why do police officers use german shepherds

In the United States, most police departments will use the German Shepherd as their choice of police dog. From news footage, it seems that many other countries agree with this choice. They are used by the police, federal agents, and the military. Why pick this particular breed over all the other breeds that are out there? More to the point, why are these dogs trained with German commands? The first question (which is not entirely the point of the article, but it is worth mentioning) is the fact that a German Shepherd is a large dog. It is also a highly intelligent breed and it develops a life-long bond with it s human counter part. Most handlers, whether police, military, or whatever, consider the canine a partner instead of an animal. The intelligence factor is a big part of the equation. A German Shepherd can be trained to do very difficult jobs. Jobs that even a human could not possibly do. With the training they receive, they will also exhibit problem solving skills. Why would the commands be in German? There are at least two reasons for this.


It is these two that will be covered here. 1. As smart as any dog may be, they do not understand human languages. If they don t understand, how do commands work? It is about tone. The tone that you use in your voice is what the dog responds to. German works great for this because of the type of language that it is. It is a very harsh sounding language. Even if you happen to be saying something that is sweet like I love You, the German version is Ich Liebe Dich (for non speakers, German can be a hard language to spell). Of course reading is not the same as hearing it, but most people have heard German spoken at some point. The harshness that the German language will help work with the pack mentality that canines understand. Even if you are not angry with your partner the harsh tone will command immediate attention. 2. While the second reason will not work in countries that speak German (or languages that are similar), it does in other parts of the world. It works especially well in the United States. Even if the U. S. claims to be a melting pot, most citizens speak English, Spanish, or French (of course there are hundreds of others which is a great thing, but those are the 3 main languages).


If a police officer has to use a K-9 to bring down a suspect, using the normal English commands won t always work. A traditional command for a dog to stop is heel. If the suspect is yelling this, it would do the policeman no good if the dog stopped and sat down by the criminal. If the command to stop, search, take down, etc. is given in German, the suspect would have to not only know the German language but also whatever police code that is used. This way, only the K-9 handler has control of the dog. From the keeping the peace side of the argument, this is a great idea. On a note closer to home, many private citizens will do the same things with their own dogs for the same reason. If someone is breaking into your house and you happen to speak German, Russian, or Japanese, why not train the dog with commands in those languages. This way, instead of the criminal being able to just go tell the dog to lay down in English, they will be stopped from entering your home until they can both figure out the correct language as well as the command.


By the time they have done this (if at all), you will be awake and can take the correct precautions.
Back when fire-fighters used horse drawn carriages, they realised that dalmations could run along side their horses, keeping pace as athletic dogs and their high guarding instinct meant they also protected the horses from other dogs or people as they ran. Dalmations also naturally tried to distract and calm the horses who would otherwise be scared by the fire. Now it is more tradition than anything else which associates the breed with fire fighters. German shepherds are quick to learn, fast, strong, fiercely loyal and with a high guarding instinct. These make it an ideal breed for police dogs. You want to make sure your highly-trained attack dog never forgets you re the owner, and doesn t try to play catch with the robber you sent it after!

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