The six potential police recruits are less than five weeks into their 14-week training course and are apparently already fighting it out to be top dog.
But the alpha dog attitude that made it difficult for _The West Australian _'s photographer to get the German shepherds close together for a class snap will be an attribute on patrol.
Confidence, a strong desire to track down prey and even a good bite are some of the traits the canine recruits need to be a successful general-purpose police dog.
Senior trainer Sgt George Bogunovich said the dogs searched for suspects, detained criminals, dealt with armed offenders and helped with crowd control.
Often the presence of a dog is enough to encourage suspects to hand themselves in.
If a person surrenders, the dogs are trained to stop and bark until officers arrive. But they will attack if they perceive a threat.
Police dogs Rumble and Vector are among those injured on duty in recent years; after a suspect allegedly cut Vector's head and two dogs attacked Rumble.
Sgt Bogunovich said the dogs were taught to follow the freshest human scent - which included people's odour, clothing or even particles of skin left behind.
"It's like being in the wild when they try to find their food," he said. "We just harness their natural abilities to follow a scent."
The dogs can be used three or four times each shift and search on leads with their handlers, police officers, or are freed to chase a fleeing offender. German shepherds are considered the most "complete" dog and police said the biggest difficulty was sourcing high-quality working dogs because many were now bred for show work.
The dogs are usually aged between 16 and 30 months when they join the police and about 75 per cent pass their training.