Belgian Malinois vs German Shepherd: Key Similarities and Differences

The Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd are very similar species from different parts of the world. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the aspects of each breed and compare and contrast those aspects to give you an idea of how much breadth these two beautiful species have.

Belgian Malinois

Originating in Mechelen, Belgium, this Belgian breed is a task-force dog to be reckoned with. Oftentimes, this dog is used for odor detection and tracking, primarily due to their strong senses and connection to sheepdogs, which were bred to work. The Belgian Malinois is similar in appearance to German Shepherds, and are frequently used in the military, such as the dog Cairo in Operation Neptune Spear1. Furthermore, the breed is used for herding quite frequently, according to the American Kennel Club2.

German Shepherd

A common breed in the United States, this particular breed is also extremely useful when it comes to working, and is used extensively in workforce jobs, including the military and police force3. The dog is well known for its intelligence and availability to train, which makes them excellent candidates for working jobs that require service dogs. Well-trained German Shepherds are one of the safest dogs to be around, and they are also one of the best for services.

Comparison and Contrast

The Malinois and Shepherd are both similar in appearance, with the former having a much narrower snout and muted coloring. Shepherds tend to have either short or long hair, with smaller ears, and a wide variety of breeding patterns for shows, such as a sloped back with legs closer to the ground. In addition, Malinois tend to be a bit more reserved for working, while the German Shepherd can be considered a family dog with a lot of patience and loyalty to your family.

In Conclusion? Both Great Breeds

You might be able to find a German Shepherd more easily compared to the Belgian Malinois due to their very different niches as pets and service animals. Either way, the dogs are a great addition to any family and are both extremely easily to train and work with, regarding whatever you may need these animals for.

How to Get Your Dog Search and Rescue Certified

SAR dog and its trainerThere are many good reasons to train your dog to become a Search and Rescue certified. SAR is actually a large category that encompasses many different specialties. It can be confusing and difficult to find the right information on exactly to how to go about getting your dog SAR certified. The most common SAR certifications that people seek out is wilderness SAR.

One of the best ways to get the correct information when you are considering your dog professional trained is to contact your local K-9 units. They will have all the connections and know-how in how to get your dog certified in SAR. Some units even provide educational programs and even put you through the right path of certification for your dog.

Make sure your dog is well socialized before you even consider getting it certified. This cannot be stressed enough and goes beyond the boundaries of the dog parks. The dog must be exposed to various people, animals, environments and circumstances. They should also be familiar and comfortable not only in rural environment but urban as well. You never know what the situation will call for your dog to come for search and rescue, so it’s imperative to have them be comfortable in all possible scenarios.

Understand that not all dogs have what it takes to become Search and Rescue dogs

SAR canine training should be initiated as early as possible. Many experts recommend 8 weeks of age, when they are most malleable behaviorally. Some even swear by start socializing and training the puppies from age of 5 weeks old.

The training begins with standard obedience works as well as heavy socialization. Scent detection is also another skills that is taught for SAR dogs and something that needs a professional handler to teach and reinforce.

Know that the commitment must be extra strong as a handler of the dog. To see through the fruition of your dog becoming SAR certified, it takes a lot of time, money and resources. It’s certainly not for the faint-hearted due to how involved you’d have to be. However, it can be one of the most rewarding things you can do with your dog. The bonds between the SAR dog and their handles are unparalleled.