German police ditch German Shepherds
Berlin - Police in a German state are phasing out the country's namesake dog - the German Shepherd - in favour of the Belgian variety.
Guenther Bonke - in charge of police dogs in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia - says it has nothing to do with German Shepherds being "too dumb" for police work - a question posed this week in a front-page headline in the Bild newspaper.
Bonke told The Associated Press on Wednesday that "while the German Shepherd is definitely not stupid, it often does not have the potential we need".
Among other things, Bonke says, he finds Belgian Shepherds - also known as Malinois - protect their handlers better in crisis situations, are more robust, and act more aggressively when needed.