How Big Does a Belgian Malinois Get (With Growth & Weight Chart)

Bred around Malines, Belgium, the Belgian Malinois get their name from their home city. However, the Belgian Malinois is an individual dog breed in America, where the American Kennel Club recognized them in 1959. Although the breed is similar to the German Shepherd in several ways, these dogs are more fine-boned and have different head shapes.

If you’re planning to get a Belgian Malinois, here’s a guide on their growth rate and weight to help you determine if the dog is the right size for your family and living space.

Belgian Malinois Breed Overview

Belgian Malinois dog standing outdoor
Image Credit: Best dog photo, Shutterstock

The Belgian Malinois is a friendly and intelligent dog with a life expectancy of 14 to 16 years. Adult males weigh 60 to 80 pounds, while females weigh 40 to 60 pounds.

Belgian Malinois have a wide range of coat colors, from red sable and mahogany to fawn sable and fawn. Since they’re smart and active, Belgian Malinois need extensive exercise and attention to stay healthy and happy. Otherwise, the breed is prone to being problematic and aggressive.

Belgian Malinois are easy to groom and take care of due to their short waterproof coat. You only need to brush their hair occasionally with a rubber grooming mitt. Meanwhile, nails require regular trimming.

Responsible breeders screen their stock for health conditions like eye problems, elbow dysplasia, and hip dysplasia. Belgian Malinois are generally healthy and only need annual hip, elbow, and ophthalmologist evaluations.

Belgian Malinois Size and Growth Chart

The average Belgian Malinois male has a height of 24 to 26 inches, whereas female Belgian Malinois grow to be 22 to 24 inches. Note that the size and weight of your dog may differ from average based on their stock and nutrition. The table shows the standard height and weight of Belgian Malinois at different stages of their lives.

Age Weight Range Length Range
2 months 6.6–13.2 pounds 10–12 inches
4 months 19.8–26.4 pounds 12–15 inches
6 months 26.4–37.4 pounds 15–18 inches
8 months 35.2–48.5 pounds 18–19 inches
10 months 39.6–55 pounds 19–20 inches
12 months 41.8–61.7 pounds 20–22 inches
14 months 60–80 pounds 24–26 inches

When Does a Belgian Malinois Stop Growing?

Typically, all dogs grow at their pace. Belgian Malinois reach adulthood in 1 to 2 years. Most dogs grow to almost-full height by the age of 10 to 11 months, but some may grow a little bit more till the age of 18 months.

According to PetMD experts, large breed dogs double their size when they are 8 to 12 weeks of age, but their growth slows after that.1 They reach their full height by 18 months.

While Belgian Malinois don’t grow in height after 2 years, they can gain weight. Your dog’s diet should be according to their age because Belgian Malinois are prone to obesity.

Treats should not make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories. For example, you can give 20 to 30 pieces of kibble or a large biscuit to your dog daily. Or you can skip treats altogether.

Belgian Malinois dog standing in the forest
Image Credit: BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock

Factors Affecting the Size of Belgian Malinois

Vets consider many factors to estimate your dog’s size. According to Dr. Walker from PetMD, genetics is the main factor that affects a dog’s growth rate. Vets may have an idea of your Belgian Malinois size predictions based on their breed, but other factors, such as the parents’ size, also come into play. He also says that a puppy’s paws allowing you to estimate their size is a myth.

Dr. Sata Ochoa, a White House Veterinary Hospital vet, further says that growth hormones also determine a dog’s size. A study also showed that a dog’s growth may depend on the time of neutering.

When dogs are neutered before reaching one year of age, it can affect their height. In larger breeds, it’s only a few centimeters, whereas, in smaller ones, the height difference is only a few millimeters.

Ideal Diet for Maintaining a Healthy Weight

The ideal diet for your Belgian Malinois depends on their age and activity level. You can use the feeding chart on your dog’s preferred commercial food as a guide. Check how much the label recommends for your Belgian Malinois’s weight range.

Since Belgian Malinois are active dogs, they have significant exercise needs. Dogs that exercise outdoors need 20 to 40% more food.

Moreover, you should consider your dog’s health. The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine has a scoring chart for the body conditions of dogs and cats. You can request a vet to help you understand your dog’s standing on their chart and what that means for their nutritional needs.

Since pups do not know about portion control, you should not practice ad-lib feeding or free feeding. Instead, consult a vet to calculate the right amount of food to feed your dog. Then, divide it into three portions, such as breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Belgian Malinois dog sitting next to the feeding bowl
Image Credit: BoJack, Shutterstock

How to Measure Your Belgian Malinois

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has the following guidelines for measuring your dog’s height:

  • Stand a measuring stick perpendicular to the floor on a flat surface. The stick must be flat against the wall and not tilted.
  • Make your Belgian Malinois stand next to this measuring stick. Their front legs should be in the same line as the measuring stick.
  • Keep your dog standing straight with square hips and shoulders. The legs must be perpendicular to the ground with the feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold your dog’s head in a neutral position and keep them still in one place.
  • Feel the skin along your dog’s back, at the base of their neck, to find the shoulder blades. Check the measurement at the highest point of your Belgian Malinois’s shoulder blades.
  • Mark the height on the measuring stick with a pencil.

Conclusion

Their calm demeanor and active lifestyle make Belgian Malinois a great breed for families with kids and other pets. Most Belgian Malinois dogs grow to full height by the age of 18 months, but the actual height and weight of your dog will depend on their genetics and nutrition.

It’s important to have a vet’s assistance in selecting the right diet and nutritional values for your pet. If you’re confused or uncertain about your pet’s dietary needs, always talk to a vet before making any decisions.

Like some other medium-to-large breeds, Belgian Malinois are also prone to becoming obese. Watch your dog’s dietary intake and limit the treats to ensure your pet grows at a healthy rate and stays safe from hip dysplasia.


Featured Image Credit: BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock

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