The basic color of Malinois is a rich light brown to mahogany, with black hair tips giving a covered look. The mask and ears are black. The lower part of the body, tail and breeches are light tan, but the tan washed off the body is a disadvantage. The color of Malinois should be seen as an end, not as a priority over structure or temperament. The color of Malinois’ toe tips may be white, and a small white spot is allowed on the sternum/prostate, which cannot extend to the neck. The white marking of Malinois is defective unless otherwise stated.
The color change of Malinois is the standard, and most working breeders think that the color of Malinois is an end point, and most dogs belong to the standard. If they are unqualified, it is more common because of excess white than for any other reason. Most dark dogs, like flip, are dark because their hair covers the main parts of the body. Now the popular Malinois black leg gene is even less common than the thick leg gene. Unfortunately, too dark color has become a common fashion variety. The colors people are looking for are solid black legs, chest, head, etc. mixed with black and fawn, or in some cases black and silver. Many people are willing to breed to meet these needs and sell their dogs as working dogs in the process.
In recent years, the popularity of Malinois people of different colors has increased significantly. It has become a fashionable protective dog, which has happened in many other breeds over the years, such as Doberman, Rothwell, GSD, etc., which has done great damage to these breeds. The black Malinois is not common. Like many such identity symbols, protecting dogs, many of them are for the sake of having a dog that looks “cool” on the outside and pay little attention to the “inside”. That is, structure, temperament, driving force, working ability, etc. Although black malinois dogs have always existed in this breed, they are not common. Most Malinois are light brown to red in color, and their masks and ears are black, medium to no covering, so black Malinois is rare.
But remember what we talked about before? Breeding is a kind of balanced behavior, in the pursuit of other standards, will give up some standards. If the breeders mainly focus on the color of the Malinois, they will not focus on what makes a mahogany Malinois a working dog, such as structure, driving force, temperament, etc. Considering how substandard these dogs are, we know that the focus is not on construction. Even if the ability to work is taken into account, the color of Malinois is not a major concern, so the ability will be affected. Do these mahogany Malinois work? I’m sure there are some that can, though those I’ve seen can only do entry-level work at most. And that’s going to get worse because the selection criteria for these breeds continue to be the color of the Malinois that parents can produce, and mahogany Malinois is getting further and further away from the actual working dog.
This kind of Malinois color is more common. Will tan Malinois lose all his working ability? Not in general. Just like many generations of BC, agility and obedience can still breed in a way. Or the Labrador breed as a pet for generations. But will tan Malinois stand out? Maybe not. The people who buy Tan Malinois think that they will get a good staff, and the staff will also wear clothes that they think are very attractive, and they will be disappointed in the end. People who buy this dog are attracted by the package of their body, but they don’t care about their working ability. They will get a dog with just enough working characteristics. What’s worse is that the working characteristics are unbalanced, such as all energy, no motivation and concentration, and they will be disappointed. More tan Malinois will eventually be sent to shelters and relief agencies. Browsing the online list of dogs from shelters and rescue agencies, you may be surprised how many of them look like puppies you’re considering buying for $2500 because of the color of Malinois. Buy a Malinois.
If you’re buying Malinois for the best working dog, find a breeder who focuses on working characteristics. If you have more than one puppy in a litter that meets all your criteria for a future working dog, you must take into account the decorative factors such as the color of Malinois’ fur and the mark when making the final choice. We all want to have dogs that we find attractive. But if your first criterion is Malinois, is working dog really your goal?
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