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.