Belgian Malinois: The Ultimate Working Dog turned Family Pet
If you’re considering adopting a family pet, the Belgian Malinois is an excellent choice. Originally named after the Belgian city of Malines, the breed has evolved from a herding dog to a beloved companion animal. These dogs are known for their energy, athleticism, and loyalty, making them a great addition to any household. Belgian Malinois typically reach between 22 and 26 inches in height and weigh 40 to 80 pounds when fully grown. They have short fawn-colored coats that are easy to care for. However, many pet owners wonder about the lifespan of the Belgian Malinois. In this article, we will discuss the average lifespan of a Belgian Malinois and the factors that contribute to a longer life for your furry friend.
What’s the Average Lifespan of a Belgian Malinois?
The Belgian Malinois is the ultimate dog for working and requires a lot of physical activity to maintain its health. Thankfully, these dogs are usually pretty healthy and energetic, which contributes to their long lifespan. The average lifespan of a Belgian Malinois is between 12 and 14 years.
The 7 Reasons Why Some Belgian Malinois Live Longer Than Others
Several factors contribute to how long a dog lives, and the Belgian Malinois is no exception. Nutrition, environment, housing, genetics, and more, all play roles in why some Belgian Malinois live longer than others. Here are the seven key factors that affect the length of your dog’s life:
The Belgian Malinois is an active canine that may need a higher protein diet than other dogs. High-quality kibble should be your dog’s primary food source, but you can also feed it healthy treats. It’s essential to ask your veterinarian for advice if you’re unsure which brand is ideal for your pet.
2. Environment and Conditions
The Belgian Malinois is not a dog that enjoys being cramped up in a small space. They require plenty of room to run around and play. Since they have a working-dog lineage, they can become destructive and upset if they become bored. Active households where family members have the time to play with them and keep them entertained are ideal.
A dog that lives inside most of the time will generally live longer than a dog that is left outside and not taken care of correctly. However, the Belgian Malinois needs to spend a few hours outside every day to exercise and burn off energy. A homestead, small farm, or property with a large yard is ideal for the dog.
The Belgian Malinois is a medium-sized dog, and it has a longer life expectancy than most larger dogs. But, if your dog becomes overweight, it can shorten its lifespan. The Belgian Malinois is an energetic dog that is used to working; ensuring it gets daily exercise and a balanced diet will help the dog reach its average life expectancy.
Spaying or neutering at an early age can prevent many health conditions, and it’s less likely that your dog will run away when in heat to find a mate. Males are larger than females, but the females have the same temperament and drive to herd small animals.
Genetics plays a key role in the lifespan of a Belgian Malinois. Certain health conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia, cataracts, and progressive retinal atrophy are more common in the breed. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help catch health issues early on.
7. Breeding History
The breeding history of your dog can also play a crucial role in how long the dog lives. It’s essential to research your breeder extensively to know if the breeding facility is reputable. An experienced and ethical breeder will show you the dog’s health records, including information on vaccinations. They’ll also allow you to see the parents and inspect the facilities.
The 4 Life Stages of a Belgian Malinois Puppy
Belgian Malinois puppies will go through four stages in their lives. Here’s what you need to know about each stage:
1. Puppy Stage
Your Belgian Malinois will be in the puppy stage from birth until around 12 weeks old when they should be up and moving around on their own but still not straying very far from their mother.
2. Young Adult
From 10 to 18 months old, your Belgian Malinois will reach sexual maturity. You’ll want to have the dog spayed or nurtured so you don’t risk puppies if you’re not looking to breed your dog. Dog will be energetic and playful during this time.
3. Mature Adult
From 18 months on, your dog is considered a mature adult. They’ll enjoy joining you on hikes, long runs, and most outdoor activities. The Belgian Malinois is an athletic canine that excels in canine sports, and if you have an agility course nearby, your pup will be happy to run through it.
As your Belgian Malinois reaches old age, it may slow down and prefer to lie around rather than walk or run. Ensure that the dog gets exercise and visits the vet more frequently.
How to Tell Your Belgian Malinois’s Age
The best way to tell your Belgian Malinois’s age is by taking it to the vet. However, senior dogs often have missing, broken, or plaque-covered teeth, and they may have cloudy eyes from cataracts.
The Belgian Malinois is an excellent choice for a family pet. By providing a high-protein diet, regular check-ups, and plenty of exercise and entertainment, you can help your dog live a long, happy life. Factors such as genetics, environment, housing, and nutrition are vital in determining the length of your dog’s life. It’s always essential to research your breeder to ensure you’re getting a healthy dog with a long lifespan.