With their comparable appearance and ancestry, German Shepherds and Malinois seem to have a lot in common. This can make the idea of a German Shepherd Malinois seem moot, but you will be surprised by some of the unusual traits that show up in this mixed breed. Here is an in-depth look at what to expect from a German Shepherd Malinois mix.
What are the Main Attributes of a German Shepherd Malinois?
- Height: 22 – 26 inches
- Weight: 57.5 – 87.5lbs
- Coat: Double coat, short to medium length
- Level of Affection: High
- Kid-Friendly: Yes
- Dog Friendly: Potentially, with proper socialization
- Cat Friendly: Potentially, with proper socialization
- Preferred Climate: Moderate to cool
- Shedding Levels: Moderate to high
- Trainability: High
- Potential to Bark/Howl: Moderate
Are There Physical Differences Between a German Shepherd Malinois and a German Shepherd?
At first glance, German Shepherds and Malinois may be mistaken for one another, but there are some physical differences. Here are a few examples of what your German Shepherd Malinois may look like.
What is the Largest Size a German Shepherd Malinois Can Grow Up To?
On average, this mixed breed will be bigger than a Malinois, but smaller than a German Shepherd. You can expect them to be classified either as a medium-sized or large breed. Males will most often be larger than females.
These dogs will have a characteristic lean and muscular look, but it’s also possible that they may have a slightly square-shaped physique, taking after their Malinois parent.
What Can You Expect with a German Shepherd Malinois Coat?
German Shepherd Malinois will have a double coat, but the length of the fur can vary. These dogs may have short or medium-length fur, depending on which parent they take after. The fur around the neck may be a bit thicker or longer in some dogs.
The outer coat is for protection and may feel hard to the touch. This not only keeps the dog safe from the elements but is also great for resisting dirt and burrs.
The most common color combination for German Shepherd Malinois is fawn or mahogany-colored fur, with a black mask around the face. It is also possible to find these pups in shades of red, tan, grey, blue, silver, sable, and white.
Do German Shepherd Malinois’ Have the Right Temperament to Be Watch Dogs?
German Shepherd Malinois are extremely family-oriented, bonding easily with family members. Once they do so, they will be loyal and protective, which makes them great watchdogs. These pups will want to be included in everything that you or your family is doing.
This personality trait also means that they don’t do well on their own for extended periods. At the most, they may function well for several hours by themselves. After this, they can get lonely or bored, resorting to barking, digging, and destructive behaviors.
It should also be noted that these dogs can be reserved or aloof with strangers. If you aren’t careful, strangers may also trigger their natural protective reflexes, which can lead to aggressiveness. To prevent any harrowing situations, make it a point to socialize your dog when they are young and introduce them to lots of different people.
If they take after their Malinois parent, these pups may be highly sensitive. They will enjoy being praised and cuddled by you, but also take any scolding to heart, causing them to retreat or react negatively. As such, only ever use a firm but gentle demeanor when dealing with your pooch.
German Shepherd Malinois are great with kids, especially if they have been introduced to children as pups. Despite this, be aware that these dogs can have strong herding instincts. If they aren’t taught otherwise, they may herd or nip at the heels of smaller children. Always supervise your dog when they are around very young children.
The German Shepherd Malinois gets along with other dogs as well as cats. Proper socialization is required at a young age, though. It is best if these pups are brought up with other animals as it increases the likelihood of them getting along with everyone.
Is German Shepherd Malinois a Robust Mixed Breed?
As a mixed breed, the German Shepherd Malinois tends to be healthier than purebred dogs. There are some health issues that you should be aware of.
Can a German Shepherd Malinois Live Longer Than Its Parent Breeds?
With a lifespan of between 11 and 14 years, the German Shepherd Malinois has a longer life expectancy than many other breeds. Proper nutrition, care, exercise, and health check-ups can help to prolong their life and quality of life considerably.
What Special Health Issues Do German Shepherd Malinois’ Suffer From?
- Elbow and hip dysplasia
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
- Anesthesia insensitivity
It is important to inform your vet that your dog is part Malinois as these dogs have anesthesia sensitivity. They suffer from a higher than average rate of death when anesthetized. Due to this, your vet may need to make arrangements to only put your dog under it in extreme circumstances.
Always be aware of your dog’s health conditions. If you notice any changes in their appetite, behavior, routine, or movement, make sure to inform your vet. Detecting various health issues ahead of time can improve the prognosis considerably.
How Can You Choose the Right Dog Food for Your German Shepherd Malinois?
German Shepherds can grow rapidly from the age of four to around seven months. This is a trait that your German Shepherd Malinois may inherit. The problem here is that this speedy growth can cause bone and joint issues and needs to be slowed down.
This can be done with the help of a high-quality, low-calorie diet. Such a diet will need to be discussed with your vet ahead of time as it can be difficult to know which parent your mixed breed pup has taken after. In general, though, vets can provide excellent nutritional advice.
Always opt for high-quality dog food brands that use well-sourced, quality ingredients. Avoid those that contain artificial flavors, preservatives, or fillers.
The exact quantity of food will vary from one adult German Shepherd Malinois to another. This will be determined by activity level, eventual size, and metabolism. Once again, ask your vet how much you should be feeding your dog for optimal health.
How Many Hours of Exercise a Day Does a German Shepherd Malinois Need?
These are high-energy dogs that require strenuous exercise daily. This is why they aren’t always a good fit for new owners. Not giving your dog as much exercise as they need can lead to boredom and destructive behaviors.
You should give your dog about an hour of exercise every day. As they have a lot of energy to burn, it is best to break this up into several shorter bouts during the day. It is also a good idea to ensure that your pup has access to a yard or outside area during the day.
With the German Shepherd Malinois, a leisurely walk isn’t going to be enough. Try to take them on a jog to help them burn off excess energy. Frisbee, fetch, and similar activities can also be a great way for your dog to make the most of its athleticism.
Mental stimulation can also be a great way to help these dogs stave off boredom. They are especially good at agility training and herding games.
Are German Shepherd Malinois High Maintenance Dogs?
German Shepherd Malinois have coats that naturally repel dirt and grit. This makes them fairly easy to groom, mostly only requiring regular brushing. You will only have to bathe them a few times a year.
Malinois dogs are only moderate shedders, but German Shepherds are notorious for shedding. The exact level of grooming required will depend on which parent your dog takes after the most.
If your pup has a typical Malinois coat, brushing them once or twice a week will do. As your dog does have a double coat, occasionally use an undercoat rake to dislodge any loose fur.
In case your dog sheds like a German Shepherd, you will need to brush them several times a week. You will need to use a slicker brush and an undercoat rake. You should also be prepared for your dog to blow their coat a few times a year. During these periods, increase the brushing to every day and use a de-shedding tool as well.
What are the Most Comfortable Living Conditions for a German Shepherd Malinois?
Shorter-haired German Shepherd Malinois often do equally as well in warm and cool climates. They should never be left outside alone in cold weather, however, and may need a sweater before going outside. Those with longer, thicker fur will survive in cooler climes better.
These dogs don’t do well in apartments or smaller spaces in general. Their size and high energy levels require that they live in larger homes with a yard. This way, they can go in and out throughout the day, allowing them to burn off any excess energy.
What are the Training Guidelines You Should Follow With a German Shepherd Malinois?
German Shepherd Malinois are very intelligent and are capable of learning a wide variety of tricks and commands. In this sense, they are highly trainable. It can take an experienced owner to train this mixed breed, however.
German Shepherd Malinois can be rather sensitive. As a result, they may react poorly to what they conceive as punishment or harsh commands. They may withdraw or engage in negative behaviors.
It is important to be firm yet gentle with your dog. Always reinforce their training and good behavior with cuddles, affection, and treats. Your pup will be motivated to then continue in the same way.
If you are having a hard time training your dog, you may want to hire a trainer or enroll your dog in puppy classes. This will show you the best method for training your dog while maintaining a positive relationship with them.
Due to this mixed breed’s tendency to be aloof with strangers, socialization with people should begin from the moment that you bring your puppy home. The more people they interact with, the less shy they will become. Make sure to take them with you to various new environments as well.
Are German Shepherd Malinois Breeders Readily Available?
German Shepherd Malinois aren’t the most common mixed breed so you will need to extend your search for a breeder. Always choose a credited breeder as they can ensure the health and wellbeing of your puppy.
A good breeder will conduct extensive research on both parent breeds. They will check for genetic or other health conditions, going back several generations. This reduces the risk of your dog developing such conditions.
Which Shelters May House German Shepherd Malinois?
You may have a hard time finding such a dog in a shelter. You may want to check shelters that take in German Shepherds or Malinois breeds specifically to increase your chances. It is a good idea to check outside the city or even the state.
Here are some of the more frequently asked questions about German Shepherd Malinois:
How Big Does a German Shepherd Malinois Get?
German Shepherds can be 26 inches tall and weigh as much as 88lbs. Depending on their size, they may be classified as medium or large-sized breeds.
How Much is a German Shepherd Malinois Puppy?
This designer breed can cost between $500 and $2000 depending on the region, breeder, and availability.
Is German Shepherd and Malinois a Good Mix?
This mixed breed is affectionate, loyal, intelligent, and has wonderful companions. They can also be quite healthy and have long lifespans as well.
This is what you need to know about German Shepherd Malinois – from health to care requirements. You can now decide whether or not this pooch will be a good addition to your family.