The Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix, also known as the German Malinois or Malinois X, is a hybrid breed developed by the crossbreeding of the German Shepherd with the Belgian Malinois. While the parent breeds have been known to exist since the 1800s, not much is known about the history of the new hybrid breed—German Malinois.
The Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix dogs are short-haired, black-masked, and have a flat skull and longer muzzle—they are often called long nose dogs. Taking after their parents, they have a double coat and almond-shaped eyes. However, their jaw is much stronger. Like its parents, the breed is classified as a working shepherd dog. However, unlike its parents, this hybrid breed is not so famous.
The Overview of the Parent Breeds
Let us go through the origin and history of the parent breeds for the sake of better understanding. Here we go!
Belgian Malinois Origin and History
The Belgian Malinois originated in Malines, Belgium, in the 19th Century. It is classified as herding dogs breed. As an excellent working breed, the dogs in this breed have been very useful for mankind. Due to their qualities, they quickly rose to fame. They are among the most intelligent dog breeds in the world and have served in various security organizations. The breed has fought the World Wars. Cairo, a Belgian Malinois dog who served in the United States Army, is known for being a part of the Operation Neptune Spear that killed Osama Bin Laden in 2011.
German Shepherd Origin and History
Hailing from Germany, the German Shepherd is one of the most popular German dog breeds. It was created by Captain Max von Stephanitz, a retired cavalry officer. As its name suggests, the breed is classified as the working shepherd dog. Since then, like the Belgian Malinois, the breed has been very useful to mankind. They are one of the smartest dog breeds and are often found working with police, the military, and as assistant dogs around the world. Many German Shepherds even made it to the White House. The former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt had one, and the current President Joe Biden brought two German Shepherds—Champ and Major—to the White House. Unfortunately, Champ died at the age of 13 on June 19, 2021.
Comparing German Shepherd with Its Parent Breeds
|Characteristics||German Malinois||Belgian Malinois||German Shepherd|
|Height (inches)||22 to 26||22 to 26||22 to 26|
|Weight (pounds)||45 to 85||40 to 80||50 to 90|
|Lifespan (years)||10 to 15||14 to 16||9 to 13|
|Colors||Brown, Black, Blue, Tan, and White||Fawn, Fawn Sable, Red, Red Sable, Mahogany||Many including Black, Tan, Red, Sable, Grey|
|Price (US$)||Around 1,000||1,000 to 2,500||500 to 2,000|
Belgian Malinois German Shepherd Mix Diet
Due to their large size, sturdy bodies, and high level of energetic physical activities, German Malinois dogs require a large quantity of daily calories intake—a fully grown German Malinois needs about 1,300 calories daily while a younger one needs 700 calories. To fulfill this requirement, two to three cups of German Shepherd dog food or any other high-quality dog food a day are adequate. You can divide this quantity into two or three meals.
There should be no problem if you feed your dog kibble only. However, healthy and large-sized dogs require a fair share of protein in their daily diet – which can be obtained from a source such as a turkey, crab, fish, etc. While feeding human foods to your dog, you should keep in mind that more is not better, and not all human foods are healthy for dogs; some can be deadly such as chocolate and avocado, etc.
Where a German Shepherd needs about 22% protein in its diet, a Belgian Malinois requires 25 to 30%. Hence, you should make sure that there is at least 20% protein in the daily diet of your German Malinois. Likewise, fat is also an important component for maintaining your dog’s health.
Since the parent breeds of the German Malinois require a sufficient daily intake of vitamins, you should make sure as well that the food is a complete and balanced diet and contains an ample amount of vitamins as well.
Belgian Malinois German Shepherd Mix Exercise Requirements
Because of the energetic character and physical fitness demand, your German Malinois needs about one to two hours of physical activity every day. Furthermore, a daily walk of at least two miles is also required. You should try a variety of exercises to keep it interesting. Some of the exercises beneficial for the fitness of your German Malinois are:
- Tug of war
- Doggy squats
- Running and sprinting
- Fetch with a ball
- Fetch with a competition disk
The German Malinois is a sharp and smart breed. In addition to their physical exercise, they also need some level of mental stimulation. You can get them some food puzzles that will make eating a fun and mentally stimulating activity. This will not only keep your dog from getting bored but can also help with weight loss.
Belgian Malinois German Shepherd Mix Training
German Malinois dogs are fairly easy to train because they inherit an intelligent mind from their parent breeds. To make the training more effective, you should need to be aware of the following points:
- Obedience training should be your priority. The German Malinois dogs can be a bit stubborn to train, but a handful of treats can prove very helpful.
- Your next priority should be socialization training. An early socialized dog is always better to train. In the case of German Malinois, socialization training should last for at least four months.
- You should not go for intense training or physical activity until your dog is fully grown, as doing so can severely impact his growth. You don’t want your German Malinois to be of the size of a Dwarf German Shepherd.
- Always reward your dog for good behavior. But if your dog is experiencing weight issues, you may want to look into effective ways to train your dog without treats.
Belgian Malinois German Shepherd Mix Grooming
Since the German Malinois Breed is a moderate shedder, it requires brushing only about once a week. However, it is advisable to increase the frequency to once every three days to maintain your dog’s coat’s neat and clean look.
You should bathe your German Malinois every three to four weeks. Nevertheless, if he has a small coat, he can produce an undesirable odor. In that case, you should consider bathing him once every one to two months, maybe with a vet-approved oatmeal dog shampoo to give him a nice smell. The use of dog shampoos is also recommended as it will not only get your dog rid of such noisome but enhance the shiny look of his coat as well.
Though the breed drools less and has strong jaws, you should brush his teeth regularly—every third day—not just for maintaining the clean look of his teeth but for proper hygiene as well. You should always use dog toothpaste and never human toothpaste as they may contain harmful compounds like xylitol.
Trimming and grinding your dog nails regularly is advisable to maintain their proper length and make his canine paw look immaculate. You should, therefore, purchase a suitable dog nail clipper and a nail grinder to work on your dog’s nails every month. Owing to the thriving aggressiveness in his nature, trimming will also enhance the safety of others around him.
Belgian Malinois German Shepherd Mix Common Health Issues
As a hybrid breed, the German Malinois inherits some health problems from its parent breeds. Some of them are:
It is the condition in which a dog’s belly is saturated with liquid, gas, or food. Unfortunately, it is a fatal occurrence as the inflated stomach can exert pressure on the organs present in the vicinity, cutting off the blood supply. That is why you should be aware of the symptoms and seek a medical emergency if you observe your dog experiencing the following symptoms:
- Swollen belly
- Unusual heartbeat
Different heart diseases prevail in the German Malinois breed. You should form a schedule for your dog’s regular checkup (annually), which can make sure he is not suffering from any of them. X-rays and ECGs can bring out any anomaly in his heart. Heart problems can be fatal, and you should be conscious of the following signs:
- Easily tired after physical activities
- Change in behavior
- Fainting while playing
- Coughing, mostly at night
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is quite common in large dog breeds. Given that German Malinois is a large dog breed, they are also susceptible to hip dysplasia. On top of that, they are also prone to elbow dysplasia. The incidence of dysplasia is higher in overweight dogs. Therefore, you should keep a check on the caloric intake of your dog. If you notice the following symptoms, consult your vet immediately. You may also want to add glucosamine and chondroitin supplements to your dog’s diet.
- A narrow stance
- Loss of muscle mass around the affected joint
It is a disease that can affect the wound healing process as the blood is unable to clot, thus causing excessive blood loss. Hemophilia A is commonly prevalent in the German Shepherds, and thus there is a probability of its offspring having it. It is a life-threatening disease; in fact, severe cases can kill a dog within seven days. If you observe any of the following signs, contact your vet without any delay:
- Any sign of internal injury
- Bleeding longer than usual
It is a common brain disease in dogs that can cause seizures. There can be various causes of the disease. Though it is not fatal, it can negatively impact your dog’s life. The treatments could be therapies or medications. Following are the signs of epilepsy:
- Sudden unconsciousness
- Sudden falling on the floor or the loss of balance
- Unusual Behavior
Ear infections are quite common in canines. In fact, about 20% of dogs live with ear diseases. The most common causes are an unhygienic environment, moisture, and allergies. The infections can be a cause of irritation to your dog, thus causing behavioral changes. Following are the symptoms:
- Too much scratching of the ear
- Head shaking
- The unusual odor from the ear
Like ear infections, eye disorders are also common in canines. However, in German Malinois, two types, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and cataracts, top the list. Eye disorders in dogs can significantly impact their life and can even make them blind if left untreated. If you observe signs like unusual dilation of the pupil or retinal disintegration, your dog needs an eye checkup.
Belgian Malinois German Shepherd Mix Temperament
The German Malinois has the desirable traits of both of its parents. To begin with, the breed is highly intelligent: it is easy to train them and to get their protection due to their ability to easily differentiate between a family member and a stranger.
They are highly energetic and can work or do exercise for hours without getting tired. They will love to accompany you on morning walks and weekend hiking—they are always up for an adventure. This is great if you are active as well; however, if you are not much of an outgoing person, it might get impossible for you to meet the exercise requirements of your dog. Besides, they are very loyal and very protective of their owners.
German Malinois dogs are highly energetic and can easily knock over a kid accidentally while playing. More so, due to their strong herding instincts, they may nip your children and small pets in the house. Moreover, they are also reserved around strangers and may even show aggression. You can easily control these undesirable behaviors with early socialization and training of your German Malinois puppy.
4 Reasons Why You Should Get a Belgian Malinois German Shepherd Mix
There are plenty of reasons why you should have a cross of the Belgian Malinois and the German Shepherd, but the top four are:
The Belgian Malinois German Shepherd Mix Is a Great Exercise Partner
The German Malinois are high-energy dogs and love to engage in physical activities without getting tired, even for a long time. Owning a dog, especially an active one like the German Malinois, can enhance the level of physical activity in a person, a study says. So, if you are a workout enthusiast, or you are planning to shed some weight and fat, a zestful and adorable partner like the German Malinois is a good choice.
They Make Great Guard Dogs
The German Malinois is classified as the working dog breed. Since the breed is intelligent and recognizes the difference between a family member and a stranger, your German Malinois can be your family guard dog. Once he is properly socialized with you and your family and has had proper guard dog training, he will not only alert you but also protect you from potential threats.
German Malinois Are Highly Trainable
Due to the high intelligence inherited from their parent breed, the German Malinois dogs are quite easy to train and socialize. Besides basic dog training, they can also learn new tricks like “how to roll over” quickly. And, above all, he will follow your commands without any resentment. That said, you should keep in mind that they can also unlearn as easily and quickly as they learn, so you will have to be consistent with them.
They Make a Great Family Dog
The German Malinois dogs are very friendly and fun-loving once properly socialized. It is also very protective of its owner and its family due to the loyalty it inherits. Not just the human beings, this breed is also friendly towards other animals. Due to its energy, you and your family can play with your German Malinois for hours before he gets tired. Though he can be unfriendly towards children, early socialization can make them perfect family dogs.
4 Reasons Why You Should Not Get a Belgian Malinois German Shepherd Mix
With pros, there are some cons of having a German Malinois as well:
They Are Not Hypoallergenic
Both Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd shed a lot due to their double coat. Though they are not heavy shedders like their parents, they do shed moderately throughout the year but experience seasonal (twice a year) shedding periods as well. Therefore, they do not make a desirable option for people with allergies. If you have pet allergies, you should instead look into family dogs that don’t shed. Plus, if you must want a hybrid dog that doesn’t shed, you can have one from these hypoallergenic dog mixes.
They Have Strong Herding Tendency
Given that both parents of German Malinois belong to the herding group, it is no wonder that they have strong herding instincts as well. While this makes them perfect farm companions, they are not considered a good choice for families with small children. Due to their hunting instincts, your Malinois X dog may try nip at your kids and slow-walking adults. They may also try to herd small pets in the house and run after pets when outside. Thus, you may need to keep your dog on a leash and under full control when you take him outside for exercise, training, or even a simple walk around the block.
They Can Be Aggressive Towards Strangers
Due to their high energy and guarding instincts, German Malinois dogs are inclined to jump strangers and injure them, especially when not properly socialized. Their powerful jaws can do some real damage. This is also one of the reasons why this breed is not suitable for families with children. However, with proper socialization training, the risk of such experiences can be reduced significantly. Moreover, smart moves like keeping your dog’s nails trimmed can help further.
They Have Unlimited Energy
Owing to their high energy levels, they require high levels of physical activity. Hence, they always require a large area to be kept in. Furthermore, they are not suitable for the elderly as they require a lot of exercise and activities. They often want to play too much that the people around them may get tired pretty easily. And if they are getting this much exercise to expend their energy, they may develop behavioral issues like barking at nothing.
Owing to its amazing and desirable features, the Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix breed makes an amazing farm dog. It is healthy, intelligent, loyal, and a hardworking dog. Though it is sometimes aggressive—the parent breeds are to be blamed—it is manageable with early socialization and training.