Police Duty in the United States | The German Shepherd
The German Shepherd has had without question a long, rich, and storied tradition serving as a police dog in the America, and around the globe. The breed has been an accomplished companion for the men and women that wear the "blue" throughout the United States. Its primary success arose from the need to have a canine that could be effectively utilized for a wide-range of police dog activities-such as working in close quarter with its handlers in large metropolitan areas, to tracking suspects over dense, rural areas. It seemed whatever the task at hand called for, the German Shepherd dog was ready, willing and able to deliver. Because of this, it essentially became the official police dog in the United States, with the occasional Doberman Pinscher or other worthy bred being used also.. Smart, loyal, practical, easy-to-train, obedient-the German Shepherd dog had it all.
Unfortunately, a shift has recently taken place over the last decade that is causing the German Shepherd dog to fall out of favor with many law enforcement organizations. Why has this happened? There are a number of competing opinions and points that can be made and argued, but what's certainly true is that there has been a slight and gradual shift away from the German Shepherd to that of other breeds, particularly the Malinois. Advocates of the working bloodline of the German Shepherd point blame to the large and ever-growing "show" and "ring" dog industry-canines that must look and walk a certain way. Add to the fact that the German Shepherd has been for decades one of the most popular breeds, which many working breed purists will tell you this does nothing but downgrade the quality of the breed itself. In short, popularity leads to ill-conceived breeding, poor-quality working dog, and a breed destined for mediocrity. In fact, amongst many police forces in the United States, there seems to be less reliance on American bred German Shepherds and more on European bloodlines, which often results in seeking out "alternative" breeds, such as the Malinois.
Regardless of recent trends and the opinions of others as to why this is happening, it can be widely agreed that the German Shepherd dog has been a staple and mainstay for decades in police forces throughout the United States. Whether that will continue will largely depend on the ability of breeders to produce top-quality working dogs fit for duty.