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post #1 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Why aren't Dobermans used in law enforecement?

Just out of curiousity...I'm wondering why Doberman's aren't used more in law enforcement work.

Is it because they don't have a strong enough bite?

Is it because they were bred more for guard than search & rescue?

Is it because they don't have the stamina?

I know Dobermans are extremely intelligent and I'm not just speaking from my own experience with Titan but the news recently reported Dobermans made the top 5 in the smartest breeds in the world.

So why aren't they used to serve and protect the public as much?
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post #2 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 09:55 PM
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I've heard part of the reason is that they don't tolerate hot and cold temperatures well.
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post #3 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by melbrod View Post
I've heard part of the reason is that they don't tolerate hot and cold temperatures well.
My friend's dad was a dog trainer or handler, or something with dogs in the army. He said that they used some dobes, but that they didn't tolerate temp extremes as well as GSDs. He has always said he thought GSDs were easier to train.

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post #4 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 10:00 PM
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I've heard from a lot of people that getting a good working Dobe is just too expensive. They can get a GSD or Mal that will work just as well for less $$. It makes sense, I suppose. It does seem like good working Dobes are more expensive than working GSDs or Malinois, at least from the litters I've seen.
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post #5 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 10:20 PM
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Because they have had the courage and nerve bred right out of them.


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post #6 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Incredibledobe View Post
Because they have had the courage and nerve bred right out of them.
That seems strange to me since German Shepards are one of the most popular breeds in America and have been for many years. I would think the nerve and courage would have been bred out of those "more in demand dogs" than the doberman that never seems to make the list.

I'm not a breeder but I've heard health and temperment are compromised when there is a higher demand for a specific breed. Is this not so?
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post #7 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 10:52 PM
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"courage and nerve bred right out of them." I don't know how you came to that conclusion, but courage and nerve has nothing to do with DNA or genetics.
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post #8 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 11:02 PM
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Very good question. I will read upon this thread

I am wanting to transfer into K9 Unit in the RCMP after I start or w/e lol, and will want to have a Dobie if they allow me -.- lol

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post #9 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 11:03 PM
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oooh I don't think thats true at all. Courage and nerve definitely DO have something to do with genetics, unfortunately.

Ideally, we would be able to breed and dog that could suit its situation perfectly by upbringing alone, unfortunately, that is not the case.

This is why you will see what is referred to as "working" lines vs "show" lines, or some lines being referred to as "sharper" or "more solidly nerved"

Its extremely genetic. ( not that I might my suck ball doberman)

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post #10 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 11:14 PM
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I think part of it is just basic preferance of the police dog trainers. While GSD's were popular for a while (and still are) malinois are becoming more and more popular. In some european countries airedale terriers have been used and probably many other breeds that aren't even considered in North America.
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post #11 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rexamus View Post
That seems strange to me since German Shepards are one of the most popular breeds in America and have been for many years. I would think the nerve and courage would have been bred out of those "more in demand dogs" than the doberman that never seems to make the list.

I'm not a breeder but I've heard health and temperment are compromised when there is a higher demand for a specific breed. Is this not so?
Health and temperament seem to be compromised not by higher demand, but by the greater use of the dog. GSD's are and always have been used more for sport and work for many years due to a variety of factors. The Dobes that were here originally were way to sharp for many people and got a rep in the 70's for being the "bad" dog, hence the supposed need to breed temperament down a bit.
This is not really the best explanation I can give you, but I've 4 shows this weekend and just bathed 5 dogs and still need to groom 2, so it will have to wait. Maybe someone else will chime in too.


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post #12 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alDOOsi View Post
"courage and nerve bred right out of them." I don't know how you came to that conclusion, but courage and nerve has nothing to do with DNA or genetics.
Then you need to do a little more research - courage and nerve are absolutely genetic traits - totally so.


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post #13 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caitrei View Post
I think part of it is just basic preferance of the police dog trainers. While GSD's were popular for a while (and still are) malinois are becoming more and more popular. In some european countries airedale terriers have been used and probably many other breeds that aren't even considered in North America.
Police handlers and trainers do not think highly of dobes. I speak from the view of someone who has been involved with these fields for the last 20 years or so. My husband is a police dog trainer and I have had 2 dobes now certified in police work - both patrol and narcotics.
The dobes they can get that have genetic courage, nerve, and are not body sensitive (having to do with nerve) are few and far between. Many like the look and idea of the Dobe, but few would take the chance on the dog actually working for them.
I absolutely love this breed and believe fully in their capabilities as a working dog, but I am also fully aware that we really improve our working ability. I also think that by doing this, we would improve temperament overall and have a much more stable dog even for pets.


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post #14 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 12:49 AM
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We've discussed some differences between German shepherds and Dobermans before when it comes to training. Especially how Dobermans don't enjoy drilling exercises, doing the same thing over and over. GSDs don't seem to have that problem and will do the same routines over and over. In that respect, maybe GSDs are a little easier for trainers. Some of the canine officers are novices themselves, learning alongside their dogs. I've known 2 canine officers in that situation. The dogs are literally better than they are, and they're along for the ride!

I personally feel that another Doberman trait is that they don't tend to be blindly obedient. If you were trying to send them into a burning building, they'd say "uh, why?" A GSD would probably just go. You see Dobermans being intelligent like that at obedience competitions sneaking off into the shade on long sits and downs, for eg. Not that you never see other breeds thinking for themselves, too. Just saying.

Another reason often given for the lack of Dobermans in police enforcement is their loyalty to one person. They may not transfer well to another trainer/handler if need be. While I've seen that as a reason (excuse?), not sure I really buy that one personally. We see too many rescue Dobermans adjusting very well to new families and people to make that reason seem very logical.

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post #15 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 01:19 AM
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Quote:
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We've discussed some differences between German shepherds and Dobermans before when it comes to training. Especially how Dobermans don't enjoy drilling exercises, doing the same thing over and over. GSDs don't seem to have that problem and will do the same routines over and over. .
That is so true with drilling exercises over and over. I see that in training all the time. Routine has to be fresh and different.
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post #16 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 02:17 AM
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I asked a top police dog and security dog trainer about this once. He said he'd done trials of Dobes, at the request of the police, some years ago. One thing he cited was that Dobes were less reliable in responding to commands in stress situations than were GSDs. It might only be a small difference but to a cop on the frontline, it could be hugely consequential.

Also, although Dobes are imposing looking dogs and of approximately equal weight to GSDs, GSDs tend to look more bulky and solid by virtue of having heavier coats and a more compact build, which adds to the deterrent factor.

Related to this - I recall watching a documentary about making your home burglar-proof. The programme asked various career housebreakers what would put them off breaking into a particular house, including the value of dogs as deterrents. The burglars said that they'd avoid a house with a GSD in but that other breeds - including supposedly "scary" ones like Rotts - weren't a deterrent. The only breed they thought likely to cause them problems was the GSD.
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post #17 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 02:45 AM
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I once asked this question to a police dog trainer and the response i got was more or less what MaryAndDobes & Crow wrote above...they are just too smart to be a police dog...dobes (under stress) are not blindly obidient to their handlers like GSD's.This is to do with the fact that a handler and an owner means two different things to a dobe...being a one man dog makes it almost impossible to bond to another handler if needed to change, as it might be required in the force.
In law enforcement they need dogs that would NOT question orders..
For example if you order a GSD to jump through a window, he most probably would not hesitate, but a dobe would like to know what's on the other side of the window before he takes the leap..

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post #18 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 02:51 AM
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When I used to work in a training school for protector and serving dogs we would have about 35 GSD and then only 5 Dobe's to train. The GSD would be much easier to train and take alot less time.. when training them you could say jump and they would say how high?
Dobe's on the other hand would seem to assess the situation abit more. They were not as easy to train and took longer because of this.
The Dobe's would be sold at a high price and the GSD at a fraction.
My best friend's father is a dog handler with the police and their GSD has a purpose build kennel from the police for the dog to live in the garden away from the family. As we all know Dobe's do not do well outside. In the training school they had to have purpose build kennels made for the Dobes completely different from the GSD kennels with more padding and heating.
So I think it comes down to money maybe..


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post #19 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 03:20 AM
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I think one of the reasons is that most L.E. handlers/trainers have some military background or they've been trained by someone that has. Ever since Chesty Puller recommended that Dobermans not be used in combat, because they "broke and turned on their handlers", the use of Dobermans has gone down. This kind of misinformation, especially coming from someone of such legendary status as Chesty, has left a stigma that is hard to overcome.

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post #20 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 06:01 AM
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This is straight out of the mouth of a handler at Toronto International airport. He was also on the Canine Unit for Waterloo Regional Police in Kitchener/Waterloo Ontario for 20 years. First the weather is a problem and second the public image of Dobes & Rotti's. Third GSD's are easier to get. In fact at the airport they are looking at getting more Labs for the work they need done. Over the years I've been told exactly the same thing by the Revenue Canada/Customs handlers that came to buy Labs.
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post #21 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
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Ever since Chesty Puller recommended that Dobermans not be used in combat, because they "broke and turned on their handlers", the use of Dobermans has gone down. This kind of misinformation, especially coming from someone of such legendary status as Chesty, has left a stigma that is hard to overcome.
Huh????? Sounds like a wives tale or urban legned to me.


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post #22 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 06:28 AM
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I grew up in chicago and on the street behind my house was 2 black chicago police dobes - as a kid those dogs scared the sh** out of me! I thought they were sooooo mean! Also on the other street were some factories and one had 2 dobes (I think summer only) as guard dogs - those dogs also looked mean! My vet was in the army and she said she trained dobes but they would loose one almost every week to bloat?

any way now I have the sweetest dobe and I think back and laugh that I was soooo afraid of those dogs!
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post #23 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by melbrod View Post
I've heard part of the reason is that they don't tolerate hot and cold temperatures well.
I'm not sure of that reason..Dobes are used as avalanche rescue dogs in Colorado and California.









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post #24 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 10:31 AM
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You guys can't be serious to believe that courage and nerve is implemented into our DNA? Well, i might give you nerves since it is associated with temperament, but courage is too much of a man made idea. I highly doubt there are genetic instructions for courage.

I think you guys are just misunderstanding high drives in a dog with the idea of courage.
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post #25 of 92 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 10:49 AM
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Perhaps, courage was too anthropomorphistic (sp? grmr?) word. But, standard does say a Doberman should display fearlessess. Fealessness IS good temperment.

On this one I have to agree with Incredible. IT is a genetic trait.

If dam/sire have shotty temperment, more than likely the pups will too.

Just like if a human parent has mental health issues and bad temperment, there is a larger possibility the children will too.

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