Belgian Malinois Breed Magazine - Showsight


Th e Belgian Malinois is not a head breed, but a correct head is a thing of beauty and is important to de fi ne the breed. Th e head should be in proportion to the rest of the body, well-chiseled with no looseness of skin. Th e head is long, but without exag- geration, strong, but not appearing heavy. Th e length is equal from nose to stop and stop to occiput—the skull should not be wider than its length. Th e planes of the head are parallel and the topskull fl at. Look for a head that is balanced and a slight wedge. Commonly seen head faults include a too short muzzle, a rounded topskull, cheeki- ness, or head planes that are not parallel. Th e eyes should be almond shaped and a dark brown, with an alert, intelligent and kind look. Round or light colored eyes can destroy the look of a good head and would be faulted. Th eir ears are high set and not large, an equilateral triangle in shape and moderately cupped. Th e ears should be fi rm and not soft even when the dog is moving, although they can fold them back against their heads. Ears hanging as on a hound or semi-prick ears are a disquali fi cation. Cor- rect eyes and ears are essential to good breed type. When combined with proper head structure, the Malinois head should never be confused with that of a German Shep- herd, a Collie or an Elkhound. Th e Belgian Malinois is to have a black mask—that may be simply a black muzzle and black ears or a nearly black head. My preference is a mask that extends beyond the eyes, but color is a fi nishing point to me. A black mask is rarely solid black, there will be a combina- tion of dark brown and even fawn hairs, but the overall appearance is to be a blackened mask. Th ere is often what we refer to as “frosting” on the chin—white hairs—this is acceptable and normal, some puppies are born with it. Pigment around the eyes and mouth, as well as the nose, should be black. Expression in the Malinois includes the balance of head proportions, the earset, the eyes, the masking and ultimately, how they use it. When judging, you will see the best expression when the owner-handler is allowed to bait their dog, rather than you attempting this. Remember the standard stating, “May be reserved with strangers, but a ff ectionate with his own people.” If you notice a dog looking away from the handler into the crowd, chances are he has found his owner; they are vigilant in keep- ing an eye on those they know. As a herding dog, the bite is of consid- erable importance; traditionally the bite most desired was a level pinching bite. As a breeder though, I am more comfortable using dogs that have a scissors bite. Either a


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