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Old 12-18-2012, 05:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default US Police K-9

I am in the UK and have some experience of working police dogs over here. I love watching the US K9 Cops type shows on Animal Planet, and am always impressed with the impeccable training of the US working dogs shown. What also always surprises me is that, in the US, GSDs seem to be used for many jobs that we would traditionally use gundogs (Labradors, Springer or Cocker Spaniels) for in this country - (such as being trained to find specific scents: drugs, cash, explosives, firearms, human remains/blood etc).

Why is it that the US can utilise the GSD to do all tasks, yet here we use GSDs for General Purpose work (ie searching for suspects and missing people;
locating objects dropped or concealed during a criminal incident;
following a track left by a person on the ground;
chasing and detaining a person who runs away when challenged to stop;
disarming violent armed suspects and controlling hostile crowds.)
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The GSDs intelligence and versatility have deffinitly made it the #1 choice for law enforcement. I have seen USPD's use a ton of different dogs for work but having a dog that can bite, search for drugs, track people, cadaver dogs etc all in one package makes the breed sought after for work. Plus dogs like Rin Tin Tin, Strongeheart, and Bullet from 1940's television and their prominence during WWII (Americas bonding time as a nation) made the dogs powerful symbols
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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In the US each small town/county has their own police department. Most suburbs (10 minutes outside a city) have their own police departments. These departments can't really afford to have specialized dogs, so they train one GSD to do everything. I've seen some departments that use hounds for tracking criminals and then a GSD or a Malanios as back up for when they actually find him/her.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It's cheaper to train one dog and handler team than it is specific task trained dogs and individual handlers/vehicles/equipt.

Our dept uses GSD's, malinois, and occasionally dutch shepherds as patrol dogs; aka, bite dogs. Some of these dogs are dual purpose dogs and trained as narcotics dogs as well. Some officers on our dept are strictly interdiction officers and have drug dogs which are not bite (patrol) dogs. They use retrievers primarily. And then there are the bomb dogs which are strictly bomb dogs. Again, mostly retrievers.


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Old 12-19-2012, 09:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you for the replies. It is nice to have an insight into how other countries K9s work. With the UK PD sections being cut back due to funding, it would seem to make sense to me for the UK to go the same way as the US and have just one trained K9 capable of performing all (or at least most) tasks required.

Thanks guys.
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Questforfire View Post
Thank you for the replies. It is nice to have an insight into how other countries K9s work. With the UK PD sections being cut back due to funding, it would seem to make sense to me for the UK to go the same way as the US and have just one trained K9 capable of performing all (or at least most) tasks required.

Thanks guys.
There are factors that must be considered when using dual purpose dogs. For example; the quality of the dog needed is more scarce, they cost more, take longer to train, require more in-service training. While it's true, you get "more bang for the buck", you have to spend more bucks to get it. Our department has both single and dual purpose dogs. U.S. K9 sections have also suffered cutbacks because of the economy. There are departments have completely disbanded their canine programs because of the expense involved. Some have cut way back on the number dogs they have and how much they have to spend on them.

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