The Belgian Malinois is considered an expensive dog breed. Prices listed online swing wildly from between a few hundred dollars, right up to $100,000, depending on where you get them and what the specifications are. Yes, that’s one hundred thousand dollars!
But before we get into specific figures, it’s important to understand all the facts, which is what we aim to do here.
The true cost of any dog is far more than the initial cost of the puppy. In fact, this is just the beginning. When we ask ‘how much do Belgian Malinois cost?’, we have to consider many points beyond that potentially eye-watering price tag.
For example, there’s healthcare and medication, insurance, microchipping, vaccinations, training and agility classes, professional grooming, and so on. And we haven’t even mentioned food and treats, toys, leashes, beds… the list seems never-ending! All of these are important things that every dog owner has to deal with, and all of them cost you more of your hard-earned cash.
So, before taking on the commitment of owning a dog (in this case, the beautiful Belgian Malinois), take a moment to discover how much they really cost.
How Much Does A Belgian Malinois Puppy Cost?
On average, a Belgian Malinois puppy will set you back around $1,000.
The price you pay will depend on the breeder and the pup’s bloodlines, and this can push up the price to $2,500 or even $3,500. The top end of the range would be more geared towards people who are looking for a show-quality dog.
If you want to cut the cost, then you could try a dog shelter or rescue center where you may be able to adopt a Malinois for between $300 and $600, depending on the dog’s age. The drawback here is that you are unlikely to get a puppy. Adult dogs come with their own set of challenges, and you probably won’t know anything about their history.
So, how much do Belgian Malinois cost? A pup will probably cost about $1,000 or $2,000 from a reputable breeder.
Never be tempted to approach a puppy mill or backyard breeder. They are mostly in it for the money and will not have the dog’s welfare in mind. While you might think you’re getting a bargain, it’s a safe bet that the pup will not be the healthiest.
Aside from the fact that the puppy will suffer, you will be saddled with the financial burden of getting treatment.
A good breeder will sort out the vaccinations for you, but this will probably be included in the puppy price.
Having bought your pup and got them safely home, you need to prepare your finances for what might come next:
• A comfortable bed and dog blankets
• A crate and/or playpen
• A leash and collar
• A dog trainer
• Food and treats
• Toothbrush and toothpaste
• Professional carpet cleaning (accidents happen!)
• Healthcare, including spaying/neutering, tick, flea, and worm medication
• Daycare or dogsitting
• High-quality puppy food
It all adds up, with the first year of your dog’s life usually being the most costly. Overall, you could be looking at between $3,000 to $7,000. Of course, some of these won’t apply, but it helps to have an idea of what to expect.
There are others that aren’t listed, such as the possibility of having to put up a new fence in your yard or at least getting an old one repaired. After all, you don’t want your new furry friend escaping!
These are all part of the answer to the question, how much do Belgian Malinois cost? As we said at the start, the true cost goes well beyond the initial price tag.
How Much Is A Fully Trained Belgian Malinois?
Expect to pay between $30,000 and $80,000, with an average of $50,000.
Yes, that’s a lot of money! But let’s be clear: we’re not talking about someone else doing the hard work so that your Belgian Mal doesn’t pee on your Persian rug, is well-behaved with strangers, or doesn’t chew up your TV remote. It isn’t really that kind of training.
This is a fully-trained protection dog. It will be intuitive enough to defend and attack without being told but will also be ready to obey your order to stand down in an instant. It will protect you against personal attacks, car-jackings, or intruders in the home or premises.
These dogs, once trained, can switch off this instinct in a second, becoming a calm family pet once again in an instant. They won’t flinch from a fight when the call comes. Most dogs are all bark.
When it comes to it, we know that some of our own pooches would run a mile or lick the intruder to death rather than attack them!
Not every dog is suited to this role, and great care is taken to select the best candidates for their temperament and trainability. They will be the strongest, smartest, and bravest. They will be fit, healthy, and dedicated to obeying your every word. And they will cost you a lot.
For example, if you wanted an excellent guard dog that can provide personal protection against intruders, but is safe around your kids, then you’re looking at around $20,000.
If you add further specifications, such as the ability to ignore the high prey drive and be comfortable around livestock, or perhaps to be able to travel long distances regularly without a fuss, then the price rises further into the tens of thousands.
Dogs trained to police or military services level, especially if they have the best bloodlines, can cost as much as $100,000.
How much do Belgian Malinois cost? A lot, if you want one for personal protection!
Read More: Belgian Malinois Training
Why Are Belgian Malinois So Expensive?
Well, partly because they’re pretty rare in the US, but also because they’re in demand at the moment. This means that Belgian Malinois breeders can set whatever price they wish! And when you add the fact that some of these dogs are purebred, the price keeps climbing.
Even if you’re lucky enough to find a good breeder with puppies for sale, there’s likely to be a waiting list.
This is why there’s such a disparity in price when we ask how much do Belgian Malinois cost? The answer will depend on where your nearest breeder is and whether you want a purebred dog for entering shows or just a healthy family pet.
The Belgian Malinois Breed
The American Kennel Club (AKC) lists the Mal as a herding dog, belonging to a family of four such breeds, including the Belgian Shepherd, Tervuren, and Laekenois.
This family is usually referred to as the Belgian Sheepdog, although the Malinois has been classed as a separate breed by the AKC since 1959.
It takes its name from the city of Maline, Belgium, where it was said to have originated.
As working dogs, they were traditionally used for herding livestock and protecting farms and homesteads. Dogs were bred specifically for their strength, courage, and hard-working nature, resulting in a high-performance breed, and these qualities can still be seen today.
Because of this, they are often selected as search and rescue dogs, police dogs, and for different roles in the military services – they even made it into the Navy SEALS!
When it comes to their appearance, you might be forgiven for mistaking them at first glance for German Shepherds. There is indeed a resemblance, and they probably share ancestry somewhere along the line. However, the simple fact is that the Mal has kept the physical traits of the Gray Wolf, just like other similar types of dog breed.
These medium-to-large dogs grow to between 24–26 in (61–66 cm) for males and 22–24 in (58.8–61 cm) for females. As you might expect, the males are heavier at 55–66 lbs (25–30 kg), and females at 44–55 lbs (20–25 kg).
They usually have a short, straight double-coat, suitable for the conditions they faced when herding livestock on the farms of the European mainland, where winters could be harsh. The undercoat is dense, providing warmth, while the outer coat protected them from the wet weather.
The AKC states that Belgian Malinois come in these five main colors: red, red sable, mahogany, fawn, and fawn sable. There are also seven non-standard variations: black, liver, gray, gray sable, cream, and cream sable.
One thing that they all share is the black mask and pointed ears.
Are Belgian Malinois Good Family Pets?
The perfect family dog has to be one that fits the family! So, yes, Belgian Malinois dogs can make a great family pet – but only for the right family.
If you’re prepared to care for a super-smart, high-energy dog, then this cattle dog breed might be the right fit. You’ll need to be an active family, into hiking or long walks in the hills and woods. You might enjoy a run on the beach or a daily jog in the park. If that’s you, then the Mal will be keen to join you!
Their lives as family pets have only just begun in the last twenty years or so, but they’re taking to it well. Prior to this, it was unusual to see them outside of a working role. It could be said that, in some ways, the breed is still adapting, but with the right care, they will thrive in a family environment.
You’ve heard dogs being described as intelligent. The Mal is something else, almost spookily so! Like all smart dogs, they relish any kind of dog training, and they’ll love agility classes or learning tricks. They become in sync with their owners and are ready to obey your command almost before the words are out of your mouth. They are able to read the tiniest changes of expression, which makes them uncannily alert.
This intelligence comes with high energy levels. It’s a combination that is perhaps not the best dog for first-time dog owners, as these dogs can be willful and need an experienced hand to bring them into line.
When training, which should ideally begin at a young age, anything other than positive reinforcement will probably be met with resistance. However, once they start learning, they take to it quickly and are able to retain a remarkable range of commands.
These are confident dogs with a serious side, although their playfulness will show itself at times. The main thing to be aware of is that this dog doesn’t much like being teased and pulled about. Socialization and training are probably more important to this breed than most others if you want them to interact well will family members, especially kids. Read more about this topic in our article Are Belgian Malinois Good With Kids.
Make no mistake – these are great dogs! They just need the right handling and the right family to take them on. This isn’t the type of dog to lie around on the couch, and they probably won’t snuggle much, if ever. They can be aloof at times, but they are loyal, alert watchdogs whose main aim is to look after you.
It isn’t a good idea to leave them alone as they don’t cope well, even with training. This is mostly because they need something to do! If you’re sitting at home, they might take a nap now and again, but they’ll come and tell you when they want you to entertain them. And they’ll get your attention any way they can, even if it means sticking a paw in your face.
When choosing a family dog, your first question might be the one we asked at the start – how much do Belgian Malinois cost? – but in some ways, this isn’t as important as asking whether this breed is a good match for you.
Belgian Malinois Health Problems
Inevitably, when asking the question how much do Belgian Malinois cost? we need to look at what sort of health issues might affect them, as this could significantly add to the cost.
• Hip dysplasia – a painful condition caused by the hip joint not being formed properly, making the bones rub together. Surgery can help, usually involving the full replacement of the joint. Total hip replacement can cost up to $7,000 per hip.
• Elbow dysplasia – much like the hip problem, this happens because the joint is malformed. It can be tricky because it is a more complex joint. Surgery is sometimes required if other treatments fail. Diagnosis and treatment can cost up to $4,000 per elbow.
• Progressive retinal atrophy – the first sign of PRA is a loss of night vision, gradually followed by complete loss of sight. It is not unusual for dogs to develop cataracts when they have this condition, but surgery is not an option as it would make no difference. There is no treatment or cure, but breeders are encouraged to avoid using dogs with this hereditary condition so that it will eventually disappear. It’s difficult to put a cost on this illness because there is no proven treatment as yet.
• Allergies – these affect dogs in different ways to us, with skin rashes being the usual symptoms. Dogs can be allergic to many different things, including flea bites, foods, pollen, etc. Diagnosis and treatment will cost around $70 to $200, or even more, depending on the severity of the condition and length of treatment.
• Gastric dilatation-volvulus – GDV is a potentially fatal condition that mostly affects medium or large deep-chested breeds. The stomach fills with gas and starts to twist, cutting off the blood supply to vital organs. The exact cause isn’t understood, but the condition usually follows overeating or eating too fast, especially when followed by strenuous exercise. Diagnosis and treatment, including surgery and aftercare, could cost between $2,500–$5,000 if there are no complications! Some vets recommend the gastropexy procedure, which protects against GDV in adult dogs, and this costs $200–$400.
As health problems go, this is an impressively short list. Unlike its lookalike, the German Shepherd, this breed has far fewer hereditary conditions, which is thought to be due to a lack of selective breeding over the years. The wider gene pool has resulted in healthier dogs!
You can do your part by keeping up that exercise and mental stimulation and only feeding them the best quality dog food. Don’t overdo the treats, especially anything sugary or fatty, and if you do give them human food, check it out beforehand. Some things we eat such as wasabi, prunes, jalapenos, blue cheese, and Doritos can seriously damage their health and even kill them.
When looking at our main question, ‘how much do Belgian Malinois cost?’ we must consider the possibility of sickness, disease, and even injury. It might be daunting, but it’s all part of being a responsible dog owner.
Adding It All Up: The True Cost Of A Belgian Malinois
So, how much do Belgian Malinois cost? At first, it might seem like asking, how long is a piece of string?
If you buy a mixed-breed Malinois, you’re likely to get a bargain price. However, a healthy purebred Mal will set you back at least $1,000 unless you approach a dog shelter or rescue center.
The age of the pup will have a bearing, as the older they are, the less they will cost.
Want a purebred pup with AKC registration papers or pedigree? Then expect to add a couple of thousand (or more) to the price, perhaps around $3,500 upwards. The breeder’s reputation matters, and if they boast good bloodlines, then the price edges up further.
The best breeders have health testing programs, have them dewormed, vaccinated, microchipped, and some will even have them trained and socialized. This is fantastic news but obviously comes at a cost.
The location of the breeder is important, as fashions and trends vary across different regions. It might be worth checking out a breeder elsewhere to see if their prices are more reasonable or better suited to your budget, but don’t be tempted to pay out before you actually visit and see the pups.
Speaking of trends, the coat color can affect the price, especially among people who are interested in show-quality dogs. If you don’t mind the color, you could save yourself quite a bit of money by going for the pups that are not ‘in’ at the moment!
In the end, the actual price of a Belgian Malinois puppy will realistically cost you between $300 and $2,500. After that, all kinds of expenses will follow, and you’ll need to be prepared financially.
Aside from the cost, this isn’t a dog to be taken on lightly as it has very specific needs. It has bags of energy and is super-smart, so you’ll have to make a commitment to meeting those needs too.
The Belgian Malinois is one very special dog, and it requires a special owner. If that’s you, then the cost won’t matter that much.