Belgian Malinois vs GSD

Belgian Malinois vs German Shepherd: The Top 6 Differences Explained

It is believed that the Belgian Malinois vs GSD has been misunderstood for too long. Despite their past as herding dogs as well as their similar coloring, there are many differences in their physical appearance and behavior that make them distinct. Finding the best one for an animal companion or even a working dog is an endeavor on its own, but knowing what you’re getting into could make a huge difference.

Belgian Malinois vs German Shepherd
Belgian Malinois vs German Shepherd

Are you able to distinguish the two breeds from one another? Which dog has the more triangular ears? Which is the better pet for a family? Let’s see!

Comparing Belgian Malinois vs German Shepherd

Take a look at some of the ways in which you can see how the Belgian Malinois in comparison to The German Shepherd differs. Although both breeds are smart and energetic, the two do have different appearances which makes them easy to distinguish.

The 13 Key Differences Between Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd

The German Shepherd has earned a considerable amount of attention as the best police dog and military, both breeds have extraordinary characteristics. They are pretty similar in their appearance. This is a large part of the reason why they’re often confused. However, their health problems and temperament make them different from one another. Let’s discuss some of the main characteristics of the two breeds.

Belgian Malinois vs GSD: Coat Coloring

At first glance, it appears that at first glance, the Belgian Malinois-like German Shepherd appears similar. German Shepherd seems somewhat alike, but their coloring is the main indication of which. Although the Belgian Malinois is more blonde or fawn-colored in their color, the German Shepherd has a black-colored mask with black ears.

It is the German Shepherd, however, is darker in its body. It mixes dark and black fur. Sometimes, this breed may have three or more coat colors.

Belgian Malinois vs GSD: A Little Muscle Goes a Long Way!

Belgian Malinois vs GSD
Belgian Malinois vs GSD

The differences in size between the two breeds are mostly due to their muscles. The Belgian Malinois is tall and has an athletic physique. Their muscles are designed to speed, achieving speeds of up to 30 miles per hour due to their tiny size.

Belgian Malinois males typically weigh in the range of 60-80 pounds. While the German Shepherd typically weighs as much as 90 pounds. The bulkier size is due to the muscle mass that the Belgian Malinois doesn’t have.

Belgian Malinois vs GSD: Independence and Training

While both Belgian Malinois as well as the German Shepherd have careers and enjoy working in various areas but they are different in their approach to work. German Shepherd is an independent worker than the friendly Belgian Malinois. Both dogs are active and play hard with animals and humans alike However, the German Shepherd has more stubbornness in training than those of the Belgian Malinois.

In addition, due to the superior cognitive abilities of this breed of German Shepherd, dogs of this breed enjoy learning different tasks as opposed to the Belgian Malinois is a fan of routine. If there’s anyone around to praise a Belgian Malinois for an excellent job They are happy; The German Shepherd will prefer to take their own path rather instead of doing the same task over and over.

Belgian Malinois vs GSD: Family Matters

Comparing the behavior that the German Shepherd with that of the Belgian Malinois within the family can be beneficial. In the case of interacting with children, it is the German Shepherd is more patient and aware of its spirited nature, while the Belgian Malinois can be in shock by children. This could be because the Belgian Malinois has greater emotional awareness and sensitivity towards humans than the reserved German Shepherd.

But with regular training supervision and supervision, both the German Shepherd and the Belgian Malinois make excellent companions as well as guard dogs. They’re both extremely trustworthy and affectionate however the Belgian Malinois might require more time away from young children to unwind in comparison in comparison to the German Shepherd.

Belgian Malinois vs GSD: Working Dogs

Belgian Malinois Dog vs GSD
Belgian Malinois Dog vs GSD

Both Belgian Malinois and the Belgian Malinois German Shepherd are prized for their abilities as working dogs. Both were herding dogs, the two shepherds are awarded top scores in police, military, and fire positions for training. But they are different in that it is the Belgian Malinois has a higher sought-after over the German Shepherd, and this could be due to the Malinois’s steadfastness and ability to remain with one task for a prolonged period of time.

However, this doesn’t mean that the German Shepherd isn’t a fantastic breed to use for military or police work, far from it! But they are more likely to be bored and stubborn. German Shepherd is more likely to become bored and inflexible as compared to Belgian Malinois who is more likely to delight their owners or their colleagues in the workplace. Belgian Malinois dogs are often preferred over German Shepherds nowadays, given their responsiveness to commands and the desire to be successful!

Belgian Malinois vs German Shepherd: A Matter of Good Health

In terms of the expense of vet care the susceptibility of each breed to various health issues is crucial. The Belgian Malinois appears to be the most healthy among the breeds. They are most likely to be afflicted with dysplasia in the joints and eye problems however they also are afflicted by allergies. They are overall healthier, which makes them more suitable as German Shepherds in police or military jobs as well.

A German Shepherd, in contrast, has a variety of problems with health that need to be addressed. In addition to the health issues that plague the Belgian Malinois and other breeds, the German Shepherd may also be susceptible to ailments such as chronic blindness, diarrhea and cancer, lupus diabetes, and more. Although it is true that the German Shepherd tends to become popular with dog owners but the expense of keeping their health is high.


belgian malinois vs german shepherd size comparison
belgian malinois vs german shepherd size comparison

It is believed that the German Shepherd (pictured right above) and Belgian Malinois (pictured left above) have similar temperaments due to their shared goals. They’re both very energetic, intelligent, protective, and loyal. They are also extremely enthusiastic about their jobs and conduct themselves with confidence and pride.

But, they’re not the same dog.

There are certain key distinctions in their personalities that identify which.

The American Kennel Club describes the German Shepherd as a “dog lover’s delight”. They are renowned for their trust, loyalty as well as their courage, grit, and stability.

They will follow without hesitation and will defend and save the ones it loves. When in action it can perform in stressful situations and remain peaceful.

A German Shepherd is very friendly with its furry family members, but to strangers, it may appear unassuming until it is aware of the person’s motives. Maintaining it in good shape and stimulated can ensure that it doesn’t become aggressive.

The Belgian Malinois is slightly more powerful in comparison to the German Shepherd. Some call it”a “German Shepherd on steroids”. It’s an energetic dog who is always up to do its job. There is no stop option for it. It will continue to run or perform its task until you instruct the computer to shut down.

For families, the force associated with Belgian Malinois may seem overwhelming, and that’s the reason they could shy away from this breed.

If you keep your pet as a household pet it is crucial to give it plenty of exercises each day in addition to what you’d give the GSD.

A German Shepherd is a good choice for 90 minutes active in a day. However, the Belgian Malinois requires 120 minutes.

The Belgian Malinois can also display some aloofness toward those who aren’t members of the family. In contrast to the Shepherd and the hound, it’s not an animal lovers also. This is why they should be the sole pet in the home.


It is believed that the Belgian Malinois breed is a herding breed, which means it naturally has the instinct to protect and guard. It is a dog that, while it’s not normally an aggressive dog, is sometimes. But, it’s not in the same way as it is the German Shepherd.

It’s not a good idea to mess with the German Shepherd.

They can do a lot of damage with their bite

In reality, German Shepherds made up 17.8 percent of the bites that were recorded between 1970 and 2017. They are thought to be the third most dangerous and aggressive breed of dog worldwide. They could cause severe harm to their victims.

They are naturally fearful and dogs that aren’t trained or fearful is not a gentle dog when they are threatened. They will do anything to defend their family. This is why they are the amazing dog guards. All they want to do is to protect the family members.

Families can rest peacefully in the evening knowing their German Shepherd watches them. This dog will always remain faithful.

German Shepherds can be extremely dangerous to people due to their instinctual aggression.

Belgian Malinois dogs are extremely dangerous to pets and small animals but not humans.

The Belgian Malinois is not looked like other animals. It is an extremely prey drive. It is often seen to exhibit aggression or chase other animals.

Small children who are agitated can make this dog start making a fuss of them. While it is possible to teach the dog to be patient, however, this Belgian Malinois is more to be in a household that has large children but no pets.

Bite Strength

A dog’s bite force can be described as the force of the dog’s bite. The amount is measured as psi ( pounds per square inch) units. Knowing the force that bites dogs can reveal how much force a dog has to bite. The more force this force has then the worse damage that a dog is able to cause.

Of these two dogs, The German Shepherd has the most powerful teeth force.

The GSD is equipped with an average strength of 238 pounds. The force is so powerful that it can fracture a bone. This is the reason they are frequently enlisted by police forces to perform bite work.

Being a part of this breed can be an enormous responsibility. They are extremely likely to cause harm to people.

Belgian Malinois have an average bite force of the 195-pound mark. This is a lower pressure however, that doesn’t necessarily mean their bite isn’t powerful. The force is sufficient to cause severe injury. The dog is also used to perform bite work.

What distinguishes it from German Shepherd is that it is not as aggressive.

The Belgian Malinois is known for its bites without showing any sign of aggression. They are able to inflict injury by their bites, but when instructed to release, they’ll release it without hesitation. They are more likely to not try to bite you.

A German Shepherd is less likely to have control and is more difficult to train them to let go of their bite at the command of. This is why it’s essential to properly train and socialize your dog.

Health and Lifespan

belgian malinois vs german shepherd fight
belgian malinois vs german shepherd fight

Of the two, the Belgian Malinois is the one that’s healthier..

The lifespan of a Belgian Malinois vs. a german shepherd is more. Belgian Malinois are able to live from 14-16 years, whereas the GSD is between 12 and 14 years.

A Belgian Malinois Belgian Malinois is generally healthy however, they are predisposed to developing elbow and hip dysplasia as well as progressive retinal atrophy.

Other health issues that this breed is susceptible to include dental disease epilepsy, hypothyroidism allergies as well as gastric dilatation and gastric dilatation due to the stomach’s turning.

It is believed that the German Shepherd is more prone to health problems due to genetics as compared to other breeds, including the Belgian Malinois. The most frequent are hip dysplasia and elbow However, it could also be prone to conditions like degenerative myelopathy and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency allergies, epilepsy, Von Willebrand’s Disease, and diabetes.

In both breeds, credible breeders should test and screen the parents prior to breeding. Particularly, they should screen for elbow and hip dysplasia.


There is no doubt that this breed of German Shepherd is intelligent. At present, they’re ranked 3rd as the smartest dog breed worldwide. Their intelligence is what allows them to be so effective in training, and they are extremely loyal to their owners.

The dog’s intelligence is assessed by working and obedience.

Dogs are tested for how quickly they learn, and how much information they can retain.

The third-highest intelligent dog indicates that they can master the basics of command in only a few minutes. They can follow a learned command from the very first time, with an average 90% success rate.

How does the Belgian Malinois stand up to the Belgian Malinois?

It’s no surprise that the Belgian Malinois is pretty clever and also takes the 26th position.

It’s fair to say that the Malinois is a dog that belongs in”the “smart dog” category. The Belgian Malinois is still learning more quickly than other dogs but it’s going to require a few more times to master than the German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is slightly smarter than the Belgian Malinois however, it is not a secret that both breeds are extremely intelligent. Both are smart and adept at training.

Being extremely intelligent dogs, they require lots of stimulation. It is crucial that pet owners know how to use their minds and keep them busy.

American families looking to adopt one or the other breed should be aware that both breeds are working dogs.


It is believed that the Belgian Malinois began to be developed within Malines, the Belgian city of Malines. It was one of the four herding sheepdogs from Belgium known as the Belgian Shepherds. They were the Belgian Shepherd Dog Club was established in 1891, and a year later, the breed standard of the Malinois was set.

The breed was introduced to America with great frequency in 1911. It was because of a feature of the American Kennel Club Gazette had completed in 1908 of a Belgian Malinois who was working as a police canine in New York City.

In 1911 however, in 1911, the American Kennel Club actually registered the dog breeds under the name German Shepherds, and not Belgian Malinois. It wasn’t until nearly 48 decades later (1959) 1959 that this breed would be officially registered in the official register as a breed.

It is believed that the German Shepherd was first bred in the latter part of the 1800s when Captain Max von Stephanitz was trying to develop the ideal herding dog. Through the crossing of bloodlines of northern and southern Germany together with his own dog and his own bloodlines, he was able to make the herding dog the way he desired.

In 1899, he established 1899 the very beginning of the German Shepherd club called the Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhund (SV). Soon after it was established, the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1908.

The German Shepherd has left herding origins and is now an indispensable army and law enforcement dog. It is in Belgium the Malinois continues to be used as herding dog.

Each dog has an interest in working. Although they are pets of the family They are also designed to exhibit high levels of energy as well as an obsession for completing a certain kind of work.

Family Compatibility


belgian malinois vs german shepherd intelligence
belgian malinois vs german shepherd intelligence

There’s a reason this German Shepherd is the third most loved dog breed in America. This is not only due to its remarkable ability to adapt and its amazing abilities as an active dog. They are loved by all as they make great companions as well as family members.

German Shepherds are among the best dogs that you can adopt to add to your pet family.

They are naturally inclined to safeguard your home and family.

Although GSDs are apprehensive of people they don’t recognize, GSDs are nothing other than aloof towards those they trust and cherish. Expect lots of cuddles, kisses, and laughter. After a tiring day of playing with the kids all the dog wants to do is sit and relax with you.

The Belgian Malinois is also extremely loving, but it doesn’t display the same level of kindness or patience with children.

A Belgian Malinois is able to get along with other pets and bigger children, but it’s going to require a lot of socialization to break down its instinctive prey drive and instincts to protect. This is the reason why some believe it is it is better to have a German Shepherd is better for families.

They can also be more active which may be a bit to handle for families.

The Belgian Malinois is a pet for the family, but it requires a certain type of family to have one. The care they require requires an intense commitment. They require someone who is aware of their specific requirements.

In general, the German Shepherd is the best option for families.

Which Is Better?

If you compare a Belgian Malinois and a german shepherd, they are almost identical. They are often confused due to the same appearance, temperament, and look. Indeed, many people confuse them with being a mixed breed of GSD.

Although these dogs have some commonalities they are distinct breeds.

A German Shepherd is the more well-known breed of both. It is superior to the Belgian Malinois in the category of being a dog that is a family pet. Everyone enjoys the German Shepherd because of its intelligence, loyalty love, affection, and friendliness.

Belgian Malinois may not be as popular however they are increasing in popularity. Their bond with their owner is unquestionable. But, they need someone who can manage their fiery temperament.

The breed you pick depends on the type of dog you’d like to have.

If it’s a dog that can be a guard dog for families you’re looking for and you are looking for a dog that is family-friendly, it is the GSD is the best choice. If you are looking for a reliable partner for work, you should consider the Malinois.

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