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Old 04-05-2013, 10:09 AM
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Default Police / army dogs (of any discipline) are they safe?

I have watched lots of documentaries on these dogs & they seem really on edge ... Particularly the suspect apprehension & drug/narcotics "sniffer" dogs seem really on edge & unstable ... Are they safe to be in the public (I know in some cities police dogs to on patrols in the streets)?

Also why must they be "so" on edge? It doesn't seem healthy or safe? Also I have seen situations (both in training & real situations) where the dog has to be choked off a decoy or suspect.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:39 AM
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Yes, they are safe. They are safe because they are in safe hands. Of course there are plenty out there that are either unstable or mismanaged but the majority are safe.

Most military and police dogs do not have serious expectations on an "out" this has far more to do with the fact that they are to hold the suspect until the officer can hands on and frankly a sporty out is not a priority in a true life or death situation.

They are always aware, excited, and ready, this isn't a bad trait nor a trait limited to MWDs.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:54 AM
release the hounds release the hounds is online now
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Originally Posted by Dogdragoness View Post
I have watched lots of documentaries on these dogs & they seem really on edge ... Particularly the suspect apprehension & drug/narcotics "sniffer" dogs seem really on edge & unstable ... Are they safe to be in the public (I know in some cities police dogs to on patrols in the streets)?

Also why must they be "so" on edge? It doesn't seem healthy or safe? Also I have seen situations (both in training & real situations) where the dog has to be choked off a decoy or suspect.
I'd say your evaluation is a bit off. They are neither unstable nor unsafe. I'm sure there are some out there, show me an industry, a product, a worker in any field that has a 0% accident rate or maintains 100% compliance to the highest standards.

They are amped up a lot of times because they are going to do things most dogs won't. Go in flat and everyone is in danger including the dog. I'm sure with some different training those dogs could be made to "look" a lot different, but why?

a lot of places have a requirement that a dog have a verbal "out". and call off. Some places do not. Personally I do not think it matters at all if they have a verbal out, other than to pacify those that should have no say or opinion on the matter anyway. It's always the least informed that people have to pacify, no matter the endeavor it seems.

Anyway, whatever a municipality wants to follow, verbal or choke, I don't care. Really a verbal out is not that difficult to train, nor is it going to change much at the end of the day. I'd personally want one for any of my dogs if I was an LEO, but that's because I should have verbal control of my dog in all situations.

But pulling them off a bite isn't really a bad deal either. Once a dog is sent to be used, it's going to be used. Once you're bitten, does it really matter how they get them off?
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:01 AM
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In the wrong hands, no, they wouldn't be safe, and neither would any dog that sharp whether it was military trained or bred, or not.

I've been around off-duty military and police dogs (some washouts, some retired, some currently working) and there's no reason to feel they shouldn't be safe in public or around people. They're typically being handled by someone experienced, and even if they're not...they aren't UNSTABLE dogs. They're just different than a dog with a pet or less intense work temperament.

So, I think if a dog with that personality was put into an inappropriate/inexperienced home and handled badly, yes, they'd become dangerous much faster than the average pet. They aren't average pets.

But, in general, for the most part, the way they are trained/bred/handled, there's no reason one can't function in society safely, especially if they're being handled and trained by a professional or someone with experience.
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Last edited by milos_mommy; 04-05-2013 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:02 AM
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I'm not at all knowledgeable about Shepherds as I'm a hunting dog owner, but I'm here to find out about Malinois and other types of service dogs. Would appreciate any links to documentaries as referenced by the OP if anybody's got any?

Thanks a lot. Would really love to get investigating these breeds
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
I've been around off-duty military and police dogs (some washouts, some retired, some currently working) and there's no reason to feel they should be safe in public or around people.
I think you're missing an important letter in there
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:10 AM
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Detection dogs kind of covers a very wide base though doesn't it? I don't see why people would be more nervous about them than any old dog? I've seen quite a few different breeds doing work like that.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by El Alano View Post
I'm not at all knowledgeable about Shepherds as I'm a hunting dog owner, but I'm here to find out about Malinois and other types of service dogs. Would appreciate any links to documentaries as referenced by the OP if anybody's got any?

Thanks a lot. Would really love to get investigating these breeds
NatGeo Wild is airing "Alpha Dogs" and "Blue Collar Dogs" that are based around these types of dogs.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by release the hounds View Post
I think you're missing an important letter in there
Fixed, thanks!
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
Detection dogs kind of covers a very wide base though doesn't it? I don't see why people would be more nervous about them than any old dog? I've seen quite a few different breeds doing work like that.
This is interesting...I've seen detection dogs work at large city train stations, and also detection dogs for non-military/police work like bed bug and cancer detection dogs. Both groups have contained pretty "normal" appearing dogs of a variety of breeds, mainly shepherds, labs, and beagles.

But our local police department's narcotics detection dogs are SHARP. They're all Malinois or GSDs, and they are extremely intimidating. Observing them off-duty...if I saw a dog like that in a shelter, they'd get a red-flag to only go to a very experienced, active home with no children...if I'd feel comfortable adopting them out at all as non-working dogs.

But I think those dogs are trained in both detection and protection work. If I recall correctly, I saw one young female mal do a demo where she found a bag of marijuana before anyone could blink, then ran back and did some bitework in a flash. I imagine they're all trained like that.
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