What a blanket statement that is, very unlike you. Perhaps in others, but at least in the example of livestock tending, I totally disagree."A good Malinois is a superior working dog on any day than a good GSD is."
Wow, lots of stuff here.
First off in regards to the OP. Prey drive is vital to a working dog. Through prey drive comes speed. In SchH and in Police K9 work if you teach the dog that anyone moving fast is prey; the dog will fly into them. Then the dog can switch into defense or fight drive if the person resists or fights. The dog needs to have high prey drive to run a person down with speed. There is no defense or fight in a person fleeing a dog or even running at a dog from a distance. In SchH this is the escape and the long bite. In the real world it's apprehending a fleeing suspect. A dog with out prey drive simply wouldn't chase someone running.
Prey drive also comes into play in detection work.
Ok, here we go Mali's vs Shepherds. I'm a Shepherd guy, but I have worked some outstanding mali's. Our special forces teams use Mali's and some Dutch Shepherds, no GSD's. These are high end, highly trained dogs, loaded in prey and loaded in defense. I've watched these dogs work, trained with these guys and have decoyed for them. These dogs have been in serious combat on a regular basis and some are actual war heroes.
I doubt you could ever break one of those dogs in half. These dogs will do some serious damage, as much or more than the best GSD, Some are 80lbs and are agile, fast, hard and super intense. These dogs are hand picked overseas and a lot of money is spent for them. They are some of the best working dogs I've ever seen, they are on a whole new level.
A good Malinois is a superior working dog on any day than a good GSD is.
I have to disagree with this statement. It depends on the job and depends on the dog. Mali's are not the best working dog for every job. I like a hard, serious but clear headed dog, with no handler sensitivity and little or no handler aggression. This is hard to find in a Mali, but not hard to find in a GSD. I think both breeds are excellent but they each have their own issues. I have a GSD that is super high drive, clear headed and very serious, I wouldn't trade him for a Mali. But when I look for my next police dog, I'll take the best dog I can find GSD, Mali or Dutch Shepherd. They will all be in the running equally.