Is the Belgian Malinois German Shepherd Mix the Dog For You?

Last Updated on April 25, 2023

The Belgian Malinois German Shepherd Mix is a crossbreed between the German Shepherd and the Belgian Malinois, also known as German Malinois or Malinois X.

It’s characterized as medium to large in size, measuring 20 to 26 inches (51 to 66 cm) tall and weighing around 45 to 85 pounds (20 to 39 kg). The average lifespan of the German Shepherd Belgian Malinois Mix is around 10 to 14 years.

Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix sitting on a bench
Source: @silas_malinoisx / IG

German Malinois are often used as service or working dogs due to their excellent mental and physical capabilities. They are highly intelligent and easy to train, but they do require an active and diligent owner who can provide them with firm and consistent training.

If you’re planning to own a Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix puppy, you can get it between $1,000 to $2,000 from a reputable breeder.

We will cover all you need to know about the German Malinois breed. From its origin, temperament, diet, exercise, and grooming needs, to its common health issues. Read our complete guide and see if this powerful, alert, and protective mixed breed is right for you!

What is a Shepinois?

The Shepinois is the hybrid offspring of the Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd dog. And while we’re sure what makes up this mixed breed, we can’t say the same for the time and place of its origin.

But thanks to the person who decided to mix the German Shepherd and Malinois because it created a powerful, intelligent, and alert working dog.

Although they can’t be registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) because they’re a crossbreed, other organizations recognize them.

Those include the Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC), American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA), and the Designer Breed Registry (DBR).

The Belgian Malinois: A world-class working dog

Belgian Malinois dog lying on the grass
Belgian Malinois

Aside from the Tervuren, Laekenois, and Groenendael, the Belgian Malinois, or Mal, is one of the four types of Belgian Sheepdogs developed in Belgium in the late 1800s.

Breeders gave each variety their own names at the turn of the 20th century to represent each city where they came from.

This particular Belgian, known for its fawn-mahogany, short coat, and black mask, can be traced back to Malines.

Farmers and countrymen would use all Belgian Shepherds as draught and guard dogs.

But even though the Belgian Malinois was bred for shepherding tasks, their obedience, loyalty, and intelligence were noticed that they were also used as military dogs during the World Wars and for other police work like drug detection.

The German Shepherd: An all-around canine

German Shepherd dog

The German Shepherd (GSD) is a herding dog that dates back to 1899 Germany. These active dogs were useful on farms for protecting and leading sheep.

Early GSD breeders mixed multiple dogs from central and northern Germany to create and refine this breed.

Although the German Shepherd was created to herd sheep, they are now famous for their agility, speed, intelligence, stealth, and air of firm authority.

These traits make them the perfect trainable police dogs that excel in search and rescue missions.

German Shepherds are the second most popular breed registered by the AKC and are useful as companion animals and protection dogs for the general population. They are also famous for their television appearances in the United States.

What does a German Malinois look like?

No mixed breed has a standard appearance, but the German Malinois dog breed has a bigger chance of looking like a combination of both parents.

Since the German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois are from a similar location and gene pool, this mix will resemble all Shepherds.

The Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix has a wedge-shaped head that comes to a pointed snout.

Their eyes are almond-shaped and medium-sized and are either dark brown or auburn. Ears are medium to large-sized, pointed, and in proportion to the skull.

A German Malinois neck will be thick and muscular, long and clean-cut, and usually in proportion to the head. Withers in the topline is typically higher at the shoulders and start to slope downwards towards the back.

The Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix in a garden full of flowers

The degree of the slope depends on which parent the Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix takes after.

Dogs that take after the German Shepherd parent won’t have a straight back, and the legs will bow to compensate. Malinois pups will have a straighter back and long legs.

A Shepinois will have a long straight tail, but it could either come at the hocks or drag on the ground. Their whole body is muscular and large, including in the forequarters and hindquarters.

This breed will likely have dewclaws, which is a 6th toe useful for running and climbing.

How Big Does a Belgian Malinois German Shepherd Mix Get?

The German Shepherd Belgian Malinois mix classifies as a medium to large dog breed. Full-grown Malinois GSDs can reach a height of 20 to 26 inches (51 to 66 cm) and a weight of 45 to 85 pounds (20 to 39 kg), with females being a bit smaller than males.

A German Shepherd-Malinois puppy will stop growing and is considered full-grown once it reaches maturity, which is between 16 and 22 months of age.

So, is this a good apartment dog? No, it’s not. Shepanois dogs will not thrive in apartment living given their size and energy level that they inherited from parents with working backgrounds.

Belgian Malinois 
German Shepherd Mix 
Physical Features
Male Female
Height 20 to 26 inches
(51 to 66 cm)
20 to 26 inches
(51 to 66 cm)
Weight 45 to 85 pounds
(20 to 39 kg)
45 to 85 pounds
(20 to 39 kg)

The multiple coat options for the Malinois X

The Malinois X has a dense, coarse coat that’s harsh and rough. Their fur is typically a flat and straight, medium-length double coat.

However, their coat’s length can vary from long to short, depending on what parent breed the Shepinois takes after.

A Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix varies significantly in coat color.

Standard coat colors range from fawn, black, and brown, but blue and white are typical. Tan, red, silver, cream, and grey are rare colors that could show up if the Malinois X favors one parent over the other.

This designer breed will usually have a dark overlay for markings, which either means their coat will be darker than average, or their marks will be black or brown but never white.

Is a Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd cross a good dog?

The Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix looking cute
Source: @kodah_malix / IG

The German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois are recognizable for their intelligence and working dog capabilities.

The high-quality breed standards for both parents means it’s likely your Malinois X pup will inherit confidence, alertness, and high energy.

Female Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mixes are usually friendlier and sweeter, whereas males are more territorial and often urinate to mark their territory.

They are also prouder. Males are more likely to be aggressive and stubborn but make for better workers.

The Malinois X can be a great family pet with early socialization, but due to their watchdog and guard dog intuition and strong prey drive, they are more fit for life on the field than companionship. This doesn’t mean it isn’t possible or probable to find a friendly dog.

It’s recommended to give this breed plenty of mental stimulation with exercise.

The Malinois X loves to run, jump, swim, jog, chase, and walk with their owners, but they prefer to have a job to do rather than indulge in playtime. They are great swimmers and enjoy hiking.

Is a Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix dangerous?

While any dog can be aggressive with the wrong owner, the German Shepherd is more likely to have behavioral issues.

Therefore, the Malinois X can be a dangerous breed without proper training and socialization.

A Shepinois is less likely to be friendly to strangers, other dogs, cats, or five-year-olds. Their high prey drive makes them want to seek out and hunt other animals, which means they are more likely to bark and bite your neighbors.

The Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix playing in the snow
Source: @lani_paws / IG

As mentioned, none of this guarantees that your Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mixed dog will become dangerous.

Both parent breeds can be family dog but are more likely to attach themselves to their family. Separation anxiety could develop if you’re not careful.

As a significant positive, the Malinois X has a high trainability and will be able to unlearn bad habits.

First-time dog owners may have difficulty reining them in due to their stubbornness, especially since this breed is more likely to respond to a strict and diligent leader.

How to care for your Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix

The Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix has a medium-maintenance double coat and a lot of energy to go around.

Overall, you need to have a lot of free time to give this breed the love and attention they need to stay happy and healthy.

The Malinois X has a high tolerance in cold and hot weather, so you won’t need to shave or trim their coat drastically between seasons.

Exercising Your Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix

Shepinois dogs have extremely high energy levels that they require 45 minutes to 2 hours of exercise daily.

You can divide this throughout the day by doing different activities because there’s a lot to choose from. Keep your doggo entertained and take her hunting, hiking, running, or make her catch flying discs.

It shouldn’t be limited to physical stimulation, though. Smart breeds who are used to doing different canine jobs will also need to stay sharp, so you have to keep your pet challenged mentally, as well.

After a trip to the dog park and a walk or jog through the neighborhood, you can let your German Malinois cool down and relax while playing some puzzles or interactive toys.

Do you want to hit two birds with one stone? Get your fur buddy join obedience or agility trials.

Watch how this video of this Shepinois named Stella have fun being on the move while bonding with her owner: 

Grooming: Do Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mixes shed?

If you’re wondering whether Malinois Shepherds are hypoallergenic, they’re not. They can be considered as moderate shedders all-year-round, but they shed heavily when the seasons are changing.

Reduce the amount of dog hair from your clothes and furniture by brushing your German Shepherd & Malinois cross with a firm bristle brush two to three times a week.

If your Malinois X has a GSD parent with a long coat and inherited it, you should brush daily.

You can expect minimal drooling and odor, which means bathing should only be done when necessary.

Don’t forget other grooming routines like checking and cleaning her ears once a week, brushing her teeth at least three times weekly, and trimming those toenails as needed, especially if your canine friend is not wearing them down naturally.

Your Belgian Malinois-German Shepherd’s diet

The naturally active Malinois X is unlikely to become obese or suffer health complications due to their weight. Still, it’s best to spread out the recommended 3 to 4 cups of high-quality kibbles for this hybrid into two to three meals a day.

Further minimize the chances of diet-related illnesses by avoiding free-feeding or leaving out dog food throughout the day. You should also limit the number of doggy snacks you give your fido.

Besides feeding your German Malinois based on her age and activity level, other owners compute for their pup’s daily caloric needs based on their weight. You can use this calorie calculator to help you with that.

The health and hereditary conditions of the Malinois German Shepherd mix

The Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix sleeping with its teddy

Your German Malinois will likely suffer from multiple health complications throughout their lifetime.

Both the Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd are unhealthy breeds. Prepare for potential health complications by screening your pet.

Be sure to health screen and take several tests, such as x-rays, dental, ear, eye exams, blood analysis, and blood and urine analysis. Of the multiple health conditions your pup could have, hip and elbow dysplasia are the most common.

Other health issues related to the Malinois X include:

  • Bloat
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Anesthesia Sensitivity/Allergy
  • Eye diseases and disorders
    • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
    • Cataracts
  • Allergies
  • Cutaneous vasculopathy
  • Heart diseases and disorders
    • Inherited ventricular tachycardia
  • Megaesophagus
  • Polyneuropathy
  • Epilepsy
    • Idiopathic epilepsy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Physiologic leukopenia
  • Hemophilia
  • Endocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)

The Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix has an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years. However, they typically die from health complications rather than natural causes.

How much is a German Malinois puppy?

The Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix puppy
Source: @kyro_themalinoisx / IG

German Malinois puppies can cost $1,000 to $2,000 each. Some can be more expensive as the price is affected by different factors such as the pup’s availability, the gender, the breeder’s location and popularity, and the parents’ lineage.

The Malinois X have small litters that can consist of 6 to 8 puppies, but they can have 10 pups. So if you really want this designer pooch, be prepared to go on a waiting list.

Where to find Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix breeders

While looking for a breeder, be sure to ask where the puppies are kept. Check for signs of a puppy mill like enclosed spaces and an unclean environment.

Always ask for health screen records for the parents because this breed usually has multiple health concerns.

You may find the Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix for sale at these locations. However, most of the following are of their parent breed. Ask these breeders if they’re willing to cross.

  • Cherry Creek K9 (Denver, CO)
  • Excelon Dogs (Shelton, WA)
  • Camelot German Shepherds (Soddy-Daisy, TN)

Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mixes for adoption

It will be challenging to find a rescue with this breed, which is a positive because they’re less likely to be without a home.

The negative to adopting is you won’t be able to health screen, and their difficulty to train may pose some issues. Still, these pups will need a forever home.

You may find the Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix puppies at these locations. However, most of the following are of their parent breed. Look at the “mixed” section.

  • All Shepherd Rescue (Baltimore, MD)
  • German Shepherd Rescue Association (Durham, NC)
  • American Belgian Malinois Rescue (Stevens Point, WI)

Curious about Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd mixes?

Not sure if the Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix is right for you? Why don’t you check out these other mixes that may fit into your family better?

  • Belgian Malinois Mixes
    • Dutch Shepherd Belgian Malinois Mix
    • Lab Belgian Malinois Mix
    • Siberian Husky Belgian Malinois Mix
  • German Shepherd Mixes
    • German Shepherd Corgi Mix
    •  German Shepherd Lab Mix
    •  German Shepherd Siberian Husky Mix
    •  German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix

Is a Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix right for me?

The Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix playing and chewing ball
Source: @koda_and_marley_the_shepinois / IG

As a confident dog, the Shepinois will love the thrill of every single workday. After all, they’re one of the finest all-purpose working breeds around. With their large build and affectionate nature – it just makes sense.

They do require plenty of exercise, and training is a crucial part of owning this crossbreed. Not only will you have to worry about destructive behavior, but aggression will be your problem.

With that said, first-time dog owners should steer clear of the Malinois X. They require an experienced handler who can be their alpha and have their stubbornness in check.

Think you can handle the Belgian Malinois German Shepherd mix? What do you think of this designer dog? Tell us below.


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