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Old 01-15-2010, 12:01 AM   #76 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by adhahn View Post
There are multiple functions for 'Police dogs', patrol, narcotics, explosives, search, cadaver and probably others.

Many dogs of various breeds can perform most of these functions EXCEPT patrol. Perhaps I should have clarified that it is in the area of patrol dogs that there are so few that can do the job.

A patrol dog needs to have the 'something special' that will allow it to carry through in a real fight with an enraged adult human male. This is no small feat.

For example, there is a break-in reported and the suspect may still be inside, but will not respond to instructions to make himself known. A decision is made to send a dog in. The dog needs to be able to enter a strange building, alone, searching but willing to fight. If the dog does find someone, maybe the bad guy is scared half to death and gives up, BUT he may be very willing to fight instead. If the suspect sprays the dog with pepper, clobbers it with a chair and kicks the dog halfway across the room, the dog needs to immediately leap back up with an attitude that says “cool--- let's rrrrruummmble!!!!!” and bring the fight right back to the suspect. A dog that goes into a bark and hold because it doesn't want to fight could end up seriously injured by the bad guy, or could allow him to escape. The dog cannot be mentally affected or 'ruined' by the experience or else it will have problems next time it's sent after a bad guy.

That is just one example, but the bottom line is that a patrol dog needs to have the courage, fight drive, heart, guts, or whatever you want to call it, in order to actually fight a human. Without that 'something special' what ever you want to call it, a dog will give up or back down in a real fight. That drive is not something that can be trained into them, they need to be born with it. We can train and build confidence, bite, control, etc,. But we cannot train the dog to have that 'something special'.

A dog that barks at the door, growls at the mailman, held a burglar at bay, or even one that looks awesome on the sleeve isn't necessarily going to fight when the bad guy is trying to win for real.

Police do their best to select dogs that have that fight drive. I will readily admit that I am not talented or experienced enough to select a patrol dog. The guys who are will tell you that they see very few Dobermans that can do the job. Hopefully this will change with more knowledge in the Doberman community and increased emphasis on working abilities, especially the sport of Schutzhund.

Yes, as eminart stated it's a matter of percentages. There needs to be more breeders who pursue working ability in their litters. As long as folks keep pretending that the Doberman is fine as-is and just as good as it ever was, all because it looks like the same dog in WWII pictures, the breed will remain damaged. Some breeders are trying. As workingk9s stated- time will tell.

Having OCD over balls or being hyperactive in general, can be typical of some working dogs, but it isn't a reliable indicator of fight drive. My personal opinion- and this is my unscientific opinion only- is that some of the OCD and hyperactivity comes from an over emphasis on prey drive when breeding.
Bold mine.

I agree with this whole post, but this part is, IMO, right on the money.

ETA: I think there is some distinction that should be made between a good working "sport" dog and a good "working" police dog. I would say Eva is a good "sport" dog. She got high scores in SchH, but do I think she would have made a police patrol dog? No, they are looking for two different things. Eva is (like I have said many times in the past) the BEST house dog I have ever had. Quiet, calm, doesn't worry about barking at the doorbell. Very easy to live with. She likes to watch TV. I don't think that mentality equals a dog that isn't a good working sport dog though.
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:23 AM   #77 (permalink)
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I never did find an answer on the RCMP website about where the dogs live, so I will just accept that you know what you are talking about.

My searching did revel that the RCMP does indeed have their own breeding program (they even sell dogs). But even with their own breeding program only 17% of dogs pass the selection process!

If the RCMP has 'locked in' on GSD's , then whether or not any other breed can do the job is pretty irrelevant to them.
It's a question that almost always came up at the demos, that's the only reason I know the answer.
They are quite picky in their selection process, they also import several dogs from eastern Europe I believe, to bring new blood and genes into their lines. I do believe that their own bred dogs numbers are rising in percentages, but still isn't obviously where they would like it to be. lol

Last summer, there were quite a few dogs that made it only the first week of training, there was even one that made it 3/4 of the way through training but was lacking something so the handler had to get a new dog and start from the beginning again. I'm actually quite impressed with their dogs, it would be great if I could just train with them one day, the things I could learn! lol It really is something to see. If you ever come to Alberta it's definitely something to check out.

The provincial, and municipal police services do use various breeds. Edmonton police service had a Rottweiler named Caesar. Cst. Randy Goss, his handler is my dad's second cousin. Caesar was killed in the line of duty about 10 years ago, I lived in the city at the time and remember going to his kennels to pay our respects. That's where my love for Police K9's come from. I wanted to name Quinn Caesar but it just didn't seem to fit him. But still holding the name for the future.

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Old 01-15-2010, 01:37 AM   #78 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by workingk9s View Post
Bold mine.

I agree with this whole post, but this part is, IMO, right on the money.

ETA: I think there is some distinction that should be made between a good working "sport" dog and a good "working" police dog. I would say Eva is a good "sport" dog. She got high scores in SchH, but do I think she would have made a police patrol dog? No, they are looking for two different things. Eva is (like I have said many times in the past) the BEST house dog I have ever had. Quiet, calm, doesn't worry about barking at the doorbell. Very easy to live with. She likes to watch TV. I don't think that mentality equals a dog that isn't a good working sport dog though.
The sport of Schutzhund is very important to the breed. It is crucial to identifying the drives and temperaments needed for a working dog. Schutzhund is needed as a means to select what dogs to use for breeding.

Police patrol work and Schutzhund are not the same, but, a dog that doesn't have the drive and temperament to at least be capable of earning a ScH title, isn't going to become a patrol dog. A dog that has in it's DNA somewhere the potential for human aggression, but cannot pass a test of mental stability, is a liability to the breed.

Schutzhund has it's downside, like the overemphasis of prey drive. However, it is a long established test for evaluating dogs. In a perfect world, only Dobermans that can pass the test would be bred. Eventually the gene pool created by breeding only those dogs would produce many stable, well rounded dogs, and also some dogs capable of patrol.

Plus, getting out and training with a dog is fun!
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:42 AM   #79 (permalink)
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*edited* If you ever come to Alberta it's definitely something to check out.
*edited*

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Interesting info, thanks! I've been through Alberta a couple times, if I ever go back I'll try to check it out.
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Old 01-15-2010, 04:20 AM   #80 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by von Cosack Dobermann View Post
Chatty the expression "think its way out" is not correct in my experience. A well trained Dobermann who has what it takes to fight to the end doesn't look to duck out. Most owners are very young and have no idea of what the breed once was. Most here on the forum couldn't and wouldn't own a dog from the past, they were 24/7 dogs. You are correct however when it comes to stress the dogs of today lack the drives to fight to the end. Most people don't need or want this type of dog but the ones who do must look else where (working lines) and even then when REAL pressure is applied many would fail. Is it their intelligence that disrupts their desire or just lack of nerve? Von.
Von, can you please elaborate what you mean by that? Thanks.
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Old 01-16-2010, 02:12 PM   #81 (permalink)
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Von, can you please elaborate what you mean by that? Thanks.
Von hasn't responded, so I'll take a stab at it. If this isn't what von was referring to then he can correct me.

In my post about patrol dogs and fight drive, I did not point out what should be obvious- today's police dog MUST have all the qualities of a “sport” working dog and family pet PLUS the fight drive. In simplistic terms they have to have an on/off switch for that fight drive.

In times gone by (and probably somewhere in the world today) some dogs were bred and selected for only their fight drive, or desire to 'rule the world' so to speak, with little concern for their overall temperament. Those types of dogs were used for example to “guard” places. They were put out into the area at night or when nobody was supposed to be around and Kenneled the rest of the time. Because overall temperament was not a concern, some of these dogs did not have much, if any, of an off switch. Those dogs were not pets and would generally be unacceptable in today's society.

A 1960's 'guard dog' is very different from today's working sport dog or patrol dog.

If that isn't want von was talking about then hopefully he will clarify.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:57 AM   #82 (permalink)
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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?
Great thread Rexamus! Well the working character and ability HAVE been bred out of the ever popular German Shepherds and that is why if not all Service GSDs in America are of European working bloodlines. Hope the show dog fraternity will wake up and take pity on the working dog breeds they have ruined over the years!

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Old 02-14-2010, 08:08 AM   #83 (permalink)
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Because they have had the courage and nerve bred right out of them.
Thank you for the truth! The only beautiful dobermann is the working dobermann.
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:29 AM   #84 (permalink)
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Nerve is also totally genetic. Nerves, are well, nerves and we all have them. Some dogs literally have thicker nerve sheathing than others, hence the term "thin nerves". The thickness of the actual nerve fiber will affect a lot of things, like pain thresholds, temperament, etc.
If Aldoosi still doubts that nerves and courage are genetic just point him to the good old APBT!
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:48 AM   #85 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by von Cosack Dobermann View Post
Chatty the expression "think its way out" is not correct in my experience. A well trained Dobermann who has what it takes to fight to the end doesn't look to duck out. Most owners are very young and have no idea of what the breed once was. Most here on the forum couldn't and wouldn't own a dog from the past, they were 24/7 dogs. You are correct however when it comes to stress the dogs of today lack the drives to fight to the end. Most people don't need or want this type of dog but the ones who do must look else where (working lines) and even then when REAL pressure is applied many would fail. Is it their intelligence that disrupts their desire or just lack of nerve? Von.
You have raised a topic that I've always wanted to ask but couldn't find any solid answers anywhere. Would a working dobermann give its life to protect its owner?? I've read about other dog breeds that would willingly lay down their life protecting their master or property (example: the caucasian ovcharka or the argentinian dogo). I know that most people would not need a dog like that but in my opinion it is good to know that a truely loyal protection dog like you said would not try to find a way out of a confrontation and would rather die than quit. Are there any dobermann bloodlines today that have been bred for this quality it is in my opinion the top priority in breeding a personal protection dog a dog with dead game and solid to the end for its master.

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Old 02-14-2010, 08:54 AM   #86 (permalink)
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[quote=adhahn;608633]i see this subject come up time and time again in various venues. For the most part i tend to stay out of the discussion because people are very emotional about their chosen breed (whatever breed that may be) and especially about their individual dogs.

Right now i have a renewed interest in the doberman breed, so i’m going to wade into this and put out some facts, in hopes that at least a few people begin to understand. I’m doing this in the spirit of benefiting the doberman breed.

My brother and i have had a lifetime interest in dogs. He became a police dog handler about 15 years ago and has been involved in training and selection of police dogs since. I’ve been in le for almost 20 years and became interested in personal protection dogs over 12 years ago. What i have to say here is based on our education and experience, (more so his than mine). So please, please, if you care about this breed pay attention!


YES great post! if you ever wrote a book on the breed, please let me know.

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Old 02-14-2010, 01:29 PM   #87 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by workingk9s View Post
Bold mine.

I agree with this whole post, but this part is, IMO, right on the money.

ETA: I think there is some distinction that should be made between a good working "sport" dog and a good "working" police dog. I would say Eva is a good "sport" dog. She got high scores in SchH, but do I think she would have made a police patrol dog? No, they are looking for two different things. Eva is (like I have said many times in the past) the BEST house dog I have ever had. Quiet, calm, doesn't worry about barking at the doorbell. Very easy to live with. She likes to watch TV. I don't think that mentality equals a dog that isn't a good working sport dog though.
I am curious what you mean that "No, they are looking for two different things". A good Schutzhund judge will be judging the drives of the dog and will NOT be looking for something different than a person in charge of choosing a good patrol dog. Except the Schutzhund judge will also need to see a great deal of control far beyond what a patrol dog would need.

Even many Schutzhund judges are probably not overly capable of really being able to read dogs at this level. Certainly many if not most spectators are not in tune enough to evaluate the drives of a dog during a protection phase. Evidenced by, Lance Collins getting booed during some of the judging at the WUSV world championships in October. Dogs that were technically correct but robotic or working in the wrong drives were given SG and not V scores, and many people did not like this very much.

With Gunther Diegel and Jurgen Ritzi at the top level of the SV judging program maybe this level of understanding will improve.

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Old 02-14-2010, 01:49 PM   #88 (permalink)
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I have enjoyed reading this thread. I have not been on the forum a whole lot lately and missed this thread. I agree that there are very few great examples of Dobermanns that are capable of working at a high enough level to be considered for police work.

Until working ability is considered THE top priority after health by more breeders this will never change. Until many more Doberman people make the effort to really educate themselves what working temperament REALLY looks like this will not change. Until "working" Dobermann people, who actually do work their dogs start to place a higher value on top working ability over beauty this will not change. Until training programs and handlers demand more out of their dogs and themselves this will not change.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:53 PM   #89 (permalink)
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Reasons I've heard when I posed this question to a police dog handler and a trainer for Navy Seal dogs:

Malinois preferred because they are smaller and easier to lift into windows when need arises.

Dobes sometimes have heart issues. (I'm sure GSD also have health issues.)

--- and from a general trainer:

GSD bites are straight edge, Dobes more often issue a ragged bite (thus costing police departments more).

NOT at all sure if these are true/accurate at all, I'm just relaying what I've been told when I asked this question. I am skeptical in particular about the "jagged" nature of the Dobe bite.

Our SCH trainer said he thought that conformation breeding had led some American Dobes to not have the prey drive they used to have. Not sure how true that one is either, but my dog that is half Euro (from the Gem Givveon - sp? - line) does have much more prey drive than my "all American" male.

Just sharing what I've heard, I can not verify which of these is actually true (if any).
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