Malinois, Dutch Shepherd and German Shepherd Crosses, Mixes and other assorted Heinz 57 varieties…

Robbie I - BRN 22504 - xMalinois from KNPV bloodlines.
Robbie I – BRN 22504 – xMalinois from KNPV bloodlines.

There is a new rage in Shepherd country! It’s called, can you name that breed? And apparently not many can. This does not stop them from trying tho! They come up with the most outlandish names and varieties for any of the above named breeds or varieties thereof. It even gets treated as scripture now because Professor Google says it’s so… The amount of misinformation going around is stunning and it is growing every day. Even worse, it is fed by so called knowledge of one time Malinois or DS owners that know it all because they own that special type of dog that represents the entire breed. So if they say it is so, you had better take it as scripture or you will be shamed by them in an attempt to make you look bad or ignorant. Yet they do not see that in their own lack of knowledge, and their too soon spoken words of ignorance as they call knowledgeable people fools, that they themselves look stupid, even tho the ones with the knowledge and information are in fact trying to help, or educate. Now I am not going to say I am all knowledgeable when it comes to the Malinois, Dutch Shepherd and or crosses from both… But I do have a small understand of the how and what, the why and when and where. To then witness people undermine and destroy everything both breeds in their pure and cross bred varieties represent is just a slap in the face to many a breed lover. So I am going to once again post the differences in MIX, CROSS and PURE for all three breeds. I will say upfront that my knowledge of the GSD is minimal at best when it comes to bloodlines. I have never had much interest for the breed or working them as they are just not my cup of coffee so to speak. For working purposes I just do not find them as being what is needed in a good dog. Hate me for saying it, plenty of people do but it’s what I feel and it’s based on seeing to many of them fail in general where the Malinois and Dutch Shepherd have not failed. Let me mention this up front. There are no such breeds as:

  • Malinherd
  • Malinshep
  • Shepinois

These are names invented by ignorant breeders in order to get paid when they breed mixes and crosses. And these names are created to look special and interesting and people are stupidly and sadly enough falling for the hype that it creates. Proper Breed Designations are:

  • Malinois (aka Mal, MH, Mechelse Herder, Mechelaar) = Purebred. Bred for confirmation purposes and sometimes used in several sporting venues.
  • xMalinois (aka xMH, xMechelse Herder, xMechelaar) = Crossbred Malinois. Cross bred with either the Dutch Shepherd or xDutch Shepherd, or comes from cross bred bloodlines. Bred purely for working purposes, conformation is not important. Form follows function in these cases. Litters from cross bred parents can contain both fawn and brindle pups. Coat dictates breed, Fawn being xMalinois, Brindle being xDutch Shepherd.
  • Malinois Mix = Malinois or x Malinois mixed in with whatever dog was available at the time of heat. Heinz 57 meaning as many variations possible within the mixed Malinois.
  • Dutch Shepherd (aka DS, HH, Hollandse Herder, Hollander) = Purebred. Bred for confirmation purposes and sometimes used in several sporting venues. There are not many Purebred Dutch Shepherds in the US and most that are designated as such are in fact xDutch Shepherds from cross bred lines. They are imported from the Netherlands but somewhere halfway across the ocean, the x eating fairy comes along and the dog enters the US as a Purebred Dutch Shepherd. It’s magic!
  • xDutch Shepherd (aka xDS, xHH, xHollandse Herder, xHollander) = Crossbred Dutch Shepherd. Cross bred with either the Malinois or xMalinois, or comes from cross bred bloodlines. Bred purely for working purposes, conformation is not important. Form follows function in these cases. Litters from cross bred parents can contain both fawn and brindle pups. Coat dictates breed, Fawn being xMalinois, Brindle being xDutch Shepherd.
  • Dutch Shepherd Mix = Dutch Shepherd or xDutch Shepherd mixed in with whatever dog was available at the time of heat. Heinz 57 meaning as many variations possible within the mixed Dutch Shepherd.
  • German Shepherd Dog (aka GSD) = Purebred. Bred for conformation although some breeders are trying to restore the Purebred GSD to it’s former working glory. Has been losing ground steadily over the years due to irresponsible breeding. Many health issues in this breed have ensured the steady decline of the GSD in working venues and Law enforcement and the switch over to Malinois/xMalinois/Dutch Shepherd/xDutch Shepherd.
  • xGerman Shepherd Dog (aka xGSD) Crossbred with either the Malinois/xMalinois/Dutch Shepherd/xDutch Shepherd or coming from cross bred parents. The German Shepherd however is not used often for cross breeding with the 2 other shepherd breeds. Although it was more common practice decades ago, today the quality is such that cross breeding occurs almost only between Malinois and Dutch Shepherds and their cross bred family.
  • German Shepherd mix = German Shepherd or xGerman Shepherd mixed in with whatever dog was available at the time of heat. Heinz 57 meaning as many variations possible within the mixed German Shepherd.

Crossbreeding, why? It’s rather simple really. For over 120 years in europe and more specifically the Netherlands and Belgium, crossbreeding has been done with purpose and view. To provide the better working dog. Cross bred Malinois and Dutch Shepherds are primarily from either KNPV (Royal Dutch Police Dog Association) lines or NVBK (National Society of Belgian Cynophilia)  lines. Both groups have a love for the working quality and never saw much use for conformation in the working breed. They value strength, character, health and workability and their breeding lines have proven themselves time and again to be high quality. There is a reason that the breeds are to be found worldwide, in any venue or real life scenario thinkable. Workability trumps conformation! Sure, a dog may look pretty, but if it doesn’t work, as the breed was intended to do in its origin, then it is useless as a whole. Make no mistake in thinking that just because these shepherds are cross bred their lineage is unknown. Each breeder and or owner of a cross bred Shepherd is up to date on the bloodlines and knows where his dog came from, and why it was bred. Well, there you have it. The breed designations and a small bit of history, wrapped up in a tiny rant of sorts.

Regards, Alice Mckenzie.

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The Dutch Shepherd – Purebred

HH-6

History

The origin of the Dutch Shepherd can be found in the Dutch Countryside. It’s image could be found back in the 19th century as it graced many a painting, postcard or drawing. In earlier times there was a need for a strong versatile dog that had little to no demand and that was well suited to the hard life of those times. The Dutch Shepherd belongs to the guarding shepherds. The dog would be seen guarding the sheep in the field and at a lower level herding them, this so the sheep could graze in relative comfort and without interruption. His primary task was to keep the flock in a certain area, as designated by the herder of the flock, by creating a boundary of sorts and then patrolling this boundary to ensure nothing could sneak into the flock, or out of it. The Dutch Shepherd was first and foremost a guarding dog with herding abilities. They were also used as farm dogs, guarding geese, chickens, ducks, children and other small farmyard animals. They were also know to at times help the farmer bring the cows back to stable or move them from pasture to pasture. They would accompany the farmer and his livestock to transport them to market or to the harbour. They were also used for pulling carts in those days. It was not uncommon to see a Milk Cart pulled by a Dutch Shepherd in those days although their pulling skills were not secluded to milk alone. Whatever fit the cart would be pulled by the Dutch Shepherd without fail. They would alert the farmer to strangers that entered the farm. They were then, and still are today, the guardians of the field and farm. This background in turn explains the origin of the characteristics of the Dutch Shepherd that still today have remained unchanged. In the early 1900’s when sheep farming was on its return the Dutch Shepherd became the dog of choice for training due to his versatility and character. He started a new career as Police dog, Scent dog or Seeing eye dog. The original breed standard for the Dutch Shepherd dates from June 12th 1898. Around the 1930’s the long haired Dutch Shepherd was almost extinct so in order to preserve this variety search was made in the countryside to locate any existing longhairs. For the rough and shorthaired varieties people had to return to the countryside as well in order to keep the numbers up. The purebred book of Dutch Shepherds was closed on February 1st, 1971. The Dutch Shepherd is listed as a rare dog breed and the count in 2009 gave the following numbers.

  • Short haired – 1500 dogs
  • Long Haired – 600 dogs
  • Rough Haired – 400 dogs

Interest from outside the Netherlands has peaked over the last decade and numbers are very slowly rising again although there is no certainty that this is due to purebred Dutch Shepherds, or their closely related Cross bred Dutch Shepherds.

Character

Loyal and dependable, attentive, active, guarding, independent, persistent, intelligent. The Dutch Shepherd is a true Shepherd in nature. They are willing to obey and have a strong need for leadership and order. They are not the dog for just any person. They need guidance and leadership, are extremely quick learners and are quick to show signs of boredom. The breed is extremely well suited for many sports like KNPV, IPO, Obedience, Flyball, Dock Diving, Tracking and many more but they are mostly used for Police dogs, Search and Rescue, Narcotics dogs, Explosive dogs and Seeing eye dogs.

Breed description

The first official breed description for the Dutch Shepherd was set in 1875. The first original breed standard dates from June 12th 1898, when the Dutch Shepherd club was formed. At that time there were still 6 coat varieties.

  • short haired
  • middle haired
  • long haired with hair standing
  • long haired with hair flat
  • bristle haired
  • rough haired

In 1906 the coat varieties were cut back to the 3 varieties that we know today.

  • short haired
  • long haired
  • rough haired

The colours vary from silver to golden brindle.

Appearance

A medium sized, medium weight, well muscled dog with a strong and powerful build. A dog with a high endurance, a lively temperament and an intelligent expression. The Dutch Shepherd is separated in 3 different coats. The longhaired Dutch Shepherd, the Rough Haired Dutch Shepherd and the Short Haired Dutch Shepherd.

Height and Weight.

Males:  57 to 62 cm – Approximately 28 Kilos

Females:  55 to 60 cm – Approximately 23 Kilos

Raising your Dutch Shepherd

Due to his characteristics the Dutch Shepherd needs a consistent upbringing, this to ensure that their character traits develop towards the right directions. He does not need a hard hand but a firm hand none the less. They can be handler sensitive and can easily pick up moods and respond to them accordingly. They are quick to learn, this means they learn the good things just as quickly as they learn the bad things. They need stimulation, physical and mental. A bored Dutch Shepherd will remind you to keep him occupied in ways you can not imagine. Keep him occupied, worked, busy, stimulated… If you do not ensure that he has what he needs, he will find a way to find it for himself and will occupy himself with things you do not want him to occupy himself with. Rule of thumb: A Happy Dutch Shepherd is a Tired Dutch Shepherd.

Regards, Alice Mackenzie.

Dr. Google and Facebook, the new Veterinarians on the block…

There is a scary new trend developing and it is developing at high speed. The use of the Internet Veterinarian Dr. Google, and his trusted sidekick FaceBook…

In the space of no less than 5 minutes this morning I saw four, yes FOUR questions posed to the general public on Facebook about health issues with dogs. Many of the replies were of course fed by the smartest veterinarian in the whole wide world, Doctor Google! Let me just give a short list of what I have seen over the last few weeks in questions to the good ole Internet Vet…

  • Bee sting to eyelid, face swollen up, head swelled during conversation and eventually the owner decided to go to the Veterinarian because she got scared by what some people were telling her. She did however mention that her pup was okay and that she only went because people scared her into going. This was a pup of maybe 3 months old and the owner felt it was prudent to go on FaceBook first to question the masses on their views before thinking about her pup and his needs. This owner even made it a point to say that after she went to the Veterinarian she felt it was not needed because the Veterinarian did exactly what she would have done to begin with…
  • Broken foot/paw. Owner comes online on Facebook to ask how to splint his dogs paw because it’s broken and he has no time to see a vet until after the weekend! Can he just cage the dog for 2 days and what human pain killers can he give his dog to tide him over for the next 2 days. Owner made it clear that Dr. Google and FaceBook were his go to places for medical questions since he hated “Forking out cash” for an ER vet when he could do it himself for the next 2 days and then the Veterinarian could fix what needed to be fixed on Monday.
  • Dog has not eaten for 5 days, is lethargic, vomits constantly and barely comes out of his crate/kennel. Owner refuses to take dog to vet, dog has shown this behaviour a year ago and it passed by itself but now the dog is really acting lazy and doesn’t really want to do anything anymore. What kind of meds can he be given that are over the counter? Owner would rather not spend too much money since they plan to go on a concert weekend in a month’s time!
  • Dog with hole in flank. Dog was running around playing, ran through some brush, caught on a piece of brush or wood sticking out. Large hole in skin on flank behind ribs, piece of wood still sticking out. Owner removed it himself. Was proud to say his dog was a real tough bastard because it was about 7 inches long and he didn’t even bite him when he removed it. Could he use some sort of glue to close up the hole and would be fine? Mentioned the dog would yelp each time he tried to walk but that was probably from the hole in his skin. 4 days later the owner was forced to go to Veterinarian due to the wound oozing pus and looking bad.

Are we seeing a pattern yet? I know I get furious when I see posts like these. Why is it that people are so big on saying I love my dog, but the moment they have to spend money for anything healthcare related they feel it is a good thing to first contact Dr Google and FaceBook?

Why is it that the moment money becomes involved that love doesn’t seem to run as deep as the owners proclaim it does? What am I missing here? You make a commitment to get a dog so you make a commitment to keep that dog safe, healthy, well fed and happy. You are taking a life into your care so you should ensure that that life is being taken care of to the best of your abilities. No dog asks to go home with you. No dog has a choice for where it ends up. It is a choice, we as owners make for the dog. They depend on us for everything so why do so many of us not give them that needed care? What is it about a Veterinarian that makes us think we know better? We didn’t go to school to learn about animal medicine, but they did. So what makes us so much better and smarter that we think we can make well informed decisions for our dogs when most of the time we do not know what we are doing? And lets not forget that the dogs are paying for it!

It scares me to see the amount of people asking for advice, and giving advice on the Internet. They think nothing of it to ask for medical advice of total strangers. Dosages are thrown around like cookies and even when there are different dosages mentioned on the same question, no one thinks it’s strange! They just shake it off… Medications are mentioned as if it is the most normal thing in the world, everything gets smothered in coconut oil! Coconut oil is the new black! It is the hero of the day and saves all dogs out there, be it with a broken paw, or a broken teeth, just smother it in coconut oil and you will be fine!

Do we always have to run to the Veterinarian for every little thing? Of course not! But when you own a dog you should be prepared for things that might and could happen to your beloved pooch. Do these things cost money? Yep, they sure do! And if you’re lucky the cost a hell of a lot! But that is what goes with owning a dog. To say, I can’t afford it is not going to work… If you own a dog you should set aside money for emergencies… They can happen in a blink of an eye. If you can set aside money for days out with the family, eating out, ordering out, buying things on amazon you do not need, then you can set aside a little money every week or month to at least have a starter when something goes wrong. It also helps if the costs run too high to have some money set aside to convince a Veterinarian to give you a payment plan if you can put down a little starter money. It might seem like it’s easy for me to talk but trust me, it isn’t easy at all. As a dog owner for 30 years, in a sports (KNPV) that is very hard on dogs I know all about having to pay the Veterinarian and I am pretty sure that the fancy new MRI clinic my Veterinarian opened last year was built in large on my donations to them… and there have been a LOT of donations! Having 3 dogs break down within 5 months from Cancer, old age and a training accident managed to set me back a good $12.000 in 5 months time a few years ago… So yes, I know the price of owning dogs. But that is the choice I made for them. To come into my care, and to provide for them any and everything they need to be happy, healthy and safe. We did not go to the Veterinarian school, we did not learn medicine, we did not spend a lot of cash on getting educated on anatomy, we did not lose sleep over working hard to get our Veterinarian papers and licences… They did tho! So lets give them some credit for what they do. Does it cost a lot of money? Yep it sure as hell does. Is it justified? Yes! it sure is hell is. Are the dogs worth every penny we have to pay to a Veterinarian for their well being, YES, THEY SURE AS HELL ARE!

PS: Just because you got lucky the last time, or this time, doesn’t mean that you will next time… Saying it never went bad before doesn’t mean it will not go bad in the future. Things never go wrong, until they do…

Regards, Alice Mackenzie.