Labrador Retriever vs Belgian Malinois

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
12 to 14 years
Size:

Large

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Shed Level:

Medium

Best For

Labrador Retrievers are best for large homes with plenty of indoor and outdoor space, and with pet parents who are ready for an active and adventure-filled life.

Labrador Retriever Temperament

Cheerful and animated, this large dog breed has stamina and energy to spare, able to keep up with your family and all your activities. You’ll want to funnel that energy into positive outlets, like outdoor activities and training. And thanks to their high intelligence, learning commands and tricks com...

Cheerful and animated, this large dog breed has stamina and energy to spare, able to keep up with your family and all your activities. You’ll want to funnel that energy into positive outlets, like outdoor activities and training. And thanks to their high intelligence, learning commands and tricks come relativity easy for them. Labrador dogs love having a job to do and excel at things like agility courses and, just like their name implies, retrieving items. In fact, their superior intelligence is why they often make great assistance dogs, working as therapy or service animals.

A people-pleaser, Labrador Retrievers have a pleasant personality and love interacting with humans. Get ready to be showered with lots of affection! They also easily make friends with dogs and other animals, including cats, although not all cats are as excited to meet them as they are—a Lab’s large size and high energy level can be a bit intimidating. Slow and controlled introductions to other family pets will help make the transition go smoothly. Considering the staying power of the Labrador dog breed’s popularity, it’s a safe bet your Lab will fit right in with the all the loved ones you choose to introduce into their life.

While they’re generally good-natured, like any dog breed, Labs may develop aggressive tendencies if they don’t receive proper training or have experienced abuse. Addressing any biting issues early on, providing proper socialization when they are puppies (aka safely exposing them to lots of new people, places and things) and working with a professional dog trainer can help avoid behavioral issues when they get older.

Labrador Retriever Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
14 to 16 years
Size:

Large

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Shed Level:

High

Best For

The Belgian Malinois is best for very active and athletic people with solid dog parenting experience. Older kids who respect this dog's boundaries are a must, as is a roomy home with outdoor space but...

The Belgian Malinois is best for very active and athletic people with solid dog parenting experience. Older kids who respect this dog's boundaries are a must, as is a roomy home with outdoor space but without cats or other dogs.

Belgian Malinois Temperament

The Belgian Malinois’ personality is as spirited as they come, making them a good fit for pet parents who love to be on the go. Ready to toil tirelessly at any task, a Mal dog has a strong work ethic and is quick to respond to their human’s cue...

The Belgian Malinois’ personality is as spirited as they come, making them a good fit for pet parents who love to be on the go. Ready to toil tirelessly at any task, a Mal dog has a strong work ethic and is quick to respond to their human’s cues and commands.

The Belgian Malinois’ intelligence sets them apart, and their competency is a big reason why this herding breed is hardly ever unemployed. Originally, the Malinois served as a watchdog on farms and ranches, though today their career opportunities have expanded into public service. In fact, you almost want to salute these pups as they join search and rescue missions alongside the police and military.

While their possessive nature and a high tendency to bite (they have a powerful bite force) make them great guard dogs, it’s wise to supervise children around this breed. If you’d like to mix a Belgian Malinois with kids and babies in your home, know that compatibility rests heavily on early and consistent training and socialization, as well as a solid understanding of this breed’s disposition. Other animals, strangers and sudden movements could startle this alert, watchful canine. Know too that the Belgian Malinois dog breed has a naturally high prey drive, which means they’ll chase moving objects (think toddlers, cars, cats and other dogs), so a firm hand and lots of obedience lessons are critical.

Raising a Belgian Malinois puppy is indeed rewarding, in part because their intelligence and trainability make them a joy to teach. If you select this breed as your own, you’ll quickly see why their reliability and razor-sharp smarts are prized by so many.

Belgian Malinois Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents
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