Why do we select certain breeds of dogs? Belgian Malinios, Dutch Shepherd, and German Shepherd have the appropriate temperament to handle the stress and changing environment of patrol work. The ability to sit in the back of a car for ten hours and then immediately apprehend a criminal suspect takes a certain type of dog. The constant changing weather conditions of Colorado also requires a certain breed with a temperament to handle these environmental factors. These breeds have been used in working dog capacities for centuries and have the necessary intelligence and stamina for the job.
The Belgian Malinois was developed as a variety of the Belgian Shepherd Dog about one hundred years ago. The Belgian Shepherd Dog breed was established out of a desire to standardize the local herding dogs of Belgian. The Malinois variety was named after the town of Malinois where in 1898 a club was founded for the improvement of the shorthaired Belgian Shepherd Dog. The Club emphasized the Malinois’ character and intelligence, which made him a valuable utility dog.
The first Belgian Malinois was imported into the United States in 1911. The American Kennel Club first registered the Malinois as a variety of the Belgian Sheepdog in the 1920’s. The shorthaired fawn variety became known as the Belgian Malinois breed and because of their relatively small numbers they were placed in the Miscellaneous group. When the Working Group was divided in 1983, the Malinois took his place in the newly formed Herding Group.
The Malinois was developed not only for beauty but also for talent as a working dog. Although excelling as a herding dog, the Malinois, along with the other Belgian breeds, has a very protective nature and high prey drive. They are very tenacious and have a drive that never tires. Those characteristics are what make the Malinois so desirable as a Search and Rescue, Police or Military dog.
The Belgian Malinois is a well-balanced, square dog, elegant in appearance with an exceedingly proud carriage of the head and neck. The dog is strong, agile, well muscled, alert, and full of life. He stands squarely on all fours and viewed from the side, the topline, forelegs, and hind legs closely approximate a square. The whole conformation gives the impression of depth and solidity without bulkiness. The male is usually somewhat more impressive and grand than his female counterpart, which has a distinctly feminine look.
Males are 24 to 26 inches in height; females are 22 to 24 inches; measurement to be taken at the withers. Males under 23 inches or over 27 inches and females under 21 inches or over 25 inches are to be disqualified. The length, measured from the point of the breastbone to the point of the rump, should equal the height, but bitches may be slightly longer. A square dog is preferred. Bone structure is moderately heavy in proportion to height so that the dog is well balanced throughout and neither spindly or leggy nor cumbersome and bulky.
In Germany, in 1891, a group of enthusiasts formed the Phylax Society with the aim of fostering and standardizing native German breeds. The society was short-lived and in 1894 it was disbanded, but it had sown the seeds from which the German Shepherd was to emerge.
The early breeders believed above all else that the German Shepherd should be bred for utility and intelligence. It was this adaptability that was later to make the German Shepherd dog the world’s greatest all-rounder.
These very qualities made the German Shepherd such an exceptional sheepdog made it an excellent choice for other governmental uses. During World War I it was seen as a messenger dog, rescue dog, sentry dog, and personal guard dog. Servicemen from the USA, UK, and the Commonwealth would see first hand the dog’s bravery, intelligence, and steadfastness, and many stories were taken back home. Not surprisingly, a number of dogs were acquired by servicemen and transported home with them.
The German Shepherd is large enough to tackle a man and win a contest, yet agile enough to cope with a flock of sheep. He may not be able to outrun a Greyhound but he can show an amazing turn of speed, and having developed from natural working strains, he can maintain a steady canter far longer than most other breeds.
The first impression of a good German Shepherd Dog is that of a strong, agile, well-muscled animal, alert and full of life. It is well balanced, with harmonious development of the forequarter and hindquarter. The dog is longer than tall, deep-bodied, and presents an outline of smooth curves rather than angles. It looks substantial and not spindly, giving the impression, both at rest and in motion, of muscular fitness and nimbleness without any look of clumsiness or soft living. The ideal dog is stamped with a look of quality and nobility–difficult to define, but unmistakable when present.
The desired height for males at the top of the highest point of the shoulder blade is 24 to 26 inches; and for bitches, 22 to 24 inches.
The Dutch Shepherd, native to Holland, was originally a sheepdog, and was also used by Dutch farmers as a general-purpose farm dog. The Dutch Shepherd is a medium-sized, well-proportioned, well-muscled dog, with a powerful, well-balanced structure, an intelligent expression and a lively temperament. He is alert, devoted to his owner, obedient, and eager to please and oblige. He is a good guardian, is very faithful and reliable, undemanding, with plenty of stamina, is vigilant, active and is gifted with a typical shepherd temperament. He may be somewhat reserved and should be well socialized.
The breed is very similar in coat types and physical characteristics, except for color, to the Belgian Shepherd Dog. Height range for males is from 22-1/2 to 24-1/2 inches. Height range for females is from 21-1/2 to 23-1/2 inches.