Intelligent, brave, and loyal to its handlers, it’s no fluke that the German shepherd is one of the dogs used in the police canine department.
Often referred to as the K9 or canine, dogs that pass the test to work in this department have to show exemplary capabilities compared to other dogs.
And some of the capabilities that the German shepherd possesses have seen this dog surpass other dog breeds with the same physicality.
And I know you have also seen this breed in most police and military shows. So you may be wondering, what makes the German shepherd unique that it has been in the police department for that long?
Cling on to learn more about the German shepherd and its high prevalence in the police and military department.
Key Reasons Why German Shepherds Are the Best Police Dogs
As earlier said, the German shepherd possesses some capabilities that other dogs of the same size don’t have. Here are some of the reasons German shepherds make good police dogs.
The German shepherd ranks as one of the intelligent dog breed. Its capability to learn new ideas and tactics with ease makes it a perfect fit in the police department.
With its intelligence, this breed can learn how to perform otherwise difficult tasks like sniffing bombs that other dogs may find hard to detect.
The German shepherd is a dog that is always eager to please its handler. It’s also anxious to receive any new instructions from its handlers without getting off track or bored.
3) Their Size
Weighing between 60-90 pounds and lengths of 22-26 inches, this dog is medium in size, perfect to perform otherwise strenuous tasks.
Consequently, the German shepherd is stocky and masculine, and this gives it an edge when performing strenuous duties.
The German shepherd can clock speeds of 30mph/48Km/hr. With its speed and muscle structure, the German shepherd can chase down and subdue any threat with its sheer power.
But some dogs can run faster than the German shepherd; why can’t they be included as police dogs? I know that’s one question that’s circling your mind.
Yes, dogs like the whippets and greyhounds can run faster than the German shepherd, but their thin body structure is their main undoing.
Compared to other dog breeds, the German shepherd has a high endurance rate, a trait desirable in police dogs.
5) Remarkable Behavior
The German shepherd has a great attitude and behavior. With its intelligence and temperaments, this dog can discern when faced with danger and think of ways to react. Also, it’s a less aggressive dog, unlike other dog breeds of the same attributes.
This dog won’t attack or threaten anyone unless instructed by its handler.
The German shepherd is a loyal dog. This dog becomes devoted to its handler, and it’s always ready to risk its life.
Also, it will defend his owner without fear or tiring.
7) It’s an Instinct
It’s an instinct for the German shepherd to love work. Remember, it’s a dog with working genes in its bloodstream. With that, this dog loves being in any activity that will utilize his brain and muscles.
All thanks to the German shepherd father, captain max von Stephanitz who developed this working dog.
With that, the police department has taken advantage of this dog’s natural talent and utilized it’s as a K9.
8) Keen Sense of Smell
Dogs indeed have a keen sense of smell. However, the German shepherd tops the list as one of the dogs with the best nose. With its excellent sense of smell, this dog can sniff out explosives and any illegal cargos with ease.
I know you have seen most airports and seaports with these dogs as they try to sniff out any bad guy who could be trying to smuggle illegal products into the country.
However, other dog breeds have a great sense of smell; however, we cannot overlook the GSDs’ capabilities.
No challenge or task is big before the German shepherd dog. The reason being, this dog has a heart and nerve of steel and will tackle any issue with ease and resilience.
10) Committed and Work-Driven
This dog commits to finishing the task it’s assigned to do. The German shepherd will walk through many distractions driven by its enthusiasm to finish what the master wants.
With its commitment and drive, this dog can work for long hours without tiring.
11) Obedient and Responsive
Unlike other dog breeds, the German shepherd is unlikely to develop a mind of its own when given instructions. It’s always obedient and will respond to a call and take it without hesitating.
12) German Shepherds Are Natural Protectors.
As from their name, German shepherds were remarkable shepherd dogs who could chase away any predators with ease. And it’s that noteworthy trait that they take to the police department. This dog yearns to protect its pack, i.e., the handler. And follow any instructions with ease.
History of How German Shepherds Became Working/ Police Dogs
The German shepherd is a new dog breed with its history starting in the 1890s. As you know, this dog is a native German dog breed, and its ancestors used to herd sheep.
One German captain, Max von Stephanitz, was not satisfied with these dogs’ qualities and working drive during those days.
In 1899, he attended a dog show and spotted one dog that had close behaviors and attributed that he desired to have. He bought this dog known as Hektor Linksrhein.
And the history of the German shepherd started from here. Using this dog, he started a breeding program where he honed the characters that he desired. The characters that he wanted from ideal working dogs were intelligence, dedication, and loyalty. It’s these remarkable traits that were desirable at that time in the police and military department.
After achieving his desired dog breed, captain von Stephanitz wanted to introduce this dog to the German police department.
And true, the police were amazed by this dog breed. The dog excelled in crucial areas like obedience, tracking, and protection, which to date are essential to any police dog.
German Shepherds in World War 1
Like today’s police dogs, German shepherds present during World War 1 delivered in various departments. These dogs, with their resilience, and intelligence, were used as messengers. They could also aid the wounded soldiers on the battlefield.
German Shepherds in World War 2
By now, Germans were using the German shepherd as police dogs. Their rivals were also amused by the commitment and resilience of this dog.
This dog was used during World War 2 as a guard, search and rescue dog.
With that, the popularity of this dog breed rose and spread to other European countries.
How Are German shepherd Train as Police Dogs?
Even though we can say, German shepherd makes a perfect fit as a police dog. It doesn’t happen naturally. It has to undergo rigorous training and handling to harness its abilities.
The trainer has to pass through a police academy where he has to undergo rigorous training.
During this training that may take 1-3 years, the handler will learn how to handle this dog and give out instructions.
After that, the handler can work under his senior, who will teach him hands-on how to become a perfect handler. And it’s never an easy task.
The dog has to pass these tests, obedience, physical, and track test.
The dog must undergo this obedience test. The German shepherd will pass through a host of challenges and commands that he must execute with ease and accuracy using the least time possible.
Stamina is a key to whether this dog will be a fit in the police department.
Trainers subject this dog to physical exercises like swimming and running to test his fitness levels and ensure he is physically fit for the next task.
Police dogs must be good at tracking. They will learn how to distinguish different scents using the least time possible without becoming exhausted or losing focus.
After passing all these tests with a high mark score, this dog can now graduate as a police dog.
Specialties of German Shepherds as Police Dogs
In the police dog department, German shepherds can either be single-purpose or multipurpose police dogs.
Single Purpose Police Dogs
Single-purpose German shepherd police dog, specialize in one cadre. For example, the German shepherd may be solely a search and rescue dog. Nothing else!
Multipurpose dogs have no specialty, and they are the jack of all trades. Such dogs have to undergo rigorous test and exercise sessions for them to become multipurpose.
And only the best become multipurpose German shepherd dogs.
Types of German shepherd Working Dogs
Search and Rescue Police Dogs
With their excellent sense of smell, German shepherds can become search and rescue dogs. These dogs can walk in a-bomb Raiden area, sniffing out any life. They are also helpful during natural disasters like avalanches, earthquakes, and floods, which can be impossible to access.
Attack and Apprehension
The German shepherd police dog receives training on attacking any person who’s posing a threat to him or the people around.
With its intelligence and training, this dog can decide to attack an individual without getting a command from the owner. Such a dog receives training on attacking or pinning down a suspect.
With apprehension, this dog is tasked to control the suspect, pin and neutralize him until his handler comes or when the suspect stops being a nuisance.
And such a dog must undergo rigorous physical training.
Detection German shepherd Police Dogs
You will often find these police dogs at border entry points. They will help their handlers sniff out individuals who could be smuggling illegal substances into the country.
Also, some Germans shepherd dogs can detect booby traps and warn their handlers.
Personal Protection Dogs
Some people will use German shepherd police dogs for their protection. If you have the will, you can get yourself a German shepherd and train him to become your protector.
Tracking and Trailing
These dogs track suspects by following their trail and scent. I know you have seen such a scenario in the movies.
German shepherd police dogs can also get training on how to search other animals and track them down.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Is German shepherd Police Dog
The German shepherd police dog can cost anywhere from $7000 to $15000. These dogs cost that much because of their exceptional abilities compared to other dog breeds, and other untrained German shepherds.
You can also get a retired k9, and the price can go down from the above-stated figure.
Why Pitbulls Are Not Used Much As Police Dogs
Pitbulls are almost the same size as GSDs, so you may be wondering why you never find them in the police department.
The reason being is that German shepherds are more intelligent and more responsive to instructions compared to pit bulls.
Do Police Dogs Have To Be German Shepherds?
Other dog breeds can fit as police dogs. However, the German shepherd’s prowess and proven attributes make this dog more popular than any other dog breed.
Here are some other dog breeds used as police dogs.
- Belgian millions
- Labrador retrievers
Do Police Dogs Get Paid?
Police dogs don’t receive any payment. However, after exemplary work, these dogs access premium care, like food, grooming, and vet care. And some treats and pats, which make the dog more motivated.
A Highlight of the Attributes That Make the German Shepherds the Best Police Dogs
- Remarkable behavior
- Keen sense of smell
- Committed and self-driven
- Obedient and responsive
- Natural protectors
The German shepherd is a wonderful family pet, and its attributes have seen it rise to be one of the most popular dog breeds.
Its remarkable traits, as stated above, have seen this dog rise to become one of the admirable police dogs.
What you ought to learn, for the German shepherd to become a perfect police dog, he has to undergo rigorous training and challenges.
What’s your thought on this whole topic on German shepherds being police dogs? Do you think that there is any breed that can outshine the German shepherd? Let us know your thoughts down here in the comment box.