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When Does a Belgian Malinois Calm Down? Exercise, Genetics & Stimulation

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on July 23, 2024 by Dogster Team

belgian malinois with his owner

When Does a Belgian Malinois Calm Down? Exercise, Genetics & Stimulation

Dogs are much more than just household pets. They are family, best friends, protectors, and sometimes, they’re even our daily doses of adrenaline. For anyone who’s owned or spent time with a Belgian Malinois, the latter rings particularly true.

These intelligent, robust dogs are a bundle of energy, seemingly capable of running on batteries instead of the standard fare. While they’re a joy to be around, their high energy levels can challenge even the most experienced dog owners. So, let’s tackle the question many Belgian Malinois owners ask: “When does a Belgian Malinois calm down?” These energetic pups usually start calming down around 2 years old.

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Do Belgian Malinois Mellow Out?

Yes, your Belgian Malinois will eventually mellow out. But if its energy levels are starting to become a challenge to manage, you’re probably more interested in when it will happen. In general, you expect a Belgian Malinois to start calming down around 2 years old.

However, this isn’t universal. Some pet parents have reported that their Belgian Malinois calmed down around the 6-month mark as long as it got the necessary exercise each day. And this may prove true for you, as well—if you ensure ample mental and physical stimulation is given, your pup might be easier to manage.

But then again, you may need to ride it out until your pup is about 2 years old. It all comes down to your unique pet and its temperament, energy levels, and the environment in which it was raised.

Belgian Shepherd Malinois dog with Ukrainian flag lies
Image by: Anastasiya Voronyk, Shutterstock

Their Energy and Genetics

It’s essential to know that their high energy levels are not just a random trait; they are deeply woven into their genetic makeup. Knowing what makes your Malinois tick can help you address its energy levels more effectively.

The Belgian Malinois was developed for herding sheep and is highly prized for its exceptional intelligence, agility, and work ethic. Whether it’s military service, police work, or search and rescue, the Belgian Malinois is always up for the task.

This explains their seemingly inexhaustible energy reserves. Their constant alertness, physical stamina, and mental agility are not defects or problems to be solved. They are traits that make the Belgian Malinois who they are.

That said, it doesn’t make managing this energy at home any less of a challenge. The good news is that their different stages of development can help shed some light on what to expect in the years ahead.

Puppyhood and Adolescence: A Whirlwind of Activity

If you think you’ve seen energy, wait until you get a Belgian Malinois puppy. These puppies can make even the most active children seem sedentary. The “puppy energy” phase typically lasts until the Malinois is about 18 months old.

During this phase, your Belgian Malinois will constantly be on the move, exploring everything within reach (and sometimes things that aren’t), testing boundaries, and playing until they drop. A tired Malinois is a happy Malinois at this stage. However, this doesn’t mean the storm is over once puppyhood ends.

Adolescence in Belgian Malinois, which typically occurs between 18 months and 3 years old, is yet another turbulent period. The dogs are larger and stronger, and their curiosity peaks. The good news? The intensity begins to wane somewhat compared to the puppy stage.

They will start to show a greater attention span and willingness to learn more complex tasks. Training during this period is crucial as it gives them mental stimulation while curbing destructive behaviors.

belgian malinois puppy running on grass
Image by: Anton Kudryashov, Pexels

Settling Down: The Calm After the Storm

Some dogs might begin to show signs of calming down around the age of 2 to 3 years, but most Belgian Malinois will not fully mature until around 4 to 5 years old. Depending on your dog, you might not start to see a calmer demeanor until this age.

Remember, “calm” is a relative term when it comes to this breed. A mature Belgian Malinois will still require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation compared to less active breeds. However, this phase of their life does mean they will be less likely to chew your favorite pair of shoes or run laps around your living room at the crack of dawn.

What’s the bottom line here? Basically, your Mal might be calm while in its puppy stages as long as you wear it out with lots of exercise throughout the day. But in general, you shouldn’t expect calming down to occur until, at the very least, 2 years of age. And even then, there’s still a good chance it won’t kick in until they are 4 or even 5 years old!

Ensuring a Happy and Healthy Life for Your Belgian Malinois

An energetic dog breed like the Belgian Malinois requires a lot of care, attention, and understanding. To keep them healthy, safe, and happy, there are a few key points to remember.

woman with belgian malinois at the park
Image by: Tatiana Maksimova, Shutterstock

Exercise: A Non-Negotiable Requirement

Regular exercise is crucial for a Belgian Malinois. These dogs were bred for work, and their bodies need physical activity to stay healthy. This could be in the form of daily walks, runs, playtime in the yard, or agility training. Without proper exercise, a Belgian Malinois will most certainly become anxious or destructive.

Mental Stimulation: An Intellectual Need

Belgian Malinois are highly intelligent and need mental challenges to remain content. Regular training sessions, interactive toys, puzzle feeders, or tasks can help keep their mind engaged. A bored Malinois can quickly turn into a naughty Malinois!

belgian malinois dog chewing toy
Image by: Ulrike Stein, Shutterstock

Socialization: A Key to Well-Rounded Behavior

Socializing your Belgian Malinois from a young age is vital. This is true for a lot of breeds, but even more so for Mals. Expose them to different people, animals, and environments to help them become confident and well-rounded dogs.

Regular Vet Checkups: Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Lastly, ensure regular vet checkups for your Belgian Malinois. Routine checkups can help identify potential health issues early and keep your dog in optimal health. These checkups are a must for all dogs, and they make the difference between a treatable concern and a very serious health condition.

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Living with a Belgian Malinois is an adventure that’s not for everyone. These dogs require time, patience, and a whole lot of energy. However, the reward of their companionship, loyalty, and affection is worth every effort.

Remember, the whirlwind of energy eventually slows down, and with the right training and care, you’ll have a loyal and happy companion for life.

Featured Image Credit: Gajus, Shutterstock

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