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Belgian Malinois vs German Shepherd vs Golden Retriever – Which one is a better dog breed for you?

"Find similarities and differences between Belgian Malinois vs German Shepherd vs Golden Retriever" Compare Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd. Which is better: Belgian Malinois or German Shepherd or Golden Retriever?
Name Belgian Malinois German Shepherd Golden Retriever
OriginsBelgium Germany Scotland
Group Pastoral Dogs (Herding Dogs) Pastoral Dogs (Herding Dogs) Gun Dog
Popularity Rank4423
Reviews155
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Other Names Malinois Alsatian, Berger Allemand, Alsatian wolf dog (UK), Deutscher Schäferhund, Schäferhund Yellow Retriever, Golden Flat Coat
Breed Type Purebred Purebred Purebred
AKC Group Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1959 as a Herding breed. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1908 as a Herding breed. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1925 as a Sporting breed.
FCI Group Not recognized by FCI. Recognized by FCI in the Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs) group, in the Sheepdogs section. Recognized by FCI in the Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs group, in the Retrievers section.
Breed Recognition American Canine Registry
American Kennel Club
America's Pet Registry
Canadian Kennel Club
Dog Registry of America Inc.
Federation Cynologique Internationale
Kennel Club of Great Britain
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
American Canine Association, Inc.
Australian National Kennel Council
Continental Kennel Club
National Kennel Club
New Zealand Kennel Club
United Kennel Club
American Canine Registry
American Kennel Club
America's Pet Registry
Canadian Kennel Club
Dog Registry of America Inc.
Federation Cynologique Internationale
Kennel Club of Great Britain
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
American Canine Association, Inc.
Australian National Kennel Council
Continental Kennel Club
National Kennel Club
New Zealand Kennel Club
United Kennel Club
German Shepherd Dog Club Of America
American Canine Registry
American Kennel Club
America's Pet Registry
Canadian Kennel Club
Dog Registry of America Inc.
Federation Cynologique Internationale
Kennel Club of Great Britain
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
American Canine Association, Inc.
Australian National Kennel Council
Continental Kennel Club
National Kennel Club
New Zealand Kennel Club
United Kennel Club
Price $1200-$1400 $800-$2000 $1000-$2000

General Appearance - Belgian Malinois vs German Shepherd vs Golden Retriever

Size Large Large Large
Weight Male: 65-75 pounds (29-34 kg), Female: 60-70 pounds (27-32 kg) Male: 66-88 pounds (30-40 kg), Female: 49-71 pounds (22-32 kg) Male: 60-80 pounds (27-36 kg), Female: 55-70 pounds (25-32 kg)
Avg. Weight Male: 70 pounds (31.5 kg), Female: 65 pounds (29.5 kg) Male: 77 pounds (35 kg), Female: 60 pounds (27 kg) Male: 70 pounds (31.5 kg), Female: 62.5 pounds (28.5 kg)
Height Male: 24-26 inches (61-66 cm), Female: 22-24 inches (56-61 cm) Male: 24-26 inches (60-65 cm), Female: 22-24 inches (55-60 cm) Male: 22-24 inches (56-61cm), Female: 20-22 inches (51-56 cm)
Avg. Height Male: 25 inches (63.5 cm), Female: 23 inches (58.5 cm) Male: 25 inches (62.5 cm), Female: 23 inches (57.5 cm) Male: 23 inches (58.5 cm), Female: 21 inches (53.5 cm)

Hair & Care - Belgian Malinois vs German Shepherd vs Golden Retriever

Coat Weather-resistant
Straight
Fuzzy Silky
Wavy
Shiny
Straight
Colors Brindle
Cream
Fawn
Black
Silver
Tan
Red
Black
Golden
Light
Grooming
Average: The Belgian Malinois requires average grooming effort.
Average: The German Shepherd requires average grooming effort.
Average: The Golden Retriever requires average grooming effort.
Shedding Level
Belgian Malinoiss shed moderately.
German Shepherds are heavy shedders.
Golden Retrievers shed moderately.

Characteristics - Belgian Malinois vs German Shepherd vs Golden Retriever

Temperament Active
Alert
Confident
Friendly
Hard working
Protective
Stubborn
Watchful
Alert
Courageous
Intelligent
Obedient
Confident
Curious
Loyal
Watchful
Confident
Intelligent
Reliable
Friendly
Kind
Trustworthy
Intelligent Rank
Very smart: Belgian Malinois is an excellent dog breed.
Outstanding: German Shepherd is one of the brightest dog breeds.
Outstanding: Golden Retriever is one of the brightest dog breeds.
Trainability
Belgian Malinoiss are very easy to train.
German Shepherds are easy to train.
Golden Retrievers are easy to train.
Playfulness
The Belgian Malinois is a highly playful breed.
German Shepherds, like any other dog breed, like playing.
The Golden Retriever is a highly playful breed.
Sensitivity Level
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds.
German Shepherds don't like an irregular daily routine, noisy household and frequent guest visits.
Golden Retrievers have an average emotional level and are not the most sensitive dog breed.
Affection Level
Belgian Malinoiss may seem unfriendly sometimes due to their independence.
German Shepherds are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Golden Retrievers are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Social Needs
Belgian Malinoiss are a social breed.
German Shepherds need for social interaction is average.
Golden Retrievers need a lot of social interaction.
Barking
Average to high: The Belgian Malinois is a vocal breed.
Low to Average: The German Shepherd rarely barks.
Low to Average: The Golden Retriever rarely barks.
Watchdog Ability
Belgian Malinoiss are one of the best watchdogs.
German Shepherds are one of the best watchdogs.
Golden Retrievers are average watchdogs.
Territorial
Belgian Malinoiss strongly protect their territory.
German Shepherds are extremely protective guard dogs.
Golden Retrievers are average defenders.
Biting Potential Low
The Belgian Malinois has a low chance of biting somebody.
High
The German Shepherd has a high chance of biting somebody.
Moderate
The Golden Retriever has an average chance of biting somebody.
Mouthiness
Belgian Malinoiss have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
German Shepherds have a strong tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Golden Retrievers have a strong tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
Wanderlust potential of the Belgian Malinois is strong enough to escape from home.
German Shepherds are not the biggest explorers.
Golden Retrievers tend to escape less than other breeds.
Prey Drive
Belgian Malinoiss have an average prey drive, which means that they don't have a high impulse to chase and catch something like a cat or any other small aminals, but it might happen.
German Shepherds have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.
Golden Retrievers have an average prey drive, which means that they don't have a high impulse to chase and catch something like a cat or any other small aminals, but it might happen.
Apartment Friendly
Belgian Malinoiss are not the best choice for an apartment lifestyle, but they don't mind being inside if you walk them several times every day.
German Shepherds are not the best choice for an apartment lifestyle, but they don't mind being inside if you walk them several times every day.
Golden Retrievers are not recommended for an apartment lifestyle.
Adaptability
Belgian Malinoiss adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
German Shepherds adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Golden Retrievers adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Belgian Malinoiss do best when a family member is at home during the day or if their workplace is dog-friendly so they can take the dog at work.
Just like every puppy, they are prone to panic, cry, bark, whine when they left alone by their owner.
Golden Retrievers tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Fighting Dog Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.
Yes
In history, this breed was unfortunately used for combat dog.
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Good With - Belgian Malinois vs German Shepherd vs Golden Retriever

Stranger Friendly
Belgian Malinoiss are not the most stranger friendly dogs.
German Shepherds are stranger friendly dogs.
Golden Retrievers are very stranger friendly dogs.
Child Friendly
Belgian Malinoiss are kid-friendly dogs.
German Shepherds are very kid-friendly dogs.
Golden Retrievers are very kid-friendly dogs.
Cat Friendly
Belgian Malinoiss are average friendly towards cats.
German Shepherds are average friendly towards cats.
Golden Retrievers are cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly
Belgian Malinoiss are average friendly towards other dogs.
German Shepherds are not the most dog-friendly dogs.
Golden Retrievers are very dog-friendly dogs.
Office Friendly No
Belgian Malinois is not the best dog breed for office environment.
No
German Shepherd is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Yes
Golden Retriever is one of the best dog breeds for office environment
Senior Citizens Friendly
Belgian Malinoiss are usually recommended for elderly people.
German Shepherds are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
Golden Retrievers are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
Pet Friendly
Belgian Malinoiss are generally with other pets.
German Shepherds are generally with other pets.
Golden Retrievers are usually friendly towards other pets.
Good For First Time Owners No
Belgian Malinoiss are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
No
German Shepherds are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Yes
Golden Retrievers are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Service Dog Yes
This breed makes good as a service dog.
Yes
This breed makes good as a service dog.
Yes
This breed makes good as a service dog.
Therapy Dog Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog.
Yes
This breed makes a perfect therapy dog.
Yes
This breed makes a perfect therapy dog.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog Yes
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Yes
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Yes
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR) Yes
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Yes
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Yes
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Boat Dog Not really
Belgian Malinois breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Not really
German Shepherd breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Yes
Golden Retriever breed usually likes being on a boat.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.

Health Factors - Belgian Malinois vs German Shepherd vs Golden Retriever

Health Issues
The Belgian Malinois is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
German Shepherds are commonly healthy dogs.
Golden Retrievers are commonly healthy dogs.
Health Problems Elbow Dysplasia
Epilepsy
Eye Problems
Hip Dysplasia
Allergies
Blindness
Bloat
Cancer
Cataracts
Cherry Eye
Chronic Diarrhea
Cruciate Ligament Rupture
Cushing's Syndrome
Degenerative Myelopathy
Demodectic Mange
Diabetes
Digestive Problems
Elbow Dysplasia
Epilepsy
Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
Heart Disease
Hemophilia A
Hemophilia B
Hip Dysplasia
Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy
Lens Luxation
Lupus
Megaesophagus
Myasthenia Gravis
Nail Bed Disease
Osteochondrosis
Pannus
Panosteitis
Paralysis
Perianal Fistula
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Retinal Dysplasia
Seborrhea
Vitiligo
Von Willebrand's Disease
Wobbler's Syndrome
Allergies
Bloat
Cataracts
Elbow Dysplasia
Epilepsy
Hemangiosarcoma
Hip Dysplasia
Hypothyroidism
Osteochondrosis Dissecans
Osteosarcoma
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis
Von Willebrand's Disease
Life Expectancy 12-14 years 10-13 years 10-12 years
Hypoallergenic No No No
Energy Level
Belgian Malinoiss are high energy dogs.
German Shepherds are high energy dogs.
Golden Retrievers are high energy dogs.
Exercise Need
Belgian Malinoiss need a lot of exercises.
German Shepherds need quite a lot of exercise.
Golden Retrievers need a lot of exercises.
Sleeping Need
Belgian Malinoiss don't need too much sleep.
German Shepherds don't need too much sleep.
Golden Retrievers don't need too much sleep.
Avg. daily food consumption 2 to 3 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. 3 to 4 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. 3 to 4 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential
Low to Average.
Low to Average.
High: The Golden Retriever breed has a strong tendency to overweight.
Weather & Climate Tolerates warm and cold weather. Tolerates warm and cold weather. Tolerates warm and cold weather.
Stinkiness Medium
The Belgian Malinois has an average chance of bad smell.
Medium
The German Shepherd has an average chance of bad smell.
Medium
The Golden Retriever has an average chance of bad smell.
Drooling tendency
The Belgian Malinois is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
The German Shepherd is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
The Golden Retriever drools quite a lot, so if you dislike being covered by slobber spots on your clothes, you may want to choose another dog breed.

Reproducibility - Belgian Malinois vs German Shepherd vs Golden Retriever

Gestation Length 60-64 days 60-64 days 60-64 days
How often can the have a litter? Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Litter Size 6-10 puppies 6-10 puppies 5-10 puppies

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