Beauceron vs Belgian Malinois – What’s The Difference?

Most dog breeds excel in one particular job and are great for just a singular purpose. They may be great for families, work, or dog competitions.

Rarely do they show versatility and shine while performing multiple different jobs.

However, some breeds are just like that and most of them have one thing in common – a herding heritage.

And, that’s exactly the case with Beauceron and Belgian Malinois.

The comparison of Beauceron vs Belgian Malinois shows that these two breeds have a lot in common.

They were developed not too far away from each other, one in France and the other in Belgium.

Also, both were initially bred from herding which helped them pick up traits that make them useful for all sorts of roles.

Besides being excellent herders, they are playful family pets, fantastic for search and rescue missions, helpful service dogs, and ideal for police and military work.

AttributesBeauceronBelgian Malinois
Good For First Time OwnersNoNo
Good Guard DogYesYes
Apartment Friendly With Enough ExerciseWith Enough Exercise
Good Family DogYesWith Training
SheddingModerateModerate To High
Barking And Howling HighModerate To High
Height 24-27 inches (61-68.5 cm)22-26 inches (56-66 cm)
Average Life Expectancy10-12 Years 12-14 Years


Beauceron – Dog Breed Information

Beauceron may not be among the most popular breeds but they still have a long history, dating back to the 1500s.

Their origins can be traced to the La Bauce area near Paris, which is how they got their name.

They’re the largest of the French herding breeds and have served as versatile farm dogs.

Besides taking care of livestock, French farmers also used them for protection and other farm tasks.


This breed has a typical working dog’s body. They’re large and athletic. Their bodies are slightly longer than tall.

Even though they’re very strong, Beaucerons give away a very balanced and elegant appearance.

Beaucerons have a short and dense double coat.

The fine, soft, and thick undercoat is covered with a more coarse and water-resistant topcoat, lying close to the body. It’s shorter and smoother around the head and ears.

The most common color combination is a black base with tan markings. They often have characteristic red “stockings” on their legs.

The head is long, usually with a pointed muzzle. Eyes are dark brown and slightly oval in shape. The half-pricked ears are set high.

Male Beauceron can grow up to 25-28 inches (66-71 cm) and weigh 70-111 pounds (32-50 kg).

Females are of similar size, 25-26 inches (64-66 cm) high and weighing 70-111 pounds (32-50 kg).


Just by looking at their alert and bright facial expression, you can tell that Beaucerons are a very intelligent breed.

Furthermore, they enjoy a challenge and are quick learners. This makes them very trainable, although they need an experienced and firm trainer.

Inexperienced owners may find themselves overwhelmed as Beauceron will assume the dominant position if allowed.

Besides being alert, they’re very loyal and protective of their humans which is why they excel in guarding roles.

They’re very loving, affectionate, and happy to spend time with their family.

Beaucerons are great with children, and tolerant of other dogs, particularly if they go through early socialization.

Like most herding breeds, they do require an outlet for their abundant energy and lots of exercise.

If not kept active, they can easily become bored and even destructive.

Belgian Malinois – Dog Breed Information

Hailing from Belgium where they served the locals mainly as herding dogs, Malinois are today probably most valued for their service in police and military.

Intelligent, hard-working, and very trainable, they are perfect for these kinds of jobs. Still, when not working, they’re wonderful and devoted family dogs.


Belgian Malinois is a well-proportioned, strong, and athletic dog.

They’re often confused with German Shepherds due to their similar build and appearance but are a bit smaller and lighter than the German Shepherds.

Despite being very powerful, Malinoises move with grace and elegance.

Their body is covered with a double coat which provides protection in harsh weather conditions.

The undercoat is very dense and short, while the topcoat is harsher and longer.

Most dogs of this breed feature a fawn coat with black hair tips. Some dogs may be red or brown.

Similar to German Shepherds, they have a black-masked face and upright prickly ears.

However, the head is somewhat smaller and more chiseled, The eyes are brown and almond-shaped.

Male Malinois can reach 24-26 inches (61-66 cm) in height and 65-80 pounds (29-36 kg) in weight.

Females are 22-24 inches (56-60 cm) high and weigh around 60-70 pounds (27-32 kg).


Above all, Belgian Malinois is an extremely intelligent and confident dog.

They have a strong drive to work and are always eager to fulfill any task given by their humans.

In addition, they’re very versatile and can be trained to perform a wide range of jobs.

On the other hand, they require almost constant mental and physical stimulation which may be an issue for owners who don’t have a lot of time on their hands.

However, properly trained Malinois hardly has a match in the dog world in terms of things it can do.

Belgian Malinois love to spend time with people and are especially kind to kids.

Still, to get the best out of them, early socialization is a must. They’re not shy, but can be distrustful towards strangers.

Plus, they are very possessive and determined to protect their family and property. This is why they’re so valued as watch and guard dogs.

Beauceron vs Belgian Malinois – What’s The Difference?

Beauceron Belgian Malinois

The most obvious difference between Beauceron and Belgian Malinois is in their appearance.

Although they’re about the same height, the French breed is bulkier and heavier.

While Malinois is often compared to German Shepherds, Bauceron’s appearance is more similar to one of the Rottweiler.

Both breeds are very trainable and can perform various jobs, but Malinois has a clear advantage here as they’re one of the most intelligent and versatile breeds in the world.

On the other hand, Malinois is more difficult to handle, more independent and with a stronger prey and wandering drive.

As for maintenance, neither of them has very high requirements.

Each of them sheds moderately, but Belgian Malinois will need a bit more grooming effort.

Both breeds are rather healthy, but Beaucerons have a slightly shorter life expectancy.

Beauceron vs Belgian Malinois – Which One Is Better?

Before deciding which dog is better for you, you first have to assess what kind of owner are you.

For first-time and inexperienced owners, Beauceron is probably the better choice. While Belgian Malinois is likely to learn more, Beauceron is a bit easier to train.

Both breeds are highly energetic, but the Beauceron don’t need as much exercise as their Belgian counterparts.

Furthermore, they’re a better option for families with small children.

They’re also more adaptable to apartment living. They will not bark as much as Malinois and leave less of a mess behind them.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a working dog, you can hardly do better than a Belgian Malinois.

Beaucerons are also very versatile and hard-working, but Belgians are just in a different class.

The only task where the advantage is on the side of Beauceron is protection and guarding duties.

Authored By

Madeline Wright

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