It is important to research the temperament of any dog you would bring into your home, including a Belgian Malinois. This is especially true if you have children. Some dogs are very gentle and tolerant of all children while others make better companions for older children. The safest dog for children is one who is raised with them from a very young age. However, a dog raised without children can be carefully socialized and taught how to behave around them.
This is a slow thoughtful process of getting the dog to first accept the presence of children and then, in time, teaching the dog to interact with one child, then two, etc. Children need to be careful not to scare a dog during the early phases of socialization and they need to be taught not to tease a dog. This involves careful supervision with any dog. Often children are not even aware they are teasing when holding a cookie just out of the dog’s reach. Adult supervision is vitally important to assure the safety of the child and the well being of the dog.
Malinois are good with children and other animals when properly introduced or raised with them. However, this dog can also be protective, territorial, possessive, and jealous. Malinois are high-energy dogs and, like many other herding breeds, are strongly interested in moving objects, exhibiting what is called high prey drive. This trait can lead to chasing vehicles, children or animals if the dog’s natural instincts are not guided toward acceptable activities. The Belgian Malinois requires a daily exercise routine as well as exposure to people outside the family and to a variety of sights and sounds which should begin early and continue throughout the dog’s life.
REMINDER: Young children should NEVER be left alone unsupervised with ANY breed of dog.