Belgian Malinois vs German Shepherd?

Although most K-9 or search and rescue dogs seem to be German shepherds, often they’re actually a breed known as the Belgian Malinois (pronounced MAL-in-wah), or Mal. Are these two doggos twinsies? With their pointed ears, intense gaze, gorgeous double coats, and intense stamina, it might appear so at first glance.

Incredibly brave, these dogs are valued participants in military missions and law enforcement efforts, taking on many honorable duties to protect and serve. Beligan Malinois and German shepherds are also both generally easy to groom, staying snazzy with a weekly brushing overall but needing a little extra care during shedding season .

So if the heritage of a Belgian Malinois or German shepherd involves breeding for show or work and you’re an experienced pet parent fully focused on continued development, either canine might be an exceptional choice. However, if one of these alert and active pups has to find a way to fit into a busy family’s schedule, Bragdon says it’s imperative to have a careful consultation with a breeder and your veterinarian to ensure you can provide a happy, healthy lifestyle for this type of dog. Bragdon says generally, Mals aren’t bred as pet companions, and often have a high prey drive and work ethiccharacteristics that make them aptly suited to put their nose to the ground in search and rescue positions, bomb and narcotic detection, and as tracking K-9 officers .

“They’re happiest when physically and mentally engaged to assist in protection activities, which may be beyond the ability of the average dog owner to satisfy,” Bragdon says. Similar black muzzles, a color variance that ranges from fawn and tan to brown and mahogany, and an acute gaze that follows your every move! Notice how the Beligian Malinois ears stick straight up from the crown of his head, but the German shepherd‘s are more angled to the side?

Which dog is smarter Belgian Malinois or German Shepherd?

Whilst our table of temperament may indicate these two breeds are the same, they are not. However, both dogs have similarities, as they are herding and working breeds, the Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd are highly intelligent. … The Belgian Malinois, well he is already 10 steps ahead of you.

What dog is stronger than a German Shepherd?

From the differences in weight and height, the Rottweiler stands out. The largest male Rottweiler would be 45lb (20.4kg) heavier and 1ʺ (2.5cm) taller than the largest male German Shepherd. The Rottweiler also has a stronger dog bite force when compared to the German Shepherd.

Why do police use Belgian Malinois instead of German Shepherd?

For many areas of police work, the Belgian Malinois seems to be the better dog. He is fast, athletic, possesses unlimited energy, is extremely agile, and strong despite its smaller, lighter body. He is not prone to as many ailments and health problems as the German Shepherd dog.

The Belgian Malinois and the German Shepherd have been confused for far too long. Despite their history as herding dogs and their similar coloring, so many physical and behavioral differences separate the pups. Finding the right one as a pet or even a working dog can be a task in and of itself but understanding what youre in for can make a big difference.

At first glance, the Belgian Malinois and the German Shepherd seem fairly similar, but their coloring is the biggest clue on which one is which. The German Shepherd, however, has much darker coloring throughout its body, mixing the black and dark blonde fur together.

The main reason that so many people seem to love dogs is for the idea that they can become mans best friend, and the German Shepherd is a perfect example. They tend to be gentle and affectionate, which sometimes makes them bond so deeply with their owners that separation anxiety quickly settles in. Historically, the high energy and ability to take commands made the German Shepherd an excellent companion during combat.

With his independent streak, the Belgian Malinois hasnt really been used in combat at all, though their aggression has led police to consider them as a working dogs. The Belgian Malinois seems to be the healthier of the two breeds, primarily prone to dysplasia in the joints and eye issues, though they can also suffer from allergies. While the Belgian Malinois can be more independent, the German Shepherd is more likely to deal with issues like separation anxiety if their owner is gone long.

German shepherds and Belgian Malinois have a lot in common: both bred for herding sheep and other livestock, used for military and police work, and are active, highly trainable dogs who do best with experienced dog owners. So what are the differences?

While theyre smaller and finer boned than German shepherds, with an elegant, no-frills sort of sleekness, theyre strong and muscular dogs that are nearly tireless. Both breeds are better suited for experienced dog owners since their high energy and intelligence make them more difficult to handle.

This makes for a great partnership in just about any endeavor, but especially in the high-risk situations of police or military work, where these dogs are invaluable to their handlers and their units. Given all this, its not surprising that these dogs dont do well when left for hours on end in the backyard, and a daily walk barely dents the surface for their exercise needs. They like to have a job, and activities like obedience, nose work, agility, tracking, and of course herding, are all great ways to engage them both mentally and physically.

These breeds also make excellent search and rescue dogs, and Malinois, in particular, are great biking or jogging partners. But they also caution, however, the activities and behaviors that are presented, and that look so easy for the dog, are the result of lengthy, intense and constant training. Similarly, with the right active companion, a Belgian Malinois is a smart, energetic dog who will bring loyalty and excitement to the household.

Everybodys familiar with the German Shepherd Dog. After all, theyve been Americas second most popular breed for years. But not everybody is quite as well acquainted with the Belgian Malinois. In fact, their similar coloring and heritage as herding breeds might lead some people to mistake the Belgian Malinois for the German Shepherd. However, there are a few key differences between these two breeds, as well as some fascinating similarities.

Also dating back to the late 1800s, the German Shepherd was developed by Captain Max von Stephanitz . The sport of Schutzhund was developed as a test to choose appropriate animals for breeding when it wasnt possible to evaluate the dogs by their traditional work.

Vigilant yet responsive, they balance all the qualities needed in a stock dog, protector, and sensible working partner. Besides being shown in conformation , German Shepherds compete in herding , obedience , agility , tracking , dock diving , disc dog , barn hunt , and more, she affirms.

Differences Between German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois

The American Kennel Club (AKC) has seven categories for dogs, based on the purpose they were originally bred to serve. Representing the AKC’s herding group, both Belgian Malinois and German shepherds are prized for their working abilities. They’reOther similarities to add to the Belgian Malinois vs. German shepherds list:Bonnie Bragdon, DVM, MS, is co-founder and president of the Independent Veterinary Practitioners Association. She says when considering a purebred dog for the family, the most important aspect is to understand the dog’s breeding—certainly true for all breeds, but especially paramount for those with inherent working abilities like Belgian Malinois and German shepherds. “They could have come from a line of dogs bred for conformation (show quality), for skill (working or field trials), or for companionship (pet quality),” she says.So if the heritage of a Belgian Malinois or German shepherd involves breeding for show or work and you’re an experienced pet parent fully focused on continued development, either canine might be an exceptional choice.However, if one of these alert and active pups has to find a way to fit into a busy family’s schedule, Bragdon says it’s imperative to have a careful consultation with a breeder and your veterinarian to ensure you can provide a happy, healthy lifestyle for this type of dog. “Dogs bred to work are often high energy and may become destructive or mentally unwell if not provided with adequate work to keep them occupied,” she adds.

Comparing Belgian Malinois vs German Shepherd

Check out some of the ways that the Belgian Malinois and the German Shepherd differ. While both dogs are intelligent and active, they have several differences in their appearance that make them easier to separate.

Belgian Malinois vs German Shepherd: Coat Coloring

At first glance, the Belgian Malinois and the German Shepherd seem fairly similar, but their coloring is the biggest clue on which one is which. While the Belgian Malinois is more blond or fawn in their coloring, they have a black mask with black ears.The German Shepherd, however, has much darker coloring throughout its body, mixing the black and dark blonde fur together. Sometimes, this breed has three or more colors in its coat.

Breed origins

In the late 19th century a German cavalry officer, Captain Max von Stephanitz, worked to combine the various herding dog breeds into a uniform breed, creating the foundation of the German shepherd as we know it today.The versatile, intelligent dog became a popular dog with fanciers the world over, coming to the United States in the early part of the 20th century. The breed’s popularity waned a bit during World War I, as it was associated with the enemy. This is when they began to be called Alsatians. This name is still commonly used in Great Britain.The Belgian Malinois was also originally bred to herd sheep. They are part of a group of dogs from Belgium known as the Belgian shepherds—the Belgian Tervuren, the Belgian sheepdog, and the Laekenois—whose types were refined in the late 1800s from herding dogs likely used for centuries.The Malinois is the only short-coated one of the four, and their excellent herding abilities were harnessed early on for police and military work.

Size and coloring

A Belgian Malinois looks sort of like a smaller, blonder German shepherd, and is sometimes even mistaken for a German shepherd. Malinois are shorthaired dogs, fawn in color, with a black overlay, and a black mask and ears. The females average about 40-60 pounds, and the males weigh about 60-80 pounds.While they’re smaller and finer boned than German shepherds, with an elegant, “no-frills” sort of sleekness, they’re strong and muscular dogs that are nearly tireless.German shepherds are approximately 10 percent larger than a Belgian Malinois, with females running between 50 and 70 pounds and males between 65 and 90 pounds. Along with their slightly larger size, their coats are slightly longer as well, with a little more fluff and undercoat than the Belgian Malinois—there’s even a long-coated German shepherd variety.They’re known for the classic coloring—black and tan or black and silver with a black saddle over the body—but solid black and sable dogs, usually with a dark face, are also common in the breed. Sable, or more correctly, agouti, is the banding of color on each and every individual hair, which leads to a variety of shades and colors which can vary greatly from sable dog to sable dog.The famous Rin Tin Tin, the first canine movie star, was a sable German shepherd.

Temperament

Both German shepherds and Belgian Malinois are bred to work. As with most herding breeds, they’re smart, willing partners who enjoy working alongside their humans. Both breeds are better suited for experienced dog owners since their high energy and intelligence make them more difficult to handle.While they love their people, if they’re not given a job to do, or exercised regularly, they can get into trouble.This high work drive and versatility is what has made both breeds so highly prized by police and military K9 units. They seem to come hard-wired for adventure and, as herding breeds, are very alert and keenly aware of their surroundings.This makes for a great partnership in just about any endeavor, but especially in the high-risk situations of police or military work, where these dogs are invaluable to their handlers and their units.Given all this, it’s not surprising that these dogs don’t do well when left for hours on end in the backyard, and a daily walk barely dents the surface for their exercise needs. They like to have a job, and activities like obedience, nose work, agility, tracking, and of course herding, are all great ways to engage them both mentally and physically.The sport of Schutzhund—tracking, obedience, and protection competition—is something many German shepherd and Belgian Malinois owners enjoy.These breeds also make excellent search and rescue dogs, and Malinois, in particular, are great biking or jogging partners.

Activity levels

Of the two breeds, the Belgian Malinois is generally considered the busier and more challenging, but both breeds need regular tasks to do.Not content to snooze the day away, they’ll find things to do if they aren’t stimulated regularly. This might include redecorating your home by chewing a hole in the plasterboard, or digging trenches in your back yard. They have an extremely high prey drive and although this is good for a working K9, some Malinois are not “cat-safe.”While no slouch, the average German shepherd isn’t quite as active as the Belgian malinois. He won’t be content to just lie around all day but thrives on interaction with his human family.From protection work to guide dogs for the blind (the world’s first official guide dog for the blind was a German shepherd named Buddy), German shepherds excel at nearly anything we humans ask them to do. They’re also great family dogs and wonderful with children. They’re known for their courage, versatility, and fearlessness.

Popularity

With recent TV and film appearances and social media fame, the Belgian Malinois breed is becoming more popular than ever, with AKC registrations now putting them as the 43rd most popular AKC breed, up from 76th most popular just a few years ago.The American Belgian Malinois Club “is delighted at the interest in our breed sparked by videos and television shows that show off the intelligence, physical capabilities, and beauty of these animals.”But they also caution, “however, the activities and behaviors that are presented, and that look so easy for the dog, are the result of lengthy, intense and constant training. Malinois are bred and born to perform almost any task; they’re not bred to be a couch potato.”The German shepherd breed has been so popular, for so long—currently #2 in AKC registrations, and in the top 5 most popular AKC breeds for decades—that it’s hard to imagine a world without them. As part of an active family, they make excellent family companions as long as one is willing and able to give them the time and training they need.In the right home, the German shepherd is a breed that has it all.Similarly, with the right active companion, a Belgian Malinois is a smart, energetic dog who will bring loyalty and excitement to the household.

A Shared Herding Heritage

Both the Malinois and German Shepherd are members of the Herding Group and can trace their origins to livestock herding dogs. As their names imply, the Belgian Malinois was developed in Belgium and the German Shepherd in Germany.The Malinois was one of four varieties of Belgian Shepherd Dog in use in the late 1800s. It was first recognized by Professor Adolphe Reul. He characterized the variety as a medium-sized square dog with dark brown eyes and triangular ears. Each of the four types of Belgian Shepherd Dog was named for the area around Brussels where it was developed, with the Malinois hailing from the Malines region.“As the agricultural lifestyle declined, the Belgian Shepherd Dog became favored in the development of police dog training,” according to Ann MacKay, who has owned Belgian Malinois for 32 years and bred them for 26,In fact, as early as 1908, the AKC Gazette mentioned that two Belgian Sheepdogs had been imported into the United States to work as police dogs in New York City. More were imported in 1911, including two specifically identified in the AKC studbook as Malinois. Finally, in 1959 the Belgian Malinois was granted full AKC recognition as a breed of its own, separate from the other Belgian Shepherd Dog varieties.Also dating back to the late 1800s, the German Shepherd was developed by Captain Max von Stephanitz. He wanted to create the perfect dog breed. Von Stephanitz was impressed by the variety of herding dogs he saw throughout Germany. Looking for his ideal medium-to-large-sized dog with an independent, persistent, and obedient personality, he found and purchased a dog at a show in 1899. That dog became the first registered German Shepherd Dog in von Stephanitz’s newly established German Shepherd Dog Club and the founder of the breed.“Although the primary and original purpose of the German Shepherd was herding sheep (in what we refer to as a tending fashion), the breed soon became popular with the police and as military dogs,” says Julie Degen, a German Shepherd enthusiast for over 30 years and breeder for 25. “The sport of Schutzhund was developed as a test to choose appropriate animals for breeding when it wasn’t possible to evaluate the dogs by their traditional work. In short order, German Shepherds became one of the best known and most popular breeds in the world.”

Different Physical Qualities

Both breeds are similar in height. Males stand 24-26 inches high at the withers and females 22-24 inches. But the majority of Malinois are lighter than most German Shepherds. The male Malinois weighs 60-80 pounds and the female weighs 40-60 pounds. In contrast, a male German Shepherd can weigh up to 90 pounds and a female up to 70 pounds.MacKay, former vice president and over 25-year member of the American Belgian Malinois Club, points out that the Malinois’ ears more closely resemble a triangle than the German Shepherd’s ears. Plus, the Malinois is a square breed. In other words, when viewing from the side, the topline, front legs, and back legs should closely approximate a square.On the other hand, the breed standard for the German Shepherd describes a dog that is “longer than tall, deep-bodied, and presents an outline of smooth curves rather than angles.”Degen, a member of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America for 26 years who served as both the herding chair and performance chair, is struck by the German Shepherd’s movement. She describes the breed as having a unique, extremely efficient, and effortless gait. This helps them cover the most amount of ground with the least effort.