Belgian Tervuren vs Belgian Malinois


Belgian Tervuren vs Malinois: Key Differences and Similarities

Last Updated on March 20, 2024 by Denise Leo. Post first published on June 5, 2022.

The Belgian Tervuren and the Belgian Malinois are two prevalent breeds of dogs. Both breeds are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and trainability. While they may look similar at first glance, there are some significant differences between these breeds. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the Belgian Tervuren vs Belgian Malinois, highlighting the key differences and similarities between these two popular breeds.

The Belgian Tervuren and Belgian Malinois are two of the most popular dog breeds in Belgium. Both breeds are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and protective nature. So, which breed is right for you? Read on to learn more about them.

Belgian Shepherd Dogs And Their Varieties

The Belgian Shepherd is a versatile herding dog that excels in many different roles. There are four recognized varieties of the breed: the Tervuren, Malinois, Groenendael, and Laekenois. All four varieties are similar in many ways, but there are also some key differences between them.

Since the Tervuren and Malinois are the more popular breeds among the four, this article will be focusing on Belgian Tervuren Vs Belgian Malinois.

Belgian Tervuren vs Belgian Malinois
Belgian Shepherd Dogs: Belgian Tervuren vs Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Tervuren

The Tervuren is the most popular of the four Belgian shepherd dogs varieties and is known for being an intelligent and versatile dog. It is often used in police and military work and in agility, obedience, and tracking trials.

They’re muscular with longer necks and have square-shaped heads with erect ears. Their double-layered coat makes them look more prominent with a dense outer coat and a softer undercoat.

Tervuren comes in various colors, including black, fawn, mahogany, and brindle. The breed is intelligent, alert, and responsive to training.

The Belgian Tervuren is a large-sized dog, with males standing at 26 inches tall and females at 24 inches tall and weighing between 60-75 pounds. It has a thick double coat that is black with mahogany highlights. Being an active dog, Tervuren requires plenty of exercise and stimulation. If you are looking for a loyal and intelligent companion, Tervuren is the perfect dog.

The Belgian Malinois

Let’s talk about the other popular Belgian Shepherd now – The Malinois. They are larger than the Tervuren and are very active and energetic. They are also very intelligent but slightly difficult to train. The Malinois is often used as a working dog in police and military work, as well as search and rescue, herding, and obedience.

The breed standard lists the ideal height for a Belgian Malinois as 24-26 inches (61-66 cm) for males and 22-24 inches (56-61 cm) for females. In addition, males typically weigh between 65 and 75 pounds, while females usually weigh between 60 and 70 pounds.

Despite their many positive qualities, Belgian Malinois can also be quite stubborn and headstrong, so they require owners who are willing to put in the time and effort to train them properly.


The Belgian Tervuren

The Belgian Tervuren is a relatively new breed, having only been developed in the late 1800s. They were named after a village called Tervuren.

Belgian Tervuren dogs were originally bred as working dogs on farms and villages, but they quickly became popular as companion dogs and family pets. Today, Belgian Tervuren are still used as working dogs in many different capacities, but they are also widely loved as family pets.

The Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois is a herding dog that originated in Belgium. The breed was originally used for guarding sheep and cattle. In recent years, the Belgian Malinois has become popular as a working dog in law enforcement and the military.

The Belgian Malinois is a relatively new breed in the United States. The first recorded Belgian Malinois in the United States was imported in 1911. This breed gained popularity in the 1960s when Belgian Malinois was used in movies and television shows.

Interestingly, the dog who played a vital role during Osama Bin Laden’s capture was a Belgian Malinois named Cairo.

Belgian Tervuren
Belgian Tervuren

Belgian Tervuren Vs Belgian Malinois – The Differences

Tervuren is one of two types of Belgian shepherds, the other being the Malinois. Both breeds are similar in many ways, but there are some key differences between them. Let’s get to know the two Belgian Shepherd varieties in detail.

Belgian Tervuren Vs Belgian Malinois – Color

The Belgian Malinois is a dog of many colors, while the Belgian Tervuren can be any shade of fawn to mahogany, with a black mask and black tips on the hair. The coat of a Malinois is short, straight, and harsh, while the Tervuren’s coat is long, dense, and slightly wavy with a thick undercoat.

When it comes to grooming, Malinois requires less maintenance compared to the Tervuren.

Belgian Tervuren Vs Belgian Malinois – Temperament

The Belgian Tervuren is a highly intelligent dog that is very easy to train. They are also very loyal and protective of their family.

In contrast, the Belgian Malinois is also a highly intelligent dog, but they can be more challenging to train. Since they are very active and energetic, you need to have a very active lifestyle to get them accustomed.

If you are looking for a dog that is easy to train and loyal, the Belgian Tervuren is a great choice.

However, if you want a dog that is active and energetic, the Belgian Malinois may be a better choice. Whichever breed you choose, make sure to do your research to know what you’re getting into.

Belgian Tervuren Vs Belgian Malinois – Grooming

The Malinois has a shorter coat than the Tervuren and is easy to groom. The Tervuren’s coat is longer and requires more brushing. Both breeds need to be trimmed around the feet and anus to prevent matting.

Speaking of shedding, the Malinois is an average shedder while the Tervuren sheds moderately. Neither breed is considered hypoallergenic.

The Malinois is an active Belgian shepherd breed that needs a lot of exercise. The Tervuren is also active, but not to the same extent as the Malinois. Both breeds are intelligent and easy to train. However, the Malinois is better suited for protection work, while the Tervuren excels at herding.

Belgian Tervuren
Belgian Tervuren

Belgian Tervuren Vs Belgian Malinois – Appearance

The Belgian Malinois is a large-sized Belgian shepherd dog that is very similar in appearance to the German Shepherd. The main difference between the two breeds is that the Belgian Malinois has a shorter coat and a more square-shaped head.

The Belgian Tervuren is also a large breed of dog originally bred in Belgium. The most notable difference between the Tervuren and the Malinois is that the Tervuren has a long, thick coat that can be either black or brown.

Both of these breeds are intelligent and loyal. Still, the Belgian Tervuren is more often used as a companion dog and is better suited for families with children since it is easier to train compared to the Malinois.

Belgian Tervuren Vs Belgian Malinois – Lifespan

Tervuren tends to live around 12 years, while Malinois has a lifespan of around 14 years. However, health, environment, and nutrition factors play a vital role in determining their lifespans.

Belgian Tervuren Vs Belgian Malinois – Health

Both of these breeds are generally healthy dogs when it comes to health. However, the Tervuren Belgian sheepdog is more prone to hip dysplasia than the Malinois. Furthermore, they can suffer from elbow dysplasia as well.

Both Belgian sheepdog dog breeds are also susceptible to eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts.

Overall, the Tervuren is a slightly healthier breed than the Malinois, but both breeds can live long and healthy lives with proper care.

Belgian Tervuren Vs Belgian Malinois – Which Breed Adapts More Easily?

The Tervuren is more versatile and can do well in various settings, including urban and rural areas. They are also generally more easygoing than the Malinois and can be better suited for families with children.

On the other hand, Malinois are a bit stubborn and aggressive. Getting him accustomed to an apartment or a small home can be challenging since it requires a bigger space to roam around and exercise.

All in all, both breeds require plenty of exercise and stimulation to stay happy and healthy.

Belgian Malinois
Belgian Malinois

Belgian Tervuren Vs Belgian Malinois – Who Is More Prone To Separation Anxiety?

Belgian Tervuren is more prone to separation anxiety than Belgian Malinois. This may be because the Belgian Tervuren are bred as working dogs and have a strong need for companionship and purpose.

Belgian Malinois, on the other hand, are bred as guard dogs and may be less likely to experience separation anxiety because they are more independent. Ultimately, it is up to the owner to provide structure and training to help their dog cope with separation anxiety.


Belgian Tervuren

The Belgian Tervuren is a very active dog breed that needs a lot of exercise. They are also very intelligent and need to be given tasks to keep them mentally stimulated. For these reasons, it is crucial to choose a diet that will give them the energy they need without being too high in calories.

There are a few things to consider when choosing a diet for your Belgian Tervuren. The first is the ratio of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Belgian Tervurens need a higher protein diet than most other dogs because they are very active. They also need a higher fat diet to keep their coat healthy.

The second thing to consider is the type of food. Belgian Tervurens do best on a diet of dry kibble or canned food. They can also eat raw meat, but it is vital to ensure that the meat is lean and free of any bones.

The third thing to consider is the amount of food. Belgian Tervurens need more food than most other dogs because of their high activity level. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that they get enough food, but not too much.

If you keep these things in mind, you will be able to choose a diet that is perfect for your Belgian Tervuren. Choose a food with the proper proteins, fats, and carbohydrates ratio.

Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois is a high-energy dog breed that requires a lot of exercise. Therefore, a diet for Belgian Malinois should be designed to meet their high energy needs. The dietary need of Malinois is quite similar to Tervuren – protein, fats, and a carb-rich diet.

When choosing food for your Belgian Malinois, look for a formula that is high in protein and fat. This will help to keep them lean and muscular. Belgian Malinois are also prone to allergies, so make sure the food you choose is free of common allergens.

Similarities Between Belgian Tervuren and Belgian Malinois

Some of the similarities between Belgian Tervuren and Belgian Malinois include their need for physical activity, their intelligence, and their pride. Both breeds also require a lot of space to live in and do best when part of a family or group.

The food requirement of both breeds is almost the same. You need to divide their diet among protein, carbs, and fat-containing foods.

Lastly, both Tervuren and Malinois are affectionate and protective of those they love. While there are many similarities between these two breeds, there are also some essential differences that potential owners should be aware of.

Belgian Malinois
Belgian Malinois


1. Belgian Tervuren Vs Belgian shepherd: Which is the better fit for you?

There are a few key things to consider when choosing between these two breeds. First, think about your lifestyle and whether or not you’ll have enough time to commit to regular grooming sessions. These breeds require significant amounts of brushing and combing, so if you’re not up for that, you may want to choose a different breed.

Secondly, consider your living situation. If you live in an apartment or other small space, a Belgian Tervuren may not be the best fit as they require a lot of exercise and space to run around. However, they would likely be very happy if you have a large backyard or access to a park or other open area.

On the other hand, Belgian Shepherds are a bit more versatile and can do well in both small and large spaces. So, take some time to consider your lifestyle and living situation before deciding.

2. What is the German shepherd Belgian Tervuren mix?

The German Shepherd Belgian Tervuren mix is a cross between the German Shepherd and the Belgian Tervuren. These two breeds are both known for their loyalty, intelligence, and working ability, so it’s no surprise that their offspring would inherit these qualities. This mix is an excellent choice for families looking for a protective yet loving companion.

3. What are the differences And Similarities between a German shepherd and a Belgian Tervuren?

When choosing a German Shepherd or a Belgian Tervuren, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Both breeds are intelligent, loyal, and protective, but they have distinct differences.

Differences – German Shepherd Vs Belgian Tervuren?

The most apparent difference between these two breeds is their size. German Shepherds are significantly larger than Belgian Tervurens, weighing in at an average of 75-95 pounds compared to the Tervuren’s 60-75 pound range. But size isn’t the only difference. German Shepherds are also known for their black and brown coats, while the Tervuren’s coat is a striking shade of mahogany.

Similarities – German Shepherd Vs Belgian Tervuren?

Despite their differences, these two breeds do have some things in common. Both are intelligent, loyal, and protective of their families. They are also versatile breeds that excel in various activities, from obedience and agility to herding and tracking.

If you’re still undecided about which breed is right for you, the best way to make a decision is to meet both breeds in person. Seeing them side-by-side will help you better understand which one is the perfect fit for your family.

Final Words on Belgian Shepherd Dog Breeds: Belgian Tervuren vs Malinois

The final verdict is that Belgian Tervuren is the better breed as they’re more pet friendly.

Furthermore, they are smarter, more trainable, and have a higher success rate when bonding with a family.

Belgian Malinois are also great dogs, but they tend to be more aggressive and less easy to train. And, they require a large space to live and roam freely. So, if you have a small apartment, then a malinois will have a hard time adjusting.

If you’re looking for a loyal, intelligent, friendly, and hardworking dog, then the Belgian Tervuren is your breed.

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References and Further Reading:

[1] American Kennel Club, Belgian Malinois Information.


  • Denise Leo

    My name is Denise Leo, and I hail from Australia. My journey with dogs, especially with the delightful Pomeranian breed, has been a lifelong passion extending over 50 years. I have had the honor of breeding and exhibiting close to 100 Pomeranian Champions, dedicating many years to the intricate art of dog training across various disciplines. Beyond the show ring, my experience stretches to the pastoral fields as both a Dairy Farmer and Beef Cattle Breeder, where working with dogs of all breeds has been an integral part of my daily life. This diverse exposure has deepened my understanding and appreciation for these incredible animals. I firmly believe that dogs are the most extraordinary beings in our universe, capable of offering us unconditional love that surpasses even their own self-interest. The countless wonderful dogs that have shared my life over the years have not only brought immense joy and companionship but have also profoundly enriched my existence in ways I could never have imagined. About us page