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

"Find similarities and differences between German Shepherd vs Belgian Malinois" Compare German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois. Which is better: German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois?
Name German Shepherd Belgian Malinois
OriginsGermany Belgium
Group Pastoral Dogs (Herding Dogs) Pastoral Dogs (Herding Dogs)
Popularity Rank244
Reviews41
Rate

Other Names Alsatian, Berger Allemand, Alsatian wolf dog (UK), Deutscher Schäferhund, Schäferhund Malinois
Breed Type Purebred Purebred
AKC Group Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1908 as a Herding breed. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1959 as a Herding breed.
FCI Group Recognized by FCI in the Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs) group, in the Sheepdogs section. Not recognized by FCI.
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
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 $800-$2000 $1200-$1400

General Appearance - German Shepherd vs Belgian Malinois

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

Hair & Care - German Shepherd vs Belgian Malinois

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

Characteristics - German Shepherd vs Belgian Malinois

Temperament Alert
Courageous
Intelligent
Obedient
Confident
Curious
Loyal
Watchful
Active
Alert
Confident
Friendly
Hard working
Protective
Stubborn
Watchful
Intelligent Rank
Outstanding: German Shepherd is one of the brightest dog breeds.
Very smart: Belgian Malinois is an excellent dog breed.
Trainability
German Shepherds are easy to train.
Belgian Malinoiss are very easy to train.
Playfulness
German Shepherds, like any other dog breed, like playing.
The Belgian Malinois is a highly playful breed.
Sensitivity Level
German Shepherds don't like an irregular daily routine, noisy household and frequent guest visits.
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds.
Affection Level
German Shepherds are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Belgian Malinoiss may seem unfriendly sometimes due to their independence.
Social Needs
German Shepherds need for social interaction is average.
Belgian Malinoiss are a social breed.
Barking
Low to Average: The German Shepherd rarely barks.
Average to high: The Belgian Malinois is a vocal breed.
Watchdog Ability
German Shepherds are one of the best watchdogs.
Belgian Malinoiss are one of the best watchdogs.
Territorial
German Shepherds are extremely protective guard dogs.
Belgian Malinoiss strongly protect their territory.
Biting Potential High
The German Shepherd has a high chance of biting somebody.
Low
The Belgian Malinois has a low chance of biting somebody.
Mouthiness
German Shepherds have a strong tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Belgian Malinoiss have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
German Shepherds are not the biggest explorers.
Wanderlust potential of the Belgian Malinois is strong enough to escape from home.
Prey Drive
German Shepherds have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.
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.
Apartment Friendly
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.
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.
Adaptability
German Shepherds adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Belgian Malinoiss adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Just like every puppy, they are prone to panic, cry, bark, whine when they left alone by their owner.
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.
Fighting 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 - German Shepherd vs Belgian Malinois

Stranger Friendly
German Shepherds are stranger friendly dogs.
Belgian Malinoiss are not the most stranger friendly dogs.
Child Friendly
German Shepherds are very kid-friendly dogs.
Belgian Malinoiss are kid-friendly dogs.
Cat Friendly
German Shepherds are average friendly towards cats.
Belgian Malinoiss are average friendly towards cats.
Dog Friendly
German Shepherds are not the most dog-friendly dogs.
Belgian Malinoiss are average friendly towards other dogs.
Office Friendly No
German Shepherd is not the best dog breed for office environment.
No
Belgian Malinois is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
German Shepherds are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
Belgian Malinoiss are usually recommended for elderly people.
Pet Friendly
German Shepherds are generally with other pets.
Belgian Malinoiss are generally with other pets.
Good For First Time Owners No
German Shepherds are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
No
Belgian Malinoiss are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Service Dog Yes
This breed makes good as a service dog.
Yes
This breed makes good as a service dog.
Therapy Dog Yes
This breed makes a perfect therapy dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a 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.
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.
Boat Dog Not really
German Shepherd breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Not really
Belgian Malinois breed usually doesn't like 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.

Health Factors - German Shepherd vs Belgian Malinois

Health Issues
German Shepherds are commonly healthy dogs.
The Belgian Malinois is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
Health Problems 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
Elbow Dysplasia
Epilepsy
Eye Problems
Hip Dysplasia
Life Expectancy 10-13 years 12-14 years
Hypoallergenic No No
Energy Level
German Shepherds are high energy dogs.
Belgian Malinoiss are high energy dogs.
Exercise Need
German Shepherds need quite a lot of exercise.
Belgian Malinoiss need a lot of exercises.
Sleeping Need
German Shepherds don't need too much sleep.
Belgian Malinoiss don't need too much sleep.
Avg. daily food consumption 3 to 4 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. 2 to 3 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential
Low to Average.
Low to Average.
Weather & Climate Tolerates warm and cold weather. Tolerates warm and cold weather.
Stinkiness Medium
The German Shepherd has an average chance of bad smell.
Medium
The Belgian Malinois has an average chance of bad smell.
Drooling tendency
The German Shepherd is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
The Belgian Malinois is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.

Reproducibility - German Shepherd vs Belgian Malinois

Gestation Length 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.
Litter Size 6-10 puppies 6-10 puppies

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