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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi guys...
I want to know , why do not police and army use doberman anymore ?
What are the reasons ?
To be honest, I used to see more dobermans as police dogs when I was kid but now It is becoming so rare to see a doberman as a police dog ?
I love dobermans. They are so amazing but It seems police & army prefer german shepherd and belgian malinois over dobermans. What do german shepherd and belgian malinois have that dobermans lack ?
I have been told several times by several k9 handlers & other dog owners that dobermans are not multi-handlers... Some say, doberman do not have that solid nerve(quality of being calm and confident even in new ,strange & adverse situation) needed to work for police..but i do not believe it much.. I am keen to know, what are the real reasons ?
I request all people to please let me and others know.. What are the real reasons behind not working of dobermans in police and army anymore ?
Thanks.
 

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one of my best friends worked with a K-9 for years... and I asked him this question not too long ago, too... I rarely ever see a K-9 unit even on TV with a Doberman anymore, so I wondered too... and it turned into a pretty big discussion. I personally think he is pretty biased since he worked with GSD's and has two at home lol. He seemed kind of offended that I asked why they didn't work with dobermans lol. But then again he tried for almost two years to talk me into getting another GSD instead of a dobe! haha.. But he said it was because it took a lot more time to train dobermans than GSD's... actually he said on average about half the time, and half the cost, counting the cost of the dog and cost due to time in training I suppose... Of course he is also one of those people who think that dobermans are always "half-cocked, and unstable", and suggested that in his opinion most other police officers would tend to agree...

I figure a lot of it might be to do with how police dogs are kept.. and if they're kennel kept, and I can see why a doberman wouldn't be ideal... if the K-9 officer kept the same dog with him all the time, different story... It's not like that here... As far as I know they're kennel kept.

But, I also came up with a theory... that the reason his opinion of dobes probably isn't that great, is because the ones he has encountered belonged to the bad guys they were chasing, so, not unlike their owners; they probably weren't the most upstanding citizens of the canine world... at least he seemed to consider my theory, haha. doesn't seem that far-fetched to me lol
 

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Lol I asked this question to on of my clients that is a police officer and he said it was because they were too smart. When something bad happened to a Doberman the remembered and would go it it in a different approach. With a German shepard if something bad happened to them they really wouldn't learn from it as fast as a Doberman. German Shepard's are more predictedable then a Doberman. Dobermans are smart but not as predicable because they learn from their mistakes and will go at things different ways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Debbi, thanks for posting your idea & experience over here.
As far as My knowledge concerns Police Dogs are NOT kennel kept. Police or army dogs live with their owner. Living together is very very much needed for the bonding to work together. If there is no or weak bonding between the dog and the handler, the dog will not work for the handler, the dog will not lay down it's life to save its handler so all police dogs stay with their handlers all the time. Even today, I was watching an interview of police man. He was saying, his dog spends more time with him than his family members as family members spend time with him only at home but his dog is with him at home as well as at work..
So there must be some other reasons , Why is not doberman being used by police & army any more ?
 

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Welcome to the forum!

Your question has been answered before on this forum as well as many other forums. Sadly for the Dobermann breed, a lot of people refuse to accept the real reasons that Dobermann’s are seldom used in Police work. Many folks who profess to love the breed make excuses or repeat myths instead of facing reality. Unless people accept the situation for what it is and make a dedicated effort to turn it around, it is unlikely you will see many Dobermann’s in Police or Military service ever again.

The bottom line is that relativity speaking, there are very few Dobermann’s capable of doing police work. There are a number of reasons for this, but the short simplistic answer is that many more breeders valued the working temperament of the Malinios and German Shepherd Dog over the appearance, while on the other hand too many Dobermann breeders have valued the dog’s appearance over its working temperament. This has resulted in there being many, many more GSD’s and Malinois having the necessary temperament compared to very, very few Dobemann’s.

Asking a K9 handler what he thinks about working dogs, breeds or why one dog is used instead of another, may or may not get you a legitimate answer.

While some handlers may be very knowledgeable about dogs in general, other dog handlers can be factually ignorant. Don’t assume that just because someone is a Police Dog Handler (or a Military dog handler) that he has good overall dog knowledge.

Asking a K9 handler general dog or breed questions is like asking a Soldier general firearms questions or asking him why the army uses gun XYZ instead of gun ABC- you may or may not get a knowledgeable answer.

The K9 handler can probably tell you a whole bunch about his dog and his departments training methods and the Soldier can probably tell you a whole bunch about how to use and maintain his issued weapon. But in both cases their factual information may not extend beyond what their employer has taught them about the dog/gun they are issued.

Anyone who has served in the military and knows guns can tell you that Soldiers/Marines/Airman/etc will often be heard repeating myths or spouting off absolute nonsense about firearms. Some K9 handlers have never even trained a dog of their own before their department selected them to be a handler. Expecting them to be a dog expert is quite unrealistic.

If you are sincerely interested then what you need to do is find a person who selects Police dogs for a mid to large department and ask him. Then find a broker who imports Police dogs and ask him. Between those two sources you will get some legitimate answers instead of excuses and myths.

Then maybe you will have the knowledge to become the kind of person who helps the Dobermann breed recover a working temperament.
 

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This is a multifaceted questions and there is probably no one answer that fits all -

Dobermans started falling out of favor long before the show breeders started to down the tmeperament to what we see today.

They don't do well in extreme temperatures - Just don't heve the coat that a GSD does.

They are a thinking breed and they reason

They don't mature as fast as some other breeds

GSD are good foot soilders - yoiu can drill them and they will follow orders. Dobermans resaon things out and question what is the safest way to proceed. Very smart and they have to have a true bond. A GSD does what he was trained to do period.

Dobermans can chnage handlers but it takes them longer to bond and become a team with the new person.

When it is all said and done they are by far superior to the GSD. BUT I am 100% prejudiced for the Doberman so please GSD people don't take offense.
 

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I think that everyone has stated some valid reasons. There isn't really just one single reason why you do not see Dobermans in police and military work.

Yes, it is harder and harder to find a Doberman with the temperament suited for the work. Most are too soft and the ones that aren't are not clear headed enough to be dependable wen you need them. From a business perspective, you can take 100 GSDs or Malis and out of that group you will have a higher success rate than with 100 Dobermans and it will likely take less time. I have seen many GSD trainers literally beat the training in them and they take it. A Doberman will shut down and not take abusive training as well GSDs. Malis, generally are more sentive than GSDs, but higher drive and can power through it better and have a faster recovery.

Dobermans can't take the heat or cold as well as the others. The longer coat actually insulates them from the heat as well as the cold.

GSDs have a much more soldier mentality. They follow orders better than Dobermans that may think for themselves too much.

I don't agree that "many more breeders valued the working temperament of the Malinios and German Shepherd Dog over the appearance, while on the other hand too many Dobermann breeders have valued the dog’s appearance over its working temperament." There is the same divide between the Working GSDs and Malis that there is in Dobermans. The GSD breed is just a much, much larger breed in numbers world-wide than Doberman(n)s, so of course you will find more quality working dogs. Also, GSDs have dominated the working sports since their inception so their is a much, much larger pool to draw from. However, make no mistake this is not all GSDs. I have seen many show bred GSDs that were no better than show Dobermans on the working field, even import GSDs with alleged SCH titles that didn't seem to even know what a sleeve was. Malinois are the current darlings of the working sports and with their overall better physical soundness than GSDs I can see why. However, show Malinois and the working ones are so different they seem like a whole different breed in both look, size, and temperament. This is unfortunately the age of specialization in all endeavors. There are few dogs any more that can "do it all".
 

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One of the K9 trainers I had spoken to a while back had told me another reason that dobermans arent used anymore is that their tendency to bond to a single person made it hard to transition them from trainer to handler. They spend about a year with a trainer learning their job, sometimes as much as 18 months before they are fully trained, then they are placed with a handler, well we all know how a doberman bonds with an owner in the early stages of its life and training, then to be taken from a trainer and given to a handler, is almost like trying to rehome a rescue dog, the dog has to readjust to a new owner, a new home and a completely new schedule and it is hard on the dog and it affects the dogs performance on the job. Apparently they dont have as much of a problem with the GSD and Mali when transitioning them from trainer to handler.
 

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GSD are good foot soilders - yoiu can drill them and they will follow orders. Dobermans resaon things out and question what is the safest way to proceed. Very smart and they have to have a true bond. A GSD does what he was trained to do period.
I’m replying to this with the intent to educate and inform, I don’t mean to be argumentive or make anyone feel stupid, so please don’t take it that way.

This is one of the myths that gets passed around. The reason it is a myth is because there is a difference between a dog that exercises intelligent disobedience and a dog with poor nerves.

A GSD with poor nerves will freak out or back away from something just like a Dobermann with a poor temperament will.

The difference is a working dog evaluator will say “that dog has a poor temperament” while a person in denial will say “that dog is too smart”.

Denial is not exclusive to Dobermann people. There is denial among some GSD folks too. An example you sometimes hear is that “a Malinois will jump out a 5th story window chasing a ball but a German Shepherd Dog will stop”. Some GSD folks will say that is because the GSD is smarter than the Malinios. The reality is that if you had a Mal who would actually jump out a 5th story window after a ball, it’s not because he is dumber, it’s because his drive is much higher. Sure that kind of drive will kill him, but that kind of extreme drive also makes him useful.

Its one thing for people to want a lower drive animal, but come right out and state it factually- “this line of GSD’s have less drive than most Malinois”. Don’t pretend that a lower drive is because the dogs are smarter.

Pretending that a dog is intelligent instead of admitting that he has a poor temperament is just as bad.
 

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Kansadobe- I don't hink we are in disagreement, I think we are saying pretty much the same thing (you present it more eloquently than I). There are a much larger number of breeders producing quality GSD’s than there are breeders producing quality Dobermann’s.

Part of the reason GSD’s have dominated the working sports is because of the importance breeders placed on the working temperament.

Mal’s are the current darlings for the same reason- a large number of breeders place high importance on temperament and this creates a large pool of dogs to draw from.
 
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YouTube - ‪Doberman opening the Patio door‬‏
This is why, he entered with out a warrant: )

As the overly proud owner of 2 Sheps and 2 Dobes, I would think it is to do with the seperation issues. My Dobes want to be with me at all times.

One of the Dobes was in a shelter on an Army Base when I got him. Right behind the Army Stray Dog Shelter was a Army Dog Training Center. It was surrounded by chain link fence with razor wire that said No one beyond this fence. Then in a Kennel sat a lone German Shepherd. He was calmly laying there looking out of his kennel. I would guess the Shep was waiting more training or his soldier was on another asignment or any one of thousand things...
My German Sheps seem fine with attention and treats then go on there way to play or sleep. My Dobes stick to me like Glue (Velcro, Darn I always miss that one and feels like cheating to delete:)
Now, I do have to dis-agree with one thing said above, my Dobes do not seem to mind the heat and for sure they do not mind it like my Sheps. My Sheps hate the heat. And on cool mornings they are re-born with Puppy energy. And on those cool mornings , the Dobes dont seem to enjoy for the cold. I often tell people I have two Warm weather dogs and two cold weather Dogs. The Dobes have not went through winter with me yet. The Shepherds did. They loved the snow and cold.
Speed goes to the Dobe for sure. But both can out run a human.
 

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Also, and I dont think this was stated previously, but if it was, I am sorry for repeating.

Dobermans are not used very much in police work now due to their bad reputation in the public eye. The doberman got a very bad rep during the 70s as an out of control beast that would turn on everyone at the blink of an eye, and this led to them being much less popular as a pet dog, and even less popular as a police K9 due to the inherent liablility with the public perception of this breed of dog.
 

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visit this site. It can help us know our breed(doberman) better. This is about why doberman is different. I have just read this article and thinks that it can answer some of the questions we always try to get answers for. why dobermans are different
So let's see, first you ask the question, now you are giving us the answer to your own question??? Why bother to ask?
 

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Lol I asked this question to on of my clients that is a police officer and he said it was because they were too smart. When something bad happened to a Doberman the remembered and would go it it in a different approach. With a German shepard if something bad happened to them they really wouldn't learn from it as fast as a Doberman. German Shepard's are more predictedable then a Doberman. Dobermans are smart but not as predicable because they learn from their mistakes and will go at things different ways.
very good insight on it... my original response isn't my opinion was just stating what my friend said... :)
 

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Welcome to the forum!

Your question has been answered before on this forum as well as many other forums. Sadly for the Dobermann breed, a lot of people refuse to accept the real reasons that Dobermann’s are seldom used in Police work. Many folks who profess to love the breed make excuses or repeat myths instead of facing reality. Unless people accept the situation for what it is and make a dedicated effort to turn it around, it is unlikely you will see many Dobermann’s in Police or Military service ever again.

The bottom line is that relativity speaking, there are very few Dobermann’s capable of doing police work. There are a number of reasons for this, but the short simplistic answer is that many more breeders valued the working temperament of the Malinios and German Shepherd Dog over the appearance, while on the other hand too many Dobermann breeders have valued the dog’s appearance over its working temperament. This has resulted in there being many, many more GSD’s and Malinois having the necessary temperament compared to very, very few Dobemann’s.

Asking a K9 handler what he thinks about working dogs, breeds or why one dog is used instead of another, may or may not get you a legitimate answer.

While some handlers may be very knowledgeable about dogs in general, other dog handlers can be factually ignorant. Don’t assume that just because someone is a Police Dog Handler (or a Military dog handler) that he has good overall dog knowledge.

Asking a K9 handler general dog or breed questions is like asking a Soldier general firearms questions or asking him why the army uses gun XYZ instead of gun ABC- you may or may not get a knowledgeable answer.

The K9 handler can probably tell you a whole bunch about his dog and his departments training methods and the Soldier can probably tell you a whole bunch about how to use and maintain his issued weapon. But in both cases their factual information may not extend beyond what their employer has taught them about the dog/gun they are issued.

Anyone who has served in the military and knows guns can tell you that Soldiers/Marines/Airman/etc will often be heard repeating myths or spouting off absolute nonsense about firearms. Some K9 handlers have never even trained a dog of their own before their department selected them to be a handler. Expecting them to be a dog expert is quite unrealistic.

If you are sincerely interested then what you need to do is find a person who selects Police dogs for a mid to large department and ask him. Then find a broker who imports Police dogs and ask him. Between those two sources you will get some legitimate answers instead of excuses and myths.

Then maybe you will have the knowledge to become the kind of person who helps the Dobermann breed recover a working temperament.

Just so theres no misunderstanding.. I wasn't saying I agreed with what he said... I was just talking about the conversation he and I had about it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
hi.. Debbi. Thanks again for sharing your opinion.
I am not answering my question. I just came across a site saying something good and different about our breed(doberman). I have read all the above lines(posts) still trying to figure out what is the real reason... I think, there are several reasons that have been mentioned above by our friend over here. That site does not give answer of the question that why are not dobermans used by police and army anymore ? That site just tells that why doberman is different from other breeds.. Thats all.
 

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hi.. Debbi. Thanks again for sharing your opinion.
I am not answering my question. I just came across a site saying something good and different about our breed(doberman). I have read all the above lines(posts) still trying to figure out what is the real reason... I think, there are several reasons that have been mentioned above by our friend over here. That site does not give answer of the question that why are not dobermans used by police and army anymore ? That site just tells that why doberman is different from other breeds.. Thats all.
There are certainly differences between breeds. Even individual dogs within a breed can benefit from different training methods.

Understanding that Dobemann’s in general make better progress with training method A, while GSD’s learn just as well using method B, doesn’t really address your original question.

Like most things in life, there isn’t one single reason. The total picture includes many pieces. A problem is that people start focusing on relatively insignificant pieces or turn them into myths and excuses. It is important for anyone who cares about a breed to accept the realities that occur.

Perhaps the root to understanding goes all the way back to man’s earliest domestication of dogs. Over the centuries mankind has manipulated the dog through selective breeding to produce dogs of all sorts. The difference between breeds is not only appearance. Every one of the working and sporting breeds exist because someone(s) believed that they were creating the best dog for a particular purpose(s). Often (if not always) the appearance or conformation of a breed is nothing more than happenstance. The breed just happened to end up looking like it does because that is what came about when the originator achieved what he considered the best dog for the job he expected the dog to perform.

The usefulness of a breed was entirely dependent on what a particular human needed. A man living in the desert has no need for a web-footed strong swimmer. A man who hunts grouse has no use for a dog that loves to run great distances baying out its location while chasing and fighting a large, strong, dangerous game animal.

Many of the temperament traits that man has produced in domestic dogs are in direct conflict to the temperament a wild canine needs to survive on its own. Many temperament traits do not benefit a dog in any way other than they make him useful enough to mankind that man will feed/house/love and care for the dog. Some temperament traits can practically make a dog suicidal were man not to train and control the dog.

One of the temperament traits that a Police Patrol dog or personal protection dog needs is a willingness to fight with an adult male human, yet at the same time be reasonably safe to have around and interact with humans in general. This is a lot to ask of a dog.

You are talking about a dog that will fight with a human being, in undisputed or even strange territory, with no threat to his home or food source, and most of the time no immediate threat to the handler or pack. You are talking about a dog that will willing engage a non-combative subject. You are talking about a dog that will also fight a highly combative subject who is injuring or causing pain to the dog. Yet when the dog isn’t fighting bad guys he must not be a liability to the department.

That sort of temperament doesn’t come about just because a dog looks like a Dobermann (or German Shepherd Dog). Breeders must conscientiously dedicate themselves to breeding only dogs that possess the qualities the breed is supposed to have.

In simplistic terms there are not enough breeders producing Dobermanns with the necessary temperament. When a Police buyer or broker evaluates a kennel full of well bred GSD’s and Mallinois with the lone Dobermann, he isn’t going to bother with the Dobermann unless the dog is absolutely outstanding. If that lone Dobermann is an import from a no crop/dock country it is even less likely to be purchased.

When mankind learned to use dogs for Police work, a few breeds were found to have the necessary temperament. The Dobermann was among the breeds that had the temperament. According to one source I read, in the early days German Police were using 6 breeds. Out of all the dogs in use, almost 1/3 was Dobermanns.

The Dobermann is a beautiful creature. Unfourtunately that may be part of reason he has lost so much of his working temperment. According to that same book, as early as 1909 the German Police dog trainers were already complaining that Dobermann breeders were “paying too much attention to body perfection instead of breeding also for mental qualities”

That, my friend, is why you do not see many Dobermanns in police work today.
 

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They don't do well in extreme temperatures - Just don't heve the coat that a GSD does.
This is true to an extent (they don't have the coat, but a Mali coat is not a GSD coat either), but also because Doberman's tend to be babied more by their owners, and do not get acclimatized whatsoever to temperatures.

They are a thinking breed and they reason
I think this is crap, and is used to cover up the real issue that most Doberman's do not have the nerve structure or courage needed to work at a high level in situations where they are put under a lot of pressure.

They don't mature as fast as some other breeds
I think this is true in many cases.

GSD are good foot soilders - yoiu can drill them and they will follow orders. Dobermans resaon things out and question what is the safest way to proceed. Very smart and they have to have a true bond. A GSD does what he was trained to do period.
True but because of nerve issues rather than reasoning.

When it is all said and done they are by far superior to the GSD. BUT I am 100% prejudiced for the Doberman so please GSD people don't take offense.
I like the Doberman because of the look, and because the Doberman is a more affectionate dog. I also like to be different... When I was growing up the other guys drove either a Camaro, Mustang or Chevelles, I had a GTO.
I am at a club where I am the only one with a Doberman (I think one of the best as far as working temperament). The GSD's at my club are truly world class working dogs. As much as I love the Dobermann breed, there is no way I could say that they are superior in terms of working ability (even if you have a good one). If my life depended on a daily basis, on the nerve and working ability of the dog I handled I probably would not choose a Dobermann either. Then again I probably would not choose a Malinois as well, I would want a German, working line German Shepherd Dog.

Another factor is just the reality of the enormous availability contrast between a working line GSD and a Doberman. This became very evident when I looked to breed my last dog. In all of North America there were only 3 or 4 titled Doberman studs available that would have been a possibility. At the time at my own club there were 8 to 10 titled German Shepherd's that brought what I was looking for in a dog. Then again at my club only the best of the best German Shepherd's are kept as working dogs so I could see if people were exposed to only mediocre GSD's where they might not value the power, drive and nerve structure that they really bring.
 
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