Girlie Dogs Need Not Apply to Sheriff's Canine Unit

Sheriff Gore wants “happy, social” male dogs, not aggressive bitches.
  • Sheriff Gore wants “happy, social” male dogs, not aggressive bitches.

San Diego sheriff Bill Gore is looking for a few good dogs. “Occasionally, canines need to be replaced due to retirement, injury, disease, age or death,” says a request for proposals posted on the county’s website. “Therefore, the [sheriff’s] Canine Unit has a requirement for companies to provide world-class working dogs / Canines that are serviceable (Trainable, Healthy, Hereditary Disorders Free). Each dog shall be guaranteed for a period of not less than one year by either refund or immediate replacement for any defects related to temperament, teeth, hips, elbows, backs, joints, eyesight, hearing, or any other genetic defect.”

Not every dog will make the grade: in the first place, only males are acceptable. Then there is the matter of breed profiling: “The canine shall be a recognized working breed, such as the following: German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois or Dutch Shepherd,” the county’s list of requirements says. “Proof of lineage shall be provided with each delivery. The absence of proper documentation will be grounds for rejecting a canine.” The age of the animals must be between a year and 30 months, and they should be in tip-top fighting condition: “The canine objective targeted weight should be no less than forty-five pounds, not more than ninety pounds.” In addition, the dogs must “display a good disposition toward people.” Other must-haves: “A detection canine candidate shall exhibit an obsession to play with objects, have stable character, and be willing to surmount difficult obstacles. The canine should prefer to play with objects more than having food, water, or the attention of its handler.”

Additionally, “[The dog] should not be afraid or act aggressively toward anyone who approaches it; a happy, social attitude should be seen in its behavior.” Among techniques used to screen the animals: “While the canine is standing or walking on leash in a passive state, an umbrella will be opened suddenly in its face. The canine may show a slight startled reaction but should recover quickly.” Finally, “The canine will have to demonstrate a strong, frantic desire to retrieve and possess a thrown object” and “must demonstrate effective use of its olfactory senses in searching the area where it is directed. Upon reaching the hidden object, the canine should show quick recognition of the object’s odor and display an undistracted desire to follow this odor and obtain the object.”

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I certainly hope Matt Potter didn't write the caption for the photo, gratuitously saying that "aggressive bitches" were not being sought for the Sheriff's canine unit, which reportedly wants male dogs only. There IS a difference.

Anyway, good luck to them finding a "happy social attitude" among German Shepherds and the other breeds mentioned as desirable. They are beautiful animals, but stand-offish and owner-protective. And query what happens after they've had a year doing police work, preferring "play with objects (such as hunted humans?) more than food, water or attention of ... handler?"

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