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Why don't the police use dobermans?

Hi everyone,

I was just curious as to why police forces do not use dobermans as police dogs. I have personally owned a doberman in the past and they are incredibly intelligent and trainable dogs. I also know that they have been used as guard dogs in the past. So, why are they not commonly used by the police? Are there any specific reasons for this? It just seems like they would make great police dogs with their agility, speed, and protective instincts.

Any insights would be appreciated! Thank you.

All Replies


Hello everyone,

I would like to add to the conversation regarding the use of dobermans as police dogs. My experience with dobermans as a veterinarian has taught me that while they might be good guard dogs, they have several health issues that could make them unsuitable for police work.

Dobermans are prone to several common health issues such as congenital heart disease, which can be life-threatening. They are also more susceptible to certain types of cancer than other breeds. Moreover, dobermans are not built for strenuous activities, and their lean structure makes them more prone to injury.

Police dogs have demanding physical requirements and spend long hours on the job. They need to be in good health and physical condition to perform their duties optimally. German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois, on the other hand, are robust breeds that are physically better suited to handle the rigors of police work.

While dobermans can make good guard dogs, trainer patience and time will be needed to harness their active and energy-driven traits to adapt effectively to police duties. However, their genetic predisposition to some health issues and lack of physical ruggedness and stamina for traveling long hours can hinder them from becoming perfect police dogs.


Hi everyone,

I wanted to contribute to this conversation as someone who has trained and worked with both German Shepherds and dobermans in various capacities. While I agree that German Shepherds are a great breed for police K9 units, I don't think it's necessarily fair to discount dobermans altogether.

As others have pointed out, dobermans can be prone to health issues such as hip dysplasia and heart disease. However, this can be true for any breed, and responsible breeding practices can go a long way in minimizing the risk of genetic health problems.

In terms of temperament and trainability, dobermans are actually quite intelligent and eager to please. They can be very loyal and make great partners for handlers. Like German Shepherds, they can be trained to perform a variety of tasks, including obedience, tracking, and detection work.

One thing to keep in mind is that every dog is an individual, and their personality and temperament can vary widely, even within a breed. It's important to select dogs that have the right personality and drive for police work, regardless of breed.

Overall, while German Shepherds are a tried-and-true breed for police K9 units, I think dobermans have the potential to excel in this role as well, under the right circumstances. It definitely requires careful consideration, planning, and training, but with the right approach, dobermans could make great police dogs.


Hi all,

As someone who has worked in the field of animal behavior for several years, I can add a bit more to this discussion. While I agree that dobermans have the physical attributes and protective instincts that could make them good police dogs, there are some important issues to consider.

Firstly, it's worth noting that not all dobermans are created equal. Just like any other breed, there is a wide range of individual temperamental and personality differences within the breed. Some dobermans might be too timid or easily distracted to effectively perform police duties.

Another thing to consider is that police dogs go through intense training and are exposed to a variety of different situations on a regular basis. While dobermans might be able to handle some of these situations, they are not always the most adaptable breed. Breeds like German Shepherds and Malinois are known for their trainability and versatility and are therefore more commonly used.

Lastly, it's worth noting that many police departments have specific breed restrictions for their K9 units. This might be due to local laws or regulations, or simply due to department policy. So, while dobermans might be a good fit for some departments, they might not be an option for others.

In summary, while dobermans might have the potential to be good police dogs, there are a variety of factors to consider when selecting breeds for K9 units. Breed restrictions, trainability, adaptability, and specific job requirements are all taken into account when making these decisions.


Hello everyone,

I wanted to share my experience with working with K9 units, specifically with German Shepherds. While it's true that dobermans have some great physical attributes and protective instincts, I believe that the German Shepherd is a more suitable breed for police K9 units.

German Shepherds are known for their trainability, intelligence, and versatility. Their ability to learn quickly and their strong work drive make them ideal for police work. They can perform a range of tasks, from apprehension and bite work to search and rescue and detection work.

One of the main reasons why German Shepherds are favored over dobermans is their health. While German Shepherds are also prone to certain health issues, they are generally considered to be a healthier breed than dobermans. This means that they are less likely to develop health problems that could prevent them from doing their job effectively.

Additionally, German Shepherds have a well-established history of use in police K9 units, which means that there is a wealth of knowledge and resources available on how to train and handle them effectively. This can be particularly beneficial for departments that are just starting out with a K9 unit or are looking to expand their existing one.

Overall, while dobermans might have some potential as police dogs, I believe that German Shepherds are a better choice for police K9 units due to their trainability, versatility, and overall health.


Hey there,

I feel like I can add a bit to this conversation as I have been working with dogs for over a decade now. While it is true that dobermans have historically been used as guard dogs, the police use dogs for a variety of tasks that go beyond protection.

One of the main things police dogs are trained to do is to detect and locate certain substances, such as explosives, narcotics, and even human remains. While dobermans might be physically capable of performing these tasks, they are not known to have particularly strong noses. Breeds such as bloodhounds and beagles are much more commonly used for detection work.

Another thing to consider is that dobermans have a very high energy level and need a lot of exercise and stimulation. This can make them difficult to handle and maintain for someone who is not experienced with the breed. Police handlers need to be able to fully control and direct their dogs, so it is important to select breeds that are well-suited to the job and have the temperament and traits that are necessary for police work.

Overall, while dobermans might be good for certain types of security work, there are many other breeds that are better suited for the specialized tasks that police dogs are trained to do.


Hi there,

I actually used to work as a K9 officer for a police department and I can speak to this issue. While dobermans definitely have the physical attributes and instincts that could make them effective police dogs, there are a few reasons why they are not commonly used.

One major factor is that dobermans have a reputation for being aggressive, which can make them difficult to train and handle. While this may not be true for all dobermans, it is something that departments have to consider when selecting breeds for their K9 unit.

Another issue is that there are simply other breeds that are better suited to police work. German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois, for example, are both highly trainable and have a strong working drive. They are also less prone to certain health issues that can affect dobermans, such as hip dysplasia.

That being said, there are some police departments that do use dobermans as part of their K9 units. It really just depends on the individual department's needs and preferences.

Hope that helps!


Hello everyone,

As someone who is a professional dog trainer, I'd like to offer my perspective on why police departments might not use dobermans as police dogs. While dobermans are a highly intelligent breed with a strong work drive, there are a few reasons why they might not be the best choice for police work.

Firstly, dobermans are known to be a more sensitive breed. They can be prone to anxiety and stress if not trained and socialized properly. This can make them difficult to handle in high-stress situations and could negatively impact their performance in the field.

Additionally, dobermans can be more difficult to train in some situations. They can be stubborn and resist training, which could be detrimental in a police work environment where they need to be highly responsive to their handlers' commands.

Lastly, while dobermans are known to be protective, they can also be overly aggressive if not managed carefully. This can make them unpredictable and could potentially put handlers and members of the public at risk.

Overall, while dobermans might have some potential as police dogs, I think there are other breeds that are better suited to this type of work. German Shepherds and other breeds selected for police work have been specifically bred and trained for generations to do this kind of work, and they have a proven track record of success in this field.

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