to be aware of.
Dutch Shepherd longevity and health issues
According to the American Dutch Shepherd Association, the Dutch Shepherd breed has the following known possible genetic health issues you need to be aware of:
- Hip dysplasia
- Eye health issues
- Sensitivity to anesthesia
The Dutch Shepherd has a typical life expectancy of 11 to 14 years.
Belgian Malinois longevity and health issues
According to the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) database, the Belgian Malinois breed has the following known possible genetic health issues you need to be aware of:
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Eye health issues
The Belgian Malinois has a typical life span of 14 to 16 years.
Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois mix: longevity and health issues
As this health overview highlights, both the Dutch Shepherd and the Belgian Malinois dog breeds actually have quite similar genetic health concerns.
Hip dysplasia, which is a genetically caused malformation of the ball and socket hip joint, can be especially life-limiting and often requires a full hip replacement.
By taking the time to select a reputable, health-focused hybrid dog breeder who tests breeding pairs for known genetic health issues, you can sidestep the heartbreak of finding out too late that your dog has inherited a serious genetic health issue.
Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois Mix Guarding and Protection Instincts
You won’t find any hybrid dog breed with stronger instinctive guarding and protection instincts than the Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois mix.
This is great if you want a loyal and reliable family or individual guard and protection dog.
It can become a problem, however, if you don’t provide your dog with the right early and ongoing socialization and right training to learn when guarding and protection is necessary and when it is not necessary.
Your dog will need to learn how to cope if you want to have visitors to your home or your kids want to have friends over to play. And you can expect your dog to react every time the mail person comes to deliver packages.
You may also find that your Dutch Malinois cannot resist “herding” you and your kids. This can mean a Dutch Malinois might not be the best choice if your family includes very young kids.
Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois Mix Good With Kids and Other Pets
The North American Dutch Shepherd Rescue charity states that Dutch Shepherds can be great with kids if socialized together from puppyhood.
In the same way, the American Belgian Malinois Club states that the Belgian Malinois does best with kids when raised with kids from puppyhood.
In terms of other family pets, both dogs have a very strong prey instinct and chase instinct, which can be problematic if your family includes other vulnerable prey-type pets like rodents or mammals.
It is all too easy for your Dutch Malinois to react out of instinct and cause harm even if no harm was meant. If you do have these types of family pets already, it is worth considering whether a Dutch Malinois is the right dog for your family.
See a Dutch Shepherd and a Belgian Malinois Dog
This great YouTube video shows you some of the key similarities between the Dutch Shepherd and Belgian Malinois dog breeds.
Not only do these two purebred dog breeds look quite a bit alike, but they have very similar energy levels and exercise needs.
They are both true working dog breeds, which means they crave exercise, activity, and play – it is easy to see how athletic both dogs are and how excited they get when they get to go outside and run and jump and explore.
Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois Mix: Is This the Right Dog For You?
By now you can easily figure out that the Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois mix dog is not going to be the right dog for every person or family.
But for an active individual or family who loves to be outside, exercising and staying active, and exploring, a Dutch Malinois can be a right dog and fantastic addition to your family life.
Thursday 19th of November 2020
Great article in every way. I've owned German Shepherds and currently have a 4 yr old Dutch Shepherd. We volunteer in the Colorado Rockies for Wilderness and Avalanche Search and Rescue. I've also worked around many Belgium Malinois before most American's knew the breed existed. I've found two particular differences between Belgium Malinois and the Dutch Shepherd's, the OFF switch and the drive HEART. I believe the Dutch Shepherds have a stronger genetic predisposition to simply relax while never giving up on a task. Around the home, the Dutch Shepherds will keep a continuous eye on you but seem to understand it's okay to let go and chill somewhere in the room or lay next to its handler. In the fieldwork, the Dutch Shepherds will scale 30,000 vertical feet on a Search task without taking a break. Once they understand the task at hand their focus or need to recharge simply never gets off a task until the task is fully completed. I've seen my Dutch, fly through 5 ft of snow like a dolphin porpoising through the water while all the other shepherd breeds are exhausted and laying on snow-packed trails. I often hear that dog has a heart. Or asked, does she ever just relax. Guess it obvious, I can't communicate just how much I love these breeds. Maybe a mix is in my future!