Understanding the Malinois Mixed Breed: Traits, Training, and Care


The Malinois Mixed breed is a fascinating and versatile dog that has gained popularity among dog enthusiasts and families alike. Combining the characteristics of the Belgian Malinois with other breeds, these mixed dogs exhibit a unique blend of traits that make them both exceptional companions and working dogs. Understanding the Malinois Mixed breed is essential for potential owners who wish to provide the best care and training for these active and intelligent dogs.

In this article, we will delve into the world of the Malinois Mixed breed, exploring their physical characteristics, temperament, training needs, and overall care requirements. Whether you are considering adopting a Malinois Mixed breed or already have one as a pet, this comprehensive guide will provide valuable insights to help you ensure a happy and healthy life for your canine companion.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about the Malinois Mixed breed, from their unique traits and behaviors to practical tips for training, exercise, and health care. With the right knowledge and preparation, you can enjoy a rewarding and fulfilling relationship with your Malinois Mixed dog.

What is a Malinois Mixed Breed?

A Malinois Mixed breed is a dog that results from the crossbreeding of a Belgian Malinois with another dog breed. The Belgian Malinois, known for its intelligence, agility, and strong work ethic, is often mixed with various breeds to create dogs that inherit a combination of desirable traits from both parent breeds.

Common Breeds Mixed with the Malinois

Several breeds are commonly mixed with the Belgian Malinois to produce Malinois Mixed breeds. Some of the popular combinations include:

  • German Shepherd Malinois Mix: Known for their loyalty and protective nature, this mix is often used in police and military work.
  • Labrador Malinois Mix: Combining the friendliness of a Labrador with the work ethic of a Malinois, this mix is great for active families.
  • Border Collie Malinois Mix: This mix is highly intelligent and energetic, making them excellent at agility and herding activities.

These mixes can vary significantly in appearance and temperament, but they generally retain the high energy and intelligence of the Belgian Malinois.

Why Choose a Malinois Mixed Breed?

Choosing a Malinois Mixed breed can be a great option for those looking for a dog that is both trainable and versatile. These dogs often exhibit a blend of the best traits from both parent breeds, making them suitable for a variety of roles, from family pets to working dogs. Understanding the specific mix and the characteristics of both parent breeds can help potential owners make an informed decision about whether a Malinois Mixed breed is the right fit for their lifestyle.

In the following sections, we will explore the physical characteristics, temperament, training needs, and care requirements of Malinois Mixed breeds to provide a thorough understanding of what to expect from these unique dogs.

Physical Characteristics of Malinois Mixed Breeds

The physical characteristics of Malinois Mixed breeds can vary widely depending on the other breed involved in the mix. However, there are some common traits inherited from the Belgian Malinois that are often present.

General Appearance

Malinois Mixed breeds typically have a well-proportioned and athletic build. They are medium to large-sized dogs, with a muscular and agile body that reflects their active nature. Their ears are often erect, similar to the Belgian Malinois, and their eyes are alert and expressive.

Size and Weight Variations

The size and weight of Malinois Mixed breeds can vary significantly. Generally, these dogs weigh between 40 to 80 pounds and stand about 20 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder. The specific size and weight will depend on the characteristics of the other breed involved in the mix. For example:

  • German Shepherd Malinois Mix: Typically larger, weighing between 50 to 90 pounds.
  • Labrador Malinois Mix: Medium to large, usually weighing between 50 to 70 pounds.
  • Border Collie Malinois Mix: Medium-sized, generally weighing between 40 to 60 pounds.

Coat Types and Colors

Malinois Mixed breeds can have a variety of coat types and colors. The coat may be short and dense like the Belgian Malinois, or it may take on the characteristics of the other breed in the mix. Common coat colors include:

  • Fawn
  • Black
  • Brindle
  • Brown
  • Bi-color or tri-color patterns

The coat type can influence the grooming needs of the dog, which we will discuss in more detail in the grooming and maintenance section.

Understanding the physical characteristics of Malinois Mixed breeds helps potential owners anticipate the appearance and care needs of their future pet. In the next sections, we will explore the temperament and behavior of these dogs to provide a complete picture of what it’s like to live with a Malinois Mixed breed.

Temperament and Behavior

The temperament and behavior of Malinois Mixed breeds are influenced by both the Belgian Malinois and the other breed in the mix. These dogs are known for their intelligence, energy, and loyalty, making them excellent companions and working dogs.

Typical Temperament Traits

Malinois Mixed breeds often inherit the best qualities of their parent breeds. Some common temperament traits include:

  • Intelligent: These dogs are highly intelligent and quick learners, making them easy to train.
  • Energetic: They have high energy levels and require regular physical activity to stay healthy and happy.
  • Loyal: Malinois Mixed breeds are known for their loyalty and strong bond with their families.
  • Protective: They can be protective of their home and family, making them good watchdogs.
  • Affectionate: Despite their working dog background, they can be very affectionate and enjoy spending time with their human companions.

Behavioral Tendencies

Understanding the behavioral tendencies of Malinois Mixed breeds is crucial for potential owners. These dogs are highly active and need plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Common behaviors include:

  • Alertness: They are naturally alert and aware of their surroundings, which makes them excellent at tasks requiring vigilance.
  • Playfulness: Malinois Mixed breeds enjoy playtime and interactive games, which help burn off their excess energy.
  • Herding Instincts: Some mixes, especially those with herding breeds like Border Collies, may exhibit herding behaviors, such as nipping at heels.

Compatibility with Families and Other Pets

Malinois Mixed breeds can be wonderful family pets, but their suitability depends on their specific mix and upbringing. They are generally good with children, especially if socialized from a young age. However, due to their high energy levels, they may be better suited for families with older children who can handle their exuberance.

When it comes to other pets, early socialization is key. Malinois Mixed breeds can get along well with other dogs and pets if introduced properly. However, their herding and protective instincts may require careful management in multi-pet households.

In the next section, we will discuss effective training techniques for Malinois Mixed breeds to ensure they develop into well-behaved and obedient companions.

Training a Malinois Mixed Breed

Training a Malinois Mixed breed is essential to ensure they become well-mannered and obedient companions. These dogs are highly intelligent and eager to learn, but they require consistent and positive training methods to thrive.

Importance of Early Training

Early training is crucial for Malinois Mixed breeds. Starting training as soon as you bring your puppy home helps establish good behavior patterns and prevents the development of unwanted habits. Early socialization with different people, animals, and environments is also important to ensure your dog grows up to be confident and well-adjusted.

Effective Training Techniques

Using effective training techniques is key to successfully training a Malinois Mixed breed. Here are some methods that work well:

  • Positive Reinforcement: Reward-based training using treats, praise, and play is highly effective. These dogs respond well to positive reinforcement and are motivated by rewards.
  • Consistency: Consistency in commands, rules, and routines helps your dog understand what is expected of them. Ensure all family members use the same commands and follow the same rules.
  • Short, Frequent Sessions: Short, frequent training sessions are more effective than long, infrequent ones. Aim for multiple 10-15 minute sessions each day to keep your dog engaged and focused.
  • Variety: Incorporate a variety of training exercises to keep your dog mentally stimulated. This can include basic obedience, advanced commands, and fun tricks.

Common Challenges and Solutions

Training a Malinois Mixed breed can come with its challenges. Here are some common issues and solutions:

  • High Energy Levels: These dogs have a lot of energy and can become bored easily. Ensure they get plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation to prevent destructive behaviors.
  • Strong-Willed Nature: Some Malinois Mixed breeds can be strong-willed. Using firm but gentle training methods and establishing yourself as a confident leader can help manage this trait.
  • Barking: Excessive barking can be an issue. Teaching the “quiet” command and providing ample exercise and mental stimulation can help reduce barking.

Training a Malinois Mixed breed requires patience, consistency, and a good understanding of positive reinforcement techniques. With the right approach, these dogs can become well-behaved and loyal companions.

In the next section, we will explore the exercise and activity needs of Malinois Mixed breeds to ensure they stay healthy and happy.

Exercise and Activity Needs

Malinois Mixed breeds are highly active dogs that require regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. Understanding their exercise and activity needs is crucial for ensuring they lead happy and balanced lives.

Recommended Exercise Routines

Daily exercise is essential for Malinois Mixed breeds. Here are some recommended exercise routines:

  • Daily Walks: Aim for at least two brisk walks per day, lasting 30 to 60 minutes each. These walks provide essential physical activity and mental stimulation.
  • Off-Leash Play: Providing opportunities for off-leash play in a secure area allows your dog to run, explore, and burn off energy.
  • Interactive Games: Engage in interactive games such as fetch, tug-of-war, and frisbee to keep your dog physically active and mentally engaged.

Activities That Malinois Mixed Breeds Enjoy

Malinois Mixed breeds thrive on a variety of activities that challenge them both physically and mentally. Some favorite activities include:

  • Agility Training: Agility courses are excellent for these dogs, combining physical exercise with mental challenges.
  • Obedience Training: Regular obedience training sessions help keep their minds sharp and reinforce good behavior.
  • Hiking: These dogs enjoy hiking and exploring new environments, making them great companions for outdoor adventures.
  • Puzzle Toys: Interactive puzzle toys that dispense treats can keep them occupied and mentally stimulated.

Signs of Insufficient Exercise

It’s important to recognize the signs of insufficient exercise in Malinois Mixed breeds. Lack of adequate activity can lead to behavioral issues and health problems. Common signs include:

  • Destructive Behavior: Chewing, digging, and other destructive behaviors often indicate boredom and excess energy.
  • Excessive Barking: Without enough exercise, these dogs may bark excessively out of frustration.
  • Restlessness: Pacing, whining, and inability to settle down are signs that your dog needs more physical activity.
  • Weight Gain: Insufficient exercise can lead to weight gain and associated health issues.

Ensuring your Malinois Mixed breed gets enough exercise is crucial for their well-being. By incorporating a variety of activities and providing regular physical and mental stimulation, you can keep your dog happy, healthy, and well-behaved.

In the next section, we will discuss the health and wellness needs of Malinois Mixed breeds, including common health issues and preventative care tips

Health and Wellness

Maintaining the health and wellness of a Malinois Mixed breed is crucial for ensuring a long, happy life. These dogs can be prone to certain health issues, so understanding their health needs and taking preventative measures is essential.

Common Health Issues in Malinois Mixed Breeds

While Malinois Mixed breeds can inherit a range of health traits from their parent breeds, some common health issues include:

  • Hip Dysplasia: This genetic condition affects the hip joints and can lead to arthritis and mobility issues. Regular vet check-ups and maintaining a healthy weight can help manage this condition.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: Similar to hip dysplasia, this condition affects the elbow joints and can cause pain and lameness.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): A genetic eye disorder that can lead to blindness. Regular eye exams are important for early detection.
  • Bloat: This is a serious condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists. Knowing the signs and seeking immediate veterinary care can be life-saving.
  • Skin Allergies: Some Malinois Mixed breeds may suffer from skin allergies, which can cause itching and discomfort. Identifying and avoiding allergens can help manage this issue.

Preventative Care Tips

Preventative care is key to keeping your Malinois Mixed breed healthy. Here are some essential tips:

  • Regular Vet Check-Ups: Schedule annual check-ups to monitor your dog’s health and catch any potential issues early.
  • Vaccinations: Keep your dog up-to-date on all recommended vaccinations to protect them from common diseases.
  • Parasite Prevention: Use flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives as recommended by your veterinarian.
  • Healthy Diet: Provide a balanced diet that meets your dog’s nutritional needs. Avoid overfeeding to prevent obesity.
  • Exercise: Regular physical activity is essential for maintaining a healthy weight and preventing joint issues.
  • Dental Care: Brush your dog’s teeth regularly and provide dental chews to maintain oral health.

Importance of Regular Vet Check-Ups

Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for maintaining your dog’s health. During these visits, your vet can:

  • Perform Routine Examinations: Check your dog’s overall health, including weight, coat condition, and joint health.
  • Administer Vaccinations: Ensure your dog is protected against common diseases.
  • Screen for Genetic Conditions: Early detection of conditions like hip dysplasia and PRA can help manage these issues more effectively.
  • Provide Dietary Advice: Offer guidance on the best diet for your dog’s specific needs.

Maintaining the health and wellness of your Malinois Mixed breed involves a combination of preventative care, regular vet visits, and a healthy lifestyle. By staying proactive and attentive to your dog’s needs, you can help ensure they live a long and happy life.

In the next section, we will explore the diet and nutrition requirements of Malinois Mixed breeds to help you provide the best possible care for your dog.

Diet and Nutrition

Proper diet and nutrition are vital for the overall health and well-being of Malinois Mixed breeds. Providing the right balance of nutrients helps ensure that your dog maintains a healthy weight, strong muscles, and a robust immune system.

Nutritional Needs of a Malinois Mixed Breed

Malinois Mixed breeds have specific nutritional needs that must be met to support their high energy levels and active lifestyle. Here are some key nutritional components:

  • High-Quality Protein: Essential for muscle development and repair. Look for dog foods with meat, fish, or poultry listed as the first ingredient.
  • Healthy Fats: Important for energy and maintaining a healthy coat and skin. Sources include fish oil, chicken fat, and flaxseed.
  • Carbohydrates: Provide energy and should come from wholesome sources like brown rice, sweet potatoes, and oats.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Ensure your dog gets a balanced amount of vitamins and minerals for overall health. This includes calcium for strong bones and antioxidants for immune support.
  • Fiber: Aids in digestion and helps maintain a healthy weight. Sources include vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

Recommended Types of Food

Choosing the right type of food for your Malinois Mixed breed is crucial. Here are some recommendations:

  • Dry Kibble: Convenient and helps with dental health. Choose a high-quality brand with a good balance of nutrients.
  • Wet Food: Provides moisture and can be more palatable for picky eaters. Ensure it is nutritionally complete and balanced.
  • Raw Diet: Some owners prefer a raw diet, which can be beneficial if properly balanced. Consult with a veterinarian to ensure all nutritional needs are met.
  • Homemade Diet: If you opt for homemade meals, work with a veterinary nutritionist to create a balanced diet plan.

Feeding Schedule and Portion Control

Establishing a regular feeding schedule and controlling portions are key to maintaining a healthy weight. Here are some tips:

  • Regular Feeding Times: Feed your dog at the same times each day to establish a routine. Typically, two meals per day—morning and evening—are ideal.
  • Portion Control: Follow the feeding guidelines on your dog food packaging, adjusting based on your dog’s age, weight, and activity level. Avoid overfeeding to prevent obesity.
  • Monitor Weight: Regularly check your dog’s weight and adjust portions as needed. If your dog starts gaining or losing weight unexpectedly, consult your veterinarian.

Treats and Snacks

Treats and snacks can be a part of your dog’s diet but should be given in moderation. Opt for healthy, low-calorie treats and use them as rewards for training and good behavior. Avoid giving table scraps or foods that are toxic to dogs, such as chocolate, grapes, and onions.

Incorporating a balanced diet and proper nutrition into your Malinois Mixed breed’s routine is essential for their health and longevity. By providing high-quality food, maintaining a regular feeding schedule, and monitoring their weight, you can ensure your dog stays fit and healthy.

In the next section, we will discuss the grooming and maintenance needs of Malinois Mixed breeds to help you keep your dog looking and feeling their best.

Grooming and Maintenance

Grooming and maintenance are essential for keeping your Malinois Mixed breed healthy and looking their best. The grooming needs of these dogs can vary depending on the specific mix, but regular care helps ensure their coat and skin remain in good condition.

Grooming Needs Based on Coat Type

The coat type of a Malinois Mixed breed can range from short and dense to medium-length and wavy, depending on the other breed involved. Here are some general grooming guidelines based on coat type:

  • Short, Dense Coats: These coats require minimal grooming but benefit from regular brushing to remove loose hair and reduce shedding. Aim to brush your dog at least once a week.
  • Medium-Length Coats: These coats may require more frequent brushing, ideally two to three times a week, to prevent matting and tangling. A slicker brush or comb works well for this type of coat.
  • Longer, Wavy Coats: If your Malinois Mixed breed has a longer, wavy coat, daily brushing may be necessary to keep the coat free of tangles and mats. Consider using a detangling spray to make brushing easier.

Tips for Keeping Your Dog Clean and Healthy

In addition to regular brushing, other grooming tasks are important for maintaining your dog’s overall health and cleanliness:

  • Bathing: Bathe your dog as needed, typically every 4-6 weeks, using a dog-specific shampoo. Avoid over-bathing, as it can strip the coat of natural oils.
  • Nail Trimming: Trim your dog’s nails every 3-4 weeks or as needed. Long nails can cause discomfort and affect your dog’s gait.
  • Ear Cleaning: Check your dog’s ears weekly for signs of infection, such as redness, odor, or excessive wax buildup. Clean the ears with a vet-approved ear cleaner if necessary.
  • Dental Care: Brush your dog’s teeth several times a week to prevent plaque buildup and maintain oral health. Dental chews and toys can also help keep teeth clean.
  • Eye Care: Regularly check your dog’s eyes for signs of irritation or discharge. Gently wipe away any debris with a damp cloth if needed.

Frequency of Grooming Tasks

The frequency of grooming tasks can vary based on your dog’s specific needs, but here is a general guideline:

  • Brushing: 1-3 times per week, depending on coat type.
  • Bathing: Every 4-6 weeks.
  • Nail Trimming: Every 3-4 weeks.
  • Ear Cleaning: Weekly.
  • Dental Care: Several times a week.
  • Eye Care: As needed.

Regular grooming not only keeps your Malinois Mixed breed looking their best but also provides an opportunity to check for any health issues, such as skin conditions, parasites, or injuries. By incorporating these grooming and maintenance practices into your routine, you can ensure your dog stays clean, healthy, and comfortable.

In the next section, we will explore the living conditions and environment best suited for Malinois Mixed breeds to help you create an ideal home for your dog.

Living Conditions and Environment

Creating an ideal living environment for your Malinois Mixed breed is crucial for their happiness and well-being. These active and intelligent dogs thrive in environments that provide ample space, stimulation, and comfort.

Suitable Living Environments

Malinois Mixed breeds are versatile and can adapt to various living conditions, but some environments are more suitable than others:

  • Houses with Yards: Ideally, these dogs should live in houses with fenced yards where they can run and play freely. A secure yard provides a safe space for them to burn off energy.
  • Apartments: While Malinois Mixed breeds can adapt to apartment living, it requires a commitment to providing sufficient exercise. Regular walks, trips to the dog park, and indoor play sessions are essential to meet their activity needs.
  • Rural Settings: These dogs often thrive in rural settings with plenty of open space for exploration and exercise. They enjoy outdoor activities and can be great companions for hiking, running, and other outdoor adventures.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Living Considerations

While Malinois Mixed breeds enjoy spending time outdoors, they should primarily live indoors with their family. Here are some considerations for balancing indoor and outdoor living:

  • Indoor Living: These dogs need to be part of the family and should not be left outside for long periods. They thrive on companionship and can develop behavioral issues if isolated.
  • Outdoor Time: Provide ample outdoor time for exercise and mental stimulation. Supervised outdoor play sessions in a secure yard or regular trips to safe, off-leash areas are ideal.
  • Weather Considerations: Ensure your dog is protected from extreme weather conditions. Provide shade and fresh water during hot weather, and a warm, sheltered space during cold weather.

Adaptability to Different Climates

Malinois Mixed breeds can adapt to various climates, but they require some considerations to ensure their comfort:

  • Hot Climates: In hot climates, provide plenty of water and avoid exercising during the hottest parts of the day. Ensure your dog has access to shaded areas and consider using cooling mats or vests.
  • Cold Climates: In cold climates, provide a warm shelter and consider using dog coats or sweaters for extra warmth. Limit outdoor time during extreme cold and ensure your dog has a dry, warm place to rest.

Creating a suitable living environment for your Malinois Mixed breed involves balancing indoor companionship with outdoor exercise and ensuring they are comfortable in different weather conditions. By providing a loving and stimulating environment, you can help your dog thrive.

In the next section, we will discuss adoption and purchasing tips for Malinois Mixed breeds to help you find the right dog for your home.

Adoption and Purchasing Tips

Adopting or purchasing a Malinois Mixed breed requires careful consideration to ensure you find a dog that fits well with your lifestyle and family. Here are some tips to guide you through the process.

Considerations When Adopting or Buying a Malinois Mixed Breed

Before adopting or buying a Malinois Mixed breed, take into account the following considerations:

  • Energy Level: Malinois Mixed breeds are energetic dogs that require plenty of exercise. Ensure you have the time and commitment to meet their activity needs.
  • Training: These dogs are intelligent and benefit from consistent training. Be prepared to invest time in obedience training and socialization.
  • Living Environment: Assess whether your living environment is suitable for an active dog. Homes with yards are ideal, but apartments can work with sufficient exercise.
  • Family Dynamics: Consider how a Malinois Mixed breed will fit into your family. They are usually good with children and other pets if properly socialized.

Finding Reputable Breeders or Adoption Centers

Finding a reputable breeder or adoption center is crucial to ensure you get a healthy and well-adjusted dog. Here are some tips:

  • Research: Conduct thorough research to find reputable breeders or adoption centers with good reviews and references.
  • Visit: Visit the breeder or adoption center to see the conditions in which the dogs are raised. A responsible breeder or center will allow you to meet the dogs and their parents.
  • Health Screening: Ensure the breeder or center conducts health screenings for common genetic issues in Malinois Mixed breeds. Request to see health certificates and vaccination records.
  • Ask Questions: Ask about the dog’s temperament, history, and any potential health issues. A reputable breeder or center will be transparent and provide detailed information.

Costs Associated with Owning a Malinois Mixed Breed

Owning a Malinois Mixed breed involves various costs that potential owners should consider:

  • Initial Purchase or Adoption Fee: The cost of purchasing a Malinois Mixed breed from a breeder can range from $500 to $2000, depending on the mix and breeder’s reputation. Adoption fees are generally lower, ranging from $100 to $500.
  • Veterinary Care: Routine veterinary care, including vaccinations, check-ups, and preventative treatments, is essential. Annual costs can range from $300 to $500.
  • Training: Investing in professional training classes or resources can range from $100 to $300 or more, depending on the training program.
  • Food and Supplies: High-quality dog food, toys, bedding, and other supplies can cost approximately $500 to $1000 per year.
  • Grooming: Depending on your dog’s coat type, grooming costs, including professional grooming services and grooming supplies, can range from $100 to $300 annually.

By considering these factors and preparing for the associated costs, you can make an informed decision and ensure a smooth transition for your new Malinois Mixed breed into your home.

In the next section, we will summarize the key points discussed and provide final thoughts on owning a Malinois Mixed breed.


Owning a Malinois Mixed breed can be a rewarding experience, offering you a loyal, intelligent, and energetic companion. Understanding the unique traits, needs, and care requirements of these dogs is essential for providing a loving and nurturing environment.

Summary of Key Points

  • Unique Traits: Malinois Mixed breeds inherit a combination of characteristics from the Belgian Malinois and the other breed involved. This results in a diverse range of appearances and temperaments.
  • Training and Exercise: These dogs are highly active and intelligent, requiring consistent training and plenty of exercise to stay happy and healthy. Positive reinforcement and regular physical activities are key to their well-being.
  • Health and Wellness: Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and preventative care are crucial for maintaining the health of Malinois Mixed breeds. Be aware of common health issues and take proactive measures to address them.
  • Grooming and Maintenance: Depending on their coat type, these dogs may need regular brushing, bathing, and other grooming tasks. Keeping them clean and well-groomed contributes to their overall health.
  • Living Conditions: Providing a suitable living environment with ample space for exercise is important. While they can adapt to various living situations, a home with a yard is ideal.
  • Adoption and Costs: Consider the commitment and costs associated with owning a Malinois Mixed breed. Ensure you find a reputable breeder or adoption center and prepare for the financial responsibilities of dog ownership.

Final Thoughts on Owning a Malinois Mixed Breed

Malinois Mixed breeds can make wonderful additions to active families and individuals who are committed to meeting their needs. With proper care, training, and attention, these dogs can thrive and bring joy to their owners. By understanding their unique characteristics and providing a loving environment, you can enjoy a fulfilling relationship with your Malinois Mixed breed.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about Malinois Mixed breeds. We hope this guide has provided valuable insights and practical tips for caring for these exceptional dogs. Whether you are considering adoption or already have a Malinois Mixed breed, this information will help you ensure a happy and healthy life for your canine companion.

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