Working vs Sport German Shepherds - Page 2

Pedigree Database


by emoryg on 18 November 2019 - 08:11

I had the pleasure of not only training dogs for work, but also utilizing them in a law enforcement capacity. Some of these dogs were involved in the sport prior to being tested and selected for police work.  The overwhelming majority get there start in one of the sport venues.  Occasionally there are green dogs with no formal and sometimes zero training.   Those are rare, a dream to train, but very hard to locate.

One of my jobs was to locate dogs for police work.  On this occasion I was tasked with locating a police dog to replace my ageing partner.  He was going to be pulled from service in another six months so I planned on spending 4-6 weeks locating a replacement, another 4-6 weeks (maybe more depending on his skill set) of task and scenario training, with the rest of the time allocated to on-the-job training and gaining street smarts.  My police vehicle was set up to ride two dogs so I would still have access to the veteran police dog and be able to utilize him as needed for several months.

The new dog was tested and purchased by the department.  Almost all police dogs are owned by the government.  I went most of my career without owning a dog of my own.  That’s not entirely correct, as when they retire the handler is often permitted to take ownership.  He was soon upto speed and in no time was the primary K-9 on most of the calls.  The veteran dog was still along for the ride and was being weaned off police work and getting more accustomed to staying home with his family on a full time basis.

One day while going through the new dog’s files,  I came across his pedigree papers and his score book..  I had seen them before when I had signed over the purchase order from my agency and took possession of the dog.  I noticed there was a woman’s name and city where she resided in Germany.  I located a dog sport club on the internet that was in that area and sent off an email asking that if they knew of her, and if they did let her know the dog was now in the US and working in law enforcement.  A man responded saying he knew her and the dog, and would pass on the information.  A few days later I received the attached email from her.  It wasn’t the first time I had located the former owner and handler of the dog I was policing with, but it was the only email that I kept.  We would write several times.  She would send me pictures and stories of him growing up and I would send her newspaper articles or news clips of the criminals he caught.

Here’s a case where a woman and her kids raised and trained a dog in the sport, who would later on find himself as a working dog tasked with keeping a community safe.

Email from Manuela

Future police dog with his family in Germany

Our last day as a K-9 team




Baerenfangs Erbe

by Baerenfangs Erbe on 18 November 2019 - 08:11

Emoryg, that Story seriously hit the spot...something flew into both my eyes...i am not crying, you are!!!


by Hundmutter on 18 November 2019 - 10:11

What a lovely e mail / letter ! And it perfectly illustrates what we have been saying ...

by ValK on 18 November 2019 - 11:11

but point is that not every dog, who even became successful in sport, by default can be capable to works in real life applications.
unfortunately sport approach in respect of dog's temperament and specific set by innate traits have became way too detached
from those, which is necessary for dogs to be successful in the street work.
other way, you wouldn't be in need to spend time to locate suitable for your purpose dog. next day after changing the hands, any dog,
previously used in sport, would be capable to go with you on work shift.

by Nans gsd on 18 November 2019 - 12:11

Thanks for sharing emoryg, great photo's.


by GK1 on 18 November 2019 - 16:11

Any breed of dog designed to express strong working drives, high energy, athleticism etc., needs outlets. Dog bred for demanding work or competition can thrive as a companion dog as long as the dog is regularly mentally and physically challenged commensurate with genetics...and the owner knows what is at the end of his/her leash. Even so, the Malinois may be at a different level.

by NatureDragon on 18 November 2019 - 20:11

Yes thank you for sharing emoryg, that is a beautiful post

by duke1965 on 19 November 2019 - 01:11

have to disagree nans, its not about what the dog is trained to do, it is important for everybody to understand that genetic qualities can not be trained in or trained out

I would say that most dogs suitable for street, can also perform in sport, the other way around, maybe 40 % of dogs capable of being a sportdog, can go to the street, would say that percentage was much higher but is dropping constantly.

I understand that multiple people with IPO 1,2 or 3 dog will disagree, but even beside the everlasting discussion about prey and/or civil there are lots and lots of other issues that disqualifie dogs for LE besides that

about strong sport and LE dogs being capable of living in the family, if you have a well balanced dog I think it will be no problem, even for the stronger dogs, to function in a family, extreme high prey/ball drive dogs will be more difficult in a family I would say

Baerenfangs Erbe

by Baerenfangs Erbe on 19 November 2019 - 08:11

Environmental Stability and Hunt Drive, I would say, is pretty much the major issue in the breed.

When dogs win trophies but cant walk into a Gymnasium...thats a problem.

by astrovan2487 on 19 November 2019 - 08:11

Agree with Duke. Another thing that needs to be said is that not all "bad" dogs are that way because of people. Just because a dog attacks someone does not always mean it was abused or mistreated. Some are just born with a screw loose like some people are. I can't tell you how many people I've known that bought a puppy with the best of intentions, always loved and cared for the dog, never abused, then dog still turned out to be a dangerous nutcase that had to eventually be put down. Any experienced trainer can tell you the same. It is not all in how you raise them/train them.


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