The Belgian Malinois is a bright, self-assured, and tenacious breed of dog. They have proven themselves as not only great military animals, but beloved companions as well.
Hardworking and eager to learn, this breed is recognized for its fierce loyalty and devoted companionship.
However, as lovable and outgoing as these pups can be, they need a tremendous amount of socialization, training, and stimulation to stay balanced and healthy pets.
Active and energetic these dogs need a lot of physical activity; upwards of about 80 minutes of exercise per day!
Belgian Malinois also rank highly for their intelligence, meaning mental stimulation needs to make up a good amount of their daily activities.
That’s why we’ve compiled 12 activities to help keep your Belgian Malinois entertained, engaged, and mentally stimulated.
Make going for walks a regular part of your routine
From exploring new places to seeing other people with their pets, there is a great deal of mental stimulation for your dog while out on a walk.
Dogs that get adequate exercise daily tend to look good, feel good, and live longer, not to mention it helps work off excess energy in them so that they can act more relaxed at home.
Mutually beneficial for everyone’s physical health, a good long walk will help wake up your pup’s scenes, tire them out, and motivate their mind.
Read Next: 10 Best Companions for your Belgian Malinois
Incorporate basic obedience commands into your everyday interactions
Dog training doesn’t have to cost money, nor does it have to take place in a classroom.
With mindfulness and planning, you can incorporate basic obedience commands with your dog into your day.
Commands like,”sit”, “down”, “wait”, “stay”, and “here”, can all be intertwined with daily interactions and tasks. For example: When you are preparing a meal, “Sit” or “Down” is perfect to keep the kitchen area clear as well as ensuring easy maneuverability.
You can also have your dog “Sit” or “Down” before you set their meal down. “Sit” can also be used on your walk when you stop to pick up your dog’s waste, or if your dog is easily distracted by other things.
Incorporating even a few commands into your daily interactions are sure to go a long way with making your Belgian Malinois’ day more engaging.
Work on impulse control activities
Impulse control games are a great way to help your dog train their brain to focus, calm themselves down, and listen when you need them to.
These can include games such as throwing a toy but waiting a set amount of time before letting your pup run to get it. It can be opening a door and then making your pup wait before entering a room. Try working on specific areas you feel your Malinois would be most challenged.
By doing these sorts of activities you are teaching your dog manners as well as giving them more mental stimulation throughout the day.
Teach your Belgian Malinois a New Trick
Teaching your Belgian Malinois a new trick has several advantages.
Trick training is likely to improve your dog’s health, flexibility, balance, and attentiveness, as well as strengthen your bond with your pet.
Simultaneously, each new behavior you teach gives you another effective method to channel your dog’s energy into something constructive.
Not sure where to start? Check out youtube for video explanations of a plethora of tricks.
Take your Malinois Training to the Next Level
The Belgian Malinois is an energetic, intelligent dog that needs early exposure to other people and canines in order to be receptive to them as they mature.
The Belgian Malinois also require training to channel their boundless energy and excitement into constructive behavior. (AMBC).
For this reason many owners of Malinois compete in agility competitions, attend advanced protection training classes, or are enrolled in search and rescue teams.
Try searching around in your local community for meet-ups or trainers that could give you more information about special programs for the Belgian Malinois.
Add variety to Treats and their Dispensers
One of the simplest methods to tire out your dog is to play nose work games.
With so many different types of treats and treat dispensers on the market, such as kongs, dog puzzles, and snuffle mats, you’re sure to find something durable enough to keep your Belgian Malinois occupied.
Don’t feel obligated to give unhealthy treats; carrots, and blueberries have been known to work just as well too.
When you give your dog simple nose work activities like finding treats, you are mentally tiring them out and helping them polish some of their innate instincts.
Keep it Classic with a Game of Fetch
A smart and focused breed, Belgian Malinois naturally gravitate to activities like fetch and tug-of-war. A simple game, provided you have enough space, fetch allows for continuous activity with little fuss. Fetch is just one of many games you can play with your Malinois to help improve their mood and behavior.
Make Feeding Time a Challenge
Because a Belgian Malinois’ inherent canine nature pushes them to seek food, making them work for meals isn’t mean or unusual, it’s fun and a great way to mentally stimulate them.
One of the easiest ways to challenge your Malinois’ mind is by making them work for their food. You can make your dog perform some tricks before they get their dinner, or you can have them eat from a food dispensing toy.
Either way, meal time is an easy way to incorporate daily enrichment activities for your Malinois.
Teach your Belgian Malinois the Names of their Toys
Give your dog a new challenge by training them to put away or find their toys by name. This activity will take time and so is a great way to build on challenging your pup mentally.
Begin by teaching your dog the names of individual toys, and then send it to retrieve a specific toy.
Malinois are known for their extensive vocabulary, but even the most resistant of dogs can learn the names of a few toys.
It just takes a lot of repetition to solidify the name. Continue to grow the number of toys you include in the game as your dog shows their retention.
Play Hide and Seek with a Twist
Make yourself the prize your dog is tasked with finding to up the thrill of the famous hide-and-seek game.
This game will last as long as you do and is full of seeking behavior, a characteristic the Belgian Malinois are known for. To play, you’ll need at least two people.
While one person occupies the dog and gives it the sit-stay command, the other hides. The person who is not hiding then gives the release command, allowing the dog to begin searching.
This game is a fun way to stimulate your dog’s mind and body and works well both indoors and outside.
Practice practical life skills with your Belgian Malinois
Many pet owners do not take the time to practice activities that are less usual but still necessary, such as taking a car ride or going to the vet with their pet.
When they are confronted with something new and different, pets we thought we knew have a propensity of showing behaviors we haven’t seen before. This might be especially dangerous if you have a Malinois.
Capable of displaying a great deal of resistance, this is not a breed we want putting on the brakes when they need to be seen for their wellness. Set aside time at home to practice situations you may encounter at the vet.
This could include getting your Malinois in and out of the car, putting a muzzle on them, or touching them along their feet and underside. Preparing your Belgian Malinois for new situations is a great way to keep their mind engaged and entrenched in an activity with you.
Have a Grooming Session with your Belgian Malinios
Belgian Malinois are all terrain type pups. From swimming to digging, they really know how to get into just about everything.
What better activity to tire them out than trying to contain them for a bath! Full of different sensations and stimulations, a bath is a two for one activity for you and your pup.
As a quick internet search will tell you, Belgian Malinois are not for everyone. A serious breed that takes a mature and experienced dog owner, choosing a Malinois as a family pet or companion should come after lots of deliberation and research.
These 12 ideas are a great place to start in your on-going research for maintaining the best relationship possible with your Belgian Malinois.