Belgian Malinois Training feature

Belgian Malinois Training: 12 Steps to SUCCESS

If you are looking proven Belgian Malinois training techniques, you are in the right place!

Did you know that Belgian Malinois dogs are among the top breeds used for police work and search and rescue? With their intelligence and athleticism, they can excel in a variety of jobs.

However, without proper training and socialization, they can exhibit territorial or aggressive behavior. This is where you come in as an owner – by providing the right training and guidance, you can help your Malinois reach their full potential.

In this article, we’ll provide you with valuable tips and advice for training your Belgian Malinois. We’ve gathered the best practices for foundational training, teaching your Malinois commands, and discouraging bad behavior.

Whether you’re a first-time owner or have experience with dogs, this article will provide you with the tools you need to create a strong bond with your Malinois and help them become a well-behaved and happy companion.

So, let’s get started on your journey to Belgian Malinois training success!

Key Takeaways

  • Proper training and socialization are crucial for preventing aggressive behavior in Belgian Malinois.
  • Spending quality time with a Malinois every day is crucial for building a strong bond and keeping the dog happy and healthy.
  • Clicker training is a form of positive reinforcement that can enhance a Malinois’ learning experience and strengthen the relationship between the dog and owner.
  • To prevent unwanted behaviors, such as herding and begging for food, it is important to manage prey drive, reduce distractions, and provide mental stimulation through training tools and food puzzles.

Be Sure to Read: Best Dog Food For Belgian Malinois: 10 Brands For 2023

Foundational Training

To ensure a well-behaved Belgian Malinois, it’s crucial to start their training at a young age. Socializing your dog from 4-14 weeks old can prevent territorial or aggressive behavior.

Spending quality time with your dog every day and being gentle during training sessions using positive reinforcement techniques will help build a strong foundation for your dog’s future behavior.

1. Start Young

Starting socialization early with your Malinois puppy can help them develop into a well-adjusted and friendly adult dog that loves meeting new people and animals.

Puppy playdates, introducing new environments, and socializing with other animals are all important components of socialization.

When introducing your puppy to new people, it’s important to do so in a positive and controlled environment. This will help your puppy associate meeting new people with positive experiences.

Introducing your puppy to new environments is also important for socialization. Take your puppy to different places such as the park, beach, or city streets. This will help them become comfortable in new surroundings and develop confidence.

Socializing with other animals is important for your Malinois to understand how to interact with other dogs and animals. Make sure to introduce your puppy to different types of animals, not just dogs. This will help them become more well-rounded and adaptable.

Spending quality time with your dog is the next step in ensuring a happy and healthy relationship.

2. Quality Time is Important

Make sure you’re spending quality time with your furry friend every day, as this will help strengthen the bond between you and keep your dog happy and healthy. Belgian Malinois are active and intelligent dogs that require mental and physical stimulation.

Playing fetch, going for walks, and using interactive toys are all great ways to spend quality time with your Belgian Malinois. These activities will not only help your dog stay physically fit, but also mentally stimulated and engaged.

By spending quality time with your Belgian Malinois, you’ll be able to better understand their needs and temperament. You’ll also be able to detect any changes in their behavior, such as aggression or anxiety.

Moreover, spending time with your dog is beneficial for your own well-being, as it can reduce stress and increase feelings of happiness and belonging. So, make sure to prioritize spending quality time with your furry friend every day.

And remember, being gentle with your dog is crucial for a happy and healthy relationship.

3. Be Gentle

When interacting with your furry companion, it’s important to be gentle and patient to foster a loving and trusting relationship. Using positive reinforcement, gentle handling techniques, and introducing toys during training can help build this relationship.

Here are three ways to be gentle with your Malinois:

  1. Use a soft voice and avoid yelling or physical punishment. This will help your dog feel safe and secure around you.
  2. Handle your dog gently, especially during training. Avoid yanking on the leash or using a choke collar.
  3. Incorporate toys into training sessions to make them more enjoyable for your dog. This will help your dog associate training with positive experiences.

If you’re being gentle with your Malinois, you can build a strong bond and create a positive training experience.

Next, you’ll need to teach your Malinois commands to help them understand what you want them to do.

Teaching Your Malinois Commands

When teaching your Belgian Malinois commands, start at 8 weeks old with reward-based training techniques. Consider using clicker training, which eliminates confusion and helps reinforce positive behavior.

As your dog ages, adjust the length of training sessions accordingly. Begin with simple commands like ‘sit’ and build from there.

4. Start Training at 8 Weeks Old

Puppy training promptly at eight weeks prevents problematic behavior in Belgian Malinois. It’s crucial to start training your Malinois puppy as soon as possible to establish good habits and prevent unwanted behaviors.

The first step in training your puppy is crate training. Crate training benefits your puppy by providing a safe and comfortable space for them to rest and sleep, while also preventing them from engaging in destructive behaviors when unsupervised.

Consistency is key when it comes to training your Belgian Malinois puppy. You should establish a routine and stick to it, using positive reinforcement to reward good behavior.

Potty training is also an essential aspect of training your puppy. Set a schedule for taking your puppy outside to go potty, and praise them when they do so outside.

When starting your Malinois puppy’s training at eight weeks old and being consistent in your efforts, you will set the foundation for a well-behaved and obedient dog.

5. Use Reward-Based Training Techniques

By using positive reinforcement and rewarding good behavior, you can create a strong bond with your furry companion and foster a happy and obedient relationship. Here are some benefits of reward-based training and common mistakes to avoid:

  1. Benefits of reward-based training:
  • Builds trust and respect between you and your dog
  • Encourages good behavior through positive reinforcement
  • Strengthens the bond between you and your dog
  1. Common mistakes to avoid in reward-based training:
  • Giving rewards too often or inconsistently
  • Failing to recognize and reward good behavior promptly
  • Over-relying on treats and not using other forms of praise

If you’ve been using punishment-based training methods, it may take some time for your dog to adjust to reward-based training. Start by gradually reducing the use of punishment and increasing the use of rewards.

Remember to always praise and reward good behavior, and avoid punishing bad behavior. By doing so, you can create a happy and obedient relationship with your furry companion.

6. Consider Clicker Training

Consider incorporating clicker training into your furry companion’s obedience routine. It’s like adding a melody to a song to enhance their learning experience and strengthen your relationship.

Using clicker training is a form of positive reinforcement that rewards your dog for performing the desired behavior.

By clicking the device at the exact moment your dog does something right and then immediately giving them a treat. Your dog will associate the sound of the click with the reward and will be more likely to repeat the behavior in the future.

One of the benefits of positive reinforcement is that it creates a positive and fun learning environment for your dog. Incorporating play into training, such as using a clicker, will not only make it enjoyable for your dog but also for you.

Clicker training eliminates any confusion and allows you to communicate with your dog more effectively. Remember, training should be a fun and engaging experience for both you and your dog.

7. Increase Training Times as the Dog Ages

If you want your Belgian Malinois to stay engaged and motivated during training, it’s important to adjust the length of your training sessions based on their age and energy level.

Puppies and young dogs have shorter attention spans and can become easily fatigued, so it’s best to keep training sessions brief and frequent throughout the day.

As your dog grows older and more experienced, you can gradually increase the length of each session while still paying attention to signs of burnout or exhaustion.

To prevent burnout and keep your dog’s training sessions enjoyable, here are three tips to keep in mind:

  1. Vary the activities: Mix up the types of training exercises you do with your dog, such as obedience, agility, and scent work.
  2. Take breaks: Give your dog frequent breaks during training sessions, and make sure they have access to fresh water and a comfortable resting place.
  3. Adapt to senior dogs: As your dog enters their senior years, they may not have the same energy levels as before. Adjust training sessions accordingly, focusing on mental stimulation and low-impact exercises.

By adapting your training sessions to your dog’s age and energy level, you can keep them engaged and motivated while also preventing burnout and exhaustion.

8. Teaching Your Malinois to Sit

Get your pup to sit by holding a treat above their head and saying ‘sit’ while gently pushing their hindquarters down. Reward them with the treat and praise when they successfully sit. Repeat this process several times a day until they understand the command.

It’s important to avoid common mistakes when teaching your Belgian Malinois how to sit. These mistakes include pulling their leash or collar, using physical force, and not being consistent with the command.

Each dog has a different learning style, so it’s crucial to adjust your training techniques based on their personality.

A helpful way to track your dog’s progress is to use a training log. In the table below, you can see an example of a training log that you can customize to fit your specific training needs.


Once your Belgian Malinois has mastered sitting, it’s time to introduce additional commands.

9. Introducing Additional Commands

After successfully teaching your pup to sit, you’ll be ready to expand their training by introducing advanced commands. Here are three commands to start with:

  1. Down: This command teaches your dog to lie down on their stomach with their paws extended forward. To teach this command, start with your dog in a sitting position. Hold a treat in front of their nose and slowly move it towards the ground. As they follow the treat, say ‘down’ and praise them when they lie down. Repeat this until your dog associates the word ‘down’ with the action.
  2. Stay: This command teaches your dog to stay in one spot until released. To teach this command, start with your dog in a sitting or lying position. Hold your hand up in a ‘stop’ gesture and say ‘stay.’ Take a step back and then immediately step forward and reward your dog. Gradually increase the amount of time and distance you ask your dog to stay.
  3. Come: This command teaches your dog to come to you on command. To teach this command, start by calling your dog’s name and saying ‘come’ in a happy tone. When they come to you, reward them with a treat and praise. Gradually increase the distance between you and your dog when you call them to come.

Incorporating hand signals and distractions in training can also help your dog learn these commands faster and with more precision. Once your dog has mastered these commands, you’ll be one step closer to having a well-behaved and obedient companion.

Remember that training is an ongoing process, and it takes consistent practice.

Discouraging Bad Behavior

To discourage bad behavior in your Belgian Malinois, you need to control their prey drive, reduce their herding behavior, and eliminate begging for food.

Let’s look a little more at each of these things:

10. Controlling Your Dog’s Prey Drive

Managing your dog’s prey drive is important during walks to prevent chasing and other unwanted behaviors. Belgian Malinois are known for their high energy and strong prey drive, which can make walks challenging.

To manage their prey drive, it’s important to reduce distractions and keep your dog on a leash. Training recall in high prey drive dogs can also be helpful, so they come back to you instead of chasing after prey.

During walks, it’s important to keep your dog focused on you and not on potential prey. Giving your dog something to do, like carrying a backpack or playing fetch, can help reduce their herding behavior.

When providing mental stimulation and keeping your dog engaged, they’re less likely to become bored and start chasing after things.

11. Reduce Herding Behavior

Malinois have a strong instinct to herd and may try to control their environment, including their family members. This behavior can lead to unwanted nipping, barking, and even aggression.

The key to reducing herding behavior is mental stimulation and training tools. One effective way to mentally stimulate your Malinois is by providing them with a job.

This can be anything from carrying a backpack on walks to playing hide and seek. Also, working with a professional trainer can help you identify and address specific herding behaviors.

Training tools such as agility equipment, obedience training, and scent work can also provide mental stimulation while teaching your Malinois how to focus their energy.

With consistent training and mental stimulation, you can reduce your Malinois’s herding behavior and foster a strong bond with your furry companion.

12. Decrease Begging

To continue your Belgian Malinois’s training, it’s important to address their begging behavior. While it may seem innocent, begging can lead to unhealthy weight gain and a host of behavioral issues. So, how can you reduce begging behavior in your Malinois?

First, establish meal times and stick to them. This will help your dog understand that food is not always available, and they’ll be less likely to beg for scraps. Also, feeding your dog before you sit down to eat will help them feel satisfied and less likely to beg.

Second, consider using food puzzles or training treats to redirect your dog’s attention during meal times. Food puzzles, such as a Kong toy filled with peanut butter, can keep your dog occupied and mentally stimulated while you eat.

Training treats can be used to reinforce positive behaviors, such as sitting or staying away from the table. After consistent use, your dog will learn that there are other ways to receive food rewards besides begging at the table.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I deal with separation anxiety in my Belgian Malinois?

To deal with separation anxiety, use positive reinforcement and desensitization techniques to gradually increase the time you’re away from your dog. Seeking professional help is also an option for severe cases.

Is it necessary to crate train my Belgian Malinois?

Crate training has pros and cons. It can keep your dog safe, help with potty training, and provide a comfortable space. Alternative methods include playpens and baby gates. Impact on bonding depends on how it’s used.

Can I train my Belgian Malinois to be a protection dog?

Yes, you can train your Belgian Malinois to be a protection dog using protection training techniques. It’s important to select the right breeder for protection work and consider alternative jobs for your Malinois.

How do I teach my Belgian Malinois to walk calmly on a leash?

To teach your dog to walk calmly on a leash, implement Techniques for Leash Training such as stopping when pulling occurs. Consistency is key, and Rewards and Reinforcement Strategies should be used. Practice daily for success.

What are some common health issues that Belgian Malinois may face during training?

During training, Belgian Malinois may face joint problems, skin allergies, and digestive issues. Proper nutrition, exercise, and medical attention can prevent or alleviate these health issues. Regular vet check-ups are recommended.


Congratulations on taking the first step towards training your Belgian Malinois! With their natural athleticism and intelligence, these dogs can excel in various jobs and activities if trained properly.

If you follow the tips provided in this article, you can set your Malinois up for success and prevent any unwanted behaviors from developing.

Remember, positive reinforcement is key when it comes to training your Malinois. Instead of punishing bad behavior, focus on rewarding good behavior with treats, praise, and affection.

Starting early with simple commands and gradually building up to more complex ones can also help your dog learn and retain information more easily.

Managing your Malinois’s prey drive is also crucial. Providing plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, as well as teaching your dog to redirect their prey drive towards appropriate outlets, can prevent destructive behavior and keep your dog happy and healthy.

Remember, a well-trained Malinois is a happy Malinois!

Be Sure to Read: Are Belgian Malinois Hypoallergenic? Unmasking the TRUTH

Scroll to Top