Belgian Malinois Breed Magazine - Showsight

LIVING WITH THE Belgian Malinois

By Ann MacKay

A t first glance, the Bel- gian Malinois may seem an unremarkable, rustic dog in an unglamorous short coat. But take a closer look. You won’t have to go further than their inquisitive, sparkling eyes to see there is a whole lot more under that plain brown fur! A friend described the Malinois this way: “ Th e Malinois is the Ferrari of the dog world: built for sport, powerful and instantly responsive to expert handling. But you can go right through the guardrail and over a cli ff if you are a poor driver.” Intrigued? I hope so! Please allow me to introduce that exotic sports edition amongst dog breeds, the Belgian Malinois. Th e Belgian Malinois is known in its country of origin as a variety of the Belgian Shepherd Dog, along with its cousins, the Tervuren, Groenendael and Laekenois. It is

distinguished by its business-like attire—a short, wash and wear type of coat. In Belgium, April 1892, the newly formed Club du Chien de Berger Belge approved a written standard for the native herding dog of Belgium, as written by Pro- fessor Adolphe Reul. Th is standard defined it as a breed with three varieties: long hair, rough hair and short hair. It wasn’t until 1909 that the designation “Malinois” was used in an o ffi cial show catalog to describe the shorthaired variety. In May 1892, the first sheep trials in continental Europe were held in the markets of Cureghem-Brussels, Belgium. However, because of market conditions, the sheep population was rapidly declin- ing in Belgium. Sheep-herding skills were becoming less valuable. Fortunately, the Belgian Shepherd Dog had already attract- ed many admirers, and new tests were designed to feature their talents. Th e first

“dressage” trial showcasing the working talents of the Belgian Shepherd Dog took place in Malines, Belgium in July 1903. Th e Belgian Shepherd Dog, especially the Malinois, has enjoyed a reputation for its marvelous intellect and trainability ever since. Like many herding breeds, the Belgian Malinois is known for is athleticism, intel- ligence and trainability. Th ey’re brilliant, exuberant dogs that thrive on living and working with its owner. In his book A Hundred Years of His- tory of the Belgian Shepherd Dog, noted breed historian Jean-Marie Vanbutsele said “ Th e Belgian Shepherd Dog pos- sesses a particularity of the breed concern- ing its behaviour: it is characterized by a greater sensitivity than any other breeds; it is a hyper-a ff ectionate. Th is feature is expressed in its relation with its master.” He goes on to quote another breed author-

t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& + "/6"3: 

Powered by