The German Malinois is a deliberate crossbreed between two similar dogs, both in appearance and in purpose, the German Shepherd and the Belgian Malinois. The German Shepherd breed was originally developed in the late 1800’s as a large shepherding breed dog that was able to return sheep to the fold without startling them by nipping at their heels as well as being employed to help move the livestock from the farm to town, or from one town to another. German Shepherds were originally developed with structural efficiency, temperament, and intelligence in mind, and you will still find these traits in a good portion of modern German Shepherds. The German Shepherds of today do vary somewhat from German Shepherd dogs of the late 1800s and early 1900s as breeding choices have resulted in a canine that is more streamlined and thinner-boned than the founders of the line. German Shepherds have become the 2nd most popular breed in the United States since they were recognized by the AKC in 1908. Belgian Malinois have been in existence since around the same time, although they were one of four dogs that were all known as one breed, the Belgian Shepherd. Although there were four varieties of Belgian Shepherd, based mainly on the coloration and length of their coat, all four varieties were often born into the same litter. The Belgian Shepherd was recognized by the AKC in 1911, but then in 1959 dropped the Belgian Shepherd and split the dogs into three breeds, the long coated black was given the name Belgian Sheepdog and is listed as being recognized in 1912, the long-coated fawn then became known as the Belgian Tervuren, and the short-coated fawn became registered as the Belgian Malinois both listed as recognized in 1959 and dropping the rough coated fawn colored variety from the registry altogether.