Working vs Show
THE MALINOIS, also known as, Belgian Malinois, Mechelse herder.
The Dutch shepherd/ Herder is also woth mentioning, although a different breed, it very often gets mistaken for the malinois
Malinois are shades of red, Dutch are Brindle.
When mating together, as often happens, they can produce mixed litters, the brindle pups will be classed as a Dutch, the fawns/reds will be Malinois
Many people are not aware there are 2 different types of Malinois.
Officially and by breed standard there is no such thing but in reality there is very often a big difference in them.
This does appear to be more common in the UK.
The SHOW type as it is known is bred to a breed standard set down by the kennel clubs where the breed originated, in the case of the BSD, Société Royale Saint-Hubert in Belgium.
They are not just bred to be pretty, they should retain the character and temperament laid down in the standard and are very capable of doing a days work, many show bred malinois have excelled in agility and obedience.
They very often are easier to manage than the working lines as their prey drive is not encouraged, and most puppies will either go for the easier side of working, i.e Agility/obedience/show or just to active family homes
However some temperaments within the show scene do need to be improved and breeders here are working hard to try and improve them.
The working Malinois are very often bred purely on their ability to do "bite work" such as NVBK and IPO ring sport, police, military work and security/protection.
Many of the working type are very high prey drive dogs and are not suitable as pets alone, they need to be worked or will become very uncontrollable and destructive.
Because they are bred for working, finer points of the standard can be overlooked.
They very often look different to the show bred type, one feature that springs up a lot is they have large ears, that goes against the standard which reqiures a small ear.
very often they will be crossed with the Dutch Herder or German shepherd.
Colour difference is also very often seen.
The standard for the Malinois reads, all shades of red, fawn, grey with black overlay with a black mask.
Brindle/black/blue,black & tan are not standard and in the UK would/should not be allowed for registration.
European breeders do tend to breed for both the standard and working ability, especially in their country of origin.
There you can see some outstanding dogs that both win in the show ring and are top class working dogs, in fact in many European countries, to become a full champion of either sport or showing, it is a requirement to gain qualifactions in both fields.
Very often there is much heated debate between show people and working people on what is the right or wrong way they should be bred.
However in reality if everyone bred to the breed standard, both for looks and temperament then these disagreements would cease to exist.
Personally i have seen very good examples of working dogs and would not hesitate to use them in a breeding programme, however i have also seen so called malinois that are so far removed from the standard that they could be classed as a different breed altogether, there are a lot of breeders out there that really don't know what a malinios is, especially in the uk.
Don't think that because a dog is registered with the UK Kennel club (KC reg) that this guarantees the parentage,
unfortunately in this country it is very easy to register dogs with the Kennel club who relie solely on breeders honesty,
no proof is needed as to who the parents are.
As long as someone has 2 sets of papers they can then register a litter,
so technically you could mate 2 jack russels and register the pups as Malinois.
This would not happen, "right", take a look at some of the dogs in this country being advertised as pure bred, KC reg Malinois and you will see what i mean.
You don't get Black & Tans, Blues,powder blues, Blacks, Silvers, yellows or pinks,
if its not Red/fawn or Grey with a black mask then chances are it has other breeds mixed into the background
Before the breed standard was formed, many years ago, blacks and brindles were found in Malinois, so it is possible genetically for these colours to come through but it would be a very, very rare occurance
I am not saying that these dogs will not turn out great but if they are so far re moved from the breed standard then they are no longer that breed.
Another thing worth mentioning, and its surprising how few people know, is that a dog is the the only animal capable of having a "mixed litter" which means a bitch can be mated to 2 seperate males and have puppies from both males in the same litter.
Example. Malinois bitch is mated to a full Malinois male, in the same season a GSD also mates the Malinois Bitch, resulting litter could consist of half the pups being full Malinois, the other half could be Malinois cross GSD.
so please do your research well on what type of Malinois you require, most good breeders, whether working or show will grill any prospective owners extremley hard,and tell you about the bad points as well as the good, if they don't then i would walk away and find another one.
Below are examples of the difference very often seen between working dogs/show type/ Dutch Herders/crossbreeds and dogs that do both.