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Police Dog Rudi

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Subtle commands

extract from a news letter, date not known.

Don’t try telling police dogs to “p--s off”!
I had to laugh when I read the Skipper about the German trained police dog. I was a police dog handler for 26 years in the Bristol Constabulary.
I was one of two policemen to start the dog section in this force. We had two puppies supplied by the Surrey Police Dog Section. Even in those days dogs were in a short supply and were obtained from members of the public as gifts, and bred by various police forces, especially those forces that had a training centre. A lot of breeding stock was of course from Germany. Germany uses an enormous number of dogs. I understand that the border patrols have somewhere in the region of 3,000 dogs.
In my time as a handler, dogs from abroad had to be quarantined for six months and this was not a viable proposition for small dog sections. I don't know what the situation is today. To get back to what made me laugh was your "aus" and "bissen" which you say the dog handler had to learn. This is not for the dogs' sake, it is a safety precaution. At the dog training school we were taught to say "passauf" - this was when we wanted the dog to attack. This as you can see was a safety factor. It was not a word I was likely to use in everyday conversation but this is the laugh. I was with my colleague late one evening when we came upon three young men coming from the back of a factory. When they saw the dog van approach they stepped back into the shadows. We stopped, got our dogs out of the van and went up to them. After questioning them and examining the premises we were satisfied that they had been relieving themselves. We told them to go on their way. There is always one. This one was becoming a nuisance. His mates were trying to calm him down to no avail. He was mouthing off about his rights and gesticulating. My colleague's dog was getting a bit agitated and straining at the short lead. His handler stepped nearer and said forcefully "p--s off" and pointed in the direction he wanted the man to go. The dog must have thought he had said "passauf" because in the wink of an eye the dog lunged forward and seized him by his arm. Startled, the young fellow tried to snatch his arm out of the dogs mouth, and the handler was pulling the dog back, when the coat sleeve parted company with the rest of the jacket.
It was then that the man decided to leave the scene and, after picking up his sleeve, he ran off ranting and raving to catch up to his mates who had left when we told them to. We put the dogs back into the van.
It was at this time we realised that even using a foreign language was fraught with danger.
Tom Hornsby, Hamilton Close, Hayle

If You are out there Tom, please contact.
A command also used by the Notts Police! but which one?


  1. My own favourite un-official command was an almost silent sssss!

    When working with the perfect partner, a handler does not like criminals taking the passauf, out of his dog.

    After having received a hard bite from the dog for offering aggression or doing a runner, we could expect a thief to leave well alone, but no; sometimes they have to try and control the dog, becuse they have one at home just like it?? they think.

    Having mentioned the silent command for attack, it does not take a lot of imagination to realise what happened when the prisoner asked what the dogs name was and tried to take over the handler's job. he was told SSSunny.


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