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Belgian Malinois
History
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The Belgian Malinois is one of four types of Belgian Sheepherding dogs registered in Belgium and France as the Chien de Berger Beige. It shares a common foundation with the Belgian Sheepdog and Belgian Tervuren whose historical sections in this book provide additional information on the beginnings of the breed. One of the first short-coated Belgian shepherds registered by the Societe Royale Saint-Hubert was "Charlot," born in 1891, which was later used as a model of the Belgian Malinois by the Belgian artist, A. Clarys.

While the shorthaired, fawn dogs with black mask, which we know today as the Belgian Malinois shared the beginnings with many coat colors and lengths, it quickly established itself as an identifiable type. Bred basically around the city of Malines from whence the name is derived, the Belgian Malinois was bred by a dedicated group of trainers and working competitors. They prized the abilities of this breed and concerned themselves with the breeding of excellent working character. Because of this, the Belgian Malinois has historically been the favorite type of Belgian Shepherd in its native Belgium. Professor Adolphe Reul, one of the dedicated leaders in the breed formation, owned and bred many fine subjects, including the famous "Mastock."

There have been two periods of Belgian Malinois activity in the United States. Starting in 1911 when the first shorthaired Belgian Shepherds ("Belgian Blackie" and "Belgian Mouche") were registered with the AKC until World War II, the Belgian Malinois enjoyed American popularity Many subjects from the best Belgian bloodlines were imported and bred. There was some renewed interest after the war, but the breed did not flourish. Before 1959, the Belgian Malinois was relegated to the Miscellaneous Class (even though it enjoyed individual AKC Stud Book registration) because there were not enough subjects to provide competition for championships.

The second period of importation and popular support began in 1963. Progressing slowly, the first ten years saw only 107 individual Belgian Malinois registrations. By June of 1965, however, sufficient numbers had been registered by the AKC so the Belgian Malinois was moved into the Working Group and was eligible to compete for championships. Importations from Belgium, France, and Switzerland, as well as increased breeding activity since 1973, have given rise to a new era of relative popularity While still numerically one of the AKC's smallest breeds, the Belgian Malinois is beginning to make its presence felt in the Herding Group, formed effective January 1983.

The adopted standards recognized by the AKC differ somewhat for the three Belgian Shepherd breeds, but the basic dog is the same for each. In Europe and elsewhere in the world, they share a common standard.

The main qualities which make the Belgian Malinois such a desirable breed are the easy-care coat, the medium size, and the keen intelligence. The breed has always been known for its trainability and many owners today are finding pleasure in training their Belgian Malinois for conformation, obedience, schutzhund, herding, agility, and tracking, as well as to be family companions.





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