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Why Police Use German Shepherds

Police Dogs And Training

Why Are German Shepherds Used As Police Dogs?

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How Dangerous Are German Shepherds

The American Animal Hospital Association conducted a study and concluded that German Shepherds were one of the most dangerous breeds based on bite severity and frequency of biting. This is not surprising given the fact that German Shepherds have one of the most powerful bites of all breeds.4 Sept 2019

Theres No Such Thing As A Bad Dog

For the most part, the age-old adage that theres no such thing as a bad dog and that the owner is always the root cause of a dogs behavior is mostly true.

There are genetic elements that can play a role in aggression, which well look at momentarily, but the way that any dog interacts with the world is almost entirely due to the way that theyre treated by their owners. And, given how loyal and devoted to their owners they are, this is especially true of German Shepherds.;

Shepherds learn how to behave around people, other dogs, and in the world when theyre puppies and the first formative year of their life can and does teach them everything that needs to know.

If a puppy is trained properly, treated with love and kindness and a firm sense of discipline, and taught how to socialize with other dogs and people, then theyre incredibly unlikely to even growl at another living creature unless they feel directly threatened.;

If, on the other hand, theyre physically punished and abused, when theyre young then any dog will react accordingly. Violence always begets violence, and any German Shepherd raised by the stick instead of the carrot and patience will have a propensity toward aggression.

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Why Do German Shepherds Ears Stand Up

Since most German Shepherds ears are pointy, yet others are floppy, one can get curious about what causes this difference.

German Shepherds ears stand up because of strong ear ligaments and their genetics. Unlike many dog breeds, a standard German Shepherd past teething has naturally standing ears. This shouldnt be confused with pricked-up ears, which is prominent stiffening and has more to do with the canines mood.

Why Are German Shepherd Cop Dogs

Why Are German Shepherds Used As Police Dogs?

German Shepherds are famous for working with police. German Shepherds are calm-under-pressure, theyre highly intelligent and trainable, and they love to work. This makes the breed well-suited for working in high-stress situations, and its no surprise theyve been used in police work for more than 100 years.

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Are German Shepherd Belgian Malinois Mixes Good Police Dogs

Dogs may be purposefully bred between breeds to get at an ideal work dog in many fields that are very essential, such as seeing-eye dogs and police dogs.

For seeing-eye dogs, a Belgian Malinois mixed with a German Shepherd is an excellent working dog, as are other kinds of Golden Retriever and Labrador crosses. For police work, a Belgian Malinois crossed with a German Shepherd is an outstanding working dog.

Mixing the breeds brings out some of the finest qualities of each, although these characteristics are less predictable.

A mixed breed dog should ideally have the tenacity and excellent health of a Belgian Malinois, as well as the size and calm temperament of a German Shepherd.

Theres Never A Dull Moment

Life is never dull with a German Shepherd. They need a healthy amount of exercise at least 30 minutes a day so youll;enjoy lots of time outside playing, walking and moving around.

Theyre also smart cookies who love a good challenge and will look to you for daily mental stimulation.

Do you have a German Shepherd? If so, we want to hear what you love most about your dog! Let us know below.

Also, how cute is this German Shepherd dog mom mug? Such a cool way to show your pup pride.

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Police Dogs Work To Play

You have likely watched different reality shows where a GSD is deployed to chase down a threat or discover hidden contraband or explosives.

And youve probably noticed that each time the dog fulfills its duty, that its rewarded with verbal praise and then given some type of toy to play with often a ball or a rope to tug on.

This reward is given because police dogs love to play. In fact, this is what their training is based around. The dogs are motivated to do the work because of the reward of the play that happens for a job well done.

This is called positive reinforcement the dog is positively rewarded for doing its job well. This causes the dog to want to work.

Interesting fact: during training, dogs are often given towels as playthings to fetch and tug on. These towels serve a dual purpose.

While they are fun for the dog, they are also covered in a specific scent, such as black powder or a specific narcotic. This serves to make the dog associate the scent on the towel with their toy and playtime.

So when a police dog makes a find, to the dog, it has actually found its toy!

Reason : Rottweilers Have A Shorter Lifespan And A Longer Maturity Rate

Why Are German Shepherds Good Police Dogs?

Compared to other breeds, even breeds in the same size category, Rottweilers have a fairly short lifespan, typically ranging from 9 to 12 years. Police dogs are usually trained under the age of 3, and will oftentimes work until they are 11 or 12 before retiring.

However, Rotts would most likely have to retire as a working dog long before that age. Training a police dog is time-consuming and expensive, and it makes more sense to train dogs who can work for more years.

Rottweilers also take a bit longer to grow up than other breeds. A good rule that usually holds true is that the larger the dog breed, the longer they will take to fully mature. All canines have to go through certain developmental stages. A delay in those stages for Rotties could mean a delay in training.

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Naturally Bred To Work

In the 1900s, a German Army Max Von Stephanitz began breeding German Shepherd dogs for police and Military works. A few years later, Max approached the German Police Department and asked if they would be interested in using a dog for work.

From that day, German Shepherds were tested for tactical works, protection, and tracking. It was a huge success and in the year 1920 to 1930 the German Shepherd was widely used for Military tasks around the world.

This Is What Makes The German Shepherds Good Police Dogs

This breed is intelligent, athletic, and versatile. German Shepherds can perform many different and challenging tasks for their handlers as well as stay focused for as long as it is necessary. They have good stamina and can perform their duties for long periods of time. Regarding term and permanent, these dogs are bred with nerves of steel and with the ability to stay calm in tense situations.

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How Do The Police Buy Or Obtain German Shepherd Police Dogs

It depends on the country and the police departments policies as to how they obtain their German Shepherd police puppies and dogs.

Victoria Police in Australia for example have their own police dog breeding program at the Police Dog Squad Training Centre.

This enables the Victoria police to monitor the birth of the puppies, ensure their health through the first 8-12 weeks, enables the dogs to get familiar with the sights and sounds of the police department, and of course be put through police training and assigned to a handler or owner if successful.

If the dogs are deemed not suitable for training or fail training, they are re-homed with the right dog owners as determined by the department.

Other police departments in America for example sometimes do not have budgets assigned for police dogs and have to rely on public and corporate donations to buy from respected working line breeders.

The Smartest Dog Breeds

Why Are German Shepherds Used As Police Dogs?

Jenna Stregowski, RVT has worked in veterinary medicine for more than two decades. Her veterinary experience ranges from routine wellness care and preventive medicine to emergency and specialty care, where she has performed duties ranging from specialized nursing to clinical administration. Jenna has been writing about pet care for over 10 years, including for publications like DVM 360 and DogTime.

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There are plenty of smart dogs out there, but some breeds are especially known for their high levels of intelligence. Measuring intelligence in dogs is not an exact science. We tend to look at several abilities and compare them to stages of human development. Dogs are generally considered to have the intelligence level of toddlers. Several factors go into that determination, including word comprehension, reasoning and problem-solving capabilities, responsiveness to training, communication skills , memory, and ability to predict human behavior. The most intelligent dog breeds typically score high in all of these categories.

Here are 10 of the smartest dog breeds.

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Do The Police Use Female German Shepherds

In the USA and Canada, the majority of police dogs are male. Most male police dogs remain unneutered to preserve more aggressive behavior. In contrast, some female police dogs exhibit less aggression when chasing a suspect. Female police dogs have an even temperament in comparison to male police dogs, making them more suitable for tracking and scent detection work. Lastly, male police dogs do not go into heat, unlike female dogs. An intact female police dog could not work whilst in heat, and spay surgery can be expensive. Besides, even if a female dog is naturally good at her job, she may be held back for breeding programs.

With continued development in police training techniques, female police dogs are likely to become more common. Both male and female police dogs excel at their work, but with current training methods, their different talents and qualities are best applied to specific areas of work.

Did we answer the question of, why are German Shepherds used as police dogs? If not, lets recap. With their versatility, intelligence, and strength, the German Shepherd makes for a loyal partner in any field of work. Because of these qualities, German Shepherds are one of the most common breeds that work as police dogs in the USA today, alongside the Belgian Malinois. Check out our favorite GSD dog names and our guide on the Black German Shepherd!

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Which One Is Better Belgian Malinois Or German Shepherd

For many areas of police work, the Belgian Malinois seems to be the better dog.

He is fast, athletic, possesses unlimited energy, is extremely agile, and strong despite its smaller, lighter body.

He is not prone to as many ailments and health problems as the German Shepherd dog.

German Shepherds, on the other hand, have a more massive, powerful build, they are heavier and larger in size.

Which is better for taking down stronger and more difficult opponents, and holding them there until the police arrives on the scene.

Another factor that comes down to the question whether the fast, swift Belgian Malinois or the loyal, courageous German Shepherd is better for the police is the levels of aggression in both dogs.

The Belgian Malinois and the German Shepherd alike can be trained to show aggressive behavior toward criminals on the run, which will scare them into surrendering

But the Belgian Malinois seems to be more aggressive, which is good for the police, and for the work they are designated to carry out.

However, among pedestrians and in places where there are crowds of people, this sort of aggression may be quite a formidable problem.;

Even though most police forces are choosing the Belgian Malinois over the German Shepherd nowadays, deeming it a better choice because of the smaller dogs favored characteristics, a lot of police still stick to the larger, versatile German Shepherd.

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The German Shepherd Intelligence Ranking

If youre a dog owner, then you probably know dogs are some of the most intelligent animals on the planet. They can learn simple commands you and I can come up with or sniff out bombs and drugs as part of security issues. Having said this, some breeds are smarter than others. In this article, we take a look at the German Shepherd intelligence ranking.

German Shepherds are smarter than you average dog. In fact, they are considered to be the third most intelligent breed. The first two? The Border Collie comes in first place followed by the Poodle.


Why are German Shepherds considered to be so smart? The simple answer is genetics. The breed is believed to have been very intelligent to begin with, the luck of the draw if you will. Over the years, however, breeding techniques were used to emphasize and enhance the problem solving and learning ability of the dog. This breed is now so advanced intellectually that you see it commonly used in security and police efforts.


While German Shepherds are used extensively in security matters, they are also the dog of choice in other areas for another reason. Unlike Border Collies and Poodles, these dogs have a nice combination of good size and temperament. Border Collies can be excessively hyper and Poodles can be downright mean, which makes both a bit difficult to use in high stress situations.

What are some examples of intelligent conduct by Shepherds? How about:

Should You Get One?

Are German Shepherds More Aggressive Than Rottweilers

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

German Shepherd dog vs Rottweiler temperament However, both breeds are often wary of strangers if not thoroughly socialized, and have been known to become aggressive even with their own families. One study has shown that 15% of dogs with severe aggression are German Shepherds and around 5% by Rottweilers.

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German Shepherd Police Dog/k9 Unit Training And Commands

German Shepherds are put through intense training regimes from their first year;that may include classes in scent tracking, agility, obedience, protection/attack, item and evidence detection and sometimes cadaver sniffing .

German Shepherd police dogs are also trained to remember a range of both hand and voice commands in their line of duty.

Depending on the country the police dog is from, Alsatians are given their voice commands in the native language.

You can read more about English, German, French, Czech and Dutch Police dog and protection voice commands at

What Are German Shepherd Police Dogs

Also known as a German Shepherd K9 or K-9, police use different dog breeds for different areas of their work.

These areas of work include but are not limited to:

Neutralizing suspects in order to apprehend or detain

Protecting their police handlers

Guarding controlled and protected areas

Locating illegal drugs, explosives and accelerants

Locating items and scents of interest at crime scenes

Tracking people of interest, fugitives and missing people

Alsatian police dogs are most often used in detection, tracking, protection and apprehension work.

They were also famously used by New York Department for search and rescue in the aftermath of the World Trade Attacks on 9/11, with Appollo being a well known GSD used in the search.

GSDs;are often thought of as the most valuable and flexible police dog breed because of their strength, agility, intelligence, focus, discipline and high level of obedience and coach ability.

It is an offence in many jurisdictions around the world to assault or kill a police dog.

Both males and female German Shepherds make good police dogs.

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What To Do When Your Gsd Puts His Ears Back

When your German Shepherd puts his ears back, he is either submissive, nervous, or just being friendly. Again, look for other signs, but youll soon get to know your own dogs body language. Pay more attention to him and reward him with the affection and treats he deserves.

This ear position isnt a cause for concern. The only exception is if your German Shepherd displays this behavior around most strangers and you adopted him to guard your property! If thats the case, you might need to bring him a sibling who is less of a social butterfly.

History Of Police Canines Around The World

Why Do Police Use German Shepherds As Police Dogs [2021 ...

Dogs;have been used by law enforcement agencies for over 100 years.;;The;English used bloodhounds while searching for Jack the;Ripper in 1888, and;during that time they allowed canines to accompany bobbies; on; patrol.; In 1899, in Ghent, Belgium, police started formally;training;dogs for police work. ;This enhanced the popularity;of using dogs for police work.;;By 1910, Germany had police dogs in;over 600 of their largest cities.;;In 1938, South London introduced two specially trained;Labrador Retrievers to the;Metropolitan Police Force to accompany bobbies on;patrol.

In the 1970s the use of dogs in law;enforcement took a foothold in the United States.; Now they are;considered a;part of the police force, and in many departments they even have their own;badges.; From the hundreds of dog breeds, there are some that are widely known for;their presence in law enforcement. ;The most widely trained;dog for;regular patrol work is the German Shepherd. Other;exemplary;breeds include–but are not limited to–the Labrador Retriever, Belgian Malinois,;and the Dutch Shepherd. ;Certain breeds have been used for special purposes, such as detecting illegal drugs or explosives, and tracking fugitives or missing persons.

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