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Where Do Police Get Their German Shepherds

Bonus: Mixed And Unexpected Breeds

Stop hating on German Shepherds | What police uses dogs for and why they choose German Shepherds

There are certainly exceptions, additions, and even surprises to this list of popular K9 breeds. Many mixed breeds and shelter rescues have become successful members of various police forces around the country. And especially when it comes to detection or search and rescue, many different breeds can be used if they have the right temperament,Day says. The only ones hes seen struggle a bit are short-nosed breeds like Bulldogs or Frenchies.

Motivation is the biggest key, adds Parsnow. Weve trained all kinds of different dogs for detection work. In fact, right now we have a Dachshund, and he does it just fine. You wouldnt expect him, but he has all the characteristics for a detection and trailing dog. If a dog has those characteristicsthe prey drive, the hunt drive, the sociability, the want to possess a toythen the dog can do the job, she says, regardless of its size, breed or lineage.

Past Vs Modern Days Training

In Past days most trainers have used bad training practices that I want you to avoid.

They were punishing their German Shepherd dogs if they behave in a way that they do not want.

For example, if you want to make him sit you will push with force on his back. These techniques do not work well because when you punish your dog it can be frustrating for him and it can make him sad.

Sad Dogs can act very aggressively sometimes and pushing your German Shepherd To do something you want will not work, maybe it will work with a baby but with an Adult German Shepherd, It will not.

It will become a competition of who is more powerful between the dog and the handler.

Training Your German Shepherd As A Guard Dog

Every dog breed possesses natural tendencies and skills. These tendencies come with their genetics. German Shepherds are guard dogs by nature, regardless of if theyve been trained or not. If they see something out of line, or peculiar, they will usually bark, altering someone of the situation. For this reason, German Shepherds are often chosen as police dogs since its easier to train them in this way.

Some breeds are overly aggressive and hard to control, while others are meek and mild-tempered. German Shepherds are the perfect mix to train to be a guard dogs.

Still, your German Shepherd will need the correct training to ensure they listen to commands and arent a danger to themselves or others.

There are a few critical pieces of equipment you will want on hand when beginning any training such as a German Shepherd harness, a German Shepherd leash, and some dog treats for rewarding.

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They May Play Favorites

Although German Shepherds do love all of the members of their families, they may pick favorites when it comes to the person that they listen to the best.

This is usually the person that spends the most time with the dog or who has puit in the most work into training them.

This can make having a German Shepherd a bit more difficult if multiple people will be working with this dog all of the time.

Skeletal Health And Supplementation

Common German Shepherd Behavior Problems [Solved]

Musculoskeletal disorders are debilitating conditions that are often associated with genetic makeup, malnutrition, and stress-related events. Some breeds like the German shepherd, are predisposed to a variety of different skeletal disorders, including but not limited to: canine hip dysplasia, Cauda equina syndrome, and osteoarthritis. These conditions can be a result of poor breeding or induced by intense exercise and poor diet.

Canine hip dysplasia is an orthopedic condition resulting from abnormal development of the hip joint and surrounding tissue causing the instability and partial dislocation of the hip joint, resulting in pain, inflammation, lameness, and potentially osteoarthritis of the joint. German shepherds are genetically predisposed to CHD and the University of Veterinary Medicine in Germany found its prevalence estimated to be approximately 35% of veterinary cases associated with the disorder.

Osteoarthritis is one of the main contributors of musculoskeletal pain and disabilities that commonly affect German shepherds. Mechanical stress, oxidative damage and inflammatory mediators combine to induce the gradual degeneration of the articular cartilage in the joint, resulting in reduced muscle mass, pain, and locomotion.

Vitamins such as A and D also have crucial roles in bone development and maintenance by regulating bone and calcium metabolism. Adequate levels should be incorporated into a German shepherd diet to promote a healthy musculoskeletal system.

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Are German Shepherd Belgian Malinois Mixes Good Police Dogs

In many disciplines that are extremely important, such as seeing-eye dogs and police dogs, dogs may be purposely bred across breeds in order to arrive at an ideal work dog.

Various types of Golden Retriever and Labrador crosses are useful for seeing-eye dogs, and when it comes to police work, a Belgian Malinois crossed with a German Shepherd is an excellent working dog.

Mixing the breeds allows some of the best aspects of each to come out, although these traits are also less predictable.

Ideally, a mixed breed dog will have the tenacity and superior health of a Belgian Malinois along with the size and calm temperament of the German Shepherd.

German Shepherds Love Children

If given proper socialization training from an early age German Shepherds love to play with children if they are trained well to do so when they are young. Proper puppy training is essential along with love, care and respect towards your pooch. Also, make sure not to allow children to play with the dog when eating or trying to remain alone.

EDIT 26/8/17: Removed section about the shedding behaviours of German Shepherds. Thanks for the comments!

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German Shepherds Might Make Good Police Dogs For The Following Reasons

They bond well with their owner/handler

They are obedient

The working lines are bred to have strong nerves, and a stable temperament making them good for high risk and high tension activities

They are one of the most intelligent dog breeds and can perform difficult tasks detection and tracking in particular

They are loyal

They are protective

They have a high working ability

They are physically capable athletic and strong, along with good stamina able to attack, apprehend, protect and focus or patrol for long period

German Shepherds Are Obedient And Easy To Train

Why Are German Shepherds Good Police Dogs?

German Shepherds have high intelligence, thus they can be trained for various purposes. German Shepherds are obedient, making them easier to train compared to other dog breeds. Not only do German Shepherd perform well in task training, obedience training wouldn’t be any problem for them as well. They will listen and obey to your commands.

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German Shepherds And Children

Adult German Shepherds can range from being calm and patient to bouncy and boisterous, depending on their personality, training and socialisation. Some can make great family pets in homes with children of all ages, but dogs should always be supervised around young children.

Make sure you can recognise the signs of unhappiness or anxiety in your dog to help avoid any conflicts. German Shepherds can be nervous of strangers so make sure theyre never left unsupervised. Be careful if you are introducing a German Shepherd to younger children or adults unfamiliar with the breed as they often dont know their own strength.

What It Takes To Be A Police Dog

Often a dogs road to police work begins at birth, or even before. A number of breeders in the US and Europe specialize in producing dogs that are perfectly suited for law enforcement roles. But becoming a police K9 isnt as simple as having the right parents. While it varies somewhat depending on the job, most K9 police work requires dogs that are alert, obedient, physically fit, and highly driven yet still calm.

Police dogs undergo continuous training throughout their lives, often starting with obedience and socialization exercises in puppyhood and followed by frequent endurance and agility drills as they mature.

Usually when theyve reached around a year of general training, dogs are paired up with their police handlers, undergoing another 3 to 6 months of focused specialty training for the job theyll be assigned to. Dog-and-handler teams continue to train together right up until a dog retires from police work .

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Do Police Dogs Get Paid

This can be an interesting question. German Shepherd Dogs are not paid because their food and living are all covered by the department.

Police dogs live with their handler on their place so the handler can get paid extra for the dogs expenses.

There are other good breeds for Police Dogs:

  • Belgian Malinois
  • BloodHounds
  • Labrador retrievers

Not all Police Dogs are German Shepherds. There are a variety of Dogs which are very intelligent like German Shepherd Dogs.

A Police Dog Isnt Just A Dog

Can I train my German Shepherd to protect me?

Before you get a dog, talk to someone who knows about police dogs. Just because it is a Belgian Malinois, German shepherd or a Labrador, doesnt mean it will make a good police dog.

Beware of breeders who are willing to donate a dog or puppy to you. Most of the time, despite good intentions, these dogs do not have the temperament for suitable for K-9 work. If you are not experienced with working dogs, you will not be able to raise a puppy properly for K-9 work, so a puppy is a bad idea even if its parents are working dogs. The days of donated dogs are officially over.

Consider imported or professionally raised dogs from European breeding stock. Look for imported dogs between 11 months and 3 years old from an established K-9 vendor with extensive references. At this age, you can select a dog with the needed temperament and drive to be fairly certain it will successfully complete the required training class. Make sure to first assess what your community needs and what options are out there for training the dog.

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Are German Shepherds The Only Police Dogs

German Shepherds arent the only police dogs. Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherds are also used. And its due to their intelligence, alertness, trainability, and stamina. While Retrievers, Beagles, Bloodhounds, and English Springer Spaniels are sniffing dogs. And also used in search-and-rescues.

Apart from these, there are other canines that are used as cop dogs all over the world.

But, theyre less common. Such as:

  • Boxers.

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German Shepherds Are Healthy

German Shepherd are one of the healthiest dog breed. They can live to up to 13 years if they are properly cared for. German Shepherds love to exercise, thus they are free from weight problems. German Shepherds are prone to several health risks such as hip and elbow dysplasia which later lead to arthritis, degenerative myelopathy and others diseases, but the risk of suffering from these diseases is greatly reduced if proper nutrition and veterinary care are given.

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What Skills Must A German Shepherd Have To Become A Police Dog

There are three primary skills required by dogs in the K-9 unit. These skills ensure that they can adequately fulfill the duties needed out in the field. The skills are protection, attacking, and tracking. A German Shepherd will receive full training in the police dog academy, but they must possess those necessary three skills.

In Conclusion On German Shepherds As Service Dogs

Are German Shepherds Good Family Dogs?

So, what can you take away from this?

Well, German Shepherds, as service dogs, are an excellent option. And they can be trained to be outstanding service dogs for people with all kinds of medical conditions and illnesses.

Nonetheless, it isnt as simple as all that.

Several factors play into whether or not a German Shepherd will be a good service dog. This includes, but isnt limited to, breeding and temperament.

There is also the fact that German Shepherds aren’t always the right breed for the job. But, if they are specifically chosen, you can be confident that they will do a fantastic job.

Thus, if you or someone that you know needs a service dog, there is a good chance that a German Shepherd may be the right pick.

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Other Law Enforcement Breeds

Not all dog breeds in law enforcement are part of the military and police force. Other dog breeds may not have the physical capabilities for field operations, but have other special skills.

Here are the other dog breeds that help with law enforcement just not with militaries and police K-9 forces. They deserve just as much recognition!

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Why Do Police Use Belgian Malinois

Have you noticed that police dogs seem to be a little bit smaller and sleeker looking than they used to be?

Belgian Malinois are becoming increasingly more popular for police work, replacing the German Shepherd in many police departments.

There are some very good reasons why police are using Belgian Malinois instead of German Shepherds or any other breeds.

Why do police use Belgian Malinois? The reason police use Belgian Malinois lies partly in their physical frame and partly in their temperament. Belgian Malinois are extremely athletic, healthy dogs with a very high work drive and an eagerness to please.

Here is what you need to know about why the police use Belgian Malinois for all kinds of police work throughout the United States.

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How Big Do Black German Shepherds Get

They are a large-sized dog that grows up to the same size or even bigger than regular German Shepherds.

The adult male Black German Shepherd has a height between 24 to 26 inches . The females are smaller with a size ranging from 22 to 24 inches .

The male ones have an average weight between 65 to 90 pounds while the female is on the lighter side, weighing 50 to 75 pounds .

Young Black German Shepherds mature and reach their full-grown size between 18 months to 2 years of age.

Do Police Use Labs As Police Dogs

GSD Puppy

They sure do! Their specialty is finding bombs and drugs.

Many police dogs that are chosen are male and remain unneutered to maintain their aggressive behavior, however there are female police dogs which are used for rescue, tracking, and locating bombs and drugs.

Belgian Malinois are most commonly used because of their availability.

Dutch Shepherd

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How To Train German Shepherds As A Police Dog

Police force training begins when German Shepherds are still puppies. It is a rigorous process that first requires a lot of department or government funding. Successfully training a German Shepherd police K-9 unit costs the police department between $15,000 to $20,000.

Because of the high cost, many police departments rely on community funding when adopting a new police pup. The prices might seem high when you look at them from afar, but when police departments adopt these German Shepherds, they become a part of the team!

Training begins at around six weeks old and lasts anywhere from one to two years long. German Shepherds are trainable, eager to learn, and have massive knowledge retention. The earlier a police officer begins training their K-9 puppy, the more efficient they will be in the field.

The high intelligence of this breed allows the German Shepherd to learn even the most complex things. German Shepherds absorb information quickly, which allows them to act confidently, not impulsively like many other breeds.

White Swiss Shepherd Dog

The White Swiss Shepherd Dog is a variety of the German Shepherd bred in Switzerland. It descends from the American White Shepherds the first stud dog of what became the breed was an American dog born in 1966 and imported to Switzerland. The variety was recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale as a separate breed in 2003, and it is now recognised by a number of national kennel clubs.

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Police Dogs And Its History With German Shepherds

Police dogs are in some countries known as K9 or canine. They are dogs with specials skills. Trained to assist police officers in duties that include: searching for drugs, locate missing people, attack when ordered by a police officer, find evidence at a crime scene and finding explosives. The basic training includes learning and remembering several verbal commands and hand gestures.

The most often used breed to assist policemen is the German Shepherd, but you may also see the retriever breeds often being used.

World War I broughtThe german shepherdout West, they were active in both world war 1 and 2

Lawlessness, due to rapid urbanization, was a growing concern for the public of London in the 19th century. The existing law enforcement at that time was too small and the problems too large to be dealt with. Commercial companies prosper well in combat against crime. Groups of night watchmen and security guards were formed and provided with firearms and dogs to protect themselves.

Europe was the first to start using the German Shepherd as a service dog on a large scale. The police of Paris used them to track down ravaging gangs and fight against them.

In 1899 the police department of Ghent, Belgium started a police dog service program. They were the first with a large organized program.

Why Do Police Use German Shepherds Instead Of Rottweilers

Checking out the German Shepherds in their Kennel

Police use German Shepherds instead of Rottweilers because of their agility. Theyre lighter and can be handled with ease. Plus, they also have weaker bite force and good control of their strength.

#1: Heavier body weight

Adult Rottweilers typically weigh 80 to 135 lbs . While German Shepherds are only 77 to 95 lbs .

So Rotties are heavier. And police officers may have trouble handling a big canine out in the field.

Because of this, a leaner but not too thin dog is preferred. And German Shepherds are a perfect fit in that category.

#2: Lesser agility

Because of their heavier weight, Rotties agility is also reduced.

Although theyre still good at it

German Shepherds can move more swiftly. And with greater ease.

Also, like Pitbulls, they have lower stamina as well. So they could only run short distances.

#3: Stronger bite force

Rottweilers also have bigger heads. As well as wider jaws.

Research reveals that the larger the skull is, the greater the bite force is.

And this is true. Because they have a bite force of 328 psi.

Which is higher than German Shepherds who only have a record of 238 psi.

However, are stronger jaws ideal for police dogs?

The answer is no.

Its because they might need to apprehend people. And they need to do it in a way thatll not cause serious injury or damage to property.


Both breeds arent aggressive in nature. And theyre also both wary of strangers. Which makes them great candidates for a cop dog.

Did you know?

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