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Do Belgian Malinois Like Cuddling? Facts & FAQ

Written by: Chantelle Fowler

Last Updated on April 13, 2024 by Dogster Team

woman hugging her belgian malinois dog

Do Belgian Malinois Like Cuddling? Facts & FAQ

The Belgian Malinois is a herding and working dog breed developed in Belgium in the 1800s. These sturdy and muscular pups are known for their strength, stamina, loyalty, and eagerness to please. Though they have a tough exterior, the Belgian Malinois is generally very affectionate towards its humans, and most never turn down an opportunity for snuggles. Of course, each dog is different from the next, so not every dog of this breed will be interested in cuddling.

To understand the inner workings of this breed, you need to learn where it comes from and its history. Read on to learn more about the Belgian Malinois origin, temperament, and what to expect when you bring one into your home.

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The Origin of the Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois (sometimes also known as the Belgian Sheepdog or the Belgian Shepherd) is a medium-sized herding dog originating in Belgium.

The breed is known for its strong herding skills and was often the preferred dog for cattlemen and shepherds. But that’s not where their talent and love of working ends. The Belgian Malinois’ confidence, intelligence, and strong work ethic lent itself well to many other jobs. The breed was often used for guarding and draught dog work and was the first breed to be used by the Belgian police. Additionally, it performed many jobs during World War I, including working as ambulance cart dogs, Red Cross dogs, and messengers.

two kids hugging a belgian malinois outdoors
Image By: Diana Badmaeva, Shutterstock

What Is the Temperament of the Belgian Malinois?

Though the Belgian Malinois has a strong working dog background, many dogs of this breed crave companionship and family time over everything else. They are confident, protective, and highly affectionate toward their human family members. They want to be involved in whatever their humans are doing. This breed tends to be very reserved toward strangers until they’ve had a chance to feel them out and see their intentions.

However, this isn’t the case for every Belgian Malinois, as each dog has its own personality traits that make it unique.

This breed doesn’t come without its faults, though. They have a very strong predatory instinct that causes them to chase after pretty much anything that it sees, including cars, children, and other small animals. Because they have a long history of herding and guarding, they can be extremely territorial and may have a hard time relaxing when you have guests in your home.

In addition, the Belgian Malinois is extremely loyal, and their bond with their humans can be intense, for lack of a better word. They may be predisposed to bouts of jealousy if your attention is given to other people or animals in the home.

The Belgian Malinois can make a great family pet, but it’s better suited in homes with older children that know boundaries.

It’s important to know that temperament isn’t something your dog is born with. Some dog breeds indeed have predispositions in personality traits, but their environment can greatly influence their disposition. Additionally, temperament can be affected by factors like training and socialization. A well-trained and properly socialized Belgian Malinois puppy will grow into a well-rounded and well-behaved adult. Thankfully, this breed is highly intelligent and trainable, so it should respond well to training, provided it begins early.

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Is the Belgian Malinois Cuddly?

While we can’t speak for every dog of this breed, most owners agree that their Belgian Malinois is cuddly and affectionate. They bond closely with their family members, and, despite their size, many like to snuggle up in their human’s lap if the opportunity arises.

However, it is important to remember that every dog has a unique personality. While most owners say their Belgian Malinois is a big snuggle bug, it isn’t true for every dog. Despite their affectionate nature, some Malinois will never be fond of cuddling. Please don’t take this to mean that your dog doesn’t love you, though. Some dogs have more independent personalities and will show their love in other ways.

a belgian malinois dog with a young girl sitting on the grass
Image By: Denis Tablerr, Shutterstock



While many Belgian Malinois owners report that their dog is super snuggly and loves a good cuddle, this isn’t true of every dog of this breed. Sometimes even the most well-behaved and trained dogs will never warm up to the idea of cozying up to their humans. Don’t worry if your Belgian Malinois doesn’t enjoy cuddles; it will certainly show you it loves you in other ways.

Featured Image Credit: Violator22 Shutterstock

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