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Lots of dogs are shipped, They have to be removed from the crate on the other end, usually by a stranger. I brought Odessa out of the crate after her trip from Germany. She was 3.5 years old and Schutzhund titled, but certainly not a k9. I know lots of k9s are purchased as young green dogs or already trained, so is there a problem with getting them out of the crates safely?
The dog was at the agency..no shipping required. Any half ass handler should have no issue dealing with a crated dog.

Anyways ditto on the xMals, low cost, generally good health, very good nerves, high prey = good police dogs.
Suttle has some nice vids out there of the type of dogs he uses.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnFZSYndHSo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cftn_C54ULc
 

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I study K9s when I see them and notice what you are saying. The dogs tend to be over the top in behavior and not the social K9s I remember from community events when I was younger. I notice it on this board, where the first thing people say they want is a high drive dog for IPO. In reality how many owners end up titling dogs in IPO? I've seen posts here from owners saying the "IPO" dogs are reactive or out of control. Really? Isn't stability a sign of a good IPO prospect?

We just purchased a working line dog from a line of IPO dogs, that is not high drive and is very sociable, our breeder sells the drivey dogs as K9 prospects and the rest as pets, but breeds for temperament, stability and structure. We got a WL not because we are going to pursue IPO, which I think is a trendy fad, but because they were the most stable dogs we found in our search.
 

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In the K9 circles I see, a few trends are becoming popular.

1) All people are looking for is over the top drive. Mostly civil and IMO unstable dogs.
The problem I see is that it's sometimes the wrong drives for the type of work that's going to be done, that are "over the top."

2) People are rewarding hectic behaviors and thinking they are great over the top drives. In return getting a less clear headed dog.

3) Crappy nerve getting brushed under the rug because "the dog has over the top drives that will carry him through." Dogs never getting truly tested out of an extreme state of drive.
If the wrong drive is primary, it won't "carry him through." Instead it will cause problems in the training that many trainers can't handle.

Number three is the most concerning to me. Handlers with dogs who are displaying fear aggressive behaviors are getting told this is good because the dog is civil and would make a great "police dog" even though it gets washed from sport.
I've been around for awhile and have travelled a bit. I don't see "fear aggressive behaviors" very often. I do often see over−the−top prey drive that few trainers can successfully work with.

In some cases, it seems that the most important part of the dog is who it came from.
I have seen vendors and trainers who think this way.

Not the dog itself. It just seems that all handlers are looking for is over the top drive and a dog that doesn't think and will bite anything. What happens if the dog falls out of drive? These are peoples' lives we're talking about. How is this acceptable?
Handlers are usually not a good choice to select dogs. They have relatively limited experience in working dogs and many have never selected a dog. A handler often knows only enough to work his own dog. But sometimes, when it comes time to get a new dog for an agency, they turn to the senior handler to make the selection. It's a case of the near−sighted, leading the blind.

I would love the input of those who have been around much longer than me and have seen the various trends over the years. What do you see in your areas? Where do you think this is headed? Have you noticed the breed of dog having an affect on the "type" of dog PD's are looking for? For example, the introdiction of more and more mals/dutchies making people now want higher drives and less social, stable dogs?
Mals were introduced to the US as largely giving a financial advantage to the vendors who sold them in place of the GSDs that they used to import. As the use of K−9's soared in the 1980's in the US, the most popular breed was the GSD. As the demand increased, so did the price. But then a major importer of LE K−9's in the US lost an opportunity to purchase a large number of GSDs from Germany, the primary source for them at that time, because there was a whispering campaign, that he'd reneged on paying some bills and no one would sell him any dogs. He went to some nearby countries and found a funny little brown dog that was competing in a sport with some of the same characteristics as SchH. They were available and they were relatively cheap, costing him thousands of dollars less than the GSDs, and so the Malinois came to US shores to be sold to LE agencies. He sold them at the same prices as the GSDs, making him tremendous profits for doing the same thing.

But there was a problem. Those dogs had pronounced levels of many of their drives, much higher than those of the average GSD, and that caused many issues with the training. Many trainers tried to use the same methods that they'd been using for decades on GSDs only to discover that many of these dogs folded under the pressure and many of them put their handlers in the hospital, in protest.

Mals are great dogs but they require a much different method of training and handling, than a GSD, if one is to capitalize on them to the fullest extent.
 

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I am just a GSD pet owner but have been around a while. I've always had GSD's but never read or participated in a GSD site. It FLOORS me how "specialized" this breed has become through demand.
As special needs arise, many breeders who want to sell dogs to those engaged in those venues will breed dogs who do better in them.
 

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I don't really worry a whole lot about the trends. There are people out there breeding for nice balance for any sort of work and this is where you go when you want a dog. It is as simple as that
If you're doing highly specialized work, dontcha think that a dog that's been specifically bred and selected for that work will do better than a dog with "a nice balance for any sort of work?"
 

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I understand this. The problem is these dogs ARE getting placed and working on the streets. Yes there are people trying to do it right, but in this world, it's more about who you know than the product you produce. This has just been my experience. I'm also not talking about only GSD's. I'm talking about K9's in general of all breeds and mix of breeds.
This has always been a factor, no matter what is being discussed. For LE work, I've always thought that the ONLY thing that mattered what the end product, the quality of the dog when he hit the street. I don't care where a dog came from, who the vendor was or what his breeding was.

I will also add, that I believe these very trends are what drive breeding decisions. Show, sport, work, pet. All driven by trends IMO.
I agree. And I think that usually, those trends are driven by money. Look at what happened to the breeding of the GSD in Germany when the thrust of the SV turned from working dogs to show dogs. Fight drive was bred away for prey drive because it produces a much better looking competition dog. SchH went from being a breed survey to being a sport. Finish second at the Nationals and your puppies sell for half of what the top finishers' puppies sell for.
 

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Where do you get this from?

The trend I see in PD's is the trend of moving away from GSD's for Police and Military work and going to Malinois and Dutch Shepherds.
As SchH moves more into the show dog lines they are less suited for LE work in the US. Hence the move to the Mals and Dutchys.

You talk about over the top drive and that is relative based on experience. What I may consider a medium drive dog some would consider high drive or "over the top."
This is largely based on experience. I've had pet owners with their first GSD tell me that their dog is "ball crazy" when in fact, he's got only moderate drive for a ball. If someone has never seen "over−the−top" they can't speak to it.

When it comes to Patrol Dogs, especially dual purpose dogs, Lassie would be a poor Police dog. I can say from my experience of testing hundreds of dogs for potential LE prospects, selecting dogs for my K-9 unit and others, GSD's are not the dog of choice anymore. I love GSD's and I am a GSD guy, but it is really hard to find GSD's with the drive, nerve, strength and aggression that we need.
When the main country supplying these dogs shifts its emphasis on what they're breeding for, that's gonna be a natural result.

Drive and civil aggression are two traits that are needed for a Patrol Dog. Along with solid nerves, strong temperament and social enough to work around several other cops in a building search. The dog does not have to be super social, just social enough to not bite the guy next to him. Belgian Malinois and DS are different dogs and need to be worked differently, more reactive and can be quicker to bite. We have several BM's and DS's and they are clear headed and driven, stay on task and do a really good job. Please do not confuse higher drive with a dog being less social and less stable. My GSD is very high drive, mali drive, not social at all but very stable. He is now 10 and still working his ass off, but I would have a real hard time finding a GSD like him for my next partner. That is why I decided my next dog would be a DS or Mali X.
I don't care what breed of dog is used for LE as long as he has the right level and balance of drives for the work. HERE'S A LINK to a selection test that I wrote a few years back, that I use for this purpose. Using this test, I've never had to wash out a dog and never had one fail to perform on the street.
 

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I'm getting this from what I'm actually seeing with my own two eyes. At these trials and training events. I'm not saying the dogs need to be Lassi or jump in the lap of everyone they see and give kisses. I do feel they should be stable enough to walk through a crowded place and not just go off on anyone.
I’m seeing this more and more as well. But many handlers think that a dog that will fire up on someone for just standing in front of him shows that he's a "good tough dog." They are not interested in the reality that this severely limits what they can do with their dog.

It seems that now days the dogs are just in the vehicle unless deployed. No foot patrolling in Street meets, squares, bizzars, or whatever else you want to call them.
If you've got 'that dog' you simply can't do such things. I teach that a LE K−9 should be on leash during two periods, when he's in training, and during crowd control. The rest of the time he should be worked off−leash. Of course there may be special situations when a leash would be used, but they're rare. When I was a handler, I did daily, off−leash walk−throughs of a very busy mall. The handlers that I trained could also do this. But if you've got a dog that won't allow it, because he's lunging at every third person he sees, due to liability concerns, you can't. Watch just about any of the reality TV shows like COPS, and you see dogs literally dragging their handlers around by the leash. Many of them are conducting area and building searches on leash, because they can't control or direct their dogs. It's rare that you see a dog working off leash, especially when confronting a suspect. The handlers just don't have the control that's necessary to safely work their dogs.
 

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Not a police officer, but train with K9 officers. I see lots of GSD's out there, 4 out of the 6 I train with in Oregon are GSD. There are some really stellar GSD teams in Portland that most patrol guys "hope are on" if they need to call a k9. And I also know several agencies that tried mal's and then decided they weren't doing mal's anymore for some of the reason's Jeremy listed.
I don't think this is a breed issue. I think it's a matter of proper selection and proper training.

There are still vendors and breeders in the US that will give you the kill kill kill dog and agencies that just want a biting machine,
I don't think you'll have any difficulty in finding handlers who want such dogs. But if you ask the admins, they'll have a quite different opinion. Dogs should behave appropriately for the situation they're in.

but the people I train with put social-ness as the first "test" when getting a dog and then make sure it can "kill kill kill" when turned on (and those dogs are on the streets, with lots of finds and bites and also competing very very well in LE trials).
I'm not a fan of LE K−9's competing in trials. I've seen dogs that excel in such competition who did not work on the streets. I know of one such dog, a repeat gold medal winner who admitted, when asking another agency's handler to do a search that was in his jurisdiction, that his dog "did not do real searches."

If a handlers dog is 100% on his street work, and wants to compete it's acceptable. But if the dog is not 100%, and few are, I think it's a bad idea.

They also have to consider the handler. Not many first time handlers can handle an out of control or extremely high drive mali, let alone a dog that will re-direct or come up the leash.
I've often said that I'd not put a new handler with such a dog. It's hard enough learning to work a GSD.

Some of the dogs (both gsds, mals, and crosses) we tested for police work crapped out on the environmental nerve test, but you know what? Another US agency was waiting in the wings to buy the same dog we failed for our program....different strokes. The US is so huge with so many agencies that it's so anecdotal what is "seen" and "known."
I don't think that it's just a matter of "different strokes." I think that some agencies and some handlers are seriously deficient in knowing what a LE K−9 should be. I've seen a huge movement away from being able to verbally out the dog from a distance, to "taking the dog off strong" aka "lifting the dog off the bite." Many handlers and vendors think that this displays a "tough dog" and is desirable. I know that it shows a lack of talent and skill in training and that it needlessly exposes the handler to grave danger. But since many are simply not capable of training it without adversely affecting the rest of the dog's work, notably his bite, they're making the excuse that a verbal out is not necessary, even though most courts require it, stating that the dog must be under the handler's control at all times.

A verbal out is not just for those times that a dog is biting a crook. It's ALSO for the dreaded bad bite on an innocent person, a child, or another LEO. In the past several years there have been (when I was counting) seven cases of LEOs shooting LE K−9's that bit them and would not release the bite!

So I wonder, is it that the dogs are all crap, or is it that the expectations and standards are so vastly different across agencies and the experiences on such a huge spectrum, that what looks "normal" in one area is the exception in the other area?
I think that one of the main problems is the number of former handlers who worked a couple of K−9's, setting themselves up as trainers and vendors. They don't know that they don't know.

Jeremy, I don't think I have the experience you are looking for, but I can tell you from what I've seen...yes and no, it seems to depend on where you are looking. I saw people buying dogs from all over the world, US, Israel, UK, Palestine, Egypt, China...their tests and expectations were all over the place. Some wanted killer, some wanted a dog that wasn't strong enough to take a pinch correction because they needed to be able to teach an "out" using only verbal and a leash and flat collar,
Such standards drive me crazy, some would say that's a short trip. Selecting a dog so that he fits into some preconceived notion that such supposedly "kinder" methods can be used puts handlers at risk. Those dogs are probably not gonna stick around when some three−striker is fighting to the death so he doesn’t have to go back to the joint.

some wanted the dog that redirected and bit the tester, some wanted a dog that just wanted to eat the handler, some wanted balance...It seemed to be a matter of personal taste, honestly (and of course the standards set forth by their specific govt's and agencies). But every dog from what we considered "not-so-good" to "mediocre" to "stellar" found a job to do and was purchased.
Once my department selected a dog when I was on another assignment. He turned out to be a coward that would not even defend himself. Raise your voice or your hand, and he hit the other end of the leash at a dead run. We returned him to the vendor who resold him to another department, out−of−state. Our handler went to a group training and saw the dog with the new handler. The handler had been told by the vendor that he was 'too tough' for his first handler.

So while I tend to be sickened by the amount of crap GSD's we all see out there, my faith isn't lost, I see nice balanced dogs in agencies, in sport, and in homes. I think there are always breeders breeding what you want, whether that's balance, or more civil, etc...I personally like the balance and can't stand it when I hear people say it doesn't exist (not that anyone here said that), because I see it all the time. In malinois, in GSDs, in DS, I know some pretty awesome specimens that are kickin' it on the streets but can be walked through a mall and pet by children without a muzzle. Like I said....different strokes I guess.
I don't think this is just "different strokes." As I said, I think it's a serious deficiency in knowing what a LE K−9 should be. Not every agency will want such a dog, but the fact is the dog should be able to do this. You never know when it will happen and the dog should not take a child's face off for doing it.
 

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A Police K-9 absolutely needs to be stable enough to work in crowds, do foot patrols and even do demos for kids. With that said, the K-9 does not need to be so social that anyone can run up and pet it.
I could not disagree more. You never know when this will happen. Members of the public do such stupid things quite regularly. If your dog is so unstable, so sharp, so out−of−control, that he won't tolerate this, he and you are a liability. You're a bad bite, tons of bad publicity and a lawsuit waiting to happen.

I have done hundreds of demos with my dog and I always have to tell "little Johnny" that he can't pet the Police Dog.
I've done hundreds of these demos as well. I can still see my leash disappearing into a crowd of children, the dog completely invisible as they surrounded him, as they petted him. Having a dog that won't tolerate this, limits what you can do with him. I didn't want such limits. I used my dog when handlers from other agencies could not.

Heck, I was cursed out by one guy for not allowing him to pet my dog. My dog was calmly laying on a sidewalk at a hotel as I talked to another cop. This guy came up, complimented the dog, asked his name and then proceeded to try to pet the dog. My dog never budged, but does not like strangers touching him. I explained for liability reasons that we do not allow citizens to pet our dogs, that the dog bites and our Policy and Procedure doesn't allow it. I was told that "all dogs love me" and "that dog won't bite me!" Then I was told I should have better control of my dog ...
There's nothing wrong with telling people that "liability reasons" do not permit them to pet the dog. But he should be able to tolerate it. Some members of the public are idiots and will not listen. They'll move forward and try to pet your dog for reasons that you've stated. I also think it's a SERIOUS error for your P and P's to prohibit it. If a bad bite happens you've lost the lawsuit, even though you tried to stop it. FAR better for them to recommend against it than to prohibit it.

Dogs that can not be around people have limited value and use.
Didn't you just write this in another thread about your new dog, "He definitely is sharp and I can see how serious he is going to be in protection work and on the street. A dog that I will need to be extremely careful with around citizens and other Officers?"

Seems like a bit of a contradiction. Can you clarify please?


I take my dog out of the car on almost every call I go on. he wouldn't be much good if he needed to stay in the car. I also work my current dog on the SWAT team, which really requires a clear headed strong dog. No one wants a dog that will take operators on an op. I have sent my dog upstairs on a covert building clear, had him check rooms and downed him in the hallway to watch a room or downrange. I usually do this from the stair well or even down stairs. The team flows up into the rooms the rooms cleared by the dog. Guys have stepped on my dog going through a door way or down a hall and he doesn't react aggressively if at all.
It doesn't seem as if your new dog will allow these things. Why take on such liability?

I do not like Handler Aggressive dogs, I do not like fighting with dogs. Handler aggressive dogs do not run faster, bite harder, search better than any other dog. They are more of a PITA though. I see no advantage to HA dogs and when I test and select dogs I avoid those for out unit.
Yet you tell us in that other thread, "I was told the dog is "edgy," and has already bitten 3 handlers / trainers."

Yet another contradiction. I've taken on projects to check my skills as a trainer. But I never expected the department to pay me for such expeditions. They were done on my own time. Somehow it doesn't seem right for you to go against what you've written here with this new dog. Of course, you don't have to justify anything to me, but it seems that you've gone directly against what you've told us here. I'm wondering which version is the reality? Can you explain more please?

"Dogs biting partners," LOL it happens.
I've been bitten by my own dogs twice. Once when I was brand new and a 'trainer' told me to hang him.' I followed instructions, not knowing any better and got bitten on the hand for it. Another time was when I was rolling around on the ground with a crook and the dog mistook my leg for the crook's. I yelled, and the dog immediately let go of my leg and found "the correct leg."

I've been tagged once or twice on the street. Recently, at the end of a 45 minute two city pursuit at well over a 100 mph. My buddy latched onto my thigh and gave it a good squeeze. It was the other cops that I was worried about. He was pumped and wanted to bite some one


LE Dogs should always "want to bite someone." But they SHOULD NEVER bite their handlers, especially for such an absurd reason. But I do love the drama, "a 45 minute – two city pursuit at well over 100mph!" But the dog has no idea of any of it. He has no concept of time, doesn't care how many cities you drove through and has no concept of this speed. It has NOTHING to do with him biting you.

I'm also not saying that GSD's are not good Police K-9's they most certainly can be. But, IMHE it is getting harder and harder to find suitable GSD's that meet my standards.
I’m finding the same thing. But then I really don't care what breed a dog is. If he's got the right level and balance of drives, that's good enough for me. I've found that such a dog is socially stable and environmentally sound.
 

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The dog was at the agency..no shipping required. Any half ass handler should have no issue dealing with a crated dog.
Have you ever had to climb into the belly of an aircraft to retrieve a shipped dog that had broken out of his crate and has driven back the baggage handlers. It's a clue when they ask you to go out to the taxiway where the plane is parked, and get your dog, rather than just picking him up at the regular delivery location. When you get there, all the baggage handlers are sitting around reading or watching TV, awaiting your arrival. All of a sudden you realize that you're not the top of the food chain. Hot dogs are your best friend.

I've watched as dogs came out of crates looking for a someone to bite and sometimes succeeding. A trainer should be able to deal with this with minimum of fuss, but a "half assed handler" not so much.

Anyways ditto on the xMals, low cost, generally good health, very good nerves, high prey = good police dogs.
The emphasis placed on prey drive by many people has made it very hard for the average handler to control such dogs. Many trainers either resort to trick training, using toys or treats, to get the out, or try to force the dog to leave the bite with high pain levels from hard corrections or high levels of stim. The first can be highly detrimental to LE work and the second can get handlers bitten, affect other areas of the dog's work and with some dogs, just won't work. There's a local trainer here who has had an Ecollar manufacturer build "special" Ecollars for him that have higher−than−standard levels. At times he uses three of them on one strap. You can 'manufacture' defense drive in a dog, when it was not genetically present, with such methods, and create the kind of "hectic behavior" that is the topic of this thread.

Many handlers and trainers of LE K−9's are impressed by seeing such work. The problem is that it may show nothing but good conditioning. He never really hurts the dogs and even with a weak dog, if you have him succeed often enough, you can get this kind of performance. It can be nothing more than pattern training but there are no patterns in the street. It's not indicative of anything for the street. When I see a vendor demonstrating work like this for a LE agency, I know that he's got a background in sport work but not much grounding in LE K−9's.

Having a dog that refuses to release a bite when he's being injured, as a real crook would be doing, is a disadvantage. Like a real fighter, if the dog discovers that what he's doing is not stopping his opponent, he should change tactics. Here that means releasing the bite, and biting somewhere new, that will help him overcome the opponent, not just hanging on for dear life, HOPING that somehow what he's doing will work, when it's been proven that it's not.

Did you notice that in the second video the handler is unable to verbally out the dog? When he give the command the dog shows no sign of having heard it at all! He finally has to choke the dog off the bite. Not acceptable at all! We don't even see an attempt to out the first dog. I wonder, does he release at all? A dog that won't release is a liability, not a "good police dog."

A great bite without a verbal out is worse than worthless for a LEO K−9 handler. It could mean a lawsuit, a dead dog, or even a dead handler. Having to go up to the fight and take a dog off strong, places him in grave danger on many levels. He may be going past 'unsecured territory,' he's leaving cover and concealment, and putting himself within inches of a suspect that has not been searched and may not be fully controlled.

I've decoyed and then 'killed' hundreds of handlers who think they have a great dog because he has a bite similar to what's shown in these videos, but who also won't out. When they approach, it's a simply a matter of putting a blank gun in their face and showing them the danger. Placing so much emphasis on biting, and placing no emphasis on outing, is good marketing for handlers or trainers who really don't understand the problem. But it's NOT a demonstration of a "good police dog."
 

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Thanks for the response, Lou. Always enjoy reading your take on things. Trust me, we are on the same page with the "different strokes." My use of the term "different strokes" was a diplomatic, PC, kind, way of saying...."people that take dogs I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole." I didn't mean it in the "they like what they like and that's fine" more of a "they like what they like, and it's messed up." :)

Your story about the dog you took back to the vendor being sold to another department because "he was more than the first department could handle" doesn't surprise me in the least, unfortunately. I think it happens all the time...
 

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Excellent report Lou!

will get in on this discussion when time permits.

this is a very important discussion .

having bred and prepared and placed many LE dogs , and still involved I can see a shift to the busy adrenalized hectic dogs . I see this as a shift in dogs bred for such disposition .

The dog should be so stable that you don't have to give much thought about where and how the dog can be deployed -- crowds, interiors , hyper stimulating (2008 Republican Convention) , arenas, airports , schools . You can't have an inventory of dogs only able to work in select call outs.

The breed -- versatile and utilitarian.
 
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