Are puppies training to be K9s allowed to socialize? - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 07-18-2012, 01:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I've posted about meeting a K9 officer and his dog once. I was so excited to ask him if Zeeva could play in the park with his dog. I thought Zeeva could learn a thing or two from these type of intelligent and obedient dogs. He said "no--he bites people" or something along that extent. I expected K9 dogs to be sociable and friendly because they are around people all the time. But it is my understanding now that this is not necessarily the case. K9 dogs are supposed to be extremely obedient to their handler and in order to be this way, they need to find their handler more interesting than any other distraction. I remember when I let Zeeva run around in the park, the officer put his K9 in a down stay while Zeeva went buzerk (but not close to the K9). My responses to the post also included some who said that it really depends on what type of duty the K9 performs. Some K9s can be taken to schools and around children...Pretty interesting
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Our dogs do not routinely play with the other dogs at training. They get plenty of "play" time with the other dogs in our pack at home. That is their release place. Even when we are on a scene, and not necessarily actively working, the dogs are and have to act like professionals, even during down time. Their play / relax time is at home. All other times they are in work or train mode. At training if they are not actively doing a problem, they must wait patiently till the other dog is done. So in implementing this routine as standard daily practice, the dogs learn when play time is, and when it isn't. The other reason some handlers prefer not to have their dogs routinely play with other dogs, and they are taught to ignore them, is because it can be very dangerous for a working dog to encounter and engage with an unknown dog. Even an on lead tracking dog can encounter the frantic purse dog that charges at them. The working dogs have to have the focus to ignore those annoyances.
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:10 AM   #13 (permalink)
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It really depends on the school of thought the instructor or trainer are using. Some do socialize in order to get their dogs more neutral, others do the whole ignore all dogs thing so that they never even think about playing with another dog. I completely agree about the not allowing the dog to play where they do work though. I've noticed my dog understands that when we go to training, its training time and not play time, he is much more attentive there than anywhere else we go. So maybe a police officer that needs his dog like that in all situations doesn't want the dog to think its okay to play in x environment.

About the officer taking his dog to the park, was this a dog park? Because that is something I would never recommend. A dog that is trained to bite and that has a known (taught) aggressive streak should not be trusted around other dogs in such an uncontrolled environment. It takes a split second for a dog to do something that can get the other dog angry or feel threatened and there is no way the officer will be able to stop it in time.

Also...lets be serious, not all those people know exactly what they're doing and most are training just off of experience. There isn't one program in the United States that trains all the dogs and many smaller towns have no way of affording a training program that produces dogs on a consistent basis. Not all of these dogs are the best trained, and as much as we all think they should be bullet proof and the best examples of our breed, they aren't always the best trained. I'm not really blaming the dogs or the handlers because the dogs have an extremely difficult job and its hard to train it for every situation it can see out in the field.

Last edited by martemchik; 07-24-2012 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I think this is more an issue of priority than dogs/training. I do several types of protection/bitework training with both my GSDs and both are trustworthy with other dogs. I foster puppies so I can't have dogs that are super dog aggressive and territorial. I've never had a fight, either between my own dogs or any foster or friend's dog. At flyball we have mass chaos and dogs in high drive running everywhere. I expect my dogs to be under control and not picking fights with other dogs, but it's just not a priority for me to let my dogs interact with any random person who stops me. Now I'm not an LEO but I would imagine if anything there dogs demonstrate even *better* control, temperament, and training than mine do. If someone asks me about our dogs playing, if I say no it's because I don't like *their* dog not because mine are trained to be aggressive toward dogs or anything like that.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elektra2167 View Post
Our dogs do not routinely play with the other dogs at training. They get plenty of "play" time with the other dogs in our pack at home. That is their release place. Even when we are on a scene, and not necessarily actively working, the dogs are and have to act like professionals, even during down time. Their play / relax time is at home. All other times they are in work or train mode. At training if they are not actively doing a problem, they must wait patiently till the other dog is done. So in implementing this routine as standard daily practice, the dogs learn when play time is, and when it isn't. The other reason some handlers prefer not to have their dogs routinely play with other dogs, and they are taught to ignore them, is because it can be very dangerous for a working dog to encounter and engage with an unknown dog. Even an on lead tracking dog can encounter the frantic purse dog that charges at them. The working dogs have to have the focus to ignore those annoyances.
Yes, I was on a search this Sunday and we were fortunate the yard dogs were all on chains and barking at us as opposed to running free but we have encountered that as well. At 9, Grim doesnt even pay attention to them, or to the deer who stamped at us or the turkeys who ran in front of us. Not one bit. Beau is learning and he really just wants to go say hi, but all the fun is controlled......and does not involve playing with or paying attention to strange dogs. We have had loose dogs charge us and the working dog has to ignore both the dogs and the people blocking them. Grim knows the minute he gets out of the truck what it is all about. Beau is quickly learning.

EDIT my dogs are not K9s but one is a cadaver dog and one is in training to be one.
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:43 AM   #16 (permalink)
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At 6/7 mo old, I do not want my pup that I have put so much time, effort and money into becoming dog aggressive because of a play date where another, older, larger dog was too aggressive. Not many pups have the temperament to come through one bad experience with flying colors, even litters bred for "police work". Off leash play time is a formula for trouble until around age 2 when they have the skills and training to handle random events.
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:16 AM   #17 (permalink)
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We have had several of "our" young dogs find their futures as working Police K9s.
Every young dog had been socialized and raised around other dogs...(our dogs).
Several actually had *puppy show careers* before the decision to sell them to the Police departments.
*However*....none of our dogs visit play groups or dog parks. They are socialized around other dogs, but are not "pack" followers....they are "human" followers.

*if you've ever seen our dogs in person....you would easily understand what I mean, and their strong, secure development with my husband... Carlos...over anything and anybody.*
So I think that yes...Police K9s or any service dog...needs to be well socialized, but not allowed to be over stimulated by outside sources....as a reward or relief.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:21 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Can I side track this a bit?

Are police K9's dangerous to the general public? Like if they were out patrolling and a kid asked to pet it, would that be dangerous?

I always thought the dogs were trained to chase/bite on command, not make those decisions themselves?

My friend thinks GSD's are man eaters, I don't feel they are, and even trained K9's should be safe in public, I thought?
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:36 AM   #19 (permalink)
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in my experience not all k9s are dangerous. I have been around numerous k9s that are playful loveable dogs that are so well trained, unless commanded, there is almost no outward aggression. Others are not so social. K9s in many prisons are kenneled at the prison and are not meant to be social family type dogs
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:42 AM   #20 (permalink)
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So it sort of depends on the individual dog then?

I could see prison K9's would be different, but then they aren't out in public.
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