Differences Between Belgian Malinois and German Shepherds 

Differences Between Belgian Malinois and German Shepherds. © Jolomo - Fotolia.com

© Jolomo – Fotolia.com

At Scott’s Police K9, we have trained Belgian Malinois’ German Shepherds for sale. One of the most common questions we receive from interested buyers is whether there are distinct differences between these two breeds.  

While they may appear similar at first glance, there are some unique attributes that make them quite different from each other.  


The Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd do vary in size.  

The German Shepherd typically weighs anywhere between 50 and 90 pounds. The range of height can be from 22 to 26 inches. Females weigh less than 70 pounds and are two inches shorter than males.  

The Malinois can range in size from 60 to 80 pounds. Their height reaches anywhere from 22 to 26 inches. Females are smaller, weighing less than 60 pounds, and are slightly shorter than males.  

As you can see, even though their sizes are similar, German Shepherds are more likely to be 10 pounds heavier. 


The coat of these two breeds differs greatly. This means that they have different grooming needs. 

The German Shepherd has medium length fur. He has a double-layer coat with the under layer made of short, thick fur. This helps to keep him warm in colder weather. The top layer of fur is long and water-repellent.  

During the spring and summer, this breed sheds its undercoat because it isn’t needed during the warmer months. Daily brushing with a special comb that traps the undercoat fur can help keep hair from taking over the home.  

The Belgian Malinois has short, thick fur. It also has a double-layered coat with a water repellent outer coat and a short, thick undercoat. 

The amount of shedding is about the same with both breeds, so they should both be brushed daily. The outer coat’s length is the only notable difference (longer for German Shepherds and shorter for Malinois).  


While both breeds are highly trainable, the way we train them differs.  

The German Shepherd is highly intelligent with stubborn tendencies. Treats are the best way to break through the sometimes hard-headedness of this breed. They are fast learners, though! They love to please and are quite interested in doing mutual activities with their master.  

The Malinois is less stubborn but just as intelligent. When in the earliest stages of training, they can sometimes get sidetracked, so positive reinforcement works well to get them back on track. 

The level of stubbornness is the biggest difference when it comes to training, but just like individuals, each dog has its own personality, talents, and strengths.  


Food needs also differ between these two breeds. The German Shepherd is a bit larger, so they need more food to sustain daily activities and metabolic functions. They can eat as much as three to four cups of dry kibble per day.  

The Belgian Malinois doesn’t need as much food. Most need about two to three cups a day.  

Cheaper food brands sometimes do not have the same reputation as the higher quality, more expensive brands. Do your research on nutritional content of pet foods before making a choice. You can always ask us which foods we recommend based on our many years of experience with these breeds.  

Learn more about the cost of owning a Malinois here. 

Buy Trained Police K9 Dogs & Family Protection Dogs 

If you’re interested in learning more about these breeds, contact us today. We’d be happy to tell you about our German Shepherds guard dogs and Belgian Malinois for sale. 

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