Belgian Malinois vs Rottweiler – Which One To Choose?

Owning a dog is rewarding in so many ways. They’re loyal, loving, and protective. However, owning a dog carries a lot of responsibility.

For that reason, it’s necessary to do some serious research before deciding on the right canine for you and your family.

Belgian Malinoises and Rottweilers are both among the most popular choices for owners who are looking for an intelligent, devoted, and active dog.

Both breeds are capable of providing countless hours of fun, but also solid protection for your home and family.

While they share plenty of common traits, each brings its own set of distinctive qualities to the table.

For those torn between these two breeds, I’ll dig a little deeper into comparing Belgian Malinois vs Rottweiler and see what connects and separates them.

AttributesBelgian MalinoisRottweiler
Good For First Time OwnersNoNo
Good Guard DogYesYes
Apartment FriendlyPossible With Enough ExerciseYes
Good Family DogWith TrainingYes
SheddingModerate To HighModerate
Barking And HowlingModerate To HighLow
Height22-26 inches (56-66 cm)25-27 inches (64-69cm)
Average Life Expectancy12-14 Years8-10 Years


Belgian Malinois – Dog Breed Information

Belgian Malinoises are very smart and capable dogs who love to work.

They originate from Belgium where the locals developed them as sheep herding dogs.


Malinoises range in color but most commonly have a tan coat and black muzzle similar to German Shepherds.

Grown males are 24-26 inches (61-66 cm) in height and weigh 65-80 pounds (29-36 kg).

Females can grow around 22-24 inches (56-60 cm) and reach 60-70 pounds (27-32 kg) weight.

The Malinois’ body is covered with short and hard fur with a thick undercoat. The fur gets a bit longer around the neck, back legs, and tail.

Thanks to their double coat, they can easily withstand harsh weather.

The top coat will shed twice a year, usually during the fall and winter, but there’s also some minor constant shedding.


If you plan to keep the dog inside, this is something to pay attention to.

Thanks to their origins, Malinoises have a hard drive for work. They are extremely active and bursting with energy.

Owning this breed requires a lot of activity and constant engagement. They enjoy fulfilling different jobs that keep them occupied physically and mentally.

The best way to care for your Belgian Malinois is to present them with various challenges and problems which they enjoy solving.

If they are inactive and bored, Malinoises can quickly turn destructive and tough to handle.

However, if properly engaged and socialized, they make for wonderful family pets.

High intelligence and focus make Malinoises very easy to train. They have great motivation and respond well to training.

Still, an inexperienced owner may find their level of energy a bit too much. In that case, it’s best to look for a help of a professional trainer.

Their athleticism, trainability, and natural intelligence make them the perfect breed for military and police work.

Rottweiler – Dog Breed Information

Rottweiler by Dr. Manfred Herrmann (CC BY-SA 3.0)

One of the most ancient breeds, Rottweilers have been among the most popular dogs for years, and for a good reason.

They’re fearsome, smart, hard-working loyal, and fun to be around.


The first thing that catches the eye when you see a Rottweiler is their formidable and muscular build.

This large frame, paired with a massive head, gives them a somewhat menacing appearance.

The fully grown male can be as high as 27 inches (69 cm) and with up to 130 pounds (60 kg).

Females are a bit smaller, reaching 25 inches (64 cm) and 115 pounds (52 kg).

Their coat is short, thick, and a bit harsh. They’re fairly low-maintenance dogs. A solid weekly brushing and a bath every couple of weeks should do the job.

They shed moderately over the year, so in that sense, they won’t make much mess inside the house.

The only exception is their shedding season which comes twice a year, in spring and in fall.


Over the years, the Rottweilers have gained a somewhat bad reputation. They have been accused of being too aggressive, unpredictable, and mean.

Their menacing appearance and the fact that they’ve been used for dog fights in the past contributed to their notoriety. However, the truth is much different.

In the right hands and with proper socialization, Rottweilers are loving creatures, and very attentive to their families.

They are also very protective and their reputation can come in handy here. One look at them is often enough to deter potential attackers.

Rottweilers enjoy being with humans and require a lot of attention and companionship.

If left alone for a longer period, they can get restless, and may bark, dig, or engage in destructive behavior.

They demand a committed and active owner, willing to spend a lot of time with them. This breed loves physical activities and is a great companion for hiking, jogging, or swimming.

Rottweilers are very eager to learn and are fairly easy to train, especially at a young age.

Their training works much better through positive reinforcement and rewards rather than punishment.

Belgian Malinois vs Rottweiler – The Differences

The size difference is the first thing that catches the eye when comparing these two breeds.

The Rottweilers are massive and require a fair share of living space.

However, due to the shorter fur, they’re easier to maintain and may be more suitable for indoor living.

Malinoises don’t require much grooming work but are still more demanding than Rottweilers.

If you live in a harsh climate, the Belgians are a better choice due to their long fur and dense undercoat.

But, the Rottweilers also enjoy the snow and being in the cold weather.

Neither of these two breeds is recommended for inexperienced owners. They’re working breeds and require daily activity and exercise.

Malinoises get bored faster and are a little more demanding in that respect.

While both breeds enjoy human companionship, the Rottweilers are probably a better choice for larger families.

They love, cherish, and protect the entire family, while Malinoises tend to develop a connection to one person only.

When properly socialized, each of them can be great with kids, but Rottweilers are more tolerant and patient around the little ones.

If we’re comparing Belgian Malinois vs Rottweiler from a health perspective, a slight advantage is the Belgian’s side.

On average, the Rottweilers have around three years shorter life expectancy. They’re also a bit more susceptible to health issues and allergies.


Both of these breeds are an excellent choice for the right owners.

This means that if you plan on purchasing a Belgian Malinois or a Rottweiler, make sure that you have the will and plenty of time to socialize and train them.

Both dogs prefer living with people inside of a home, so you should take that into account as well.

If your character, lifestyle, and living conditions fit his descriptions, then it only comes to personal preference which one will you choose.

One thing is certain, no matter which one you go for, you’ll gain a faithful companion, fearsome protector, and loving family member.

Authored By

Madeline Wright

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