Malinois German Shepherd Mix: Owner Review
Malinois German Shepherd Mix
Our Malinois German Shepherd Mix Charlie is now three years old so I think I can talk somewhat objectively about this mix and its temperament, even if I only have experience with my particular dog. The parent breeds of this mix are both fairly unique, although the German Shepherd is of course a far more widespread breed than Malinois. What can be said about their temperament?
They are very lively, active dogs. They are easily excitable and are very passionate about things. However, the German Shepherd part, I think, makes this dog very rational too. They are extremely smart and tend to evaluate every situation independently. They are in general quite independent. Charlie always makes his own opinion about things and acts accordingly. Sometimes he won’t even do a command we ask him to do if he thinks there is a better way of getting what he wants.
This is quite a large dog, and like many large dogs, they mature slowly. They stay very energetic and puppy-like almost until two years of age. At least that was the case with Charlie. This trait is very strong in Malinois especially. Some Malinois owners mistakenly believe that they have a “silly” dog, while in reality, their dog is just still very “young”. They have a very long “childhood” which you should probably simply enjoy with them. They do mature eventually!
Charlie is not very food motivated, so we have to work hard on keeping him motivated in our training. We feel that he is much more motivated by people and interaction with them. Their family is the very center of life for the Malinois German Shepherd Mix. At the same time, they are very indifferent to strangers. Unless, of course, a stranger dares to threaten their family. Same can be said about Malinois German Shepherd Mix in relation to other dogs.
Normally they would just ignore another dog. If our Charlie encounters a larger, stronger male dog, he will just step away and let the other dog pass. He is confident in himself and doesn’t have anything to prove. But if another dog acts aggressively towards us the owners, Charlie will certainly step between us and try to protect us. And protect us he will: it is surprising how strong he is!
Malinois German Shepherd Mix energy levels
Malinois German Shepherd Mix is a very energetic, active dog. This is not a good dog for a lazy family. And it’s not that they need extra physical exercise. You can’t just do a super energetic bike ride with your dog running after you and then let them sleep the rest of the day. This won’t work with a Malinois German Shepherd Mix. They need a lot of mental stimulation. They require lots of contact and interaction with their people first and foremost.
This dog needs “food for thought”, so to say. They are always looking for something new to learn. Both Malinois and German Shepherds require mental work to be happy. This sort of energy and activity may seem too much for some owners, but that’s just how these dogs are.
It’s not enough to just take this dog for a walk. As the owner, you will have to think of what exactly your dog will get to do on that walk. At least take a ball with you! That way your dog will feel like it has something to do. If they feel like they have nothing to do, they will find something to do, and it may be a dirty rag, a stick, chasing a squirrel out in the woods and many other things, some of which you may not like.
Malinois German Shepherd Mix will stay an active, playful dog for the rest of its life (which for this crossbreed can be as late as 15-17 years of age). As a very social dog, they prefer games with people to just about anything else. However, they have a very good understanding of where games are appropriate and where they aren’t. Your dog will not “play” with a stranger, or somebody’s child who they can accidentally hurt. Of course, this can only be said about adult Malinois. Puppies are still very silly and will run around until they smash into someone unless you keep them controlled. They are so full of life and energy that they can be quite hard to contain.
Adult Malinois German Shepherd Mix, like our Charlie, is a polite, contained and well-behaved dog (provided you have invested plenty of time into training). They are very obedient and very happy to please their owners. Charlie often does a command before I even finish speaking.
Our Malinois German Shepherd Mix seems to be very “honest” and non-manipulative. If he is in the wrong, he will admit it right away and will be very sorry. Of course, he is still a dog, and can get into trouble if he is lonely or bored. This includes ruining furniture or hauling off our items into his hiding places, or hopping on the bed when he is not allowed to.
But one thing that works for us is to tell him to guard something when we leave. If we tell him to guard our slippers for example, we know we will find Charlie in the exact same spot where we left him an hour ago. It’s funny but also we can see how happy he is to be able to fulfill a task for us. That’s what they live for!
Malinois German Shepherd Mix and other pets
Our Charlie is very good to other pets and animals that live in our house. We have a cat and at one point we had a rabbit, and Charlie was very nice to both. These dogs don’t have much of a hunting instinct or prey drive and so smaller animals are usually not in any danger around them.
Our Malinois German Shepherd Mix is a fairly quiet dog. He rarely barks, only when he is confused and doesn’t understand what is going on, but with a smart dog like this one it’s very, very rare. They also don’t bark just to bark or to scare an opponent. If they feel like fighting (if there is a real danger), they will just get right to it, without much warning or making much noise. They are very good at making their own, confident decisions and making noise without a reason is not something that they do.
Malinois German Shepherd Mix appearance
In terms of size and appearance, this is quite a large dog. Charlie is a male so probably as large as they get and he is around 64 cm tall. Females are a bit smaller.
Both Malinois and German Shepherds are often used as police dogs and other types of service dogs: they fit that purpose very well both physically and mentally.
Because they do have both Malinois and German Shepherds in their genetics, they can be suspicious of strangers if not properly socialized from a young age. If you have just adopted a young Malinois German Shepherd Mix, it’s very important to provide plenty of opportunities for socialization. Take them on lots of walks where they will get exposed to both people and other dogs. Take them onto transport (buses, cars etc), as well as into various sorts of buildings and establishments (where dogs are allowed, of course) so that they get exposed to as many various environments as possible. It will help your puppy to grow into a calm, well-rounded and well-socialized dog.
Malinois German Shepherd Mix coat is medium length. They do fairly well in colder climates as well as hotter climates, but they do need shelter during extreme temperatures. They do shed! Charlie sheds almost year-round, so dog hair is an everyday issue and we do have to clean quite a bit. We don’t have too much trouble with his coat though, it doesn’t get too dirty and doesn’t mat. We just need to brush him out once a week or so. He also doesn’t seem to have too much doggy smell.
Crating is very important! We have been crating Charlie since he was very young and it’s like his little home for when we need him out of the way for a bit. He loves his crate: there is always food and water there, and plenty of toys, and he always goes in happily.
Unlike many other dogs, our Malinois German Shepherd Mix Charlie is fearless when it comes to fireworks and other loud noises. He does not get spooked at all. He has also never been afraid of car rides, buses, trains. Anything, really.
Another thing I should mention is that he is very, very beautiful. And it’s not only us who think so. Charlie always attracts attention wherever we go. People always smile at him and want to come up to us to pet him. We meet many new people this way, although Charlie is usually pretty neutral when it comes to strangers. He isn’t overly excited and will not jump up on them and beg for pets. He does have a German Shepherd in his genetics after all!
In all our time with Charlie, we have never really been disappointed or regretted our decision to adopt him. He is the light of our life and truly a cherished family member. All our relatives adore him and we, of course, are in love with him and we hope he will stay with us for a long, long time.