German Malinois

45-60 lbs
Belgian Malinois
German Shepherd
Malinois X

The German Malinois is a designer dog, an intentional crossbreed between two large and imposing shepherd dogs developed in the late 1800s, one from Germany, the German Shepherd, and the other, the Belgian Malinois from Belgium, very close to the birthplace of the German Shepherd as well. These dogs can be highly intelligent and trainable but may inherit an extremely high prey drive from the Belgian Malinois, making chasing smaller animals, other dogs, and sometimes even children, irresistible. These are large and active dogs that need a great deal of room to run and will not generally thrive in an apartment situation.

Guard or shepherd dog
Date of Origin
Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd

German Malinois Health

Average Size
Male German Malinois size stats
Height: 24-26 inches Weight: 60-85 lbs
Female German Malinois size stats
Height: 22-24 inches Weight: 45-60 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Heart Diseases and Disorders
Minor Concerns
  • Hemophilia
  • Idiopathic Epilepsy
  • Eye Diseases and Disorders
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Hemivertebra
  • Vertebral Stenosis
  • Lupus Erythematosus
Occasional Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Eye Examinations
  • Brain Auditory Evoked Response (BAER)
  • Coagulation Assay

German Malinois Breed History

The German Malinois is a deliberate crossbreed between two similar dogs, both in appearance and in purpose, the German Shepherd and the Belgian Malinois. The German Shepherd breed was originally developed in the late 1800’s as a large shepherding breed dog that was able to return sheep to the fold without startling them by nipping at their heels as well as being employed to help move the livestock from the farm to town, or from one town to another. German Shepherds were originally developed with  structural efficiency, temperament, and intelligence in mind, and you will still find these traits in a good portion of modern German Shepherds. The German Shepherds of today do vary somewhat from German Shepherd dogs of the late 1800s and early 1900s as breeding choices have resulted in a canine that is more streamlined and thinner-boned than the founders of the line. German Shepherds have become the 2nd most popular breed in the United States since they were recognized by the AKC in 1908. Belgian Malinois have been in existence since around the same time, although they were one of four dogs that were all known as one breed, the Belgian Shepherd. Although there were four varieties of Belgian Shepherd, based mainly on the coloration and length of their coat, all four varieties were often born into the same litter. The Belgian Shepherd was recognized by the AKC in 1911, but then in 1959 dropped the Belgian Shepherd and split the dogs into three breeds, the long coated black was given the name Belgian Sheepdog and is listed as being recognized in 1912, the long-coated fawn then became known as the Belgian Tervuren, and the short-coated fawn became registered as the Belgian Malinois both listed as recognized in 1959 and dropping the rough coated fawn colored variety from the registry altogether.  

German Malinois Breed Appearance

The German Malinois is the crossbreed of two dogs that are very similar in appearance, but there are a few differences. This is a large and well-balanced animal, but it may have either the square, solid back of the Malinois or the straight, sloping back of the German Shepherd, or somewhere in between. They have a clean-cut and noble head, strong, but with elegance, and a powerful, tapered muzzle. Their dark brown eyes are almond shaped and their fairly large, triangular ears are carried erect and open towards the front. The tail can extend out straight from the back of the canine or be raised with a curve and the legs tend to be long and strong, with bones that are oval in shape rather than round. They have a double coat with a thick, dense undercoat which is typically overlayed by a short, straight weather resistant outer layer, but may be born with the four-inch rough coat instead.

Eye Color Possibilities
brown German Malinois eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black German Malinois nose
Coat Color Possibilities
black German Malinois coat
cream German Malinois coat
red German Malinois coat
silver German Malinois coat
blue German Malinois coat
fawn German Malinois coat
sable German Malinois coat
gray German Malinois coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
German Malinois straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

German Malinois Breed Maintenance

Grooming requirements for the German Malinois are fairly simple but may be somewhat time-consuming as well. Excessive bathing will make this canine’s skin flaky, dry, and irritated, so baths should be kept down to just a few a year, but a thorough brushing should occur several times a week during normal shedding and daily when the dog “blows its coat” during the change of seasons. It will generally take some effort to ensure that this canine’s coat remains shiny and healthy no matter what the season, but it is definitely worth the effort to remove the dead hair and to prevent tangles and matting. It is also important to ensure that this crossbreed has its ears checked on a regular basis as they are known to develop wax in their ears if they are not attended to.

Brushes for German Malinois
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
German Malinois requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

German Malinois Temperament

This crossbreed is an active and intelligent dog with a strong desire to please and a serious and aloof overall bearing. They may occasionally be difficult to train due to stubbornness or overexuberance, but in most cases, this dog has a strong desire to please and an active and intelligent mind, making it a snap to train, excelling at advanced training situations like agility classes, Schutzhund, tracking, and even competitive obedience and freestyle dance. Although German Shepherds are usually fairly good with children, the Belgian Malinois can be less tolerant and has a nearly irresistible high prey drive that may cause them to chase or nip at younger children, who can be unpredictable and fast moving and the hybrid could inherit either temperament. The German Malinois is typically aloof and standoffish towards other dogs, although they can become territorial and aggressive on occasion, particularly if the interaction is between two males, and their strong herding instincts and prey drive may cause them to chase smaller animals.

German Malinois Activity Requirements

Both the Belgian Malinois and the German Shepherd very athletic and driven animals and they require a great deal of exercise to focus that drive into something that isn’t destructive. They require at least two hours of vigorous activity per day to keep them at their happiest and healthiest physically, and mental stimulation throughout the day is an absolute must. Along with brisk walks or jogs, this dog may also be able to expend their considerable energy with alternative activities, such as Schutzhund, competitive obedience, herding, and even freestyle dance. Although these dogs may be able to adapt to an apartment setting if they are given enough activity, they are generally better suited to larger homes with room to run.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
14 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
120 minutes

German Malinois Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
Daily Cost
$1.50 - $1.90
Monthly Cost
$39.00 - $52.00

German Malinois Owner Experiences

9 Months
2 People
He is very intelligent. He's been easy to train and makes me proud most days
6 months, 1 week ago
1 Year
4 People
I have had mine for a year, beautiful dog with a willingness to learn. I keep her active, go swimming at the beach, pulls me on skateboard, very smart breed. Easy to train if done properly, and great temperment with kids as well. Real athletic. Couldnt ask for a better dog and everyone tells me that where ever I take her. Lol
7 months ago
5 Months
2 People
House & Yard
None specifically with the Malinois, but over 40 years with numerous other breeds from Chihuahuas to mastiffs.Experienced in AKC showing, obedience, tracking, search and rescue and service dog training.
1 year ago
7 Weeks
2 People
We just got him. He's got a great attitude, smart, active. We think he's going to be a great dog.
1 year, 1 month ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd