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German Shepherd Dog > Military dogs: GSD vs. Belg Mal vs. Dutch Shep (85 replies)

by Gustav on 23 August 2013 - 14:08

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The dept that I consult for just picked up two more dogs yesterday....another Malinois( that makes 4), and a Dutchie. The only GS in the dept is a GS I bred 9 years ago. And people still are believing that our breed isn't losing its place as a working dog....sic,sic........the breed is quickly achieving pet status ....so sad!

by kyto on 23 August 2013 - 14:08

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today we had a testing day for military dogs 2gsd passed the testing about equal scores but a slightly better score for the dog they didn't take reason: his back was more bananaback than the other dog i asked if he wasn't good enough or what, the anwer i got was that their experience showed that straight backs on average can last longer in service,
so yes he's a good dog and if they had only him as an option there would be no doubt they would have taken him, but they only needed 1gsd so gusmanda i believe this is the answer to your question
good pedigreed GSD most of the time askingprices are ridiculous in terms of service dogs, especially if you know that in general they work slower and last fewer time on the job than a mali
no police/military service will pay those amounts to get a dog if they can get a faster,longer lasting one for less money
who would pay 100.000 to drive home in a volkswagen if a ferrari costs 50.000



 

by Gusmanda on 23 August 2013 - 16:08

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really sad, indeed. 

how much is price in the equation? If someone started breeding more out of hobby than business, and kept prices on par or lower giving preference to police over IPO enthusiasts, would they stand a chance? 

by KYLE on 23 August 2013 - 17:08

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I thought this was a good read. Clearly states some of the issues that have been discussed in this thread.
http://www.johnsoaresk9training.com/info/gsdarticle.html

http://www.johnsoaresk9training.com/info/sportvsrealdogs.html

Kyle

by joanro on 23 August 2013 - 17:08

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Good question, Gusmanda...I'd be most interested in the answer myself.

by KYLE on 23 August 2013 - 18:08

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Gusmanda I believe many started out with the right intentions. Then someone offers an interesting amount of money and the best layed plans have been altered. As an example is 3k to 5k per dog enough for the breeder once you calculate food, vet, training time and travel. 10 dogs in this formula, 30k to 50k gross. Provided no dogs get rejected. It may take a saint.

by bebo on 23 August 2013 - 19:08

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it's not just a dog (unit) acquisition cost but the total cost of ownership, where the numbers have not been too kind for the gsd, and the general momentum in favor of the mali. once you got your first, second, insert your number of HD/ED/DM gsd patients while at the same time the average dutchie/mali (is perceived to have) lost four days, over his/her entire service life, to a pulled groin after a shitty heli jump, it's not hard to see why handlers, trainers, and even more so procurement departments, favor alternatives to the gsd.

there is a telling mini-series about the use of dogs in the bundeswehr, which actually still uses a lot of gsds, showcasing only a mali: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g_jDeYvHII , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P60ltmPeXpshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89G7lKyf3TQ.  last year's "hero of the year", per german dog magazine DOGS,  was the bundeswehr war dog idor, also a mali, http://goo.gl/r94RCR  finally, the bundeswehr service dog site for the "day of the dog" celebration is also mostly featuring mali's, http://goo.gl/nIx917 .  bundeswehr, nato, us military ... at this point, i'd say the momentum pendulum has seriously swung in favor of the mali and it'll pretty much take the derailing of mali health/temperament coupled with a serious increase in TOC for the breed to relinquish its go-to status.


 

by Gustav on 23 August 2013 - 23:08

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The breed is more pet oriented, with pet experts defining standard....not completely but enough so that alternate breeds are sought first for work, and the biggest participation of our breed is show events and pet homes....it is what it is. I remember saying this three years ago on this forum, and some of you rose up in righteous indignation, ( mostly people who don't even deal in training or working dogs), well it was true then and it is more than evident now. The system isn't working......at least not for maintaining the breed for what it was created for.

by kyto on 24 August 2013 - 04:08

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gusmanda, really good pedigreed mali sometimes we can get them for 1000-2500 euro and than i'm talking about dogs that won't have any problem making it as dual purpose or even special operations if we talk about pedigreed GSD who has all the same quallity's they tend to ask no less than3500- 5000 some even have no problem asking 10.0000 so quite often asking prices are more than 2x the price of a mali, even for a simple ipo1 certified dog they ask 3000-5000 and let's be honest you don't sell a good dog those are often dogs who barely made it true ipo1

by bejaar on 03 November 2013 - 20:11

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I have a working GSD . I was considering a Mal until I spoke with a group of police K9 handlers with Mals that told me to stick with the GSD as the GSD has an off switch. They told me the Mal are great working dogs but not one of them would want them as a pet. The advice they gave was to get a working line GSD and one of my buddies (K9 Mal handler) hooked me up with a working line GSD breeder.  I love my GSD and he's the smartest dog I have ever owned. I think GSD and Mals are awesome dogs but I do agree that its not easy finding a WL GSD and the Mals still look like the same as they did 50+ years ago. 
 

by Gusmanda on 05 November 2013 - 13:11

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gusmanda, really good pedigreed mali sometimes we can get them for 1000-2500 euro and than i'm talking about dogs that won't have any problem making it as dual purpose or even special operations if we talk about pedigreed GSD who has all the same quallity's they tend to ask no less than3500- 5000 some even have no problem asking 10.0000 so quite often asking prices are more than 2x the price of a mali, even for a simple ipo1 certified dog they ask 3000-5000 and let's be honest you don't sell a good dog those are often dogs who barely made it true ipo1

​yeah, not familiar with Mals, so can't comment on the good pedigrees, but overall the price does seem lower. Locally where I live, GSD is about 50% higher. Purely market driven I suppose, as Yorkies and Bulldogs, which I find totally useless, are higher priced than either GSD or Mals. At some point, if the trend continues, I would expect GSD to compete in price as well, either by Mals price going up or GSD price coming down.

by Slamdunc on 05 November 2013 - 15:11

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It is supply and demand, and the demand by the Military for working dogs is going down.  As demand decreases the prices will come down as well for working dogs to some extent.  We currently pay about $6,500 for a green working dog, I know of vendors that have dogs for less and vendors that have dogs for.  I also know of other PD's that pay more than that for a green dog.  Generally, the higher priced dogs are higher quality, but not always.  It really depends on the vendor.  My current working dog, a GSD that was bred in the US, will be retiring in  about a year and a half at around 9 years old.  I have picked an upcoming GSD breeding to take a pup, raise and also train him to replace my dog when he retires.  If it wasn't for this breeding, next year I'd be out shopping for a Mal or a DS for my next working dog. 

Each year the  local GSDCA club provides K-9 awards to the handlers and their partners at their regional conformation show.  It is a very nice award and a very nice thing that they do.  This year they told me how the awards are declining because more and more PD's no longer have GSD's.  For myself, I am confident that I will always be able to find a suitable working GSD.  For my PD, it is far easier to find a good mali or DS in our $6 - 7K price range.  When it comes to selecting a Police K-9, I select based solely on working ability, looks and breed are not a factor.  The Malinois is where it's at lately. 

by ggturner on 05 November 2013 - 19:11

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Just curious, slam, will you be able to keep your current dog when he is retired? 

by Slamdunc on 05 November 2013 - 19:11

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Absolutely!  All of our handlers get first choice to keep the dog and most do.  I have had my dog from a 7 week old pup and will keep him.  I am planning on getting his clone or something very similar to him this spring.

by Gustav on 06 November 2013 - 09:11

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@ Slamdunc.....been saying this for years but many ( in the breed, but not in the working world ), loudly proclaim everything is fine! I ask you this question Jim, with all the thousands of sport and breed survey litters that are bred in US and Germany, why isn't there more green dogs from these sources coming in and serving our LE community. I know that the vast majority of these dogs do not go into sport and show only, as only maybe 1 or 2 dogs from show or sport litters go to show or sport competitors on average. The price for these dogs is certainly competitive, so practical thinking would seem to an abundance of dogs available. Can you help me out on this.....are depts being unfairly biased against the GS? 

by Slamdunc on 06 November 2013 - 10:11

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Cliff,
I think a major part of the reason is that most Dept's like mine go to vendors or importers to test and purchase dogs.  The vendor offers a good selection, hopefully at least 6 - 10 dogs when we go to test.  The PD sends out a "RFQ" or "Request for Quote" or an "RFP" to several vendors and decides on vendors based on responses.  Each PD is a little different, but the common things are some health and workability guarantees and competitive pricing.  Once the vendor list is set, we go and test dogs.  Now, I know of one vendor that takes dogs from individuals in the US, mainly Malinois, and offers them for sale to the PD's and Military.  Mostly, these are sport rejects (IPO, Ring or PSA) and too hard to handle or have serious aggression issues.  I could tell you some really good stories.  I have cut this vendor from our selection process; even though he is located in my city and we will travel 4 hours one way to avoid using him.  I think most larger PD's avoid local breeders because of the bidding, RFQ and selection process.   You have to have dogs available when the customer needs one, guarantee the dog and participate in the selection process. 

I know of some excellent breeders of GSD's in the US that still produce dogs capable for Police work, unfortunately they are spread out across the country.  It wouldn't be feasible for me to go out and test one dog that was more than a few hours away.  I do see a bias leaning away from the GSD in some Dept's.  I have been told recently y a PD with over 20 Patrol dogs that I train with that they will never use GSD's again.  This is based on the wash out rate, health issues and workability.  I think most LEO's are like myself and simply pick the best dog available at the time of testing.  I'm sure the vendors see the trend and want to offer a decent product at a competitive price and that is where the Malinois has gained ground. 

I am going to be raising a "Boomer" brother for my next Patrol dog from a pup again.  Most LEO's won't do this, they lack the time, experience or desire.  It is far easier to buy a 12 month old dog and go from there.  I happen to enjoy it, and I also prefer that I am the only one to screw my dog up.  I don't need anyone else's help.Wink Smile  In Boomer's litter, his brother went to the USA Nationals, other siblings are high end SAR dogs, to PD's or sport as well.  Not everyone wants, needs or should own a dog like mine.  He would be a horrible pet and no one would come to your house.  I absolutely love this dog and he is extremely easy for me to handle and a pleasure to work.  I am hoping this almost repeat breeding brings me another dog just like him.  Yes, there are American breeders producing dogs that work, dogs that can excel at sport or as Police K-9's, but they are not known to the main stream market.  Also, most will not keep a dog back for 12 to 18 months to mature and have some foundation work done.   I imagine it is easier to keep a dog for themselves and sell the rest as pups.  The pups from Boomer's breeder are generally sold before the litter is born and I think that is the case with most excellent breeders. 
 

by ggturner on 06 November 2013 - 17:11

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Glad to hear you will be keeping Boomer!   

by Jim Engel on 07 November 2013 - 23:11

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So what I want to know, is if the German Shepherd is being
watered down and giving up the military and police roles to
the Malinois in order to be a popular companion dog among
the people, how come GSD registrations in Germany have
gone down from 30,000 pups per yer in the early 1990's to
about 12,000 last year?

by Gustav on 08 November 2013 - 00:11

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I really am not sure of registration rates in reference to popularity,....but I do know that in eighties probably 75 to 80 percent of military/LE work in patrol was done by GS, and today it is probably less than 50 percent. And there are far more GS bred every year than Mals...so I don't know how to interpret this .....but in talking, working, with police depts I have some perceptions. 

by Chaz Reinhold on 08 November 2013 - 00:11

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I don't understand why this thread is still going. Better health, price, availability, drive, and success rate. Period. End of thread.

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