Red Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois Grooming

A Belgian Malinois has a short-haired, mostly hassle-free coat that, aside from frequent shedding, makes grooming this breed pretty simple. See below for tips on caring for a Belgian's coat, along with info about necessary maintenance in other areas.

Belgian Malinois Coat Care

Dogs of this breed have short, thick, double-layered coats that don't require too much care, so Belgian Malinois grooming is relatively simple overall. They do shed a good bit (and profusely during the twice-yearly shedding seasons), so Belgians need brushing once or twice a week (and 4-5 times per week during shedding season) to remove dead hairs; baths are required only occasionally, if the dog gets especially dirty or stinky; and their short coats require no trimming or clipping.

Brush a Belgian in typical line-brushing fashion. An oval pin brush is best for this breed, and some owners also utilize a shedding blade during the spring and fall shedding seasons. (Both grooming tools are available at most pet stores.) And it might be a good idea--particularly during shedding season--to brush your dog outdoors to avoid any extra vacuuming in the house.

If you're planning on bathing your Malinois afterwords, read the bathing section on this page.


A Belgian Malinois brush will need to happen 2-3 times per week. These dogs' double coats shed a fair amount most of the time (and more heavily during shedding season), so regular brushing is recommended. And the best brush for a Belgian Malinois is a pin brush, as it glides through the thick, stiff hairs the easiest.

How to brush a Belgian Malinois: first wet the coat with water mist from a spray bottle, then go through the coat section by section with the brush, moving in the direction of hair growth.

During the spring and fall shedding seasons, frequent brushing is required (4-5 times per week, if not daily). Some owners also like to use de-shedding tools once or twice a week during these periods (and periodically throughout the year) to help with dead hair collection.


Belgian Malinois only need to be bathed occasionally or if their fur has become dirty or smelly. If your malinois coat contains knots or tangles, you should try to brush them out before bathing, this will help release any hidden clumps of dirt the tangles may be holding. When bathing, use either a bathtub or an outdoor kiddie pool and a garden hose.

Make sure to use a canine shampoo, as shampoo designed for humans can irritate a dog's skin. Lather well, making sure to "knead" the shampoo into the Belgian's dense undercoat; rinse well, towel-dry, then finish with another quick brush-through to make the coat look clean and neat.

Belgian Malinois Styling & Haircuts

In short, no Belgian Malinois haircuts are required. Even so, some people believe shaving a Belgian Malinois coat shorter will reduce shedding and help keep the dog cool in summer. As professional groomers will tell you, though, both these ideas are myths.

Here's why: on double-coated dogs, the shed hairs come from the undercoat. So unless a dog is shaved bald--which is never a good idea!--the undercoat remains and the dog still sheds. The only difference in shedding for a shaved Belgian Malinois is that the shed hairs would likely be shorter.

Neither will a shaved Belgian Malinois be cooler in warm weather. The dog's double coat acts as a natural climate control system, and serves to regulate its body temperature. On hot days, cool air is trapped between the coat's layers to keep the dog from overheating; the same happens with warm air in cold temps. A shaved double-coated dog is without its natural insulation, and will be more susceptible to sunburn and heatstroke--and the dog will obviously get cold very easily. And when the shaved coat does grow back, it'll be uneven and softer in texture.

The only reason to shave any part of a Belgian Malinois's coat is in preparation for surgery or other medical procedures. Your vet will discuss this with you further.

So to anyone considering shaving their Belgian Malinois coat: put those clippers away!

Other Care

In addition to its coat, a Belgian Malinois will need care in these areas:

  • Teeth: Just like humans, Belgian Malinois teeth need regular brushing to prevent tartar buildup and reduce bad breath. Brush your Belgian's teeth 2-3 times per week using canine toothpaste, as human toothpaste can harm the dog if swallowed; brush using the same method you use to brush your own.
  • Ears: Dirt and debris can get trapped inside a dog's ears and cause infections. Check your Belgian's ears weekly, and if needed clean inside the ear with a cotton ball and a vet-approved cleaning solution.
  • Nails: Depending on your dog's activity, a Belgian may wear down its nails naturally, but if the nails "click" when the dog walks/runs on a hard surface, it's time for a trim. Clip the nails with standard nail clippers--but make sure not to clip too short! Doing so can cut into the nail's "quick" (the vein inside the nail), making the nail bleed and be painful.
Belgian Malinois Care

See the complete guide on how to care for Belgian Malinois.

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About this Article

Authored by:Dog-Learn
Updated:May 13, 2020