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We recently adopted a one year old dog from our local shelter. We've named her Dakota, she weighs 65 pounds. They had her listed as a Belgian Malinios, but I think she looks exactly like a sable German shepherd. What do y'all think?
 

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I think the same as you. They probably listed her as Mal for a variety of reasons- since she's young, she's still kind of light weight, her coloring isn't the "traditional" black & tan, and, sadly, the movie "Max". She's a beauty!
 

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I agree, definitely German Shepherd- for some reason rescues and shelters don't know very much about breeds and will label them based on color. For example black dogs are always labs, black and tan dogs are rotties, black and white dogs are border collies, merle dogs are australian shepherds, etc.
 

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She's gorgeous!!
Cute my dog's name is Dakota too<33
 

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Definitely GSD, she is beautiful, I love the sable. It's so strange, a dog like that seems like it's an easy GSD, especially since Mals aren't that common are they?
 

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Definitely GSD, she is beautiful, I love the sable. It's so strange, a dog like that seems like it's an easy GSD, especially since Mals aren't that common are they?
They aren't very common in the shelters, I don't think I've ever seen a mal in one actually, and I did a lot of volunteering at them while in high school. I'm thinking her coat color had a lot to do with it.
 

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Definitely GSD, she is beautiful, I love the sable. It's so strange, a dog like that seems like it's an easy GSD, especially since Mals aren't that common are they?
Exactly what I thought. She's an obvious GSD, but maybe they thought someone would want a "rare" breed like a Mal and that would help her get adopted quicker?
 

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Exactly what I thought. She's an obvious GSD, but maybe they thought someone would want a "rare" breed like a Mal and that would help her get adopted quicker?
I hate when shelters do that. Right after Because Of Winn Dixie came out, a local all breed rescue had a larger, rough coated mixed breed dog listed as a Berger Picard. They actually had that down as the breed, then put, just like the dog in Because Of Winn Dixie. I've also seen obvious bully breed mixes listed as Labs. They wonder why dogs get returned- I often think it's because they intentional mis-label them as breeds that have a better chance of getting adopted. Then when they don't act like the breed their listed as, they end up back in rescue.
 

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I can understand the confusion a little bit since my dog is considered a GSD to some and a Mal to others (the more professional who have seen him first hand tend to say Mal mix, so that's what I go with). The crazy ears and mask could confuse anyone if she's that young. My boy looked pretty close to pure Mal for a while until he started buffing out around 7 months. I do agree that some shelters get pretty ridiculous with the lab and shepherd mix labeling, but this one doesn't look too far off, especially if she came in as a puppy.

What about the possibility of a mix? I wouldn't call Mals a "rare" breed. There have been some in the shelters here and there's plenty of breeders close to where I live (even one in my hometown I recently discovered), so I guess it depends where you live. I definitely see more GSD than Mal though.

As for the 101 Dalmatian Effect from the movie Max, I don't think it's going to be as big of an issue as it was predicted to be. First off, I've seen many pictures of the movie with captions praising German Shepherds, so most of the uneducated public don't even know about Mals. Also, the movie only mentioned the breed one time (yes, I'm a dork and drug my SO to go see it and I cried like a sap) so it wasn't really advertised. I think the movie makers and general public have done a lot to attempt to educate people to not blindly adopt a Malinois.

Overal, she's GORGEOUS and I LOVE that name. That's what I wanted to name mine had he been a girl. :D
 
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