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Malinois Dog vs German Shepherd 2021


The German Shepherd Dog is a well-known breed. For a long time, they were the second most popular breed in the United States. The Belgian Malinois dog, on the other hand, are not well known by everyone.

In fact, because of their similar appearance and herding heritage, some people may confuse the Belgian Malinois with the German Shepherd. While these two breeds have many similarities, there are a few significant differences that are worth noting as well.

Origins of the German Shepherd and Malinois Dogs

Malinois Dog vs German Shepherd 2021Both German Shepherd and Malinois dogs belong to the Herding Group, and their ancestors were herding cattle dogs. Both of them are named after the countries in which they originated.

German Shepherd 

Malinois Dog vs German Shepherd 2021

Captain Max von Stephanitz, a German military officer, attempted to unify the numerous herding dog types into a single breed, forming the foundation of the modern German Shepherd.

In the early 20th century, the bright, versatile dog became a favorite of dog lovers worldwide. Then it could make its way to the United States. 

Belgian Malinois Dogs

Malinois Dog vs German Shepherd 2021

Originally, the Belgian Malinois dogs were bred to herd sheep. They are part of a group of Belgian shepherd dogs. The group includes the Belgian Tervuren, Belgian sheepdog, and the Laekenois. All these dogs were developed in the late 1800s from herding dogs.

German shepherd and Malinois Dogs; Size and Color 

When comparing the Malinois and the German Shepherd, it’s easy to mistake them for one another.

Belgian Malinois Dogs 

Malinois Dog vs German Shepherd 2021

Belgian Malinois dogs resemble smaller, lighter-haired German shepherds in size and appearance. Malinois dogs are short-haired dogs that are fawn in color with a black overlay and a black mask and ears. The females weigh between 40 and 60 pounds, and the males weigh between 60 and 80 pounds. 

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German Shepherds

Malinois Dog vs German Shepherd 2021

Compared to Belgian Malinois, German Shepherds weigh between 50 and 70 pounds for females and 65 to 90 pounds for males. Even though they’re slightly larger than the Belgian Malinois, they also have longer coats, with more fur and undercoat than the Malinois dogs. 

The classic colors of black and tan or black and silver with a black saddle over the body are what set them apart from the rest. Black and sable dogs with dark faces are popular in the breed, although they aren’t the only color options available. 

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Temperament; Malinois Dog vs German Shepherd

Malinois Dog vs German Shepherd 2021

Working dogs are bred in both German shepherds and Belgian Malinois. In the same way, like most herding breeds, they are intelligent, willing partners who like working with their owners. 

Belgian Malinois Dogs

Malinois Dog vs German Shepherd 2021When it comes to temperament, a Belgian Malinois is best known for being a hard-working dog.

You may anticipate a calm attitude that is neither aggressive nor shy. Despite being wary of newcomers, this breed is extremely affectionate with its owners. 

In general, Belgian Malinois are famous for being quite possessive of the people and things they care about. Yet this possessiveness can sometimes turn aggressive.

They’re becoming increasingly popular among law enforcement, the military, and even private security. They are intelligent dogs who desire to please their owners and can be trained to do almost any instruction or drill.

German Shepherd 

Malinois Dog vs German Shepherd 2021

Because of their adaptability and willingness to take on new challenges, German Shepherds stand head and shoulders above the rest of the working dog pack. 

When it comes to individual characteristics, they are self-assured, brave, and intellectual. 

They are territorial, just like Belgian Malinois, and will defend anything or anyone they consider to be theirs. Using this type of behavior can make them appear uninterested or even violent to strangers. As a result, you must begin socializing them at a young age. 

It requires a significant time investment, exactly like the Malinois. Because of their size, they are highly intelligent and can be dangerous if they are not properly cared for or physically active enough. 

Because dominance-based training involves forceful methods to change behavior, large dogs usually reject it. You’ll get better results if you use positive reinforcement instead of punishment. 

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Levels of activity 

Malinois Dog vs German Shepherd 2021

Both breeds require regular tasks to keep them active. 

Belgian Malinois Dogs 

Malinois Dog vs German Shepherd 2021

The Belgian Malinois is the busiest and more challenging of the two breeds. However, both breeds require routine activities. 

If you don’t keep them entertained daily, they’ll find something to do instead of sleeping the day away. This could include things like eating a hole in the plasterboard of your house or digging holes in your backyard.  

German Shepherd

Malinois Dog vs German Shepherd 2021

When it comes to activity, the German Shepherd isn’t quite as energetic as the Belgian Malinois. It won’t be happy if it’s left alone all day; it craves human contact. 

German shepherds succeed in practically everything we ask them to do, from security work to guiding dogs for the blind. They’re also nice with kids and make ideal family pets. German shepherds are famous for their bravery, adaptability, and lack of fear.


Malinois Dog vs German Shepherd 2021

Given their breeds and qualities, both dogs are pricey. 

Belgian Malinois  

A purebred Belgian Malinois can cost anywhere from $800 to $1200, depending on its quality and rarity. Of course, dogs without papers and rescues will be far less expensive. 

The cost of a Malinois that has been properly trained will be considerably more, starting at around $5000. 

German Shepherds 

German Shepherds with a pedigree should cost between $500 and $1500, depending on the breeder and origin. If you want to adopt an older German Shepherd, you’ll have to pay between $50 and $150 in donation fees. 


Malinois Dog vs German Shepherd 2021

Although they are similar in some ways, they have different lifespans. 

Shepherd, German 

A healthy, well-cared-for German Shepherd can expect to live around 7 to 10 years. A Shepherd who works a lot may survive for less than seven years.  


With proper care and attention, a healthy Malinois can expect to live for between 14 and 16 years.

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