Police / army dogs (of any discipline) are they safe?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Dogdragoness, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. Dogdragoness

    Dogdragoness Happy Spring!!!!

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    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.
     
  2. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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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.
     
  3. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    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?
     
  4. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
  5. El Alano

    El Alano New Member

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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
     
  6. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    I think you're missing an important letter in there :)
     
  7. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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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.
     
  8. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    NatGeo Wild is airing "Alpha Dogs" and "Blue Collar Dogs" that are based around these types of dogs.
     
  9. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Fixed, thanks!
     
  10. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    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.
     
  11. LauraLeigh

    LauraLeigh New Member

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    I remember crossing the border at a Maine/ NB crossing on the motorcycles, and the handler of the Mal they had there warned us she'd bark as we left on the bikes, she HATES the sound of the bikes, but she was fine as she sniffed us and the bikes over when we were sitting there, and I talked to her (The handler not the dog)a bit, after she gave her an off command the change was amazing, she went into full body wag and I was allowed to "visit" her, the handler was great, she said she feels its important for people to not be afraid of the dogs, I mean when your on a bike your pretty vulnerable when being searched...

    When we left she walked her away from us, put her in a down, but she still barked at us once the bikes fired up...
     
  12. Grab

    Grab Active Member

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    The school my husband works at has a permanent drug dog (that is to say, an officer works there daily, has an office, and the dog (a Mal) hangs out in the office until he needs to do work/training. He goes home with the officer. I have never seen him work, but I've heard he gets extra excited. I have met him and loved on him, and he's a sweet dog :)
     
  13. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    Some are, some are not. Years ago, when I worked for a vet, we saw the police dogs for the city, and they were nice dogs on the whole. They used GSDs, and they were usually very easy to handle. For detection dogs, they used any dog with strong toy drive, and those were totally safe, they weren't trained for attack.

    A lot of departments now are using the Malinois, and frequently very sharp ones. There are enough stories of them biting the wrong people that it seems that some of them are not safe. But it's certainly not true of every police dog.
     
  14. DJEtzel

    DJEtzel New Member

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    I don't have much experience, but I have interacted with one of our county's K9 units when he was off duty... No harm whatsoever, except for the risk of a dislocated shoulder from playing tug with him. And he had a pretty fantastic out, that he even obeyed for me. *shrugs*

    I fell in love with that dog. He was flashy. :hail:
     
  15. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Outting off a live bite or even a suit/sleeve bite is a world away for many dogs. It's also often treated differently with different trainers.

    FWIW we don't care that Sloans out sucks on tugs, we ask for a give generally, as long as she will out off a sleeve. On the flip Backup has a great out on a tug but his sleeve fight is far stronger.
     
  16. SevenSins

    SevenSins APBTs & One Crazy Banana

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    That seems counterproductive.
     
  17. Hillside

    Hillside Original Twin

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    Actually, MOST K9s are not dual purpose. (Dual purpose=trained for detection AND bitework.) Not to say that there aren't some that are dual purpose, but a lot of departments use single purpose dogs.
    Switch the venue...Have you been to an agility trial? Those dogs are amped up too. They are amped up because they get to go work. A lot of the "sniffer" dogs are single purpose, IE they ONLY search for drugs/scents. A dog being amped up to work isn't unsafe at all, so long as the dog is properly managed.
     
  18. DJEtzel

    DJEtzel New Member

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    He wasn't being told to apprehend me, he was there with his handler. I'm sure it is a lot different being "working" and not. As I said, he was off duty. The handler made it pretty clear that we would not be able to approach his squad SUV while he was on duty and interact with him the same way.
     
  19. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    Some are and some aren't. We had a pretty iffy k9 here for awhile that was used in a demo at a local charity dog walk. Pretty sure most people left the demo feeling like k9s were not safe. The other dog they had at the time was awesome though, very safe and regularly went to schools for educational talks. That has been my experience locally more than not, most of the dogs I've personally seen were sound and IMO safe.

    I know some places require k9s to be muzzled when out in public, although I think it's probably due to liability more than they believe the dogs are all unsafe.

    There's also stories like this...

    http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020474412_k9dogbitesxml.html
     
  20. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    I know more dual purpose dogs than I do single purpose. Maybe it just depends on the area? I know of one dog that was at first tracking/apprehension only. They did eventually train him to do drug detection.

    The other dog is a detection dog. He was trained to do both live and HR finds and search for drugs. I think his alert was different depending. I only met him once.

    Though, most k9's I know are working at jails and prisons. They're dual purpose because their handlers aren't willing to work inside these places without a dog who WILL bite in case things get ugly in a cell.
     

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