Malinois Border Collie Mix [Double the Fun]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

The Malinois Border Collie Mix is a match made in canine heaven, or as I like to call it, the “Mali-Border”!

This energetic duo has got me running (literally) for the hills. The first time I met one, I thought, “Wow, it’s like a herding dog on a caffeine binge!”

But don’t worry, there’s a method to the madness. These dogs are not just adorable, but super smart too.

In this post, we’re about to embark on a whirlwind journey through the realm of the Mali-Border. Ready? (You’ll need to be.)

Let’s dive into the secret sauce that makes these hybrids the ultimate canine companions.

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What is a Border Collie Belgian Malinois Mix?

what is malinois border collie mix

The Border Collie Belgian Malinois is an awesome cross-breed dog that brings together the best of both worlds – the Border Collie and the Belgian Malinois. 

Sometimes also known as a Border Malinois, this mix combines the intelligence, energy, and diligence of both its parent breeds.

You can expect that they are easily trainable and versatile working dogs.

Because of these qualities, these pups are ideal for herding, search and rescue, and even law enforcement.

They also make great family pets, especially if you are willing and able to give them the training and attention that they need.

History of the Malinois Border Collie Crossbreed

This crossbreed is a relatively newer addition to the world of cross-breed dogs, and there is not much written about its origin. 

Likely, they were first bred by crossing a Border Collie with a Belgian Malinois to create a dog with the desirable traits of both parent breeds.

To understand this mix better, let’s take a look at the histories of their parents.

Quick note: If you want to be sure of your dog’s background and history, you can make use of a DNA kit to get the answers.

Border Collie history

The Border Collie hails from Scotland. These dogs can trace their roots to Old Hemp, known to be the first of its kind. 

Old Hemp was trained to herd sheep and was said to have sired over two hundred pups.

Over time, breeders were able to refine the characteristics of this wonderful breed. They were able to breed dogs meant for work and those for show. 

To date, Border Collies have grown to become reliable working dogs, showing great intelligence and versatility. Fur parents also cherish them for being great companions. 

Belgian Malinois history

Just like the Border Collie, the Belgian Malinois are also known for its working prowess.

This breed’s history goes all the way back to the late 19th century in Belgium when these hardy dogs were bred for herding and guarding purposes.

During both World Wars, this trusty breed serves as military companions. To this day, this crossbreed is still sought out to fulfill military work.

They quickly become known because of their high energy levels, exceptional agility, loyalty, and keen intelligence.

These traits made them perfect for police or military work, and for rescue missions. 

Malinois Border Collie Mix Personality and Temperament

What makes this mix stand out are its personality and incredible intelligence. It’s no surprise since both parent breeds are known for these awesome qualities too.

When it comes to training, these pups are top-notch. They’re very trainable and quick learners.

Plus, they’ve got a strong work ethic, just like their herding and working dog parents. They love having tasks to do and thrive on mental and physical stimulation. 

Their loyalty and affection towards their families are next level, making them amazing companions. 

Not just that, but they’re also protective of their loved ones and often get along well with kids and other pets.

Just remember, early socialization and training play a big role in shaping their behavior.

Malinois Border Collie Mix Appearance and Physical Characteristics

Bearing a strong resemblance to the German Shepherd, these medium-sized dogs often stand at around 20 to 27 inches tall and weigh about 30 to 75 pounds on average.

You can tell they’re working dogs by their muscular and athletic build. 

When it comes to their coat, it can vary, but it’s usually dense and weather-resistant. 

They might inherit the short double coat of the Belgian Malinois in colors like fawn, red, or black.

Or, they might get the longer and thicker coat of the Border Collie in colors like black and white, red and white, or blue merle. 

Their head is proportional to their body with a defined stop and perky ears that may be semi-erect or fully erect. 

And their eyes? They’re often expressive and reflect their high intelligence and attentiveness.

Malinois Border Collie Mix Training Tips

In training your pet, keep in mind that they’re known for their high intelligence, energy, and working drive.

They could require more challenges to keep them interested.

Training advice

Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement: These are the keys to successfully training your crossbreed pet.

With proper training and socialization, they can become well-behaved, obedient, and happy companions.

Start early

It’s best to begin training your pup as early as possible, ideally during their puppyhood. This sets the foundation for good habits and behaviors right from the start.

Use positive reinforcement 

Positive reinforcement, like giving treats, praise, and playtime, works wonders in motivating and rewarding your furry friend for desired behaviors. 

Avoid harsh punishment or negative methods. These can backfire and harm the trust and bond with your dog.

Provide mental and physical stimulation

This cross breed craves mental and physical activity, so make sure to give them regular opportunities for both.

Holding training sessions, providing them with puzzle toys and other games, and letting them exercise are all great ways to engage their minds and bodies.

Consistency is key

Consistent training and clear expectations are crucial for your pet to understand what’s expected of them. 

Use consistent commands, cues, and routines, and be patient and persistent in your training efforts.

Socialize early and often

Socialization is vital for this cross-breed to develop good social skills and become well-adjusted dogs. 

Expose them to various people, animals, and environments in a positive and controlled manner to help them gain confidence and be well-mannered in different situations.

Be a strong leader

It works to act as the top dog. These furry pals respond well to confident and assertive leadership.

Establish yourself as the pack leader through consistent and fair training, and set boundaries and rules to prevent unwanted behaviors.

Seek professional help if needed

Don’t hesitate to seek professional help from a qualified dog trainer or behaviorist if you encounter challenges in training your furry pal. 

They can provide personalized guidance and assistance in addressing specific training issues.

Malinois Border Collie Mix Exercise Needs

This crossbreed has tons of energy to burn. This is what makes them ideal companions for people who love being on the go. 

These guys love to move, so make sure they get plenty of physical activity every day. Long walks, jogging, hiking, playing fetch, or even trying out dog sports like agility or frisbee are great options. 

Aim for about 60 to 90 minutes of exercise each day, but remember to adjust based on your dog’s energy level and age.

And it’s not just about physical exercise – mental stimulation is important too! These furry pals are super smart, so providing puzzle toys, training sessions, and interactive games can keep their minds sharp and prevent boredom.

Malinois Border Collie Mix Diet Requirements

Proper nutrition is essential for the well-being of your pet.

Here are some important considerations for their dietary requirements and recommended feeding schedule:

Dietary requirements

Look for high-quality, balanced, and complete dog food that is suitable for your pal’s age, size, and activity level.

Make sure meat is listed as the primary ingredient and avoid foods with artificial preservatives, fillers, or by-products.

On top of that, be sure to give your dog a balanced diet that includes the right proportions of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals.

My go-to is Ollie dog food, which is a fresh dog food that can be customized to your dog’s needs and gets delivered to your doorstep (our readers get a 60% discount on their first order too).

Also, don’t forget to provide clean and fresh water at all times to keep your furry pal well-hydrated, especially during and after exercise when they may need even more.

Recommended feeding schedule

To maintain your dog’s digestive health and prevent overeating, establish a consistent feeding schedule.

Divide their daily food portion into two or three smaller meals, depending on their age, size, and activity level.

Is free-feeding a good idea? Not really. 

I personally think that leaving food out all day or free-feeding can lead to overeating and weight gain.

Instead, offer measured and controlled portions at specific times to ensure they are getting the right amount of food.

Regularly check your pet’s body condition and adjust their food intake accordingly.

If your dog is gaining or losing weight, consult with your veterinarian for appropriate adjustments to their feeding schedule and portion sizes.

Malinois Border Collie Mix Grooming Requirements

Proper grooming is important for the well-being and comfort of your canine companion.

Here are some grooming requirements, tips, and recommendations to keep your furry friend looking and feeling their best:

Coat care

Keeping your pet looking their best requires some regular grooming TLC! 

With their medium to long double coats, regular brushing is a must to keep their fur free from loose hair, prevent matting, and maintain a healthy coat.

Aim for at least one or two brushing sessions a week, and be prepared for more frequent brushing during shedding seasons. 

When it’s bath time, opt for a mild dog shampoo and avoid over-bathing, as it can strip their natural oils and cause dryness and irritation.

Nails and paws

Don’t forget about their nails too!

Regular nail trimming is essential to prevent overgrowth, discomfort, and potential injuries.

I would also recommend that you invest in a good paw balm to keep your dog’s paws healthy.

If you’re not comfortable with nail trimming, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a professional groomer or your veterinarian. 

Musher’s Secret Dog Paw Wax

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Natural paw balm for dogs made from food-safe oils and waxes
Safe for dogs to lick and can be used on sensitive pets
Moisturizes and soothes dry, cracked paws
Can be used on different terrains such as snow, hot pavement, and rough surfaces
Can be used on hot spots and cuts for healing purposes

Ears and eyes

When it comes to caring for your crossbreed pet, don’t forget about their ears and eyes! 

Regularly check their ears for any signs of redness, swelling, or discharge, and clean them as needed using an ear cleaner made for dogs and a soft rag or cotton balls. 

For their eyes, keep them clean and free from discharge by wiping them with a clean, damp cloth. If you notice any signs of eye irritation or infection, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian for proper treatment.

Dental care

Oral care is an important aspect of keeping your pet’s overall health in check. 

Regularly brush their teeth with dog-specific toothpaste and a toothbrush to prevent tartar buildup, gum disease, and bad breath. 

In addition to brushing, offering dental chews and toys can be beneficial.

Look for products that are designed to clean teeth and gums, helping to promote dental health and reduce plaque buildup. 

Malinois Border Collie Mix Popular Colors and Patterns

This breed boasts a wide range of eye-catching colors and patterns, making each dog a unique and visually appealing companion.

Black and white is the classic color combination. It can also be present in the mix. The coat may be predominantly black with white markings on the chest, paws, and face, or vice versa.

Sable is another common look. Sable coats typically have a base color of fawn or tan, with darker hairs mixed in, creating a multi-toned and often striking appearance.

You may also end up with a Merle pet. Merle is a pattern characterized by a marbled or speckled coat with patches of different colors. 

Or your furry pal can end up being tricolored. It typically consists of a combination of black, white, and tan or fawn markings on the coat.

Malinois Border Collie Mix Common Health Issues

Cross-breed dogs usually have better overall health because of their diverse genetic makeup, but still, it’s good to be aware of any potential health concerns. 

Common health concerns

Here are some common issues that may be seen in this mix:

Hip dysplasia

This hip joint issue can be a concern. Both the Malinois and Border Collie breeds may be prone to this.

Hip dysplasia can cause arthritis and discomfort as they age. Don’t worry, though! With regular management or treatment, your pup can stay comfy and active.

Eye problems

Both parent breeds are susceptible to eye problems. They often suffer from glaucoma, retinal atrophy, and cataracts. Regular eye checkups and proper care can help catch and manage these issues, keeping your pup’s vision in tip-top shape.


Food allergies or environmental allergies may require proper nutrition and environmental management, like avoiding allergens, to keep your pup feeling great.

Dental problems

Plaque, tartar buildup, gum disease, and tooth loss, can be common in both the Malinois and Border Collie breeds. A regular visit with the dentist should address this and keep your pet’s smile shining bright.


Wondering how long your furry companion might be by your side? The lifespan of this breed can vary depending on factors such as genetics, overall health care, and lifestyle. 

On average, these lovable mixes tend to live around 10 to 14 years. 

But fear not! If you make sure your furry pal gets proper nutrition, regular exercise, routine veterinary care, and overall health and well-being, they can enjoy a longer, healthier, and more vibrant life by your side.

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Does a Malinois Border Collie Mix Make a Good Family Pet?

Definitely! These pups are brilliant, which makes interacting with them highly entertaining and rewarding for the whole family. You are going to have a blast bonding with your furry friend.

One thing you’ll love about this mix is their boundless energy and love for the outdoors. They’re always up for a game of fetch, a hike, or a run, making them perfect exercise partners for active families. 

Of course, like any breed, there are challenges to overcome. These pups need tons of exercise. You must be prepared to spend at least an hour per day on that.

Pros and Cons of This Breed

The Malinois Border Collie mix is a captivating breed that combines the best of both worlds – the intelligence and energy of two working breeds.

But before you decide to bring home one, it is best to explore the pros and cons of having this crossbreed as your canine companion.

Advantages of the breed

On the plus side, this mix is incredibly smart, which means training and mental stimulation activities can be a blast.

They’re extremely quick learners and excel in various dog sports and activities. 

Plus, with their high energy levels and stamina, they make fantastic companions for active families who love outdoor adventures like hiking, running, or playing fetch.

Disadvantages of the breed

They require a significant amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation to thrive. 

Without enough physical and mental activity, they can become bored and restless, leading to unwanted behaviors like excessive barking, digging, or destructive chewing.

Additionally, due to their herding background, the dog may exhibit strong herding instincts. 

This can manifest as nipping, chasing, or herding family members or other pets.

Proper training, frequent socialization, and management can nip this habit in the bud.

Where to Find a Malinois Border Collie Mix Puppy for Sale?

If you’re interested in adding a Malinois Border Collie mix to your family, it’s important to find a reputable source for acquiring a furry pal. Here are some options to consider:

Rescue organizations

Many breed-specific rescue organizations or mixed-breed rescues may have this breed available for adoption. 

Adopting a rescue puppy can be a rewarding way to provide a loving home to a dog in need and potentially save a life.

Breeder referrals

You can also try contacting reputable breeders who specialize in this particular crossbreed. 

Ask for referrals from trusted sources, such as breed clubs or fellow dog owners, and be sure to do thorough research on the breeder’s reputation, health testing practices, and overall ethics. 

Local vets may also provide you with names of reputable breeders in the area.

Online platforms

There are several online platforms where you can find puppies for sale, including websites dedicated to dog adoptions or classified ads. 

However, exercise caution and thoroughly vet any potential sellers to ensure they are reputable and follow ethical breeding practices.

How much does a Border Collie Malinois mix puppy cost?

There is no set price for this crossbreed.

Factors like the breeder’s reputation, where you’re located, the dog’s pedigree and health testing, and how popular the breed is in your area can all affect the price. 

On average, you can expect to pay around $500 to over $3,000 for this particular crossbreed puppy.

The price is steep because the parent breeds, particularly the Belgian Malinois, are quite hard to find. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which is smarter, Border Collie or Belgian Malinois?

Both Border Collies and Belgian Malinois are highly intelligent breeds. Border Collies are known for their exceptional herding instincts and ability to understand complex commands. Belgian Malinois are known for their versatility and are often utilized in working roles such as police and military work, search and rescue, and detection work.

Are Malinois good dogs?

Yes, Belgian Malinois are generally considered to be good dogs. They are highly intelligent, versatile, and trainable, making them suitable for various working roles. However, they also require proper training, exercise, and mental stimulation to thrive in a domestic setting.  

Are Belgian Malinois more protective than German shepherds?

Belgian Malinois and German Shepherds are both recognized for their protective instincts, but it’s important to remember that each dog is unique. Their level of protectiveness can vary based on their personality and experiences. With proper training and socialization, both breeds can excel in guarding and protection roles.

In Conclusion: The Malinois Border Collie Mix

The Mali-Border is a brilliant blend of brains and brawn.

With their wit, enthusiasm, and endless energy, they’re gonna keep you on your toes (and laughing all the way).

If you’re ready for a life full of adventure, grab your leash and dive into the world of the Malinois Border Collie Mix.

Happy herding!

Don’t fur-get to check out our other posts too:

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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