Due to its history as a working dog (i. e. , being bred for function over form), the Malinois can vary greatly in appearance. The acceptable colors of pure-bred Malinois are a base color fawn to mahogany and tan with a black mask and black ears with some degree of black tipping on the hairs, giving an overlay appearance. The color tends to be lighter with less black agouti or overlay on the dog's underside, breeching, and inner leg. White markings are also allowed on the tips of the toes and the chest. A Belgian malinois may have a longer and darker hair coat than the typical malinois, but may still be referred to as a Belgian malinois.