Difference Between German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois

Main Difference – German Shepherd vs Belgian Malinois

German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois are commonly known as the best military breeds in the world. They are often mistaken due to their similar color and builds. However, these two breeds differ in many ways including their lifestyle, physical makeups, and behavior. The main difference between German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois is that the German shepherd is less aggressive and has slow attacking speed than Belgian Malinois. Also, Belgian Malinois are somewhat smaller than German Shepherds. In this article, the important differences between German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois are discussed.

German Shepherd – Facts, Characteristics, and Behavior

German Shepherds are the most popular breed worldwide and one of the best military and police dogs due to their high level of intelligence and physical capabilities. Moreover, they are very loyal and devoted to their owners. Their body is long and strong with pointed ears, black noses, and dark, almond-shaped eyes. Their tails are long and thick. German Shepherds come in various colors, but most common colors are black and tan. A white coat can be also found. They weigh about 25-43 kilograms. Males are 24-26 inches tall while females are 22-24 inches tall. Males are usually larger than females. These breeds originated in Germany. German Shepherds are used in law enforcement, rescue and as guide dogs for disables. Moreover, these breeds also act as family pets or farm dogs.

Difference Between German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois – Facts, Characteristics, and Behavior

Belgian Malinois was bred in Belgium in the late 1800s and is currently used in military work, narcotics detection, police work, guarding, herding, rescue, search, and tracking. They are aggressive, energetic and intelligent dogs with excellent learning skills. An adult Belgian Malinois has 24-26 inches height and 60-65 lbs weight. These breeds have red or brown color coats. Belgian Malinois are much more adaptable to different environments and lifestyles than German Shepherds. These dogs are emotionally intensive and always like to get involved in their owners’ activities.

Main Difference - German Shepherd vs Belgian Malinois

Difference Between German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois


German Shepherds are originally from Germany

Belgian Malinois are originally from Belgium

Body Size and Weight

A male German Shepherd weighs about 66-88 lbs and is about 24-26 inches in height.

A male Belgian Malinois weighs 60-65 lbs and is about 24-26 inches in height.

Belgian Malinois are somewhat and smaller than German Shepherds.


German Shepherds have pointed large ears

Belgian Malinois have triangular shaped, small ears


German Shepherds have medium length, thick and dense fur.

Belgian Malinois have short, dense fur.

Coat Color

German Shepherds are Black, tan, white or brown in color.

Belgian Malinois are Black and brown in color.

German Shepherds are more popular than Belgian Malinois.


German shepherds shed moderately.

Belgian Malinois shed constantly.


German shepherds are less aggressive and have slow attacking speed than Belgian Malinois.

Litter Size

German shepherds can give birth to 4-9 puppies

Belgian Malinois can give birth to 6-10 puppies 


German shepherds are easier to train than Belgian Malinois.

Belgian Malinois are harder to train than German Shepherds.


German shepherds are less adaptable to different environments and lifestyles.

Belgian Malinois are more adaptable to different environments and lifestyles.

Difference between German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois - infographic

Image Courtesy:

“German Shepherd Dog with disc” by SaNtINa/kIKs – Flickr. via

“Belgian Malinois male Flickr” by Flickr user .  via  

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