Why the German Shepherd Dog Excels as a Canine Cop and Soldier

German Shepherd Dogs are everywhere! As one of the most active dog breeds working today, you see GSDs in airports, subway stations, and even Times Square. These dogs serve as police K-9s, military working dogs, search and rescue dogs, and much more.

Have you ever thought about why this particular breed is so suited for this kind of hard work?

The breed dates back to the 1890s, where it worked as a herding and farm dog. According to the German Shepherd Dog Club of America (GSDCA), the official parent club and “guardian” of the breed in the United States, the very first registered German Shepherd Dog in Germany was a “working sheepherder, requiring no training other than direction and finish to become proficient at the task.” GSDs were prized for their “utility and intelligence” and later used heavily in the World Wars, demonstrating their trainability, loyalty and courage.

The GSDCA describes the breed best as approachable, quietly standing its ground and showing confidence and willingness to meet overtures without itself making them. It is poised, but when the occasion demands, eager and alert; both fit and willing to serve in its capacity as companion, watchdog, blind leader, herding dog, or guardian, whichever the circumstances may demand.”

These qualities have been bred into German Shepherd Dogs for over a hundred years, endearing the breed to a wide public in practically every country of the globe as a companion, protector, and friend.

The all-time ACE (Awards for Canine Excellence) winning breed is the German Shepherd Dog, with 13 awards. The Awards for Canine Excellence celebrate canine heroes in appreciation for the inspiring ways in which they contribute to our lives. Each year, five loyal, hard-working dogs are commemorated for making significant contributions to an individual or their communities. 

Read examples of the GSD's heroic crime-solving skills in these articles:

Reno who survived being showered with bullets while on duty. 

Nike who chased a burglar into a closet.