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In Germany, there are four dog breeds which are recognized as police dogs, that is, officially recognized. These dog breeds are the German Shepherd Dog, the Doberman Pinscher, the Rottweiler and the Airedale Terrier. As a rule the German Shepherd Dog and the Rottweiler are said to be the best dog breeds.
I have a two and one-half year old Great Dane with guaranteed trustworthy character, and he is very easy to train, but with this dog breed this is the exception.
At the field trials of the Schutzund Polizeihund Verein, other dog breeds are allowed to compete which are not officially recognized as police dog breeds. Here we have seen the German Boxer, Swiss Sennerhund, Riesenschnauzer and several other dog breeds doing police dog work just as well and sometimes better than the officially recognized four dog breeds.
I am of the opinion that any dog of good size and bone structure can be trained for police dog work, if the dog has good intelligence, the necessary courage and good nose for taking up and following scent. It is up to the trainer to find this out immediately. The Schnauzer as a born rat catcher has an excellent nose. Now, further if I believe, that if these dog breeds of whom some representatives have competed with the officially recognized dog breeds in the SchH. and PH. trials, had received as much and thorough training in the past four generations as the German Shepherd Dog and Rottweiler, they would be just as fit and popular as these dog breeds for police dog work, as I and others fully believe that very intense training of the parents and grandparents, etc., is inheritable.
Another interesting experience ought to be that I have two Schnauzer puppies, one Great Dane puppy, one German Shepherd puppy and one Dachshund enclosed in an extra kennel upon my training grounds. These dogs, although one is a recognized police dog puppy at the age of only three months, show a great deal of interest for training, and will let no strangers come to their kennels without a great deal of almost savage barking. At the age of six months I have had a puppy who went for the training of his own accord, and this is only because he had watched my trainer while at his work. Youngsters learn much better when they watch the other dogs being trained when they are still puppies.
In training it is not only necessary to treat each dog individually but each dog breed wants individual treatment.
I could continue and make a book out of this, but for brevity’s sake I will close right here, but would be pleased to answer all questions to those interested.
Excerpted from Dog World magazine, October 1923, Vol. VIII, No. 10.