4 Things To Understand Before Breeding Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois dog breed was originally bred to be herding dogs. Today, they also work as police and military dogs, protection dogs, and loving family pets. In the hands of an experienced dog person, these dogs make intense, intelligent, and athletic companions.

If you want to breed your Belgian malinois you should understand a few things.

1. When does the Belgian Malinois go into heat?

The female Belgian Malinois usually goes into its first heat when the dog is 6 months old (although it can happen when she is 9 or even 12 months old) and will experience heat (heat cycle) about every 6 months.

During this period, she will be receptive to mating. Since dogs do not have menopausal-like humans, the Belgian Malinois will continue to have heat cycles for the rest of its life.

What are the symptoms when Belgian malinois goes into heat?

The heat cycle in the Belgian Malinois (as in other dogs) has 4 stages. The first two usually cause some symptoms and when people speak of “heat” they are talking precisely about this period.

The last two stages last longer but show no visible signs.

The first stage is called Proestrus:  Proestrus stage can last from 1 to 27 days, but the average duration of this phase is 9 days. During this stage, your dog’s vulva may be inflamed and you may notice a bloody vaginal discharge.

Your female Belgian Malinois may urinate more often in this period. She is not receptive to males yet, so if any males approach her, she could act aggressively.

Dog diapers can help you keep things clean. You can also put a clean towel where Malinois usually naps.

Female Belgian malinois at this stage can be a little nervous. Your dog is also more attached to you than usual.

The second stage is called Estrus:  Only during this phase are Belgian Malinois females ready to mate. The vulva is less swollen now and the bloody discharge is reduced. Note that the discharge may not be red, but also clear or brown.

One of the symptoms that can be observed at this stage is also the raised tail in Malinois females. Be aware of the fact that males can smell the female in heat from miles away, so keep an eye on your female malinois if you don’t want to have malinois puppies.

Be aware that other female dogs that are not in heat may act aggressively towards your dog that is in heat. This phase usually also lasts 9 days, but in theory, it can last from 4 to 24 days.

Be aware that after estrus, your dog can develop a serious illness called Pyometra. It is an infection of the uterus. If you notice a pus-like discharge, see the vet, as this condition is considered urgent. It can be lethal.

The third stage is called Diestrus: This stage can last up to 2 months. Your dog may still have a swollen vulva and bloody discharge, but very little. However, the female Belgian malinois is no longer fertile and if any male approaches her to mate, she will act aggressively.

The last stage is called Anestro:  This phase is the longest and can last up to 4 months. There are no obvious signs, swollen vulva, bloody discharge, or behavioral changes.

2. Can the Belgian Malinois get pregnant without being in heat?

No, the Belgian Malinois cannot get pregnant if she is not in heat. But the problem is identifying the exact period when your female malinois is fertile. Usually, that is the main problem. However, many owners have a difficult time recognizing and keeping track of when their dog is ready to mate.

3. Is there any special care during the heat?

Your female Belgian Malinois will continue to clean herself, as usual, regardless of whether she is in heat. But in some cases, she may need extra help to clean the stains.

When it comes to bathing, be gentle, as her nipples and vulva may be swollen and you can easily hurt.

Larger dogs generally have more bloody discharge than smaller breeds. Dog diapers can help at times, keeping your dog dry and her things clean. Change the towel you put on the dog’s bed or nap on a regular basis.

Most Belgian malinois female dogs in heat have less appetite, but some may experience severe hunger and increased appetite. Allow your dog to eat more, but always keep in mind to feed her high-quality, balanced dog food.

Mood swings and behavior changes are common during the heat. You may notice that your dog looks for quieter places in the house as she wants to be alone. Let her be alone, don’t stop her. On the contrary, there are Malinois females that will be more attached than usual to their owners during the estrus phase.

Your dog may be agitated or restless. If so, try playing with her, brushing her, or just talking to her. If your dog is sleepy, let her sleep.

Females in heat are ready to mate, they are receptive to males so you should pay special attention to your dog and never let her go anywhere alone. You may notice other (male) dogs sniffing and urinating around your home more than usual.

4. Should you spay your Belgian Malinois?

Since dogs are not menopausal and heat cycles continue throughout life, you should consider spaying your Malinois. Unless you want to breed your dog (which is not recommended), you should get her for a spay procedure as soon as possible. Some doctors suggest that spaying should be done even before the first heat cycle. The ideal period is between 4 and 9 months of age.

This procedure is not painful and your dog will not become lazy or fat (these are common myths).

Spaying procedures will have a positive effect on the dog’s behavior. Spayed Belgian Malinois have a lower risk of getting breast cancer. Also, the possibility of contracting a uterine infection does not exist since the uterus and ovaries are removed with this procedure.