Raising Police Working Pup - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2018, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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Raising Police Working Pup

I have a 12 week old gsd with working bloodlines that is being raised to become my department's dual purpose narcotics detection and patrol dog. I've had her since 8 weeks old, and we have done some bite work but now that she's teething I am looking for other ways to further her training until she's done teething. We work OB every day, a few short sessions a day, and we've been working her recall and basic commands. What else can I be doing with her at this time? I'd love to hear from anyone who has raised a pup specifically to be a police K9, but any imput is extremely appreciated!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2018, 08:24 AM
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scent work???? if she was going to do IPO, this is the time to imprint scent work....someone who is more familar with detection could help with specifics....I know a pup from my O litter (now 10 mo) was being imprinted every early and should be able to test at a year I was told...high hunt drive is imperative....I know Isabell started with food hides in boxes and tubes....hopefully you have access to someone to start this process with a plan!

Good luck! and where are our photos????? We LOVE photos here!


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2018, 08:33 AM
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Welcome to the forum and thank you for your service.

For her age I would recommend: bonding, socialization, pack leadership, crate training, confidence building such as object desensitization and noise desensitization as an overall early training program.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2018, 10:42 AM
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When it comes to socialization, that does not mean she is to meet and greet and accept treats from strangers. I call socialization "exposing my dog to the real world" - going out and about, and getting comfortable with everything! Traffic, elevator rides, walking on grates, climbing on things, watching construction equipment, being exposed to horses and farm animals, exploring dark spooky places (make it fun!), crossing foot-path bridges, hanging out at the car lot, etc, etc, etc. I took my dog (IPO prospect), to the hockey arena and we watched the hockey game, to the ski hills and watched the skiers and snow-boarders, to the skateboard park, horse arena, farmer's market, etc. Use your imagination. We do group walks with our training club to teach young dogs to walk in a group of people and other dogs and to ignore them, and so on. I work in a hangar, my dog sees low-flying helicopters and helicopters running up on the ground up close on a daily basis - doesn't even bat an eye-lash. The more stuff you can think of, the better. Your puppy should be taught to just accept all of this as normal.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2018, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome suggestions, I really appreciate it! I wasn't sure how early I could start imprinting with scent work. Any suggestions on how to get started with it? I have a retired K9 handler and trainer who is going to help me, but right now he is out of state competing with his dog. And absolutely, pics to follow!
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2018, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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@ARAthorn she is crate trained (first few weeks were absolute ****, but we made it), and I do a few short sessions daily of training, whether it's basic obedience or just playing fetch with her. I've made it a point to take her out as many places as I can to expose her to new environments, and overall she's becoming a very confident pup! She still barks when she's excited, like when kids are running by, but I guess I don't want to stop that drive in her since the bark and hold will be a big part of her protection work.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2018, 09:31 PM
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Take him out to the woods and do some runaways with him to get tracking started. Have someone hold him, tease him for a short time then run away, calling out his name. Make a slight turn and just before leaving his sight call out his name one last time. Wait a short time then turn him loose and let him search to find you. Once he locates you, lavish lots of verbal, physical praise on him. repeat a few more times.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2018, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by erady09 View Post
@ARAthorn she is crate trained (first few weeks were absolute ****, but we made it), and I do a few short sessions daily of training, whether it's basic obedience or just playing fetch with her. I've made it a point to take her out as many places as I can to expose her to new environments, and overall she's becoming a very confident pup! She still barks when she's excited, like when kids are running by, but I guess I don't want to stop that drive in her since the bark and hold will be a big part of her protection work.


Crate training is brutal.

We stopped at about 9.5/10 months. We still have the bedroom blocked, but other than occasionally waking us up he's been fine - he's just over a year old now.

He will still go and sleep in his crate from time to time
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2018, 11:38 PM
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I've raised a couple of dogs from 7 week old pups to Patrol or Narcotics dogs. My retired Dual Purpose Patrol / Narcotics and SWAT dog was raised from a 7 week old pup. He is 12 years old now and retired. I raised my female GSD from a pup and imprinted her on narcotics at 12 weeks. She is a certified narcotics K-9 now. I trained her from 3 months to 5 months with imprinting, stopped for a year and certified her with 10 sessions of dope training. She is an awesome detection dog.

It is hard to say that a female GSD will be a good Patrol dog. Tracking and detection work, most definitely. Apprehension work, well that remains to be seen. It is too soon to tell if she will have the ability to engage a seriously determined bad guy for real.

The female that I raised has a world class working line pedigree, a really super pedigree. She is now 3 years old and would be an excellent IPO dog. She will bite a suit and fight but I doubt she would engage a man the way I want a felon engaged. The male that I raised and used as my Patrol dog also had an excellent pedigree, but he is a serious dog and while excelling at sport work he also excelled at street work. The dog had over 100 apprehensions and his share of street bites. I knew the lines and the sire and dam when I chose him. It was no mistake, but females from his litter did not have the same aggression, drive or willingness to bite a suspect with little provocation.

I'm happy to help you in any way that I can.

Get your pup tracking and working on detection work. Here is my female doing a hard surface track at 14 weeks:


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2018, 11:51 PM
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I love watching her use her nose like that, when it would be so easy to look ahead. Really nice.
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