Belgian Malinois vs Dutch Shepherd

helloBARK! staff
By helloBARK! staff
Updated on January 13, 2020
Fact Checked

Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherds are two breeds that are sometimes confused.

Both breeds can trace their roots back to herding cattle and sheep, but Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherds serve other purposes in modern society.

Belgian Malinois are described as a confident, smart and hardworking breed, while Dutch Shepherds are considered intelligent, lively and athletic.

They’re similar in size and stature so it’s easy to see why Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherds can often be mislabelled.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at Belgian Malinois vs Dutch Shepherd.

We’ll break this comparison article into the following sections:

What is a Belgian Malinois?

Belgian Malinois are a world-class working dog that thrive if they’ve got a function or purpose to fill in their owner’s life.

A member of the American Kennel Club’s Herding Group, the Belgian breed will build an unbreakable bond with their human companion.

Belgian Malinois are a breed that like to be active and working, making them more than your average pet.

What is a Dutch Shepherd?

The Dutch Shepherd is an athletic and intelligent dog breed.

They were developed to herd and it’s an instinct that the modern members of this breed have retained.

Dutch Shepherds can be independent thinkers and strong willed.

They need a lot of exercise given their original purpose was to keep flocks of sheep in check.

Where do Belgian Malinois come from?

Belgian Malinois were first bred in the city of Malines on the outskirts of the Belgian capital Brussels.

Originally a member of the Belgian Sheepdog breed, Malinois were used by shepherds and cattleman in a herding capacity. In fact, they were described as “peerless livestock herders”.

Belgian Malinois were bred to perform to a high level. The first Malinois arrived in the USA in 1911. They performed an important function in World War I and World War II. Their importation was temporarily halted during the Second World War.

The American Kennel Club recognised the breed in 1959 and their numbers started to increase once more.

Nowadays, the Belgian Malinois perform a crucial role in society. The breed are often found working with the army, police, security, search and rescue dogs.

Where do Dutch Shepherd come from?

Dutch Shepherds are native to the Netherlands. They were used by shepherds and farmers who required a versatile dog on their farms and ranches.

Described as a “Jack-of-all-trades”, they were used to keep chickens in check, herd dairy cow, pulls carts with produce to market. They were also used to keep a close eye on children.

The first members of the breed appeared in 1898. Initially any color was permissible but by 1914, it was decided that brindle was the only acceptable color for Dutch Shepherds in order to distinguish it from German Shepherds and Belgian Shepherds.

Like the Belgian Malinois, the modern-day Dutch Shepherds are used as police dogs, search and rescue dogs as well as guide dogs for the blind.

Belgian Malinois vs Dutch Shepherd: size

Belgian Malinois are medium-to-large dogs. They’ve got a height range of 22 to 26 inches in height and weigh from 40 to 80 pounds.

Dutch Shepherds are similar in size. They can be between 21.5 and 24.5 inches tall, while they can weigh between 42 and 75 pounds.

Belgian Malinois vs Dutch Shepherd: appearance

Belgian Malinois aren’t too dissimilar from German Shepherds. They’ve got a different head, are leggier and finer boned. These working dogs should be strong and well-muscled, but elegant and streamlined rather than bulky. Their coat colors range from rich fawn to mahogany with black ears and dark eyes.

As we mentioned above, Dutch Shepherds can only have a brindle coat. They should have a black mask. Sometimes likened in appearance to a wolf, their coats can be short-haired, long-haired or rough-haired.

Belgian Malinois vs Dutch Shepherd: temperament

Belgian Malinois should be confident but reserved with strangers. The breed will develop a deep bond with their owners, showing an affectionate side. Perhaps their best-known quality is their natural protectiveness of their owner and their owner’s property. However, they shouldn’t be overly aggressive. Given their use as military and police dogs, you won’t be surprised to learn that Belgian Malinois are highly intelligent and obedient.

Dutch Shepherds are a versatile dog breed that can serve a number of different functions. Some of their personality traits include loyal, reliable, alert, watchful, active, independent, intelligent and intuitive. Like Malinois, they should be intelligent and obedient. They should be neither aggressive nor shy. Their intelligence and ability to follow commands means Dutch Shepherds make great service animals.

Belgian Malinois vs Dutch Shepherd: exercise

If you don’t have time to dedicate to activities with your Belgian Malinois, they’re probably not the right breed for you. Belgian Malinois need regular activity with their dog owner to feel fulfilled and satisfied. The AKC write that they need to be engaged both mentally and physically with their human companion. In fact, the organization warn that daily walks and playtime in the garden won’t suffice. They suggest activities such as agility, tracking, obedience and herding. Your Malinois will need around 120 minutes of exercise a day.

Dutch Shepherds are similar to Belgian Malinois in the sense that they’ve been bred for hard work. The AKC says that these Dutch dogs can differentiate between work, play and chill time. Again, like Malinois, they want to serve a greater purpose than purely being a family pet. They need a lot of exercise, at least around 100 to 120 minutes a day.

Belgian Malinois vs Dutch Shepherd: hypoallergenic

While you can see that Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherds have some similarities, they’ve got one definite thing in common. Neither Malinois nor Dutch Shepherds are hypoallergenic. The AKC list some breeds that are hypoallergenic but these two aren’t that.

Belgian Malinois vs Dutch Shepherd: shedding

Malinois have a waterproof double coat that will shed moderately throughout the year. Belgian Malinois will blow out their coat twice a year at the changing of the seasons.

Similarly, Dutch Shepherds have a versatile double coat. However, it’s worth remembering there are three different varieties: short-hair, long-hair and rough-hair. Their shedding and grooming needs will vary. They’ll usually shed their coat every spring and autumn.

Belgian Malinois vs Dutch Shepherd: grooming

Belgian Malinois will need to be brushed a couple of times a week to remove dead hair and debris. Owners are advised to brush Malinois every day during shedding season.

Generally speaking, Dutch Shepherds will need to be brushed once or twice a week. However, this could vary depending on what type of Dutch Shepherd you own.

Belgian Malinois vs Dutch Shepherd: price

Belgian Malinois can cost between $1,000 and $2,000 depending on each individual breeder. Dutch Shepherds will usually cost around $1,000 like Malinois. It’s important to remember that there will be a lot more costs after your initial investment. Malinois and Dutch Shepherds will have other costs such as vaccinations, food, pet insurance and more.

The difference between Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherd

As you’ll hopefully have read, there are a lot of similarities between the Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherds. Both have unique exercise needs as dogs who crave a purpose in their owner’s life. They’re similar in size and stature. However, Dutch Shepherds can only be found in brindle, while Malinois have a little more variety in their permitted coat colors. You can also get three different types of Dutch Shepherds but Belgian Malinois only come in one variety.

Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherd to follow on Instagram

If you’re still eager to learn more about the difference between Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherds, you can check out some examples on social media.

Here are some Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherds to check out on Instagram if you want to learn more about this striking breed.

• @thekatykat1

• @ninathemalinois

• Atlas (@atlas_ds)

• Dutch Shepherd team (@dutchshepherdteam)

In conclusion

So we’ve reached the end of our Belgian Malinois vs Dutch Shepherd comparison article.

As we’ve learned, there are some similarities and differences between the two breeds.

Overall, there seems to be more similarities than differences given both dogs are medium-to-large, they like to act as working dogs, have specific exercise needs and are intelligent.