Advice on Working K9 and family dogs. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Advice on Working K9 and family dogs.

I have searched the forums, but could not find exactly what I'm looking for. I am looking for advice on a working K9 police dog and dealing with current dogs. I currently own a 3 year old Hovawart (female/fixed) and a 2 year old GSD(male/fixed). Right now my Hovawart is half the size of my GSD but is the dominant dog. Neither dogs are agressive and get along perfectly.

I am currently applying for our department's K9 unit and the dog will be a GSD(male) trained in drug detection, tracking, article searches, and bite work. The training agency uses a prong collar for correction during training and does not socialize the dog while it is in the working envrionment. They DO however socialize the dog in your home life and do not train while at home.

They also train their K9's to ignore other animals while on duty and be a regular family member. I have heard of no issues with their dogs being around kids and other dogs, but at the same time don't want to get the dog and have issues. (we have no children and never will) Per department policy the dog will be kept in the house and not kenneled.

I am looking for people's experiences or inputs on this topic to see what other people have dealt with. My dogs are trained well and were socialized well so I don't see any potential issues, but you never know.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 01:50 PM
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Re: Advice on Working K9 and family dogs.

I know that I can't answer your questions, but I had to say thanks for introducing me to a breed of dog I hadn't heard of: Hovawart

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 02:03 PM
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Re: Advice on Working K9 and family dogs.

I'm assuming you're already a police officer, since you are applying for the K9 Unit. Training collars vary by trainer. I don't use a prong during any detector type training. I'm surprised at your comments on socialization. The best police service dogs (PSD's) are in fact, very socialized dogs. The more exposure they have to people, places and things means less problems when they encounter these same things in real life situations. Any good working dog should concentrate on work, not another animal.
As far as kenneling arrangements, that often times depends on the dog, the handler and the family, if there is one, that is involved. Some of our dogs are kenneled when not working, some live in the homes. Either is perfectly ok. As far as experiences with these types of animals and training, I'm the Chief Trainer and program manager for a 45 dog police K9 unit.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 02:13 PM
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Re: Advice on Working K9 and family dogs.

I think the in the home issues are going to be more based on the dog regardless of the level of training. Just like people, some dogs get a long and some won't.

Please post pictures of your Half-a-fart. I have only ever met one Hovawart and loved him!


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 02:30 PM
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Re: Advice on Working K9 and family dogs.

A lot of PSDs are social, however some are not. Like you said, it depends on the level of training but also the time the handler puts in. There are two police working dogs living at my house. One lives in the house and one stays outside. The reason is because of their drive; the one which is outside is a Dutch Shepherd and only has working on his mind... he would NOT be a good housedog! However, the other, who is a little older is a GSD and is the best house dog ever! He knows when to work and when to relax. All in all, it just depends on the dog!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 03:36 PM
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Re: Advice on Working K9 and family dogs.

Isn't that the truth, some Dutchies and Mals just don't come with an off switch, ha ha.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Advice on Working K9 and family dogs.

Yes I have been employed for 5 years in our department and this is our first dog in 20 years. I suppose I spoke incorrectly about socialization. The dog will not want to attack everyone if it is out of the car. It will sit there and concentrate on the handler and what is going on around it. If anyone becomes aggressive towards the handler, its vehicle, or gets much to close to the handler a bite is likely. When they are trained to ignore other animals it is when they are on-duty. Talking to handlers county wide, none have had an issue at home with their dog and family pets, but I'm just looking for more input. I really don't want to have to get rid of my dogs because of my work dog if I get the position.
And here is a picture of perhaps the least ferocious animal on the planet, our Hovawart.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 06:52 PM
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Re: Advice on Working K9 and family dogs.

Hary, intact male GSD, is the newest addition to our pack. My DH is his handler. He is trained in tracking/apprehension and will be later crosstrained for drugs.

We have 2 other dogs, both neutered males one GSD (a K9 washout) and our Lab. Kaper, the older GSD, is the alpha. We had a few issues between Hary and Chatham, but they were mostly on Chatham's end.

All three now get along well. Hary does live in a kennel, however, they do socialize frequently.
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