Belgian Malinois. try before you buy.
I just spotted this great article called Belgian Malinois. Look but don’t touch. It is aimed at dissuading the general public from buying them as pets and i would whole heartedly agree but would also go further. They are also becoming popular in law enforcement circles too but they aren’t for everyone.
It seems the higher the drive of the dog, the more handler sensitive the dog is. This certainly seems to be borne out by the mali’s I have seen. They don’t cope well with harsh methods and can become flighty and snappy. They struggle with self-control issues and can get confused very easily. They are best suited to calm, consistent handlers who understand the positive/scientific methods. There are no short cuts to training these dogs and they don’t generalise as well as the German shepherd. The flip side is they are able to discriminate very well and can be single-minded when it comes to the job in hand. My current dog is as sociable as you could hope for a police dog to be but can be switched on and off again in a split second. This is great when you are used to this style of working but most shepherd handlers will be used to a dog that reacts more spontaneously. It is a case of horses for courses and my advice would be to get as much experience of the breed before you commit to 8yrs on the street with one.
Check out this link to see what they can be like from puppy hood. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpHYMhhotDM&feature=youtu.be