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How To Train A Belgian Malinois? One Of The Smartest Dogs Around

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There is a reason why the Belgian Malinois is slowly getting a reputation as one of the best police dogs around. This dog can learn almost any trick, follow any command, and do it in a graceful fashion. The Belgian herding dog is quite similar to the German Shepherd. But there is a lot of difference between them. Today, we will talk about how to train a Belgian Malinois.

If you want to train a dog to be well-mannered, the first thing you need to do is start early on. But let’s see what are some challenges with this canine, whether is it easy to train, what are some tricks you can use, and so on.

Is Belgian Malinois Easy To Train?

Many trainers would tell you that the Belgian Malinois dog breed is arguably the best working dog breed in the world. Working dogs are often considered easy to train because of their will to work.

With that in mind, this Belgian dog is loyal, obedient, intelligent, fearless, and analytical. There is a reason why it gets picked for K-9 units around the globe.

But while they are easy to train, that statement is true only in the hands of a dog owner who knows how to handle them.

For starters, these dogs are quite active. They want to work, train, and exercise 24×7. You can say they are on performance-enhancing drugs all the time. And that is one of the biggest challenges.


Personality Traits Of Belgian Malinois

Simply put, the Belgian Malinois is an outstanding dog breed. Intelligent, playful, and energetic, this puppy needs a lot of exercise. Ask any Belgian Malinois owner, and he will tell you this canine is full of energy.

It is normal behavior for herding dog breeds. They want to live outside and taking them out two times per day will not suffice.

Unless you have a spacious garden or a park nearby, this dog breed might not be the right one for you.

Challenges When Training A Belgian Malinois

We mentioned some of the challenges in obedience training for Belgian Malinois, but let’s get down to the nitty-gritty details.

Physical Activity

I cannot emphasize this enough. If you want to be successful in your Belgian Malinois training, you have to provide plenty of physical activity. These dogs were bred to be as athletic and intense as possible.

Their powerful herding instinct makes them run all day long. They have one purpose, and one purpose only. That is to work. So, if you put them to work, your obedience training will go smoothly.

But if you do not find a way to make them work for almost everything, there will be problems. Even experienced dog owners and trainers have a problem making the Malinois tired.


Mental Activity

Physical exercise and mental stimulation go hand in hand. The Belgian Malinois might not be on the level of Border Collie and its intelligence, but it is a smart dog that needs plenty of mental activity.

You can exhaust a dog with physical exercise like running or hiking, but without mental stimulation, it will not be enough.

Brain games, interactive games, and playing games while a training session, all of these help.

A bored Belgian Malinois will try and find ways to entertain himself. And let me get one thing straight. Doing the same mental exercise over and over again will not do it. These dogs need different types of mental activities to keep their mind sharp.

They Can Outsmart You

Speaking of its intelligence, this working dog is often called the King of All Dogs. It is one of the most highly trained military dogs around the world. An intelligent dog with a strong work ethic, this puppy can outsmart you.

And you will not be the first dog owner to fall for that. While they want to work and please, they do pack a stubborn streak. And if you are not on its level intellectually, they will try to outsmart you every step of the way. This is why they need an experienced owner who can handle them.

Potential Behavior Issues

Every dog is prone to some behavioral issues. Your Belgian Malinois is no different. When you talk about how to train a Belgian Malinois, the main goal is to solve some of the behavioral issues. You want a dog that exhibits good behavior and manners, and not unwanted behavior. Some of the common bad behavior problems include:

  • Jumping up on people for a variety of reasons, and while it might be tempting to scold the dog or push him away, it might increase its excitement even more
  • Puppy biting, all dogs do it when they are small and young, but soon, their teeth will get into everything. For puppies, biting is a form of play, and their way of interacting with the world around them. But it is essential that you do not let biting become an issue later in life
  • The Belgian Malinois is a notorious escape artist. With its athletic ability, these dogs can jump over fences, or dig under them. These puppies have a strong prey drive and can run after a squirrel in a matter of seconds
  • Last, but not least, digging is another destructive behavior that might happen. And in most cases, it is a sign of a bored and under-stimulated Belgian Malinois dog. These high-energy working dogs need a lot of stimulation, both physically and mentally

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How To Train A Belgian Malinois?

Now let’s talk about what is the best way to train your Belgian Malinois puppy. Well, you have to start with the proper equipment. The first thing is a safe collar for loose-leash walking and leash-pulling training.

Be gentle when putting on the collar. You can use both loose-leash walking and short-leash training with Belgian Malinois. And it is best that you combine the two for the best results.

Start with loose leash walking to play with your dog and teach him how to follow you, listen to your guidance, play with you, and focus on you.

Short-leash dog training is best for dogs that pull and jump up while walking. It is also best for teaching your Belgian Malinois puppy to walk by your side.

And the long leash is great for giving your puppy more room and freedom. Generally speaking, dogs tend to be more responsive and happier when they have room to explore the world around them.

Clicker training is one of the most successful methods for Belgian Malinois. This working breed can learn to use the clicker in a matter of seconds.

The method is described through mark and reward. And it is one of the many types of dog behavior conditioning. After your dog obeys a command, a clicker sound marks the behavior and you then give your puppy a treat.

This way, the dog associates the clicker sound with positive reinforcement. Be careful not to use negative reinforcement and punishment. Malinois are known for going back against their owner if they are punished heavily. Yes, you can use balanced training, but punishment like scolding doesn’t work well here.

Final Words

In the end, I want to stress this out. Training a highly intelligent and high-energy dog like the Belgian Malinois requires a lot of time, effort, and patience. This dog breed needs constant mental stimulation, physical activity, and guidance from its owner.

If you want to get a Belgian Malinois, be prepared to be devoted to it. This is not a dog you get and leave home to lay around.

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