12 Belgian Malinois Colors & Markings (With Pictures)

Different Belgian Malinois colors and markings

Contrary to popular belief, there are actually more than one or two Belgian Malinois Colors. This keen and agile dog also comes in light colors with different variations and patterns.

The Belgian Malinois was originally bred for herding. Over the years, this pup has grown popular for protection and law enforcement. Its intelligence and quick instincts have become extremely useful in different operations.

Given its loyalty and obedience, the Belgian Malinois has recently become a reliable home companion and family pet. This pup is very protective of its owner and home, which makes it an incredible guard and watchdog.

If you’re interested in discovering and owning a Belgian Malinois with unique coat colors, this article features everything you need to know and more. Photos and descriptions are also listed below for your comparison.

How Many Belgian Malinois Colors Are There?

Three Belgian Malinois sitting on a bench

There are currently 12 known Belgian Malinois colors. Only five of these are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as standard colors. The rest are considered non-standard but are often commonly seen on these dogs.

Below is a list of the 12 known Belgian Malinois colors. The first five mentioned are the AKC-recognized colors:

  • Mahogany
  • Fawn
  • Fawn Sable
  • Red
  • Red Sable
  • Black
  • Liver
  • Brindle
  • Cream
  • Cream Sable
  • Gray
  • Gray Sable

While some of these colors are very well-known and common, some may be extremely rare and difficult to come across. This is one of the factors that may affect the price of a Belgian Malinois puppy.

The following sections will provide a more detailed insight into each Belgian Malinois color. The rarest and most common Malinois colors are also featured below.

12 Belgian Malinois Colors

There are several beautiful and unique Belgian Malinois colors to choose from. Regardless of your preference, each pup has a special personality that sets it apart from all the other dogs.

If you are still determining which color to choose and are curious to see what other colors a Belgian Malinois may have, keep reading! 

Each color listed below comes with a picture and detailed description for your reference.

1. Mahogany Belgian Malinois

Mahogany Belgian Malinois
Image credit: maligatorghost / Instagram

Mahogany is one of the less known and less common Belgian Malinois coat colors. The mahogany Belgian Malinois may have a light reddish-brown hue or an extremely dark brown tint that may appear black.

A mahogany Belgian Malinois typically has a dark-colored or black muzzle. This facial feature stands out more on those with light-colored base coats compared to those with very dark-colored ones such as mahogany. 

2. Fawn Belgian Malinois

Fawn Belgian Malinois

A fawn Belgian Malinois has a cream-like coat that gives it a softer look compared to other darker-colored dogs. This beautiful coat usually has a yellow or gold hue that may vary depending on how light the coat is.

The black mask seen on a fawn Belgian Malinois is typically not as bold and intense compared to those with darker-colored coats. It is often only concentrated around the nose and mouth. 

The lightness of a fawn Belgian Malinois coat may depend on the concentration of eumelanin and phaeomelanin pigments. These are found in the genes inherited from each parent dog.

3. Fawn Sable Belgian Malinois

Fawn sable Belgian Malinois
Image credit: nine.realms.canine.training / Instagram

A fawn sable Belgian Malinois has a light cream or golden base coat with black tips on certain areas around the head and body. This color combination often makes it appear much darker than the solid fawn coat. 

This coat color is one of the more common kinds seen on a Belgian Malinois. A fawn sable coat may be easier to produce compared to a solid-colored coat with no markings or patterns.

4. Red Belgian Malinois

Red Belgian Malinois
Image credit: redmalinois / Instagram

A red Belgian Malinois is often seen as the lighter version of the Mahogany Belgian Malinois. This coat color typically has a light red or orange tint. It is one of the most common coat colors seen in this popular breed.

In some instances, the red hue in this coat color may seem so intense under direct light that it may appear as a shade of ginger. This pup also has a deep black mask that may appear around its entire face.

5. Red Sable Belgian Malinois

Red sable Belgian Malinois
Image credit: lette.the.mal / Instagram

Like fawn sable, a red sable Belgian Malinois has a red base coat with black tips scattered around its head and body. This may make its coat color appear darker, especially in low-light settings.

If a red sable Malinois has a long coat, it is easier to see the black sable tips. On the other hand, a red sable Malinois with a short coat may appear mahogany instead of red due to the dominance of the black tips.

6. Black Belgian Malinois

Black Belgian Malinois

A black Belgian Malinois has a solid black coat with no markings or patterns of other colors on its head or body. The common Belgian Malinois black mask blends seamlessly on its solid coat. 

Although the AKC does not recognize black as a standard Belgian Malinois color, this is one of the most sought-after coats due to its bold appearance and eye-catching shine.

7. Liver Belgian Malinois

Liver Belgian Malinois
Image credit: atikus.bear / Instagram

A liver Belgian Malinois appears like a combination of red and cream. Although many people often mistake this color for light red or mahogany, the main difference is that a liver Malinois also has a liver-colored nose.

Other common facial features that set a liver Belgian Malinois apart from the other similar coat colors are its light-colored eyes and the absence of the common Belgian Malinois black mask.

8. Brindle Belgian Malinois

Brindle Belgian Malinois
Image credit: ziva_the_brindle_malinois / Instagram

A brindle Belgian Malinois typically has a light-colored based coat with black stripes wrapped around its head and body. This pattern is often referred to as tiger stripes since the pattern highly resembles a tiger.

The brindle coat is one of the most unique color combinations you can find in the Belgian Malinois breed. This coat color is also one of the most difficult Belgian Malinois colors to find or produce. 

9. Cream Belgian Malinois

Cream Belgian Malinois
Image credit: juniethemalinois / Instagram

Similar to brindle, the cream coat is one of the least common colors you can find on a Belgian Malinois. This is the lightest coat a Malinois can have, and it is often accompanied by the popular black mask.

A cream Belgian Malinois typically has a black nose, black or dark brown eyes, and black paw pads. In some instances, this color may appear as white, especially in extremely bright settings.

10. Cream Sable Belgian Malinois

Cream sable Belgian Malinois
Image credit: chesshyre / Instagram

Considering the rarity of a cream Belgian Malinois, finding a cream sable Malinois is just as challenging. This pup has a cream-colored base coat with black tips scattered randomly across its head and body.

Some people often mistake this color combination with red sable. The difference between the two is cream sable has a yellow or gold hue, while the red sable has a light red or orange hue. 

11. Gray Belgian Malinois

Gray Belgian Malinois
Image credit: gross.katrin / Instagram

Like liver and brindle, gray is one of the most difficult Belgian Malinois colors to come across and produce. A gray Belgian Malinois typically has hints of blue, especially under intense light.

This unique pup may have small different colored markings on its body, such as white or cream. It also has a gray nose, eyes, and paw pads. Similar to the liver coat color, this dog often does not have a black mask. 

12. Gray Sable Belgian Malinois

Gray sable Belgian Malinois
Image credit: nickercole / Instagram

A gray sable Belgian Malinois has a gray base coat with black tips scattered around its head, body, and pointed ears. This pup may appear black in dark settings since its ends make the entire coat appear much darker.

Compared to the solid gray Belgian Malinois, a gray sable Malinois may be slightly easier to find. This is due to the fact that it is simpler to produce a sable coat compared to a pure gray one.

If you’re interested in seeing this Malinois in action, below is a video of a beautiful gray sable Belgian Malinois playing around with its owner:

Belgian malinois gray sable energy to the highest peak

Belgian Malinois Markings

Although other breeds may have several kinds of markings and patterns, the Belgian Malinois only has a handful. Not all Malinois pups may have these specific markings since it may depend on their coat color as well. 

Black Mask

Belgian Malinois with black mask

A common marking seen on almost every Belgian Malinois is the black mask. This is the black fur often seen around the nose and mouth. Some Belgian Malinois pups also have a black mask around their entire face. 

Black Markings 

Belgian Malinois with black markings

Another common Belgian Malinois marking is the black marking. This can typically be found on those with brindle coats since they usually have black streaks wrapped around their bodies.

Others may have minimal black spots or patches of fur on their faces or bodies as well. These can also typically be found on their chest area and around their paws. 

White Markings

Belgian Malinois with white markings

A less common marking seen on the Malinois is the white marking. This is typically found on lighter-colored dogs such as the cream, fawn, gray, and liver Malinois. Minimal white markings are usually seen on the chest. 

Belgian Malinois Breed Standards & Disqualifications

Like several other breeds, there are certain standards regarding the physical appearance of a Belgian Malinois. These are set by the AKC and are followed by several Belgian Malinois clubs.

For coat colors, the AKC accepts fawn, fawn sable, mahogany, red, red sable, black, brindle, cream, cream sable, gray, gray sable, and liver. The first five colors are recognized as standard Belgian Malinois colors.

The Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) only accepts any shade of fawn to mahogany, brindle, black, black with tan, blue with fawn, and white. 

The United Kennel Club (UKC) accepts fawn, sable, and all the colors through beige and gray with charcoaling, while the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) only accepts fawn with black overlay.

According to the AKC, the ideal coloring is a rich fawn to mahogany with black tips giving an overlay appearance. The black ends must not appear as patched or brindled.

Also, its mask and ears must appear black. The mask must be pronounced and must encompass the top and bottom lip with the corners of the lips and the eyelids in one single black zone. 

Do Belgian Malinois Colors Affect Behavior and Health?

Two Belgian Malinois with different colors

Generally, dog coat colors do not have a direct effect on its behavior and health. There is no scientific research proving the correlation of a Belgian Malinois’ color with its characteristics and personality as well. 

One important factor to note is that certain coat colors may come with several health issues. This is usually due to the genetics that creates the dog’s unique coat color. 

A fawn and gray Belgian Malinois may be prone to color dilution alopecia. This is a recessive genetic condition that creates its light color and may also lead to the loss or thinning of hair in dogs.

These light-colored pups may need extra love and affection. Regular check-ups are also highly recommended to closely monitor and maintain their health and overall well-being.

In addition, to ensure that you are getting a healthy puppy regardless of coat color, it is highly advisable to deal only with reputable breeders of Belgian Malinois.

Do Belgian Malinois Puppies Change Colors as They Grow?

Belgian Malinois puppies do not change color as they grow older. Coat colors are predetermined by the genes inherited from each parent dog.

As a Belgian Malinois grows older, its coat color may fade or lighten. Its black hairs may turn into a faint shade of gray or white. Owners must not be alarmed as this is a normal sign of aging. 

Coordinating with a breeder colleague of mine who specializes in producing different colors of Belgian Malinois, he has specifically mentioned that the Belgian Malinois breed usually shows its true colors already, even from early puppyhood.

He has also advised that if the skin or coat color of your Belgian Malinois changes to a shade other than white, there are slim chances of it being due to a health risk. It is then recommended to have your pup checked by a vet to rule out any issues.

What Color Will My Belgian Malinois Puppy Be?

Belgian Malinois puppy running on the grass field

Accurately predicting the exact coat color of a Belgian Malinois puppy can be slightly challenging. Owners may get an idea of its color by closely observing the coat of each parent dog.

If you are interested in getting a more precise prediction of your puppy’s coat color, you may opt for a coat color DNA test. This method is one of the most accurate ways of predicting a dog’s potential color combination.

For a more detailed result with each possible color per gene combination, you may try creating a Punnett square. This method can give you more insight concerning Belgian Malinois color genetics as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Two Belgian Malinois dogs tongue out

Can Belgian Malinois Have White Markings on Their Fur?

A Belgian Malinois may have white markings on its fur, but it is usually only seen in minimal patches. These markings can typically be found on light-colored Belgian Malinois, such as cream, fawn, and gray.

Can Belgian Malinois Be Brindle?

Brindle is one of the most sought-after coat colors in dogs, including the Belgian Malinois. Also known as tiger stripes, this unique coat pattern typically comes in black and tan or black and brown. 

What Is the Rarest Belgian Malinois Color?

Like several other breeds, the rarest Belgian Malinois color is brindle. Since brindle markings can come in different color combinations, this Belgian Malinois coat pattern can be very unpredictable and difficult to produce. 

What Is the Most Common Belgian Malinois Color?

The most common Belgian Malinois colors are red, mahogany, and rich fawn. All these colors are recognized as standard by the AKC and often come with a black overlay or sable appearance.

Another common feature in most Belgian Malinois dogs is their black mask. This typically covers the area around the nose and lips as well as the eye rims and ears. 

Final Thoughts

Coat colors and markings are some of the features that make each Belgian Malinois stand out. Aside from physical appearance, each dog also has a fun and special personality that sets it apart from other breeds.

Owning a Belgian Malinois, or any dog in particular, is a big full-time responsibility. Interested first-time owners must first consider if they are capable of providing all their needs.

No matter what Belgian Malinois color you end up selecting, this pup will be a great addition to your family and home. The Belgian Malinois is loyal and trustworthy, making it a reliable companion and best friend.

If you’ve chosen your favorite Belgian Malinois color, let us know in the comments below! All questions regarding Belgian Malinois colors are also welcome and encouraged!

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