German Shepherd vs. Malinois

German Shepherd vs. Malinois

German shepherd dog is an extremely intelligent and obedient dog breed used for protection, as police dogs, guide dogs, and search-and-rescue dogs. They are well known for learning the basic commands such as sit quickly, lay down, stay and come! The personality could be described as loyal, protective, and affectionate towards their owners. They make excellent family pets since they are almost always gentle with children and other animals if they have been socialized properly at an early age. Besides being highly trainable both physically and mentally, German Shepherds are very strong-willed.

Malinois are a very clever, highly trainable, and obedient breed of dogs that are best known for their agility, endurance, intelligence, and determination. They were originally bred to be livestock.

Both German Shepherds and Malinois dogs were originally bred as working animals – herding or protecting livestock, for example. Today, both breeds are popular pets worldwide. But, while they share some similarities in terms of appearance and temperament, several key differences set them apart from one another. 

These include:


German Shepherd dogs are typically larger than Malinois. Male German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs) can weigh up to around 95 pounds, with females weighing much less at approximately 75 pounds on average. Male and female Malinois dogs tend to be smaller, possibly due to cross-breeding with other breeds, including the German Shepherd dog. On average, male Malinois dogs weigh between 50 and 70 pounds, while female Malinois dogs weigh between 40 and 60 pounds.
In addition, German Shepherd dogs have a much longer body than Malinois dogs.


Both breeds are good-natured and intelligent. However, they are more likely to react differently if they feel threatened or unsafe in some way. While the temperament of individual dogs can vary, generally speaking, Germans Shepherds are thought to be more aggressive compared to their Malinois counterparts.

A more significant percentage of Malinois dogs pass the Canine Good Citizen test, which is a certification demonstrating they are well-behaved and under control around people and other animals.

Coat And Shedding

German Shepherd hair is longer than the coat of a Malinois dog. While some coats can grow quite long, both breeds have double coats with short, dense undercoats and longer outer hairs for insulation against cold weather conditions. When it comes to grooming needs, both Malinois and German Shepherds are intermediate maintenance to care for compared to other dog breeds. However, GSDs require more brushing, washing, and trimming than their Malinois counterparts.
A German shepherd will generally shed more than a malinois – especially during the heavy shedding seasons in spring and fall. This can be combated by making sure that you brush and groom your dog thoroughly every day to remove loose hair before it gets all over the house.
None of both dogs is considered hypoallergenic.

Training And Exercise Needs

The German Shepherd and the Malinois are both highly intelligent breeds that require a lot of mental stimulation. Neither breed should be kept in an apartment as both need room to run. While they cannot live outdoors, both dogs enjoy being allowed into the yard or playing in the park.

You can leave these dogs in a crate for several hours, but it is best if they are walked several times each day. The German Shepherd and the Malinois need room to run around as well as activities to keep their minds stimulated at all times. In fact, both of these breeds perform best when they have jobs or something to do.

Are they good with kids?

Both of these dogs are good with children, provided that you socialize them properly. Of course, nothing can replace adult supervision with children, and these two breeds require constant attention from an adult who knows how to correct the dog if it is getting out of control with its play. Be sure to train your dog early on not to develop bad habits around kids, such as jumping up on people or nipping at their feet.

Are they good with Cats?

German shepherd dogs are generally good with cats. Malinois, however, can be aggressive around cats. So it’s, in general, recommended to introduce cats and dogs slowly to each other. The best time to do so is in puppyhood. But dogs can be introduced to cats at any age.

German Shepherd Dog vs Malinois

Both dogs are strong-willed and independent thinkers but are equally affectionate with their owners. They need plenty of exercise – at least one long walk every day. Both dogs do best in homes with large yards or even space for them to roam freely outdoors. Socialization is essential when raising German Shepherd and Malinois dogs. Teach them to play well with people and other animals, and you’ll be rewarded with a loyal friend who is devoted to you and your family.

These dogs are not for everyone, though. Especially malinoises are working dogs who need a job and daily training. They’re perfect for people who live in the country and participate in dog agility sports. If you don’t want to spend several hours a day with your dog, you should get a different dog breed.

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