What is the difference between a German shepherd and a Belgian Malinois?

German shepherd vs Belgian Malinois


The German shepherd is a breed of large working dog that originally came from Germany. It looks a bit Wolf-like and was originally called an ‘. Alsatian Wolf Dog’.

In 1977, the name was changed back to German shepherd they were originally working dogs that rounded up herds, and are now popular pets with families. They are obedient and courageous and will protect their human families.

A Belgian Malinois is a derivative of a Belgian Shepherd, they are a well-balanced square-looking dog that is strong and erect. They are fawn-colored with a black masks. They were originally herding dogs like the German shepherd. They make good guard dogs, and pets. They are both clever and obedient and territorial so will guard their home.

What is the difference between a German shepherd and a Belgian Malinois?
Image by Pixabay.com

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Which Dog Makes a Better Pet?

  • German shepherd

This depends on your preference, as the German shepherd is one of the most popular dog breeds in the USA as they are so intelligent and versatile.

One minute they will be the ideal family pet, and the next they will be guarding your home and family.

They live between 10 and 14 years and grow to a height of between 22 inches to 26 inches, weighing 75 pounds to 95 pounds. So they will need exercise to keep healthy, and space to run around in.

To check your shepherds’ health status or their DNA checks, please visit the Embark vet website for all the help you may need.

German shepherd dog
Image by Zozz_ from Pixabay
  • Belgian Malinois

A Belgian Malinois loves social life, And because they are so obedient they may be the perfect pet for children but will require strict training first because they are very territorial, once trained they will protect your property.

They will also grow 55-60cms and are a bit lighter than a German Shepherd and need to lead an active life, a long walk every day, and room to run around.

Belgian Malinois dog
Image by Katrin B. from Pixabay

Obedience Training which would make a better pet?

Your dog is going to be a member of your family, so it is important that a large dog has comprehensive training this link website is to book training for your dog. Either dog will require the following:

  • Recall training teaches the dog to come on command.
  • Sitting training on command.
  • Walking at-heel training will teach your dog to stay with you off-leash.
  • Staying training teaches your dog not to wander off.
  • Training your dog only to eat when his food is offered, once a day. ( You don’t want him to take food from the children).

Which would make a Better Pet?

If you are going to have a German shepherd as a pet for your family, get a female, as they tend to have a sweeter nature and to be more tolerant of the little ones than a male. Male German Shepherds are lovely dogs but tend to play a bit roughly.

Many police dogs are German Shepherds and because they are intelligent, they can be trained to do so many things and have high energy levels.

They are good guard dogs and will warn you when a stranger is approaching your house. No one will come near your children while the dog is around to protect them.

The Belgian Malinois is also smart and obedient, and because it is slightly smaller than a German shepherd, if trained, can live in an apartment.

Of course, it will need regular exercise every day, and if you have a backyard, it is a much better option for the dog.

A person I know has two of them, and they are very active chasing one another around the yard, but they particularly love the children and spend hours at the park with them after school.

The thing that makes them nervous is electrical storms, which cause them to run and hide under the bed.

When an intruder tried to enter the house, they were extremely courageous and protective and barked like anything until everyone got up to see what had happened.

I notice when they are at the park that they sometimes use their herding instinct to try to round up the children. They are the perfect pet, in that when they get

Back home they lie down and sleep. They appear to be very happy well-adjusted dogs, a male, and a female both have been desired.

german shepherd vs belgian malinois
Image from Pixabay

Diet for your Dog

Whether you have a German shepherd or a Belgian Malinois. It is important to make sure that they are having an appropriate diet and the vet will recommend the correct plan for them.

Try not to feed them table scraps as you want them to live long and healthy lives and they can only do this if they are getting the right food.

When you go to the vet for immunizations and other health advice ask the vet to check the dog’s teeth as animals also require dental care.

Choosing the Right Dog for your Family

As you can see choosing the German shepherd or Belgian Malinois comes down to which is the better ‘fit’ for your family. They are both healthy breeds.

All dogs need at least some exercise and we have established that these larger dogs need a lot of exercises; this should be taken into account when making your choice.

If you live on a few acres of rural property, you may want to have one of each. As they will be on well if bought home at the same time and can run around and exercise with one another, you will not have to do too much walking with them.

Having two dogs also allows them to be good company for one another while you are at work or school.


Larger dogs seem to be puppies for longer, so when you take your dog home expect him to chew everything, have some dog toys and chews available for your dog. When you have a new animal, it is good to be at home for a few days to settle him in.

Most dogs like to go for a swim, and if you are near water, they will probably go in, especially in the hot weather.

I see them in the park going into the pond to chase the ducks who quickly get out of the way. The dogs love their daily run.