Black brown German Shepherd puppies
The Belgian Malinois
is often confused with a German Shepherd.
Here are guidelines that will help identify the differences.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: Most Malinois gives the appearance of a generally square dog being about as long in body as it is tall. The Malinois is a very natural looking dog and will give an appearance of "balance" not too long, in body, or too tall. Many Malinois are not square however so there can be exceptions. Malinois walk very upright on their toes and light on their feet. The Malinois will give an impression of agility, activity, and speed. The Malinois head is generally more "refined" than a GSD, being more "clean cut" and less heavy than a GSD The GSD has a generally longer body in relation to his height and is rectangular in shape. The GSD tends to have a heavier longer stride moving lower on its feet as it walks.. A GSD tends to have a more "sloping" (topline) back, from its withers to hind quarters.
SIZE: Male Malinois are generally 23-27" tall, 55-75#, Females are generally 21-25" tall 40-60#. It is not at all uncommon for a Malinois to be shorter or taller than these guidelines. Malinois are generally not as "heavy" in body and bone than a GSD.
COAT & COLOR: "Most" Malinois have a double coat that includes varying amounts of undercoat [like a GSD] some Malinois have minimal undercoat. A dog with out any undercoat, or a slick coat of a Dane or a Doberman, should be questioned as being pure. The Malinois is fawn color, ranging from the color of sand, to a deep reddish brown. Malinois will have varying amounts of black tipped hairs often seen on the chest and throughout the body. Most Malinois have black to brown ears, and will have some blackening on the topside of their tail. Malinois may have white markings on their chest and toes. The Malinois coat is a double coat consisting of a soft undercoat and a more harsh and straight topcoat. The length of a Malinois coat can vary on individuals and family lines, from about 1.5" to 3.5" in length. The coat is somewhat longer on the back of the rear legs, on the tail and around the neck forming a collerette. The coat is very short on head, ears and lower legs. Most Malinois have a "black' mask on their face, for some individuals it is minimal or faded, other masks will to cover the entire head. It is not uncommon for young adults to have white "frosting" on around their gums and muzzle. Malinois are not seen with a "black" saddle like you may find on a GSD, or a GSD mix. GSDs generally have a thicker and longer coat and commonly have a black saddle.
EARS: Malinois ears are dark brown/black in color, are triangular and should be stiff and standing and erect They are generally smaller than GSD ears.