The infamous German Shepherd – what makes them so adept and highly sought after? And we’re not talking about the great big cuddly ones you see up your local park playing fetch. We’re talking about the highly trained working dogs serving within the police force!
Extremely intelligent, focused, and highly trainable, it is no secret that German Shepherds are most commonly known as “police dogs”.
But when and why did the police force decide to utilise these giant bundles of joy as their working dog? Today, we explore the history of German Shepherds within the police and why exactly they’re considered the best dog for the job.
History of German Shepherds in Police Work
Did you know that German Shepherds were specifically bred to be working dogs? That’s right, it’s literally in their blood to be put to work.
In the early 19th century, a German army veteran named Max von Stephanitz, began breeding the German Shepherd specifically for tactical traits including intelligence, versatility, loyalty, and focus.
Soon after, Max approached the police force in Germany with his clever creation. The loving K9s were eventually put through the ultimate test of discipline and tactical training. And, you guessed it, the tests were hugely successful.
After seeing such great results in Germany, the rest of the world soon followed suit. German Shepherds became the ultimate working dog for both police and armed forces and eventually became field dogs during the First and Second World Wars with duties ranging from messenger dogs to ammunition carriers, and more.
In fact, during the heart-breaking event of 9/11, German Shepherds were used for the search and rescue of victims throughout the attack. For days, these admirable dogs worked tirelessly to rescue survivors. Without these loyal K9s, our police force wouldn’t be what it is today.
Why Are German Shepherds Used as Police Dogs?
German Shepherds are infamous for their loyal and highly versatile nature. Proving to be one of the most efficiently trained dogs, these K9s are highly adept in assisting police officers with investigations, and, quite simply, love being put to the challenge.
All prospective German Shepherds are carefully put through rigorous training by their handler before officially becoming a part of the policing team. Once out on the field, they perform complex tasks such as tracking and detecting and sniffing out drugs or explosives. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that without German Shepherds on the force, the daily risk posed against our police officers would significantly increase.
Assisting the forces with their investigations, German Shepherds are trained to detect evidence missed by the human eye, deter suspects from fleeing the scene, assist with arrests, and even track down missing persons.
Another great thing about these dogs is that they are incredibly obedient which is a trait other breeds can lack. For example, if a German Shepherd was instructed to restrain a suspect, it will hold down its opponent until told to let go – an order it will most certainly obey.
Characteristics of German Shepherds
With all their positive characteristics, it’s no wonder that our loyal and intelligent German Shepherds have worked within the police force for over 100 years. Let’s explore their characteristics in more detail.
German Shepherds were bred for one thing and one thing only: To work. Making them top candidates for the police force, these clever dogs thrive in hard-working environments and won’t rest until they finish a job. Without being put to work, German Shepherds would become incredibly destructive. Lack of exercise and stimulation can wreak serious havoc and lead these loving dogs down a path of severe behavioural issues.
German Shepherds are also known for their loyalty and can become quite attached to their handlers. With their ability to pick up on subtle body language cues, these natural-born protectors can quickly detect dangerous situations and will ultimately do what it takes to keep their handler safe.
The bond is certainly not a one-way street, though. Police dogs live with their handler for most of their lives – even after retirement! A German Shepherd and a police officer truly make for the perfect companionship and they share one important thing in common: To protect each other.
Not only are German Shepherds one of the most highly intelligent dog breeds, but they are also extremely trainable. This combination of traits makes them the most highly sought after breed for policing duties!
Known for their energetic nature, it is no secret that trying to escape these K9s would prove a difficult task for any perpetrator. With the ability to run at incredible speeds, German Shepherds are more than happy to keep doing so until told otherwise making it a silly move for anyone who dares try to outrun them.
While these characteristics may sound quite intimidating, rest assured that they are also extremely loving. With the right training, these K9s can safely be around adults and children and even other dogs. Although, we advise you not to approach one when out on their duties with their handler! They take their duties pretty seriously so it’s best not to disturb them on the job.
German Shepherds are one of the most popular choices amongst police forces – and for good reason. Bred specifically for tactical training, these extremely versatile and intelligent K9s have been working in the police force for over 100 years.
Whether they are helping to locate a missing person or using their ultra-powerful nose to sniff out explosives, we only hold the utmost respect for our working German Shepherds and their handlers.