Belgian Malinois and German shepherds are very similar and many get confused with the two, but when it comes to mindset there are big differences. If you are active, a great dog trainer, ready to be a pack leader, and are willing to have a very extreme dog smarter than you, the Belgian Malinois might be right for you. You need a LOT of time and patience with Malinois, they are intense, strong, fast, athletic, intelligent, and highly capable of anything really. I wouldn't get one for a family pet unless you have experience. Although they are good with kids, they require lots of exercise due to their high energy levels. They can't just go on walks or play in a yard with toys. These dogs need their minds worked, they need a job to do. They're not too popular as a pet but they dominate in dog sports like agility, flyball, frisbee, dock jumpers, obedience, ringsport, ipo, schutzhund, and jobs like police, military, guard dogs, tracking dogs, search & rescue, and herding dogs. They are harder to train than the German shepherd, however once you got the trianing down, you get more out of them. That's why they're ideal for sporting and working and are increasingly becoming popular. The German shepherd is a bigger, stronger, and calmer version, more ideal for a housepet or guard dog. They don't need as much exercise or training, but they also still need to be worked. Do some research and you will see differences. I would say get a German shepherd for family use, a Belgian Malinois for working or sporting dog and as for companion or one person dog you can get both.