Belgian Malinois History

In the late 1800 there were in Belgium a plenitude of sheepherder dogs of varying types and coats of large diversity. In order organize these passionate cynopliles formed a group led by professor A. Reul of the Cureghem School of Veterinary Medecine that is considered teh true creator of the Belgian Shepherd dog.

The breed is officially created between 1891 and 1897. The “Club du Chien de Berger Belge” (Club of the Belgian Shepherd Dog) is created September 29, 1891. That same year on November 15, professor A. Reul organizes a gathering of 117 dogs from which the first census was created and the best specimen selected. The following years the breed is refined from a controlled inbreeding program with a few selected males.

On April 3, 1892, the first detailled standard of breed was specified by the Club Du Chien de Berger Belge. A single breed was admited, with three coat variations. However, as was told in those days, the Belgian Shepherd was a farmer’s dog, thus a breed that was still lacking prestige. Consequently, it only in 1901 that the first Belgian Shepherds were entered in Book of Origins of the Royal Saint-Hubert Society. In the following years, the leaders of the Belgian cynoplile group tenaciously pursued the taks of unifying the breed and correct all imperfections. One can say that by 1910 the breed and character of the Belgian Shepherd was already well difined.

In the history of the Belgian Shepherd, there has been o lot of controversy regarding the breed varieties and the colors admitted in the standard. However, ther never was any disagreement over the morphology, character, or working aptitude.

The three varieties of the Belgian Shepherd are the Malinois, the Tervuren, and the Groenendael (see the Standard page for more details). It must be noted that, although the rest of the world considers the Belgian Shepherd as a single breed with three (sometimes four) variations, the American Kennel Club classifies them as three separate standards.