A Story about a girl and a KNPV working line Malinois
Once upon a time, there was a girl who had a working line Malinois. She lived in a beautiful country named Slovakia. Once she decided to take her working line Malinois to a dog show. Where all those beautiful show line Malinois bred specifically for dog shows are competing with each other. Which one of them is most beautiful. People laughed about her and told, this is a very silly thought. No one likes working line Malinois. They are so ugly. Not good looking enough to compete with beautiful show line Malinois bred specifically for dog shows. The girl did not listen to anyone. She took her working line Malinois, bred for character and health and went to the dog show. Slovak specialty show for Belgian Shepherds. And she won. Period. I can’t write “and they lived happily ever after”. Because this is not where the story ends. Their story has just begun and they will participate in dog shows also in the future. The dog in the story is Born to Win Warrior Helios. She is a working line Malinois. Her mother and father and their parents and ancestors all are working line Malinois. She is out of very deep working lines. KNPV lines. Not any of those dogs are bred for beauty. They are all bred to work. As a matter of fact, the father of this dog is a real life working Police dog. And this story only shows that a well bred working line Malinois is also beautiful and can be successful in dog shows. The girl in the story is Lucia Konikova who lives in Slovakia and is the owner of the dog. She decided to take her working line Malinois to the Slovak Specialty Show for Belgian Malinois. And they won both their class and also Best in Show. And here is the interview with Lucia Konikova.
You have very interesting and exciting news about working line Malinois in dog show.
Can you tell us about the dog show? Where was it? How many participants and what competition did you have?
It was Slovak speciality show of Belgian shepherds. Organized by Slovak Belgian Shepherd Club. The show was held in a little village called Veľké Kršteňany. In total, there were about 50 dogs. Hellen (Born to Win Warrior Helios) competed in puppy class (6-9 months) with 4 dogs in total. The judge was Paed Dr. Jaroslav Zembjak (SR). The show was greatly organized, in a nice area. All the people were in a good mood and very friendly. Sadly, you don’t see that very often on a dog shows.
Why did you take a dog and why Malinois?
I bought Hellen mostly because we lost our Malinois girl several months before and we simply missed that craziness in our home. First I was considering also working line Tervueren but in the end, my heart decided differently. 🙂
Why did you choose specifically a working line Malinois?
I chose working line Malinois because, for me, Malinois is a working breed. It is supposed to work. I knew what am I looking for and I also knew that it would be much easier to find that dog in the working line.
Why did you decide you will go to dog shows with a working line Malinois? No one goes to dog shows with working line Malinois…
That’s true, no one goes to dog shows with working Malinois. In Slovakia, the rings are often empty. What a pity… I took Hellen because recently I decided to do some shows with her as she was growing up very nicely. Although she was bought primarily as a working dog, she is still too young for exams. So why not to do dog shows in meanwhile? Shows are a good opportunity to get her used to other people and dog, to a new environment, etc.
How did you start going to dog shows? How you ended up Best in Show?
Honestly, I’ve started to go dog shows practically just this year. I wanted to say that I’m not much of a show person, but the truth is… I’ve never had dogs that would do excellent in shows. I had a sheltie before, so several years ago we tried some shows. We didn’t continue because she was simply my Very Good princess. 🙂 I “returned” to shows this year, with our younger border collie – Chilla. She has been in puppy class three times, once in juniors where she won her class and I believe, that after she will grow her coat back, we will occasionally continue. Hellen had her premiere one month ago on a regional dog show. She was in a puppy class where she won VP1. So I decided to sign her up also for specialty show, where she once again won VP1 and after won finals, so she got Best in Show Puppy.
Can you tell us more about your dog and what activities you do with her?
Hellen is a dog that everybody loves. You simply can not resist her. She is sweet, she can work, she can work, she has a drive and that very much needed switch off. She loves people and yet I feel safe with her walking down the street. But of course, as we have also a young border collie that is just a couple months older, there are days when I want to put them both on planes and send them back to their breeders. I think our almost ten years old border collie would very much agree with me. ? Both of our younger girls are training to become Search and Rescue dogs (SAR). That takes most of our time during weekends. Besides SAR, I’m also training with them some basic obedience. Chilla recently passed her very first exam – BH/VT. Our most favourite activity is hiking, all of us love nature and to wander around in forests.
What do you think if a working line dog is good for dog shows?
My not so popular opinion is, that even a working dog should still remind the breed that it’s supposed to be. And even a show dog should be able to work. I’m trying to prove that it’s possible. I have working line Malinois that is doing good on shows. On the other hand, I have a border collie from the show line. Once again, it was easier for me to find a show puppy with potential than to find a working puppy that would fulfil the breed standard. I’m not trying to offend anyone, that’s just the reality from my view…
What is most important for you in a dog?
What is important for me in a dog? Health and temperament. I think that health is the most important aspect for me. We had dogs that died because of idiopathic epilepsy and due to hidden heart disease. My beloved and currently oldest border collie suffers by Degenerative myelopathy and spondylosis. All of this could have been prevented by the right breeding. By choosing to breed only on top dogs with good health, with genetic testing, dogs from monitored lines. Most importantly, it could have been prevented by saying the truth. There is also another side. I should have been more careful and to choose differently. Right after that, there is temperament. You can make to work almost any dog but if you choose the dog with the right temperament and nature, you can have it way easier and get way further. Besides health and temperament, there is a standard. I want a certain breed so I buy a dog with a pedigree, dog that fits the standard. There is a standard for a reason…
We wish you good luck also for the future and success for your working line Malinois in dog shows!