The German Malinois: A Complete Guide

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The German Malinois is the hybrid breed of the German Shepherd and the Malinois.

Both are very common working dogs that originated in Europe and have now achieved worldwide popularity.

This hybrid is very intelligent, loyal, and protective. If they are raised in a family environment, they can also become very friendly dogs as well.

To better understand this hybrid, let’s take a look at both of the parenting breeds.

The German Shepherd is a direct descendant of the traditional European Shepherding dog.

What distinguishes the German Shepherd is its black and tan coloring and its extreme intelligence.

This breed is one of the most intelligent in the world, ranking right after the Poodle and the Border Collie.

Throughout the years, they have had multiple different uses as shepherding dogs, guard dogs, and family companions.

They are very loyal and are known for being very protective of their human family members.

The Malinois shares a very similar history and even looks very similar to the German Shepherd.

That is because both dogs are descended from the European Shepherding dog. The Malinois also was used for guarding purposes, and sometimes even hunting.

Their keen sense of sight and smell made them an optimal choice for this. Today, this breed is most commonly used by law enforcement and military forces.

Their superior sense of smell allows them to sniff out drugs and bombs better than almost any other breed, and they are often used to search for missing persons as well.

When you combine these two dogs, you get the best of both.

The German Malinois has the same great senses of both of the parenting dogs and particularly takes after the friendly demeanor of the German Shepherd.

They are very easy to train and will make a great companion for most families as well.

German Malinois Puppies – Before You Buy…

A side view of the German Malinois
The German Malinois is one of the most active large dogs that you could bring into your home.

The German Malinois is a very cute puppy, but they quickly grow into a large and active dog.

They will need lots of space to run around, and you will have to spend quite a bit of time training them if you want them to be well-behaved.

However, if you can provide these, then you will be rewarded with a great dog.

Before bringing home one of these puppies, you should know some general information so that you can decide whether this is the right breed for you or not.

What Price are German Malinois Puppies?

First-time buyers should expect to pay around $1,000 for their German Malinois.

However, the price can vary greatly depending on several factors.

In general, German Shepherds cost around $700 to $900 but can cost upwards of $5,000 if they were specially trained or come from a show-dog variety.

A high-pedigree Malinois will cost between $1,500 and $2,000.

The price of the parenting breeds is important because this will be factored into the final price that you will pay for your German Malinois hybrid.

If you are buying your puppy from a high-end breeder, then you will also pay extra just because of the breeder’s reputation.

How to Find Reputable German Malinois Breeders?

The German Malinois is a unique breed. However, it’s very hard to tell the difference between one of these and a German Shepherd.

It’s not uncommon for a dishonest breeder to find an abandoned German Shepherd puppy and try to put the high price tag of the German Malinois on him.

To be considered an official hybrid, then both of the parenting dogs should be from a high-pedigree and should be screened for any physical or behavioral predispositions.

If you seek out a reputable breeder, you will never usually have to deal with problems like this.

Since these dogs are often bred as work dogs, your best bet to find a good breeder is to search online for breeders that specialize in breeding, raising, and training this type of dog.

You may have to travel a little bit out of your way, but buying a hybrid from somebody who you know you can trust will make all the difference.

3 Little-Known Facts about German Malinois Puppies

  1. German Malinois are very active puppies. They will need to run around a lot to get all of their energy out.
  2. German Malinois puppies can be trained a lot earlier than other breeds. Their high intelligence begins to manifest itself at an early age, and they can be easily house trained when they are as young as 3 months old.
  3. German Malinois puppies are social creatures. They do well in multi-dog homes. If you have space, you should consider getting two dogs.

Physical Traits of the German Malinois

A German Malinois looking up at you
The German Malinois is a loyal and friendly breed.

The German Malinois is very similar to the German Shepherd. They look almost identical in appearance save for a few small features.

They are known for their alert stance, and their backs are always angled up towards their head which is held high.

You will almost never see these dogs slouching. If they’ve had any guard dog training, their heads will always be on a swivel to make sure that they can see everything going on around them.

These dogs have a long, wolf-like snout, that has a black color. Their bite force is 1,060 Newtons which is even more than that of a Pitbull.

Their tongue is commonly seen hanging out of their mouth, and this helps to cool them down after a long run or on a hot day.

The German Malinois’ ears are tall, triangular, and stick directly up in the ear.

This gives them exceptional hearing but also makes them prone to ear infections as there is a direct path to their ear canal.

This dog has very long front legs and slightly shorter rear legs. If they do a lot of running, then they will be very muscular, and they are very fast when they get up to a sprint.

How Big is a Full-Grown German Malinois?

An adult male German Malinois will usually weigh between 75 and 95 pounds depending on the size of their parents.

Females are a good bit smaller and weight between 50 and 80 pounds.

Looking at their height, they can be anywhere from 21 to 26 inches tall, with females being a few inches smaller than their male counterparts.

What is the Life Expectancy of the German Malinois?

The German Malinois has an average life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. This is common for a larger breed like this.

They will be incredibly active and generally healthy for their first 8 years of life, but once they start reaching old age, they will become slower, less active, and may develop some health conditions and joint pains.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the German Malinois

A German Malinois laying on the couch
The German Malinois can be trained for any purpose.

As the German Shepherd is one of the most intelligent breeds in the world, the German Malinois is no different.

They are very easy to train and will make a good guard dog, seeing eye dog, or just a friendly companion. It all depends on how you train them.

They are very adaptable and moldable during their first few months, and the way that you treat them and the things that you teach them during this period will usually stay with them for life.

In general, their temperament is reserved, but they can get agitated if they are around somebody or another dog that they feel threatened by.

This is especially prevalent in German Malinois that are trained as guard dogs.

They tend to be more territorial and protective of their property and their master than dogs that were bred primarily for companionship.

These dogs have a very playful personality and love to be outdoors chasing after a ball.

They are quite curious, and you can always find them investigating a new scent or trying to see what the neighbors are up to.

Because of this, it’s a good idea to socialize them. If you can, get them another dog that they can play with, or make a habit of taking them to a dog park where they can meet new friends.

The German Malinois’s Diet

The German Malinois will need to be fed 3 to 4 cups of food a day at three separate feeding times.

They tend to eat the most during their breakfast and their dinner, and will usually snack on their lunch throughout the midday.

It’s important to make sure these dogs get plenty of calcium.

They are prone to develop spinal problems in their old age, and proper calcium intake can help to prevent this.

How Much Exercise Does the German Malinois Need?

These dogs are very active. They will need to be exercised for at least 45 minutes a day.

They do not do well if they are cooped up in a small apartment, and if you have to be away at work or school for 8 hours a day, then it’s a good idea to leave them in the backyard or send them to doggy daycare.

German Malinois Health and Conditions

In their early lives, the German Malinois is a very healthy breed. However, they are prone to several musculoskeletal problems.

In part, this is due to their larger size, and in part, it is due to the unfortunate fact that many show-quality German Shepherds used for breeding were bred specifically for looks that took away some of their functionality and made them prone to these issues.

Often the German Shepherd parent will pass these traits on to the German Malinois, and this can result in them developing Hip Dysplasia or compacted spinal disks.

These dogs are also prone to ear infections because of their large ears that are relatively unprotected.

To make sure that they remain healthy, you should plan on taking them to the vet at least once every 3 months.

Child Safety

While the German Malinois makes a great family dog, certain innate hunting instincts within it may not be completely weeded out even after thorough training.

This gives rise to their prey drive, which is inherited from the Belgian Malinois.

If your dog inherits more of these powerful genes, it will tend to chase after any object, animal, or even person, that is smaller in size than itself.

This includes children, so if you have toddlers in the family that can easily be mistaken as prey to your dog, you should supervise any playtime that happens between your pet and your kids.

Unsupervised interactions may lead to mishaps where the dog might give in to its irresistible urge to chase after the smaller beings around it.

In addition to that, a large and energy-packed dog as this will be prone to running into furniture or people around it if it doesn’t have ample space to roam about.

During this, your young kids will be at risk of getting toppled over by your large canine, so it is important to keep an eye on your pet’s movement if you intend to keep it inside a house with small spaces.

Having said that, if your German Malinois inherits its German Shepherd genes, it is more likely to be friendly and gentle with your children, but your hybrid could take up either kind of temperament.

Another concern when it comes to child safety with the German Malinois is that it can be quite unpredictable, so there’s no telling when it could get irritated by a triggering factor.

Keeping that in mind, it is important to teach your young kids to not do anything that might annoy your pet and play with it in a gentle manner.

Final Thoughts on the German MalinoisThe German Malinois dog

The German Malinois is one of the most active, loyal, and friendly large dogs that you could bring into your home.

They are very intelligent and can be trained for just about any purpose and are highly adaptable to almost any type of environment.

The German Malinois is also very social and can provide you and your family with years of companionship.


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