The origin and history of the breed Belgian Shepherd Dog Malinois
The ancestors of the Belgian shepherd were medieval European shepherd dogs. For the first time, individuals similar to modern Belgian shepherds were mentioned in 1650. But these were dogs of different colors, sizes and coat structures. They were united only by the ability to “bunch” the sheep and, if necessary, protect the wards from predators: tetrapods or bipeds.
Belgian shepherd malinois
In 1891, the Belgian Shepherd Dog Club was organized. And a year later they developed a detailed standard. But the dogs were still very heterogeneous, and the standard had no official status. As a result, it was not until 1901 that the first Belgian shepherd dogs were registered in the Royal Saint-Hubert Society Stud Book.
In subsequent years, enthusiasts sought to lead dogs to a common type and correct the initial mistakes. By 1910, the type and character of the Belgian shepherd dogs were established.
As for the color, initially it had three options: black dogs with long hair (groenendael), red-brown shorthair (malinois), gray wire-haired (lakenua). However, this excluded many valuable individuals from breeding. Their offended owners created their own club and raised dogs of different shades of black, gray and brown.
In 1885, both clubs merged, and the standard underwent changes. Four varieties of Belgian shepherds appeared: Groenendael (long-haired black), Lakenua (hard-coated gray or red-brown), Malinois (short-haired red-brown) and Tervuren (long-haired red-brown).
At present, dogs of gray and silver-steel colors are also bred in France, but the Belgians categorically refuse to recognize them.
In the USA and Canada, Belgian shepherds are still called only Malinois and Groenendael. Tervuren is considered a separate breed, Lakenoin is not recognized.
Where did the four varieties of Belgian shepherds come from?
In the 70s of the 19th century, the owner of a cafe called "Groenendael" in the town of the same name found a black puppy among the cubs of his dog. The kid got the nickname Piccard d Uccle. Subsequently, he had his own offspring, and one of his children is considered the ancestor of all Groenendales.
Lakenua was named after the royal castle of Laeken. The shepherds who lived there were breeding wire-haired dogs. This variety is less fortunate than the rest. They do not have such an attractive appearance as those of Tervuren and Groenendael, and they are inferior to Malinois in terms of working qualities. In addition, closely related crosses led to the massive manifestation of diseases such as dysplasia, hemophilia, osteochondrosis.
The name "Malinois" is associated with the small town of Malines. Local breeders focused not on the exterior, but on the working qualities.
Tervuren were also named after their hometown. Their distinctive feature is a long coat of dark mahogany color with black tips.
During the First World War, Belgian Shepherds actively participated in the hostilities: they took out the wounded, brought shells, delivered reports. And later they established themselves as excellent working dogs.
In Belarus, the most common type of malinois.