The Belgian Malinois
History of the Belgian Malinois
The early history of Belgian sheep-herding dogs, (also known as chiens de berger Belge) is similar to that of other shepherds, including those used for guarding and more general purposes.
These breeds were mainly bred to excel in ability, and as such, very few accurate records were kept.
However, in 1891, a professor named Adolphe Reul took on the study of the Belgian breeds, and he discovered that there were several dogs of the same manner, but with differing coat color and type. He grouped them together as Belgian shepherds. The one with a short coat became known as the Belgian Malinois, because it was believed to have been developed in and around the region known as Malines. Reul was one of a group of dedicated breeders credited with the formation of the Malinois. It is said that he owned many of this breed of dog, including "Mastock," a well-known specimen in breeding circles.
History suggests that one of the first registered Belgian Malinois was named "Charlot." This individual is thought to have been born in 1891, and it is said that Charlot was a model used by A. Clarys, a Belgian artist.
While the Malinois has not enjoyed a great amount of popularity in the United States since World War II, this breed is still one of the most popular shepherd breeds in Belgium. In America, the number of registered Malinois tumbled after the war, and it was quite uncommon to see a Malinois entered into competition.
The Belgian shepherd breeds were officially separated in 1959, and the registrations of Belgian Malinois began to increase, but it was still less popular than other Belgian breeds. Recently, this breed has gained popularity for its reputation as an excellent Police Service Dog.
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