Black Belgian Malinois: Dog Breed Profile, Pictures & Facts

Black Belgian Malinois on a pumpkin patch
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The stunning solid black Belgian Malinois is attracting most dog lovers nowadays. Although the breed is already intimidating in its appearance, its rare black coat has made it look even more daunting. 

For the most part, it looks quite like a wolf. However, note that the black Belgian Malinois is far less dangerous than its look-alike. Instead, it’s deemed an excellent family dog due to its loving and loyal attributes. 

Keen to learn more about the black Belgian Malinois? Dig deeper into this article and learn about its appearance, personality, and other facts you need to figure out this awesome breed. Stick to the end to find out!

What Is a Black Belgian Malinois? Do Belgian Malinois Come in Black? 

Black Belgian Malinois basking in the sun
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A black Belgian Malinois is a variety of the Mal breed characterized by its pure black coat. Despite being an unusual coat color, this rare dark Malinois isn’t far distinct from other Mals in intelligence and trainability. That said, this canine can excel in working dog roles.

It is not a common sight since the breed usually comes in fawn and mahogany. That said, it’s only occasional for a black Malinois to occur in a litter. 

Due to its unusual coloration, this dark Belgian Malinois will no longer noticeably exhibit its signature black mask. However, the standard features of a typical Malinois are retained. 

Despite that, the American Kennel Club (AKC) does not recognize black as one of the breed’s official colors. It falls under the non-standard category and would be a basis for disqualification in conformation events

Are Black Belgian Malinois Rare?

Black Belgian Malinois are rare dogs since their genetics mainly favor colors, such as fawn, mahogany, and red, to name a few. 

Also, since black isn’t a standard color, breeders are mostly discouraged from breeding Malinois of this hue. There’s also a low demand for black Malinois among dog lovers who want to show their dogs. 

Of course, black dogs remain popular in the dog community. Even if many people want to acquire a black Belgian Malinois, a purebred variety of this breed doesn’t happen so frequently. 

Inbreeding it with other black dogs can heighten the chances of a Malinois puppy inheriting the black coat. Unfortunately, this will be classified as a mixed-breed dog. 

Black Belgian Malinois Appearance

Black Belgian Malinois on the sidewalk
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The rare black Belgian Malinois is similar in appearance to other Mals. However, their significant difference mainly shows through the color revealed on their short coats.

Other than that, the dark Belgian Malinois exhibits the same square-shaped build. Its weight is typically between 40 and 80 pounds, and its height measures 22 to 26 inches

Due to sexual dimorphism, males will be much larger than females. They will also take longer to reach their full size. Generally, all black Belgian Malinois require 10 to 11 months to become full-grown adults. 

They will continue to develop and slowly add more height and weight until they reach 18 months. 

Further, the black Malinois is described as having athletic, muscular legs. It carries its head confidently, sporting a long, pointed snout and upright, alert ears. 

The mouth also features powerful jaws, while its contrasting brown eyes are above it. 

It’s also worth noting that although black Mals are expected to have a solid color, white markings may still appear on their chests.

Catch a glimpse of what a black Belgian Malinois looks like by watching the video below:

Black Belgian Malinois Bitch 8 Weeks Old - Basic Commands Sit/Down

Black Belgian Malinois Color Genetics

Understanding why some Belgian Malinois have black coats starts by learning how the color genetics work in dogs. 

While most already know about the dominant black gene, some breeds of pastoral or herding types, like the Belgian Malinois, are potential carriers of the recessive black gene (‘a’ allele). 

However, the Ay allele (yellow) usually dominates the agouti gene (A locus). This allows the expression of various colors common to the Belgian Malinois breed, which are sable and fawn. 

The only instance where solid black appears in a Belgian Malinois is if two ‘a’ alleles are present on the A locus. 

Its location makes the recessive black even more possible despite being too uncommon for the Belgian Malinois. If two ‘a’ alleles are in the A locus, a dog that’s non-solid black on the K locus will still appear black.

Meanwhile, it’s equally important to discuss the difference between recessive black Belgian Malinois and other dominant black dogs, although both are aesthetically similar. 

The black Belgian Malinois puppy is only possible if its non-solid black parents carry the recessive black gene. 

On the other hand, dominant black dogs would only require one copy of the black gene from either of their dominant black parents. 

Do Black Belgian Malinois Puppies Change Color as They Grow?

Black Belgian Malinois on a leash
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Black Belgian Malinois puppies are born with pure black coats, and they maintain them until they reach their first year. Once they approach adulthood, changes in the vibrance of their color can be observed. 

They could eventually develop a coppery or rusty tint on their fur, which is more visible if sunlight directly hits their coat. 

If a black Belgian Malinois puppy basks under the sun often, its coat will also lighten in color. 

Additionally, white hairs can grow and be scattered everywhere in the dog’s body as it approaches its senior stage. 

Aside from sunlight and age, other factors include medications and nutritional status. A dog suffering from diseases or having a poor diet exhibits a coat color often described as dull. 

Overall, coat color changes observed in a black Belgian Malinois are generally just a progression of the dog’s pigment in the coat. 

However, if it simultaneously shows concerning signs, such as having a brittle coat or sparseness of the fur in certain areas, contact your vet immediately for a proper diagnosis. 

Black Belgian Malinois Temperament and Personality

The strong, energetic, and smart black Belgian Malinois is recognized for its hard-working mentality. It was originally bred for herding, but its versatility enabled it to transition into a police dog. 

Since it works smoothly with humans, bonding with a black Malinois comes easy. Of course, you have to earn its trust first before it becomes your loyal and protective canine companion. 

One way to improve your relationship with this dog is through regular training. Generally, black Belgian Malinois are highly responsive to commands and smart enough to quickly grasp the drills. 

The only thing that you have to deal with is its through-the-roof energy. That suggests you provide it with lots of physical activities and mental stimulation to keep it happy and healthy at the same time. 

Raising cats and dogs with a black Belgian Malinois puppy can help keep this dog preoccupied. When it has companions, this canine will have less chance of developing destructive behaviors or separation anxiety.

Yet, although it can easily get along with other pets, a black Malinois may tend to act bossy around them. 

It may also play roughly with smaller animals due to its high prey drive, so monitoring their interaction is important. 

Black Belgian Malinois Lifespan and Health Issues

Black Belgian Malinois up close tongue out
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Recently, it was found that dog coat color can impact how long they live. Black dogs typically live as long as yellow canines, while brown dogs live less.

Truly enough, a black Belgian Malinois is deemed generally healthy with a lifespan of 14 to 16 years. It may surpass these marks with an excellent diet and nutrition, a good lifestyle, and a nurturing environment.

Yet although it’s a vigorous dog breed, the black Belgian Malinois remains susceptible to various health conditions. 

Here are some of the common medical issues a black Belgian Malinois may develop:

  • Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is a serious common condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop normally. If the ball and the socket don’t grow at the same rate, they can be very loose and unstable. A black Malinois with this health issue may suffer extreme pain and exhibit lameness, limping, or difficulty jumping or walking. 
  • Cataracts: Cataracts are often an inherited disease and can affect dogs of any breed. It may also be caused by eye trauma or diabetes mellitus, which can occur spontaneously at any stage. The visual impairment will become apparent if your black Belgian Malinois suffers from this condition. If the whole lens is affected, the dog will become totally blind. 
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): A black Belgian Malinois developing progressive retinal atrophy will experience a gradual degeneration in the photoreceptors in its retina. When this happens, your dog will start losing its vision and will be less likely to see in the dark, which may also lead to night blindness and anxiety. 

To ensure your black Belgian Malinois puppy is healthy, buy it from trusted breeders. They conduct health screenings in their dams and sires as a means to eliminate various genetic conditions. 

How Much Does a Black Belgian Malinois Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses

A black Belgian Malinois is usually sold at around $1,000 to $3,500. If it comes from a superior lineage, breeders may sell the puppy for up to $9,000. 

Other factors, such as the breeder’s experience, location, age, sex, and demand, also influence the cost of a black Belgian Malinois puppy. 

Aside from this one-time payment, other expenses come with owning this impressive dog breed. 

Below is a table of the initial expenses when you have a black Belgian puppy:

Type of ExpenseCost 
Food and Treats$70 – $150
Bowls$10 – $40
Toys$30 – $1000
Beds$40 – $300
Collars and Leashes$15 – $50
Crates and Carriers$50 – $500
Grooming Essentials$50 – $250
Initial Vet Visits$100 – $500
Initial Vaccine Shots$50 – $300
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications$40 – $300
Neutering or Spaying$50 – $500
Microchipping$40 – $60
Dog License$10 – $20
Other Essentials$20 – $80
Total Initial Cost$505 – $3,150

Take note, the figures shown in the table are mere estimates, which will help you know how much to allocate for the care and maintenance of your black Belgian Malinois. 

The exact prices will primarily depend on your brand choice and the quality of the items you buy. 

If you want to cut costs, it’s recommended that you invest in durable accessories, dog beds, and food and water bowls. Doing so will keep you from frequently replacing these products.

Places to Find Black Belgian Malinois Puppies for Sale and Adoption

Black Belgian Malinois puppy sitting on the grass
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The rare black Belgian Malinois effortlessly shines from the crowd, so it makes sense if you want to own one. 

While you can find many Malinois breeders in the United States, you must buy your puppy from reputable breeders only. That way, you have the assurance that the dog is healthy and socialized. 

Aside from that, there will be less chance of you acquiring a mixed-breed black Belgian Malinois, which backyard breeders may falsely advertise as purebred. 

To help you with your search, here are a few reputable sources where black Belgian Malinois puppies are for sale:

  • AKC Marketplace – The AKC Marketplace is one of the country’s most trusted puppy sources. This platform allows AKC-registered Belgian Malinois breeders to post their available puppies. You’ll likely find someone who has a black Malinois to offer you. 
  • Rainessence Belgian Malinois – Rainessence Belgian Malinois is a proud American Belgian Malinois Club member, boasting of its champion dogs. Their top-of-the-line Belgian Malinois puppies are up-to-date with their shots and worming. They’re also microchipped and AKC-registered before they’re sent to their new home.
  • Turick Belgian Malinois – Turick Belgian Malinois is a Florida-based breeder whose puppies are developed to have a sound structure, temperament, and health. Many of their dogs have landed AKC champion titles. If you want a black Malinois with great sports potential, this could be one of your great sources.

If these places don’t have any black Belgian Malinois available, certain non-profit organizations might.

Consider paying your local dog rescues a visit. You might chance upon a rare black Belgian Malinois that’s up for adoption.

Here’s a list of the animal shelters where you can find a black Belgian Malinois for adoption:

  • American Belgian Malinois Rescue – American Belgian Malinois Rescue is a sanctuary where unwanted, homeless, and abandoned Belgian Malinois are cared for. With so many arriving under their care, one of them could be the black Malinois you’ve been looking for. They’re usually treated right away if they have health issues and are spayed or neutered and vaccinated before they’re placed for adoption. 
  • Malinois Rescue League – Malinois Rescue League is a non-profit organization led by volunteers. They rescue as many Belgian Malinois as possible. This is followed by thorough rehabilitation before they’re ultimately rehomed. There’s a good chance that one of their Belgian Malinois is black, so scan through their gallery of adoptable dogs. 
  • Malinois and Dutch Shepherd Rescue, Inc. – Malinois and Dutch Shepherd Rescue, Inc. continuously rescues neglected Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherds. Since they don’t have a physical location, volunteers usually foster and take care of their rescued dogs. If you spot a black Malinois in their gallery, you may have to contact them so they can arrange a meeting with you. 

In the event that these rescue centers don’t have black Belgian Malinois that are up for adoption, you can visit their website every other day for updates. 

You can also join social media platforms and inquire where to source a dark Belgian Malinois.

Frequently Asked Questions

Black Belgian Malinois resting on the grass
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Is Black Belgian Malinois Purebred?

Black Belgian Malinois are purebred dogs. They don’t come by often since their coat color genetics usually manifest shades that range from rich fawn to mahogany.

Further, it takes two Malinois parents with black recessive genes to produce a black Belgian Malinois puppy. Such a case is extremely rare. 

Regardless, a Malinois with a black coat is possible. It doesn’t have to be crossed with another black dog to achieve this result. 

How Many Belgian Malinois Colors Are There?

The AKC lists five standard colors for the Belgian Malinois breed. These are fawn, fawn sable, mahogany, red, and red sable. 

There are also non-standard colors known to the breed. Still, these are considered faults and are automatically disqualified from conformation events. 

These shades are black, brindle, cream, cream sable, gray, gray sable, and liver. All these coat colors are matched with a black mask. However, a black Malinois will not have a distinguishable mask.

What Is the Rarest Color of the Belgian Malinois?

Brindle could be the rarest color of the Belgian Malinois breed. Both parents should be carriers of the recessive brindle gene to produce a puppy of this shade.

It’s the same pattern as the recessive black gene. However, the genetic testing process makes brindle more difficult to produce than solid black. 

In fact, no genetic tests are available to detect the brindle gene. Even if a Belgian Malinois carries it, the usual alleles detected are KBky(dominant black and non-solid black).

The only way to determine if a Malinois has the brindle gene is through breeding.

Final Thoughts

The distinct appearance and complex coat color genetics of the black Belgian Malinois are fascinating. Despite not being a common color variation, this dog remains one of the most sought-out by Malinois lovers.

A glimpse of this black wolf-looking canine may tempt you to bring one home based on looks alone. However, you must also consider its needs before making this decision.

This rare black Belgian Malinois is highly active. It would need loads of activities as outlets for its never-ending energy. Training is also crucial to developing good manners and becoming a good family companion.

If you have what it takes to sufficiently provide the lifestyle it is best suited to, then this canine could be your perfect match. Comment below your experience once you welcome home a black Belgian Malinois puppy!

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