German Shepherd Dog > GSDs in the German Press (56 replies)

by Slamdunc on 07 November 2011 - 19:11

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That really proves my point, thank you Hans.  The top dogs in Tactical Obedience and handler protection were Malinois.  The other dog a mix breed.  It appears the Malinois are very popular in AZ. with the Police Dept's. 

As far as SEAL dogs. SEAL teams need extreme dogs

If you consider dogs with high drive, social, clear headed, natural aggression and the ability to turn it on and off.  The dogs must be able to contain themselves and have to be quiet and not "leak" drive.  The dogs have to be in phenomenal shape and be able to work for hours and stay in drive.  Their dogs must be clear headed and stable.  I don't consider that extreme, just really solid,high drive, reliable dogs. 

I find the comment that part of the decline of the GSD is the high prey drive dogs to be very interesting.  I haven't seen dogs much higher in prey than a Malinois and they make excellent Patrol and Detection dogs.  There is no doubt they have a civil side and will bite when needed.  Perhaps Raiser is correct when he told the SV that we need to cross breed the GSD with Malinois to get back our working dogs and save our breed.  GSD's need high prey, high drive to work as Police Dogs, herding dogs, SAR, Detection, etc amongst other things.   Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water and lose the prey drive that our working dogs desperately need. 

I think the problem with some handlers and Malinois is not understanding the differences between the two breeds.  You will have a rough time if you try to train a Malinois like a GSD and vice versa.  They require different styles and approaches.  I'm a GSD guy through and through but it is hard to argue with success.  I can easily find good GSD's for myself to work.  But working and training with both breeds every week the Malinois are hard to knock. 


I think we as GSD people need to take our head out of the sand and realize what is happening to our breed.  Why is every competition that both breeds enter consistently won by Malinois' over GSD's?  In Police dog trials, SchH, ring sports, dock diving, agility.....Once the Malinois people discover herding they'll take that over too.   The only thing we can hope for as GSD people is for the malinois to become really popular in  the Conformation arena.  That will be the demise of that breed as it has done to so many others. 

JMO,

Jim


  

by Red Sable on 07 November 2011 - 19:11

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"The only thing we can hope for as GSD people is for the malinois to become really popular is the Conformation arena.  That will be the demise of that breed as it has done to so many others. "



by Jantie on 08 November 2011 - 08:11

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Abbi,
read my post again!
I have NOT posted any comment of myself whatsoever, only copied two sentences from Silbersee! Please pay attention.

by Jyl on 08 November 2011 - 09:11

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Jim
Very nice post and very well said.

by Prager on 08 November 2011 - 15:11

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Nowhere have I said ( as Jim mistakenly states)  that the GSD should not have a high prey drive. I have said that versatility of a GSD was put on  back burner in favor of  high prey. Which means just that. Today breeders are breeding for high prey and are omitting versatility. That does not mean that high prey is bad.  GSD should have high prey and high defense but not extreme prey or extreme defense because this extremeness is detrimental to it's versatility.

 GSD is a versatile dog which does not serve only as a police dog or as a sport dog. GSD serves  #1 in a capacity  as a family protector . Other tasks are  S&R dog , handicapped support dog, herding dog, ....and on and on. If bred properly then such GSD can be taken on any such  path and perform well if trained well. If the GSD is bred only for high or extreme prey then we have a problem.

Malinois generally ( but not totally) can not perform in many above mentioned tasks in which the versatile dog needs to perform, since part of the versatility of the breed ( in general)  is that they must be ( most importantly) able to live in  non professional family in the house. Malinois are extreme in their prey and to call them level headed is a mistake. Their extreme prey may serve them well in some tasks and be a hindrance in others. That makes them different then GSD who should not be extreme dog but versatile dog.  

 I do not dislike Malinois. They are what they are and as I said GSD people should be remained what the GSDs are loosing   these days to Malinois and maintain by proper breeding better shepherd, which can compete with Malinois,  but with versatility in mind.  I have posted the results from AZ K9 trials as a example how the Malinois are winning some and GSD are winning some and all around dog was Mal-Shep. The trial was not really representative of the ratios of the GSD to Malis in AZ. The  fact is that most departments which were represented were from around Phoenix, there are many departments who prefer GSD,  likefor example  Nogales( and I know this because I am providing them with GSDs) who is on front line of border war and smuggling and related crime to these activities. It does not get much more "real" for Police K9 work  then in Nogales . They did not attend. On the other hand AZ DPS is using strictly Malinois and they attended.

AZ DOC is involved mostly in detection and they have won in that field with 2 GSD and one Mal-Shep.

Thus what I am saying is that GSDs and Mals can do the same type of a work and yes as Jim said the approach of training is different.  Some departments prefere GSDs and some Malinois based on their philosophy and preferred training approach accepted in each particular  department.
 

Prager Hans

by Slamdunc on 09 November 2011 - 04:11

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Thus what I am saying is that GSDs and Mals can do the same type of a work and yes as Jim said the approach of training is different. Some departments prefere GSDs and some Malinois based on their philosophy and preferred training approach accepted in each particular department. 

Very interesting. 



 

by Jyl on 09 November 2011 - 04:11

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Hans said
"Malinois are extreme in their prey and to call them level headed is a mistake"

I would beg to differ. I have been around hundred of police K9s and trained with and watched alot of them train. I have seen alot of LEVEL HEADED mals.  Are there some that are not, sure! As there are some GSDs that are not level headed. For if all Mals were not level headed then there would be none in Police work, KNPV, Ring Sport, PSA or SchH. I have trained with Ivan Balabanov before when he was here in California. He has some of the most level headed Mals out there, they are also extreme in their prey and defense. All around very nice dogs! So to say that Mals are not level headed is a misconseption.H

Here is one very nice Mal.... Lamont Houston's Porter.
http://www.youtube.com:80/watch?v=kPkTEnMJKG0


by Prager on 09 November 2011 - 08:11

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 To Jyl
Malinois due to their high prey are famous for biting their handlers, fellow officers, sport judges, trainers, and kennel personnel and family members, friends visiting the household and  innocent bystanders.   Because of that millions were and are paid in settlements by LE agencies all over USA. I do not know if it is still current situation, but at one time state of Nevada decided not to use Mals for LE for that reason.
 Yes there are exceptions, but as a whole I  would not call that level headed breed as a whole. Many PDs are forced to utilize E collars not as a training choice but as a necessity in order to control actions due to the extreme prey of these dogs.  
Yes they serve well if handled by experts and  are impressive flying over the cars, and during sports events and competitions,  being very fast and quick to response and so on, but below is a video  of what I am talking about. It is  in the last part of the video where  the handler gets bitten by his own dog in " drive" in the hand.  I have seen it often. That renders dogs like that to be only handled by experts and not suitable for amateur  families and many beginner handlers on PDs. For that reason they more often as not can not be part of the families inside of their households, but must be and are kept in the kennel behind the house. That is more often then not  done by sport enthusiasts as well. From my own experience many Malinois are put to sleep by families who purchased them as a pet or a family protector and subsequently family  members or friends or children  got bitten because they got up too fast from the chair or did some unexpected sudden move.
  There are other even more controversial aspects of their perception of complex situations which I am not going to get into since I am sure I have already said enough to put Pacific ocean on a fire.
 Id say that Ivan  Balabanov has some more balanced Malinois I have seen, but that is not the rule but exception as far as the breed goes as whole.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC7ln917oiU&feature=related


On the end I would like to state again that I do respect tremendously Malinois  for what they are and do  not dislike Belgian Malinois breed and I, staunch GSD man,  have incorporated them into my K9 programs where we train them and subsequently provide them  to  Law Enforcement  agencies who request them.
Prager Hans

by johan77 on 09 November 2011 - 10:11

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Obviously there are many GSDs capable of policework and other tasks, so to say the malinois is better I think is not right, better on what I ask? Jumping over cars is probably a very small part of policework, nosework a big part but I guess not so impressive to look at for many;)

Some mals are not suited for certain jobs just like not all GSD are perfect, it´s about the individual dog and the job it should do, who cares if it´s a malinois or GSD, it´s not like the malinois has taken over everywhere and in every situation. 

by Slamdunc on 09 November 2011 - 20:11

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Johan,
Obviously there are many GSDs capable of police work and other tasks, so to say the malinois is better I think is not right, better on what I ask? Jumping over cars is probably a very small part of police work, nosework a big part but I guess not so impressive to look at for many;) 


Of course you can find GSD's capable of Police work.  I have found that many rural jurisdictions want GSD's and not Malinois because they only use their K-9's for tracking and detection work and not actual criminal apprehension.  For those PD's a good Lab would work just as well, but doesn't present the same picture to the public.  I have not seen a notable difference between a Malinois trained to do Detection work and a GSD.  I would say they are pretty comparable in nose work.  I agree detection work is a big part of my job, my GSD does an excellent job but so do the Mals on my PD.  The Malinois can also track as well as any other dog we have, even better than some GSD's but that is a handler issue. 

Some mals are not suited for certain jobs just like not all GSD are perfect, it´s about the individual dog and the job it should do, who cares if it´s a malinois or GSD, it´s not like the malinois has taken over everywhere and in every situation.  

I test, evaluate and select dogs for Police work as part of my job.  I do not sell or breed dogs.  I work and train with Police K-9's every day and work the street with my dual purpose GSD.  When testing potential dogs, I test dogs not breeds.  I do not care what the dog looks like, what it's pedigree says or what breed of dog it is.  I love GSD's but it is very hard to find suitable GSD's in the $7,000 price range that are as good as the Malinois and Dutch Shepherds I test.  I work primarily with 3 vendors that import dogs and will visit each one to test and evaluate their dogs.  The testing process in very involved and I rate and score each dog in about 10 or 12 categories.   I keep records on each dog I test in case I go back a month or two later to test more dogs and see the same dogs again.  When testing dogs, more and more I see more suitable Malinois and Dutch Shepherds being offered for sale than decent GSD's.  I usually wind up being disappointed with the GSD's I am seeing lately.  It is really unfortunate as I am a GSD guy at heart, but I have to select the best dog that I see for the job.  I am leaning towards a Malinois or Dutch Shepherd myself for my next Police Dog and I have an exceptional GSD. 


Hans,
Most of what you said about the Malinois can be said about a lot of GSD's as well.  I have seen GSD's bite their handlers and other cops and GSd's that are a pain in the ass in the house.  Many sport people keep their GSD's in kennels.  I have known many Malinois that are great with kids, great in the house and social.  We pass all of our dogs in our arms to members of the SWAT team and they hold them, put them over their shoulder and carry them.  We do obedience with gunfire and down our dogs on top of the team members in a prone position.  My GSD is more likely to bite a team member holding him than the Malinois assigned to our team.  Our Swat team guys are also trained to lift our dogs off a bite.  I would like to see statistics on the millions paid out by LE agencies by breed.  I would actually like to see the statistics and cases of LE paying out millions in settlements for bad bites.  I'm sure most of the accidental bites can be attributed to handler error, stupid cops getting in the way or "Hold and Bark" training for Police dogs.  I

by Slamdunc on 09 November 2011 - 20:11

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Grrrrr, this frickin thing cut off half of my post...................

I would like to see the atual cases of LE paying out millions in liability claims from bad bites broken down by breed. 

This is really nothing new to anyone who has been involved in GSD's for any amount of time.  Compare the working abilities of the AM SL GSD, the Alsatian, and the German SL dogs of today to those of 20 or 25 years ago.  Do the same for the working line dogs.  Is it any wonder that the Malinois is replacing the GSD as a working and top sport dog? 



Jim


 

by johan77 on 09 November 2011 - 22:11

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I think a malinosperson can find faults in the GSD just as a GSD person can make generalizations about the malinois. I agree that the different showversions of the GSD is of course getting less and less suitable for work, but they are rarely used anyway for policework, but in many countries the GSD is still in majority and there are more breeders of working GSDs than malinois. Just because the malinois now is more common outside belgium/france/holland it´s still hasn´t taken over, especially in "real" work, it´s just a good alternative to the GSD. I don´t think the rest of germany that haven´t their own breedingprogram for malinois like NRW has ditched the GSD. 

by Slamdunc on 10 November 2011 - 00:11

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Johan,
I agree with you again.  In speaking with German K-9 handlers, the majority prefer GSD's.  One reason is that the German Malinois are smaller than the Dutch Malinois and more sport driven.  Malinois are used in Germany for their equivalent of Special Operations / SWAT deployments.  Another issue the German K-9 handlers run into is the price they can pay for a dog.  The good working line breeders can sell their dogs to sport people for way more money than the Police Departments will pay.  Bringing up the whole issue that you can find a suitable Malinois for a better price than a suitable GSD.  The GSD's being offered at similar prices are not the cream of the crop. 

Jim



 

by Prager on 10 November 2011 - 16:11

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  Many sport people keep their GSD's in kennels. 

Jim,
I agree with most what you are saying. However we should not be  talking  here  about GSDs only as a police dogs and or sport dogs since  they are much more then that. I agree that many sport dogs are kept in kennels because they are pain in the butt in the house. But that is due to extremes of these dogs which are detrimental to the breed as a versatile dog. The high prey drive  must not go together with hyper activity, but unfortunately we see hyper activity and as a side effect of high drive way too often. As a matter of fact we see it so often that high drive and hyperness is consider the same thing by many. Also I am looking at the dogs not only as a police dogs, or as a sport or as anything specific, but as a versatile breed. Where the dog is capable to excel in broad spectrum of tasks. I am looking at it from the point of responsibility every breeder needs to keep in mind when they breed 2 dogs.
GSD is not just a police dog or just this or just that!

 Unfortunately breed specific statistics are hard to find thus we are dealing only with anecdotal cases and common sense. The person who would have such statistics would be probably Terry Fleck.
I have friend who is designing insurances for municipalities and other gov entities and she is going to look into it.
Off course there are exceptions to every breed and bringing exceptions as a evidence is easy to do but is is a wrong think to do. It is false to use a red herring as a proof of a point.
 
As far as prices go, we provide "basic" excellent ( based on satisfaction of our clients) GSDs and Mals  for $6000 shipping included to LE  all over the lower 48 USA states. Thus I believe that the prices on GSDs in comparison to Mals are artificially elevated, because it is  perpetuated that GSDs cost more as some kind of a truism. But  that is simply not the truth.
 
  Prager Hans

by Sunsilver on 10 November 2011 - 16:11

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I would be interested to know what breed this police dog was. Unfortunately, they don't say:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjkUXUgmHio 

by Prager on 10 November 2011 - 17:11

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It was a Belgian Malinois.
http://www.fugitive.com/2009/12/17/alameda-police-officer-forced-to-shoot-a-police-dog-while-searching-for-allged-burglar-douglas-wayne-kirk/
 
 
 In this case it was a failure of an officer to handle over the top dog. It is not the fault of the dog but of the department to putting such dog into the hands of handler who is not able to control the dog.
The K9 program was being reviewed as far as I know . However I do not know the results of that review.
 Maybe someone here does.
Prager Hans

by Slamdunc on 10 November 2011 - 17:11

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Hans,
I agree with most what you are saying. However we should not be talking here about GSDs only as a police dogs and or sport dogs since they are much more then that 

The OP and the article was about the decline of the GSD as a working dog.  I agree they are much more than just working dogs, however I am trying to stay somewhat on target. 

Malinois due to their high prey are famous for biting their handlers, fellow officers, sport judges, trainers, and kennel personnel and family members, friends visiting the household and innocent bystanders. Because of that millions were and are paid in settlements by LE agencies all over USA. I do not know if it is still current situation, but at one time state of Nevada decided not to use Mals for LE for that reason.

You stated that malinois are famous for biting their handlers and everyone else imaginable.  I asked for statistics by breed to support your argument.  It would seem that they would be on the top of the list for vicious dogs if that were the case.  Then you said this:

Unfortunately breed specific statistics are hard to find thus we are dealing only with anecdotal cases and common sense. The person who would have such statistics would be probably Terry Fleck.
I have friend who is designing insurances for municipalities and other gov entities and she is going to look into it.
Off course there are exceptions to every breed and bringing exceptions as a evidence is easy to do but is is a wrong think to do. It is false to use a red herring as a proof of a point.


Is it me?  Or are you contradicting yourself?  It wasn't very long ago that you did not sell malinois at all.  I can remember you saying "There are enough good GSD's in czech and we have no need to sell malinois. "  As a business person and the law of "supply and demand" I would expect you to start selling both.  Otherwise many PD's would stop using you as you would be unable to supply the product they want.  I am speaking on my experience of working Police dogs, selecting and training them.  I do have first hand experience with the Seal team dogs and am friends with their trainers.  On the east coast of the US it is very hard to find decent GSD's that can do the job as well as a good Malinois or Dutch Shepherds for $7,000.  That is the market here.  I have a favorite vendor that we have virtually stopped using because the import primarily GSD's.  They are honest, upfront and great to deal with; a rare commodity in dog vendors around here.  I would prefer to deal only with them but the working abilities of the dogs they have do not compare to other vendors that also have GSD's, Malinois and Dutch Shepherds to choose from.  I will still drive several hours to test their dogs first passing closer vendors whom I don't trust as much to see their dogs.  It is often a long trip back after testing 12 or 15 dogs and not finding anything that suits my needs.  I keep encouraging them to bring in Malinois and they are reluctant,seems they are old fashioned or hanging onto hope.  Many larger PD's out here are switching more and more to Malinois and Dutch Shepherds.  I have watched this trend increase greatly over the last 3 years or so. 







by Slamdunc on 10 November 2011 - 17:11

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Sunsilver,
That is a very tragic incident but the report doesn't go into detail as to how the bite occurred.  The cop sustained some puncture wounds to his left bicep, big deal.  All I can say is any cop that shoots a Police dog for biting him needs to find a new line of work.  I can say a whole lot more, but I won't.  I have to keep deleting everything I want to say regarding this situation.  What a waste and senseless tragedy.  I train the recruit class and bring up examples of Officers that have shot Police dogs and I will address this in my K-9 class next Tuesday.  Our recruits and Officers are told that if they are afraid of dogs to stay away from them, don't search buildings with us we'll call someone else.  I am more at risk tracking or searching a building for a felon with someone who is fixated on my dog because he is afraid of my dog.  There are plenty of Officers that have seen my dog at work and are afraid of him, he is rather intimidating.  I would rather track by myself than have to watch my back thinking someone may freak out and shoot my dog.  Not my kind of cop.  I am very particular who goes on high risks searches with me and will often leave Officers out and call someone else.  Better to hurt their feelings than get someone hurt. 

Jim


by Prager on 10 November 2011 - 18:11

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First of all Jim, you must get over the hump of  equating  "work" with "Police work". No, they are not much more then working dog. That is what they are. WORKING DOGS.  Nothing more and nothing less.

You stated that malinois are famous for biting their handlers and everyone else imaginable.
 I did use only examples which I am familiar with. I did not say "everyone imaginable". Those are your false words used by you for only the purpose  to demean my statement.
 
 
 Yes Jim,
 I sell Malionois. I sell Malinois because they are requested.  I breed GSDs and promote them because I believe that they are all around better then Mals.  And yes, from time to time I change my opinion. That is a good  sign of continuous learning process and of open mind to different ideas. Only an Idiot get stuck on one educational place and will not adapt. 
 
 Where do you think I am contradicting myself?  I am dealing with tens and sometimes with  hundreds of dogs per year and am dealing with many PDs all over the world. Thus the statement that malis are prone to bite more their handlers and owners and so on, is based on my personal experience. Just because it is hard to find official statistics does not mean that it is not the truth. CDC keeps stats on people killed by dogs, but they are not breed specific and deal only in absolute numbers and not in percentages.
If you want to find hard evidence  because of your different  experience then mine and because it seems that you have enquiring mind on this issue , then do it your self. I made abundantly clear that  stats for this hard to find. Thus your statements for lack of official stats, are just as much in questions as mine.  Off course we both know that statistics are not the issue here....
 Prager Hans

by Prager on 10 November 2011 - 18:11

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It was tragic in the way that the dog got shot. However my experience  based on direct knowledge and feedback from different PDs is that it is more common with Mals then with GSDs. That is not necessarily caused by Malis being "worse" dogs. They are just different and in certain and particular ways  they require actually higher level of handling then GSDs. However the nature of Malinois  performance is such that it often mistakenly makes many to believe that the opposite is the truth. Generally speaking more extreme dog needs more , or different,  knowledge to be handled then more discriminative  dogs. Thus I think that accidents like this are caused by inferior understanding and handling of this breed.   You do not need to get cut by sharp knife if you know how to handle it.
Prager Hans

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