Vol. 7 No. 1 (2021)

Behavioral management of puppies in training as military dogs

Lorenzo Tidu
Comando Divisione Vittorio Veneto, Firenze (Italy),
Giuseppe Spinella
Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche Veterinarie, Università di Bologna (Italy),
Alessandro Parco
CEMIVET, Grosseto (Italy)

Published 2021-04-10


  • puppy,
  • behavioral management,
  • military dogs


Military dogs, besides being exposed to stressful events during operations (loud noises, transport, exposure to high and low temperatures, etc.), can be involved in explosions and/or gunshot wounds.

Breeding, selection, and management of working dogs are specific activities that involve a deep knowledge of different disciplines such as genetics, animal husbandry, internal medicine, and applied ethology.

This study aimed to provide specific guidelines on the breeding and behavioral management of German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois military dogs, from birth to the seventh month of age.

The deep knowledge of the dog from the point of view of applied ethology and the psychology of learning, beyond a natural predisposition to interact correctly with the dog, are the most important topics for a good canine trainer; education and dog training are only direct and natural consequence of this.