K9 Working Breeds: Characteristics and Capabilities

K9 Working Breeds: Characteristics and Capabilities

by Resi Gerritsen, Ruud Haak


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In order to understand people better, we often look to their past. Resi Gerritsen and Ruud Haak show that the same is true for dog breeds. By taking a look back through the history of those breeds most active in K9 work, Gerritsen and Haak reveal why the traits of each breed emerged to make them world class K9 workers.

Each chapter in this book examines the history, characteristics, training experience, and physical defects of the world's best working breeds. Only through understanding a breed's history can a K9 handler truly appreciate the different characteristics and capabilities of the dog they're working with. Knowing this information is invaluable in training a dog in order to develop his full potential. To this end, the authors include a chapter devoted to the difference in training the increasingly popular Malinois versus the previous top K9 worker, the German Shepherd.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781550593174
Publisher: Brush Education
Publication date: 01/01/2007
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 7.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Dr. Resi Gerritsen and Ruud Haak are world-renowned specialists in the field of dog work and the authors of more than 30 titles on dog training. They train search and rescue dogs for the International Red Cross and the United Nations (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), and they have trained drug and explosive detector dogs for the Dutch police and the Royal Netherlands Air Force. Gerritsen and Haak also act as international judges for the International Rescue Dog Organization.

Read an Excerpt


Choosing the right K9s for a certain task is not always easy. There are a lot of breeds involved. Making a good choice requires knowledge of the working ability and the physical and mental health of the breed.

In this book, we will critically discuss a lot of K9 working breeds to give you a view of their special work abilities. Of course, a survey of this type can never be complete. Other breeds beyond those covered in this book can also be used for K9 training, for instance the Akita, American Staffordshire Terrier, Kuvasz, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Briard, and so on, not to mention different unpedigreed dogs and mixed dogs that can be very suitable for special K9 trainings.

But independent of the choice of breed, to successfully train K9s it is always very important that the dog descends from working dog lines, which means that the lineage, down to the grandparents and even further, were trained and have proved their ability as working dogs. Most dogs descending from show lines, in spite of their wonderful look, cannot deliver the results required for K9 training. And, of course, it is intelligent to choose a breed and individual dog that matches your own character and lifestyle; never make a choice only at the external appearances or the character traits of a certain breed.

This book will help you to make the right choice by describing the history development, characteristics, training experiences and the physical defects of the different K9 working breeds from a critical viewpoint.

Specifically, the section on working with German Shepherds to Malinois points to the intention and practical application of this book. For a long time, the German Shepherd was the most used working breed. Nowadays the Belgian Malinois has that distinction. Because we found that a lot of professional dog trainers encountered big problems with 'the other way of handling' when switching from a German Shepherd Dog to a Malinois, we will analyse the different approaches needed in raising and training both breeds.

Table of Contents

1. History of the police dog
2. German Shepherd dogs
3. Belgian Shepherd dogs
4. Malinois
5. Working with a German Shepherd dog or a Malinois?
6. Dutch Shepherd dogs
7. Labrador Retriever
8. Doberman Pinscher
9. Rottweiler
10. Other breeds

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