Most Efficient Police Dog?
I understand that K-9's have different functions, but which dog is best suited for the job when it comes to; Narcotics/Vice, Search & Rescue, Tracking people, Bombs, and I guess just general detering of crime.
The reason I ask is because I see more and more Belgian Malinios on the street vs the German Shephard but I also know that Labradors and Blood Hounds are used as well. What other catagories might I be missing and what else is a deciding factor for which dog is best for a department?
Any and all input appreciated.
That's like asking a room full of us which cruiser we like better!!
We each have our own opinion on things..
In my humble opinion, you see more mal's on the street, etc, etc, because their easier to find with the right drives for the above.
It doesn't mean that the Belgian Mal is a better dog than a German Shepherd..
I've seen great dogs from both breeds, I myself have had 2 mals and a german shepherd and like mal's.
I would however pick the dog that has the best drives, personality, etc, etc, regardless of breed..
So drive and personality being equal, is one better than the other as far as sense of smell or agility? I figured it might be a very broad question. I'd like to be a K-9 officer if the department offered it, but until then I torture myself wondering all of these different questions.
There is no "perfect breed"
The US Dept of Agriculture uses Beagles ---------------------yep BEAGLES to sniff for illegal food stuffs
The GSD /Mal argument basically is a personal choice of the handler or the department.
Bloodhounds and LABS are normally used for police scent work....................but others work also
I would have never thought of Beagles. Thanks for everyones input.
One of the best K9's I ever saw was a Giant Schnauzer. As others have said, there is no perfect type of dog. It really comes down to the handler and the training. Malinois are great dogs, so are shepards. I've seen labs, rotts, dobermans, bloodhounds, boxers, and akitas.
Originally Posted by kontemplerande
Originally Posted by Monty Ealerman
One of our best Explosive Detectors is a pitt bull, its about drive.
SRT, I have only seen 2 Giant Schnauzer's work in my life and brother let me tell you they were superb!!! I would have taken either one of them in a heartbeat!!!
I really couldn't believe the hype the 2 handlers were talking, but they backed it up and more!! I will tell you, the first hit I seen on a sleeve, my jaw had to be picked up..
Both of them were the most social animals on the planet as well, but when it was time to work, they weren't playing..
I think when you find one that is capable of dual purpose police work, it's going to be a great dog.. They are so far and few between though..
Like I've said, im a mal guy, but breed isn't the thing that matters!!
It's all about drives plain and simple!!!
Generally Shepherds and Mal's are the best rounded for all these attributes. Good noses, enough toughness for a fight, and easy to work with. These dogs are also smart and work hard for their handler. There are lots of good breeds of dogs but for the money these two have the most well rounded of all qualities. Someone using beagles and labs are simply wanting detection work. Beagles and labs rarely if ever make a good bite dog and are liked for their people friendliness.
Labs, bloodhounds, etc. have great noses but generally dont have the size, with the exception of the lab, to be effective bite dogs. Labs are generally not very mean and if they will bite wont have the hang on through a beating fight drive the mals and shepherds will have. If I wanted a school dog to be around kids and sniff lockers and cars Id take a lab. For patrol work give me a shepherd or a mal any day.
I agree with the others-there is no one breed that is THE most efficient.
Now you have to realiz that unlike civilan K9s LE dogs aside from the obvious traits need to be easily guidable so as to transition from pet to working dog quickly. We all have our favorites & generally GSDs & Mals are the dominating breeds but I've seen Dobes used (still), Giant Schnauzer, Boxer, Rottweiller and even mutts used in the patrol function. Years ago there was a PD that had an Akita, the French tried using Dogue de Bordeaux and the British used Airedales during WWI & II. Truth be told, the Bouvier de Flanders was the first civilan LE dog & yes, you can find some of them used, still. Unfortunatly many of these breeds have had their skills for LE bred out of them so they're hard to find in working circles, but occassionally you'll see them. Keep in mind too, that there are breeds you'll never see in the U.S. that some places use.
Yep. Beagles. Years ago, coming back from SA, I had some jerky in my bag. USDA doggie hit right away and made a beeline for my gear. Then it got side tracked by the hippie fool with the fresh fruit HE was bringing back from SA. So I just kinda moved slooowly away...hehehe. (phew). Smuggler One. Hippie ZED.
My canine was a passive response Golden Retriever from U.S. Customs. He was a donated to Customs from an organization called Paws with a Cause to Customs because he flunked out of their training program. (He was kennel aggressive). He had a sister that was also donated to Customs as a currency dog. My canine was trained as a single purpose narcotics dog. He worked for 9 years and retired at 11. He is still kicking at 13 enjoying his retired life. I really don't think its the breed as much as the dog and the drive. Training plays a big part in it too. Keeping it fun for you and your dog are very important. My Instructor at Custom's always said "if the dog figures out that he wasn't playing and is working you are in trouble". My dog hasn't worked in over 2 years but I think if I took him out today looking for dope he would still be all over it. (Maybe a little slower).
+1 on "depends on the individual dog".
For the intended purpose of the team:
Proper: genetics+socialization+imprinting+training+handlin g= Successful Team.
Each of these variables plays a role...often a higher quotient of one factor can help balance out a lower quotient of another.
Had this conversation the other day with someone who is not a handler. I am in the process of testing a green dog right now for my new dual purpose. My first dog was a 95lb GSD. The dog I am testing now, another GSD, is about 70lbs soaking wet, and is done growing. I got the comments, "wow he is small" and how he isn't intimidating like my old dog.
Originally Posted by Tim Connell NH
I have to admit I was skeptical when I first saw him, until I tested him. The best way I can describe him is a Mal in a Shepherd's body. He has crazy prey and hunt drive, and seems like an instinctive tracker. He does not look like he would hit hard, but he is so fast, he hits with a lot of force.
I wasn't set on getting a Shepherd or a Mal, I wanted the best available. When it comes down to it size/breed really wasn't a factor, it comes down to what the dog's genetic make up is. He either has it or he doesn't. You have to know what you are looking for when testing dogs.
I was used to having a titled dog, but going green is definitely a new and challenging experience!
So true. The old saying "It's not the size of the dog, but the size of the fight in the dog" (or however that goes) is true in some cases.
Originally Posted by borninblue
I have had GSD's and now have both Mals and GSD's. Each have their advantages and disadvantages, but the last variable is the handler. Which dog is best suited to a particular handler, training style and ability for the task at hand? Sometimes if a high intensity dog is paired with a handler that can't work the dog to it's full potential, it's kind of like the proverbial "Monkey driving a racecar" syndrome.
It will be great for you to work him from the green stage, then you know all of his experiences, good and bad, and really know your dog's behaviors. Sometimes with a pretrained or titled dog, you never know the type or quality of the training, so it's sometimes a crap shoot. I've seen "titled" dogs that had probably never seen anything but a kennel and a flat grassy trial field. Sport dogs and police dogs are two different spectrums...not that some titled dogs don't evolve into great real world dogs...but it's all about the environmental exposure, in my opinion it's a huge factor lending to their stability.
Your right about the titled dogs, I have seen some that I was not impressed with simply because the drive wasn't there. In addition a majority of the titled dogs seem to have been trained on the "bark and hold." If this is not your desired response you have to work hard to break the dog of this habit. I have still seen dogs revert to the bark and hold several years later, after they have been trained out of this habit.
Originally Posted by Tim Connell NH
So yes it will be nice in a sense that I can work from the ground up. It was interesting bringing the dog home for the first time, and how apprehensive he was at first at the different floor surfaces in my house. It also appeared that he has never seen stairs before because he refused to go down them the first day. So it took about a good week just to get him comfortable with the surfaces.
I was speaking with my head trainer about titled dogs, and why so many vendors push them. He stated that it makes it that much easier to hold an academy class of titled dogs rather than "green dogs." I guess that makes sense from their perspective, but I like the challenge, and I think you can get a better quality dog.
I don't disagree...
Originally Posted by HCSO511
But I will point out, pure bloodhounds are on average 20-40 pounds heavier than German Shepherds. Though they are naturally friendly.
Like others have said... it will depends on what the dogs are used for. All dogs have their pros and cons. For example, the Bloodhound mentioned above. Probably the best nose and they can work without getting tired longer than most other breeds.... But they are harder to train and don't make good bite dogs.
In my law enforcement experience, I have noticed the quality of the dog is directly reflected in the quality of the handler.
Last edited by Dingo990; 09-17-2011 at 08:53 PM.
"Titled" dogs only show BASIC skills--kinda like kindergarten or grade school for any service dog. If you think you can take a titled dog & IMMEDIATELY throw him onto the street, you're nuts. Sure some may bite & do great work, but they need fine-tuning for police work. I'd rather start out with a basic well trained titled dog than a "green" dog. At least that way you know what he can do & perhaps work further or perhaps he'll show just what his limits are.....
I disagree, yes a titled dog is nice, espically for the first time handler. However long term I want the dog that has better traits that can't be taught, such as their prey, hunt, and fight drive. Any dog can be obedience trained. If you know what your doing when testing dogs, you can pick the best canidate green or titled.
Originally Posted by hemicop
Originally Posted by borninblue
Agreed, there are some titled sport dogs that develop into great street dogs...but definitely need that environmental exposure, and exposure to the suit and hidden sleeve.
Well, that's the purpose of those tests---to see how good their instincts are.A GOOD titled dog WILL have hidden sleeve, bodysuit, legsleeve work done already! All this can't be accomplished if the dog has no instinct for work. Fight drive can be developed--- courage, self confidence, defense drive cannot. Prey/play drive is finite so that alone will not get a dog through any type of serious training. Now where things get murky is when a PD or dog club assessor cannot read the dog during testing and either pushes the dog beyond its limits or doesn't know what he's looking at or doesn't know the questions to ask when purchasing an older, perhaps even titled dog. I've seen it many times.
We once had a head trainer here here who said he didn't care about ANY paperwork a dog may have. His opinion was that the dog alone would "show itself" & I understand that. The problem is, why waste your time if the dog's paperwork shows already what he may or may not be. The "apple doesn't fall far from the tree" can be very true in trying to procure a working dog and if the animal comes from "high" lines, I'd just as soon pass as spend my time testing him..........
Agreed. Titles and bloodlines tell only part of the story. They may be indicators of things that the dog "should" have been exposed to, and of the potential genetic predispositions that "should" be there...but neither are true indicators of the dog's potential performance. Certainly a Schutzhund titled dog has a completely different exposure to training than a KNPV PH1.
It's what is on the end of the leash that counts ultimately, not so much paperwork or claims that a dog is capable of some particular task. One excellent Explosives Detection Dog I've seen was a mixed breed that came from a shelter for a 5 dollar adoption fee. The proof is in the pudding, as they say. If the dog can do the work it's expected to do, and trained to do, so be it. Most times, police dogs are judged on drive testing, performance and health, and not so much on paperwork.
First, a dog either has fight drive or he doesn't. Not all dogs have instinctive fight drive, actually very few do. You can build upon what they have through muzzle work, but if it isn't there to begin with this will do very little. You are confusing fight drive with prey drive, which is when the decoy begins to fight with the dog, which in turn kicks their prey drive in.
Originally Posted by hemicop
Hidden sleeve work and full body decoy work is something that can be taught in a matter of weeks. Selection testing should be the single most important factor, not "titled" status.
Your comment about "I'd just as soon pass as spend my time testing him" related to titled dogs is a foolish statement. Yes, chances are if he comes from a good line he will have the same qualities. Although only a fool would purchase a 10,000 dollar dog without testing them first. You should listen to you trainer, as I am assuming your not a K9 trainer or handler, rather someone who thinks they "know" dogs.
Last edited by borninblue; 09-25-2011 at 11:31 AM.
"In valor there is hope"
Oh, I agree. The thing is, whether you're talking Ring, KNPV, or SCH. the dog IS demonstrating his basic instincts. The "trick" is to have a good Judge & decoy during testing to aggressively (?) evaluate the dog & not look at the testing as merely a show. I've purchased several titled & untitled dogs, but with the titled ones I not only looked at the test results results but also WHERE they were tested & who was the Judge. This is why knowing the paperwork of these dogs is important, IMO. between the scorebook (if he's titled), his pedigree & koer rating, you just might find the problem wasn't in the dog but the training or the evaluator. Remember too, that a "sport" dog may have failed for a very good reasonthat would perhaps make him a good or at least adaquete candidate for police work.
Originally Posted by borninblue
I had a GS bitch that wouldn't bite hamburger, but I'd put her up against ANY dog for S&R. My wife had a dog that LOVED bitework. Tracking? Only if he was looking for his bed. These 2 dogs never made it in the sport field but with their own seemingly "specialized" drives they'd fit into the working world qute well. It's there quirky dogs that can actually be a "gold mine", so to speak for the working handler, but they're pretty useless in the sport field......