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Belgian Malinois vs. German Shepherd: Can You Tell Them Apart?

Belgian Malinois vs. German Shepherd: Can You Tell Them Apart?

Written By Amica Graber

Dec 7, 2016

The Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd could easily be mistaken at first glance. They both share a long lupine face, along with tan and black markings. However, the German Shepherd can be distinguished from the Belgian Malinois by a slightly longer, bristly coat and the trademark black saddle on their back. The Belgian Malinois has a shorter coat, with mostly tan fur and black markings around the face.

Related: Best Guard Dogs For Every Situation

Personality wise, both dogs share similar traits — they are hardworking, agile, and very intelligent. The German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois are both used by police and military units as working dogs due to their courageous nature and ease of training.

Belgian Malinois vs. German Shepherd: Both Heroic Breeds

In the dramatic shootout that followed the tragic terror attacks in Paris, a Belgian Malinois named Diesel was killed in action by a terrorist. The death of the heroic dog elicited international sympathy and even touched Russian President Vladimir Putin, who sent the Parisian police unit a Belgian Malinois puppy named Dobrynia in tribute of their fallen pup.

belgian malinois hero dog
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The noble German Shepherd is also famous for acts of heroism. In 2016, Maxx the German Shepherd led firefighters through a burning building to locate his two little humans. The two children, aged 4 and 2, were rescued from certain death by the family pet. Maxx suffered from minor burns and smoke inhalation, but made a full recovery thanks to a Kickstarter campaign that raised the money for his veterinary bills.

german shepherd fire rescue
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In addition to being smart, loyal, and very receptive to training, both dogs make excellent family pets.

Related: This German Shepherd Saved His Human From A Rattlesnake

german shepherd with butterfly on his nose

Belgian Malinois vs. German Shepherd

The Belgian Malinois is also known as a Belgian Shepherd, which can add more confusion to the Belgian Malinois vs. German Shepherd debate. However, although similar, the two dogs are recognized as separate breeds by the AKC.

In fact, the Belgian Malinois is one of four varieties of the Belgian Shepherd breed. Other varieties include the Belgian Groenendael, the Belgian Tervuren, and the Belgian Laekenois.

Looking For Belgian Malinois Puppies? Belgian Malinois For Sale

If you’re looking to adopt a Belgian Malinois puppy, you can find rescues, shelters, and Belgian Malinois puppies for sale at Dog Pack. We have listings of Belgian Malinois rescue groups in your area, as well as Belgian Malinois breeders, that can make it easy to find your next furever friend!. 

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