CAN MY BELGIAN MALINOIS SLEEP OUTSIDE?
Belgian Malinoises are perfectly suited to sleeping outdoors, so long as they have access to a sturdy, insulated kennel to protect them from the elements. Discover all our tips for choosing your dog's kennel below.
What Size Kennel Does My Belgian Malinois Need?
A kennel should be perfectly proportionate to the size of your Belgian Malinois so that the dog neither feels cramped nor lost in too much space. Contrary to what you may think, bigger doesn't always mean better. Being a large dog, a Belgian Malinois will need a fairly large kennel, but there’s no point buying one that’s any bigger than it needs to be. Plus, since kennels don’t have heating, your Belgian Malinois will warm it up with their own body heat; the more space around them, the more difficult it will be to keep warm. Ideally, your dog's kennel should be about ten centimetres higher than their standing height. Your Belgian Malinois should be able to stand up and turn around without touching the walls. Lengthwise, choose a kennel twice the length of your four-legged friend, measured from nose to tail.
What's the Best Material for an Outdoor Kennel?
There are many different types of kennel available on the market, but not all are created equal. The quality of your dog’s kennel will depend on the material used to build it. You want a well-insulated kennel to protect your Belgian Malinois effectively from the cold, but also the heat. This is the most important criterion when choosing a kennel and, as such, we recommend that you avoid plastic kennels in favour of a sturdier wooden kennel.
While plastic kennels have the advantage of being lighter, easy to clean, and also much less expensive, they are not very well insulated or robust and tend to deteriorate quickly. This means that your dog may be too hot in summer and too cold in winter. On the other hand, wooden kennels are more expensive but offer better insulation, as well as being much sturdier. Overall, wooden kennels constitute a better investment in the long term.
Place your Mali’s kennel on a pillory or concrete slab to elevate it slightly from the ground and improve insulation. This will also help protect your dog against parasites and insects. Build a small ramp to help your dog easily climb into their kennel without having to jump, as this can place too much stress on their joints. If you live in an area with a lot of rainfall, opt for a kennel with a sloped roof. This prevents water from stagnating and damaging the kennel. Alternatively, if you live in a rather dry area, choose a kennel with a flat roof. Dogs love to settle on top of their kennel and use it as a viewpoint to observe their territory.
Where Should I Put My Belgian Malinois' Kennel?
Think carefully about where in the garden to place your dog's kennel. Choose a location that is not too isolated, but well protected from wind and weather. Your dog should be able to access the kennel without any difficulty or obstruction. Above all, never tie your dog up in front of their kennel! Your dog must be able to move freely about the garden and easily find shelter if need be.
Try not to place your dog's kennel in direct sunlight during the summer and, if possible, move the kennel into the shade when the weather is especially hot. Finally, make sure your garden is fully secured to prevent any risk of your dog escaping. Although Belgian Malinoises are not generally runaway dogs, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Can Belgian Malinoises Sleep Indoors?
Of course, your Belgian Malinois will also be perfectly happy sleeping inside your home. The temperament of the Malinois breed is very loyal; these dogs like to be close to their masters, including at night. To ensure that your dog gets a good night’s sleep, choose their dog bed carefully. As with a kennel, it’s important to select a dog bed that’s perfectly suited to your Belgian Malinois’ size.
Some dogs like to feel surrounded and protected and may prefer a basket-type dog bed with a raised edge. Others, however, don't like the feeling and might be more suited to a pillow dog bed without a rim, a rug, a dog sofa, or even a cage. If your pooch has destructive tendencies, opt for a plastic dog bed, which is sturdier and much easier to clean than a fabric or leather dog bed, for example. In any case, avoid wicker baskets, which are more likely to be destroyed. Your dog could swallow the debris which presents a choking hazard.
Place your Mali’s dog bed in a quiet area, such as the hallway or a corner of the living room; somewhere out of the way, which is airy and well ventilated. Your Malinois should be able to rest without fear of being disturbed. If you have children, teach them to respect your dog's sleeping habits. Try to avoid having your dog's bed in your bedroom, especially when you first welcome your puppy home, so as not to risk your pooch developing an over-attachment to you. This could be harmful to their well-being in the long run, as your dog could develop separation anxiety or sink into depression. Once you have trained your Belgian Malinois puppy to be alone for short periods, you may be able to bring them into your bedroom, but think carefully about the consequences before making this decision.
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