their use in law enforcement,
Physical Requirements of Working dogs.
a. All dogs trained and used as working dogs by the Army are procured
by the Department of Defense Dog Center (DODDC) at Lackland AFB, TX.
Usually, only German Shepherd-type dogs are accepted for use by the Army, but
other dog breeds are sometimes used for special purposes.
b. German Shepherd-type dogs are used as the standard breed, This is
due to the unique combination of traits they have.
intelligent, dependable and predictable. They are easily trained and usually
Also, they can adapt readily to almost any climate
conditions. Many dog breeds exhibit some or most of these same traits, but
the shepherd most consistently exhibits all of these traits.
c. Dogs offered to the DODDC must be between 1 and 3 years of age.
Either male or female dogs are acceptable. Dogs do not have to be pure bred
or registered, but they must display the predominant characteristics of their
Shepherds must be at least 23 inches high at the shoulder and must
weigh at least 55 pounds or more.
d. Since military duties demand strength and stamina, all dogs must be
There should be no missing canine teeth.
Minor physical defects may be acceptable, provided they do not impair a dog's
ability to work.
They should be mildly to moderately aggressive, and they
must not be gun shy. Overly aggressive dogs may not be acceptable.
e. After dogs have been accepted for military use by the DODDC, they
are matched with new handlers.
Then the dogs are entered into patrol
training in the MWD Studies Branch.
This is based at the Security Police
Academy, Lackland AFB.
If, during this training period, a dog fails to
progress, it may be "washed back" to repeat training. When training is over,
the dog may be shipped to fill vacancies in the field; or may be held over at
Lackland to help in training other handlers. No dogs are entered into either
type of dog.
Definitions of Behavior Traits.
a. Sensitivity. Sensitivity refers to the type and degree of response
a dog shows to a certain stimulus.
An oversensitive dog is startled by a
stimulus of low intensity; and undersensitive dog would not be disturbed by
the same stimulus.
The response of an oversensitive dog is often one of
shyness or fright.
The response of an under-sensitive dog, given the same
stimulus, may only turn its head. He will show no response at all.
Dogs vary widely in levels of aggression.
are three general categories of aggressiveness.