Anonymous asked in PetsDogs · 9 years ago

German Shepherd VS Malinois in police work.?

I found this article and even though I knew about this going back 8 years, I was still surprised and hurt when I saw it. The once great GSD is now becoming more and more obsolete as a woking police dog. What is worse is that its happening in its birth country.

What are your thoughts on the state of the breed, where do you see it in the not too distant future, do you think it will or has already joined the ranks of the Doberman and the Rottie as far as working abilities? Do you think that all working/protection dog breeds are going to follow that same path of extinction?

20 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favourite answer

    I'm surprised you bothered to ask, [Greekman].

    ALWAYS look at the sources - both

    #1: the particular media outlet that carried the story (HeraldSun, FoxNews)

    #2: the source THEY got their information from (Westphalia).

    Do you REALLY consider that those 3 measure up as reliable sources?

    Two threads got run-together in my group. What you want are the 4 messages starting at

    GSDs reign supreme in Britain - ask those rioters!

    As for the breed overall:

    #1 - the sooner the GSDCAmerica & AKC agree that what they have been promoting are no more GSDs than are the BBSs - despite that they all stem from the same ancestors back before WW1 - and open a register for "Yank Thangs" such as the current NAmerican Ski-Slope Dogs and Prick-Eared Bassets and Titanic Tail-Tuckers, the better! Britain has similar problems with its AlsatiOns and Prick-Eared Bassets. (On the 0-to-106 BIF-scale for hips, GSDs there average 18-20 - definitely a Fail by DownUnder requirements. But the GSDs shown at the 2010 British Sieger Event averaged just 9. Kinda shows which part of the "breed" is damaging the hip reputation of GSDs in the UK!)

    The requirements for a genuine GSD are listed in starting with


    │ The German Shepherd Dog is medium-size, slightly elongated,

    │ powerful and well-muscled, with dry bone and firm overall structure.


    │ The German Shepherd Dog must be well-balanced (with strong

    │ nerves) in terms of character, self-assured, absolutely natural and

    │ (except for a stimulated situation) good-natured as well as attentive

    │ and willing to please. He must possess instinctive behaviour, resilience

    │ and self-assurance in order to be suitable as a companion, guard,

    │ protection, service and herding dog.


    And the requirements for having a litter registered (except in places such as Britain, Canada, NZ, the USofA) are that BOTH parents possess the following certificates:

    The FCI forces a balance between trainability and conformation, via its requirements for CABs (equivalent to the British CCs but with a "working" requirement for most breeds) and its CACIBs and CACITs (the ONLY way to earn an International Champion title:

    Size is the easiest departure to control, and the SV has been increasing pressure against over-size for many years. Of course, at present the over-sized GSDs find a lucrative ready market in Britain and North America...

    The SV has also for decades set a satisfactory public performance of Part C of SchH as a requirement for permission to actually compete in the Adult class. And in the last couple of years it has begun elevating into the VA group GSDs whose conformation or gait is only borderline for the grading, but whose spirit during Part C is outstanding - probably Javir Talka Marda is the best-known at present.

    Temperaments used to be shocking here in NZ when our stock was fully-Alsatian, so we had Haan ('78), Hahn ('79), Hühn ('80) throw witches'-hats or deck-chairs beside the adults. That chased the weakest away. A couple of years later my wife & I developed a set of temperament tests - after 2 uses the Council dumped them. SUCH hard tests they were, based on what Pfaffenburger was using for his 12 weeks old guide dog pups.

    Too "tough" for some "important people"s adults...

    The main problems in the breed come from:

    •1• People who regard the GSD as purely a commodity to be bought & sold at the highest price going. But that is NOT what Max von Stephanitz asked of us!

    •2• KCs that accept litter registrations without making ANY check beyond that both parents are in the same Breed Register and the right fee has been paid. But how can allowing unworthy near-mutts to have litters registered benefit any breed? All it benefits are the KC and the "breeder" who registers in order to charge higher prices. I think that the Australians are the ONLY speakers of English (if you can CALL Strine "English"...) who have been able to persuade an English-speaking KC to impose any sort of certifications that both parents must possess before a litter can be registered - and I think that so far it applies to only GSDs & Rottweilers (their 2 clubs pioneered it together), and some Retriever breeds.

    I attempt to educate in audiences available to me, but ultimately it is my own retentions that matter to me.

    The future?

    The prediction is that ALL mammals except Man will be exterminated as we require all the plants for our own use...

    Les P, owner of GSD_Friendly:

    "In GSDs" as of 1967

  • 9 years ago

    There are still some very nice working line German Shepherd Dogs, but yes, there has developed a split between working dogs and show dogs which is a shame, but after years of going in the wrong direction, I would say that the show dog lines are improving as well regarding health and temperament, and following the original breed standard, at least here in Europe.

    So, I think the GSD will come out alive and kicking, and as "Love is a..." said, many pro handlers just don't want to deal with Malinois. I know of experienced military dog handlers that went from GSD to Malinois and straight back to GSD again. It is not a dog for everyone.

    But speaking as an owner of the sibling to the Malinois, the Groenendael, I agree that what is happening to the working dog/protection breeds is going in the wrong direction. My first dog was a breed typical Tervueren, a working dog, but try to find one now and it is near impossible because the Tervueren and Groenendael in many lines, particularly the French, have been breed for beauty.

    From a theoretical point of view, one could also say that the Malinois working dogs are also being bred away from the breed standard, but in the opposite direction of the Groenendael and Tervueren, and of all the four varieties it is probably the Laeknois that matches the original breed standard the closest. I would love to see more focus on temperament and getting the Groenendael and Tervueren as a whole back to the working dog standard. They were not bred to be pretty, couch potato family dogs and the breeding in that direction is ruining them. I hate that I have to do such intensive research to find a good Groenendael or Tervueren, and to be honest, the dog I have now is too soft according to the breed standard.

    For the Malinois, if it were up to me, it would be split in two - a hard working line and a breed standard working line, but unfortunately I cannot swing a magic wand and make all breeders and show judges to what I want them to.

    For the Laekenois, well, maybe the fact that they are the least popular of the Belgian Shepherd Dogs is actually not such a negative thing for the breed after all.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Aww, I'm sure you were REALLY hurt at the news. Should I send you some tissue for your sniffly nose? You know, if you cry in the shower, no one can see your tears :P

    I think for now, thankfully decent working GSDs are still easy enough to come by, and there is still a large enough love for the breed by many trainers and breeders that they aren't going to go the way of the dobermann and rottie YET... I can't say about the future, but I hope not.

    Not to mention, some people just don't want to deal with mals! haha, no offense, but I want a dog that actually shuts off every once in a while ;)

    Do I think all will become extinct? I think it's plausible that most DECENT representations of most breeds could easily become "extinct" in the next decade or so. The public is just becoming more soft and idiotic. All they know is what is shoved down their throats. Either they're COMPLETELY idiotic and think any purebred or "designer mutt" is good, and they'll get the cheapest thing they can find. Or if they've done SOME "research" then they think anything with a CH title is amazing. Forget the fact that many show dogs could be compared to their BYB counterparts. A showline, show CH GSD is NOT something to brag about.

    So what happens with the true stock? It's already hit the dobermann and the rottweiler. Are there any good ones left? I'm sure a FEW here or there. Look at American Pit Bull Terriers. True GAME DOGS are almost impossible to find. So we find these oversized mutts that give the breed a bad name.

    And WTF happened to all dogs under 20 lbs? I don't think there are ANY good ones left! Even the breeds that originally started out with a job have just become a mess. I say... feed them all to snakes O.o

  • 9 years ago

    Even though I knew about the decline in use of GSDs in police work, I nevertheless found the statistics in that article quite jaw dropping.

    I had not suspected that it was that much of a distiction in numbers of GSDs vs Malinois in the police force, especially in Germany.

    Very sad.

    Particularly so, as you stated, in the founding home of the breed.

    I think given time, all the great working breeds will be subject to the type of problems, that all too often come hand in hand with popularity. So yes, I think the Mals are likely next on the hit list, especially as the GSDs lose favour.

    However, I think that as Julie said, as long as there is a NEED for working dogs in the police force (be that in protection, scent work or whatever), there will be breeders that strive to breed great dogs, suited to this task.

    What is disappointing...

    Is that those breeders, have become the minority not the majority.

    And therefore a good example of a police working dog of a particular breed like the GSD, becomes a rarity that becomes harder and harder to find.

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • Jesse
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    This is something I have found disturbing for years. Not only the *protection* breeds but also the breeds that were bred to do other things such as hunt. One of the reasons why the people who live in areas where these dogs are vitally important, breed them on their own. No papers, no show ring, no ribbons......just taking the best male & female and producing excellent tracking/hunting dogs. They often breed two different breeds to get the ultimate dog.

    I knew a reputable German Shepherd breeder 20 years ago. She imported a very fine 2 year old male from Germany. He came with one helluva pedigree and he was a working dog. She produced some of the finest genetically stable working German Shepherds.

    Even though the great Arko has passed, he left a legacy of substantial dogs. She is still breeding for what the German Shepherd was meant to be.

    I don't see these dogs going the way of extinction. I see people who will continue to breed for the standards the dogs were meant to have but I see them going *underground* so to speak. It will be a select few and their dogs will be able to perform their *job* to the best.

    If I were to decide to own a German Shepherd again (and I owned one of Christina's dogs) I would go back to her. The dog I had was a black b^tch with high drive and I used it in every way I could at the time. What I am sorry for is there was so much more this dog could have done.

    You see it on this site every day. People wanting a *guard* *protection* breed of dog. Some are completely ignorant but some know what they are talking about. The sad thing is we also read on this site about people who bought one of these breeds and is disappointed the animal's genetics scream unstable/fearful behaviors.

    There are people out there that still want a working dog. The fact the police departments are weeding out the GSs and bringing in the Mal does not surprise me.

    What I see happening way in the future to the Mal is the same thing that is happening right now with the Doberman, Rottie and GS.

    I hope not to live to see it.

  • 9 years ago

    The GSD is ABSOLUTELY NOT going to go away as a working dog, and many kennels, sport competitors of Schutzhund, those who love working-lines, and many police dept's have awesome quality GSDs.

    Not every Malinois is a good quality, either. Many people are puppy mills for Malinois and many could not perform as a patrol dog. There are problems and issues in both breeds is the point.

    With the GSD you have some differences in show lines vs. working lines, but there are plenty who are preserving those working lines and the GSD is still the best all-purpose dog alongside Malinois.

    Source(s): Do you like dog training? Like our page! Photos, Tips, Belgian Malinois, and doggies for adoption!
  • Chetco
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Not an answer, but just a note:

    The law enforcement in Central CA, and in Washing, still prefer the GSD, as they are easier to work and live with. They prefer the calmer, mannered dog.

    My friend in WA tells me that the GSD also handles the snow/cold better.

    Typical of this region:

    Sacto County Sheriff K9 unit=

    3 Mals

    1 Dutch Shepherd

    8 GSDs

  • 9 years ago

    I am happy to say that the city I live in still use German Shepherds as the preferred breed for their police dogs. I also personally know someone that breeds and trains working shepherds for police departments worldwide. His dogs come from proven german working lines imported from Germany. These are the most beautiful shepherds I have ever seen. He has been breeding for 30 years and still has a waiting list.

  • 9 years ago

    I think it will not end until people stop fixating about how the dog LOOKS and more about the dog's working ability and his ability to pass on desirable working traits. It can go too far, like with field guys breeding labs that look like greyhounds, but still, a lot of fine working kennels are passed up by breeders because of the physical characteristics of the line, in all working breeds.

    The club can be more involved in this too, by celebrating the working or titled dog classes and having award programs within the club to generate prestiege amoungst the dogs with actual talent and trainability and those owners and breeders who take the time and money to train and title their dogs. That would play a huge role in making those working genetics well known.

    But I think it goes back to the 'all dogs as pets' point, and that is, if you are ONLY really selling puppies as pets, why would you bother breeding to working lines and produce pups that may not be appropriate for this role? It is a matter of changing thinking, shifting your clientele, and proving your dogs.

  • 9 years ago

    The GSD was once a great working dog. I'm not sure if it will come back or now. It's comeback depends upon the breeders. If the breeders started breeding for working qualities and soundness, I'll bet that there could be some good working dogs within 3-4 generations with a goal in mind, proper testing, and rigid culling. Sadly most breeders no longer breed that way. The breed towards the current fad. In many ways I can see malinois following the same sad path.

    The breeders are breeding these dogs too large with little regard to temperament or soundness. A huge dog isn't going to be able to stand up to the rigors of intense training and work without breaking down. Usually the working lines are smaller and more agile then the show type. Unfortunately in many protection dogs the attitude is bigger is better. When you add size to the severely sloped backs, weak hips, weak hocks and poor shoulder lay back,the dog is going to break down.

    Source(s): old balanced trainer
  • Coley
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    This is really sad that in their native country the dog is becoming deemed useless. As far as joining the ranks of Dobie and Rottie, I would have to say it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a breeder who breeds for drive, working ability and solid conformation. My experiences with the Mal are pretty limited. In the past few months, however, I was very shocked to see a few litters being advertised in our local classified adds. Which to me means, it is trending that way. Byb are getting their hands on the breed and it too may become a short lived fad...

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.