Types Of Law Enforcement Dogs
The two main types of law enforcement dogs are police dogs and military dogs. While both serve and protect, police dogs help in crimes and military dogs help in times of war.
There are two main types of police dog work. General-purpose police dog duties have the k9 accompany his law enforcement handler when responding to traffic stops, calls, or emergencies, and helps to apprehend suspects of crimes and accompany in any other dealings with the public.
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Specialized k9s additionally have the responsibilities of any specific job where the k9 takes the lead:
- Sniffing for illegal drugs, chemicals or explosives
- Identifying people who handled such substances
- Search and rescue for kidnapped or missing people
- Finding hidden human bodies or body parts
The k9 job duties can therefore be divided into apprehension, detection, search, and rescue, or patrol. Official specializations are Narcotics K9s, Explosives/Gunpower K9s, or Apprehension/Search K9s. Detection dogs can search for narcotics or bombs and explosives, like their military counterparts.
Dual-purpose dogs have either of the single tasks, plus scouting abilities. Patrol Explosive Detector Dog and Patrol Narcotics Detector Dog are both used by military police and law enforcement in every service.
A K9 officer with his partner during their patrol shift.
What Breed Are Usually Police Dogs
The German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, Bloodhound, Dutch Shepherd, and retriever are the most popular breeds among dog owners. In recent years, the Belgian Malinois has been gaining popularity as a top choice for police and military work due to their intense drive, focus, agility, and small size.
The Belgian Malinois: Ideal For Police Work
The German Shepherd is an extremely well-known dog breed that is used in the field of K-9 search and rescue. The police are assisted by a variety of dogs, and each dog has its own distinct characteristics. Only the Belgian Malinois is bred in the program, and it is the only breed that is thought to be ideal for the military due to its high energy, strong sniffing, agility, speed, drive, work ethic, loyalty, and, when necessary, fierceness.
Police Dogs: More Than Just Law Enforcement
Many people are not aware that police dogs can also be hunting dogs. While most people think of police dogs as being used for law enforcement purposes, these dogs can also be used for hunting. Police dogs are often used in hunting because they have a strong sense of smell and can track down prey. They are also trained to be obedient and to follow commands. This makes them ideal for hunting purposes. While police dogs can be used for hunting, they are not the only type of dog that can be used for this purpose. There are many different types of hunting dogs, each with their own set of skills and abilities. Some of the most popular types of hunting dogs include: retrievers, hounds, setters, and pointers. Each type of hunting dog has its own unique set of skills that make it well-suited for a particular type of hunting. For example, retrievers are often used for waterfowl hunting because they are excellent swimmers and have a strong sense of smell. Hounds are often used for rabbit or deer hunting because they have a strong sense of smell and can follow a trail. Setters and pointers are often used for bird hunting because they can locate birds by sight and sound. No matter what type of hunting you are doing, there is a type of dog that can help you be successful. If you are interested in using a police dog for hunting, be sure to talk to your local law enforcement agency to see if they have any dogs that are trained for this purpose.
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Other Law Enforcement Breeds
Not all dog breeds in law enforcement are part of the military and police force. Other dog breeds may not have the physical capabilities for field operations, but have other special skills.
Here are the other dog breeds that help with law enforcement just not with militaries and police K-9 forces. They deserve just as much recognition!
K9 Officers: An Overview
As we hinted earlier, the idea of modern police dogs came about in 1888 when bloodhounds helped in capturing Jack the Ripper, the notorious serial killer.
Bloodhounds were picked because of their strong sense of smell and hunting history.
In the 1890s, Britain and Germany made the use of dogs in the police an official duty.
Now, a police dog has the same right as an actual police officer.
It receives the same treatment and respects any officer would.
Any assault on these dogs would result in fines and a jail term.
Besides tracking people, police dogs also arrest criminals in that they hold these law-breakers down till the human officers draw close.
With this in mind, lets look at how these dogs get trained.
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Can Any Dog Breed Be A Police Dog
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Some breeds of dog are especially well suited to police work and are used in law enforcement settings on a regular basis. Some of the most popular K9 breeds include Belgian Malinois puppies, German shepherds, and Rottweiler puppies. It is not uncommon for police departments to have different preferences for certain breeds.
Since the late 1800s, police dogs have been used to fight crime. They are primarily responsible for apprehending suspects and patrolling, as well as assisting in search and rescue operations. A police K9 does not need to have the best parents in order to be trained. A dog is classified into six different types depending on its intended use. A German shepherds natural instinct can be used to assist almost any police officer. Belgiums Malinois are known for their intelligence, protection, and high energy levels. Trainable Labrador Retrievers are typically trained to detect drugs or explosives or track criminals.
Hunting dogs in German Short-haired Pointers were bred to aid in the hunt. A bowlhound is known for its determination and ability to detect airborne particles. Tracking these individuals is frequently used by police to locate missing people and find criminals. If the dog is well-balanced, a variety of breeds can be used. According to Sarah Parsnow, a K9 trainer, the most important thing is motivation.
American Pit Bull Terrier
Despite the negative stigma attached to the American Pit Bull Terrier, many U.S. police agencies have over the past few years been using American Pit Bulls as detector dogs. The reason for this is simple: price. A fully trained imported German Shepherd can cost as much as $20,000 for a single dog, whereas rescued Pit Bulls are extremely cheap. Thanks to a grant program run by police Universal K9, police agencies can have rescued Pit Bulls trained as single-purpose narcotics or explosive tracking dogs, free of charge.
This is a fantastic initiative that not only provides communities in the United States with a K9 resource that their local police may not otherwise have been able to afford, but it also helps reduce the number of abandoned American Pit Bulls that destroyed or end up spending their lives languishing in animal shelters.
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K9 Dog Breeds: 14 Best Police Dog Breeds Who Serve
We see K9 dog breeds in movies as they strut around with police officers or on the news leading a search and rescue team.
It did not start in our century, however.
Since the 5th century, dogs and law enforcement officers have worked side by side to maintain national security.
It has since become a norm and testifies to the numerous reasons dogs are loved.
Not all dog breeds can be trained to play this role of a K9 dog, however.
Some dog breeds are preferred over others in joining the police force.
These Police dog breeds are known for hard work, protection, fierceness when necessary, and loyalty to their owners.
The Bloodhounds, for example, were used in 1888 to locate Jack the Ripper.
This laid the foundation for the modern style of canines in the police force.
The use of police dogs isnt limited to the United States. Countries like Japan and Australia adopted this method.
What dog breeds are best suited as police dogs?
We provide the answer with a list of the 14 best K9 dog breeds that serve and protect both the cops and citizens.
Before that, we shall have an overview of k9 dogs. We will also figure out how they get trained.
Best Dog Breeds For Police K9 Training
For more than a decade, mans best friend has successfully helped law enforcement officers with their police work and duties. In fact, the first unofficial police canines were Bloodhounds used back in 1988.
To no surprise, there are certain dog breeds that have been proven as reliable law enforcement working dogs since day one, whereas other breeds are probably best as domestic house pets. But what dog breeds are the best when it comes to working in law enforcement, and what reliable breed should you choose if youre pursuing police K9 training? Learn about the top five most popular dog breeds used for police K9 training in this blog post and why theyre the most commonly used breeds in law enforcement nationwide.
At Custom Canine Unlimited, we have a variety of police K9 training programs for you to choose from. Our dog training professionals have several years of experience working with many different dog breeds, and were sure that when you work with us, youll see successful results. Contact us today to register for a program for you and your police K9 unit!
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Qualities Of The Best Police Dogs
Police dogs must possess certain qualities and skills to ensure they are an excellent addition to the force and useful in their handlers daily lives.
Dogs that make for good police dogs are breeds that already carry many qualities the force may be looking for, such as a strong sense of smell and hunting instincts.
These dogs bring significant endurance and strength to the force. They are great protectors and defensive aids for their handlers. Police dogs have more discipline than the average household pet and use their sense of smell, aggressiveness, and intelligence to track down criminals while on the force.
An ideal canine for the job is in excellent health and executes years of satisfactory service in the workforce.
The Best Dog Breeds For Police Work
There are a few breeds bred specifically for police work, such as German Shepherds. Because of their calmness under pressure, intelligence, and trainingability, they are a calm and intelligent addition to any family. Aside from tracking, trailing, and detecting, Basset hounds, Bloodhounds, and Labrador retrievers all have an excellent sense of smell. Due to their size, they arenât always the best choice for police work, which is why maneuverability is so important.
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Police Dog Breeds That Help Law Enforcement
Dogs have been formally called on to help police fight crime and track down suspects since the late 1880s, though their role in serving and protecting humans goes back many centuries earlier than that.
More recently, police dogs work has expanded to mirror almost everything their human counterparts dofrom apprehending suspects and patrolling, to assisting on search and rescue missions, to sniffing out drugs, guns, and bombs. Its nuanced and demanding work, requiring a special temperament and skillset, which is why youll see certain breeds used as police dogs again and again.
Still, experts agree that breed alone doesnt automatically qualify a dog for police work, nor does a less common K9 breed rule one out. Yes, were drawn to certain breeds because we know what their characteristics usually are, says Shana Parsnow, manager of working dog programs for Highland Canine Training, LLC. But the characteristics of the individual dog are really the most important thing.
Top 10 Best Police Dog Breeds
Ready to step in when law and order is needed, these police dog breeds are ready to serve and protect and do a lot more than you thought the average K9 did.
Did you know that not all police dogs are created equal? Like me, you probably envision a trusty German Shepherd Dog stepping up to the plate to take out the bad guy but when it comes to policing theres no such thing as a one-size-fits-all pooch. In fact, there is a different breed for just about every task including sniffing out narcotics, tracking and restraining criminals as well as search and rescue.
The multi-talents of the humble pooch werent officially recognized until the late 1800s when police forces first began utilizing their superior scenting skills. Today, you wont find many forces that dont have or have access to a K-9 unit. So which breed excels at which task?
Compact, easy-to-maneuver through stacks of luggage and quick to obey, this non-imposing pooch is often seen working airports and other ports of entry where his skillful little nose is pretty effective at sniffing out packed narcotics and hidden contraband.
This handsome, alert-looking boy closely resembles a German Shepherd Dog and while he possesses the same keen intelligence and ability to follow commands, hes smaller and quicker to react which makes him perfect for an unexpected chase and take-down.
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Life After Law Enforcement Dog Work
What happens after a k9 is retired or is unable to continue law enforcement work? Having gone through obedience training since puppyhood and working extremely hard, they can retire from old age or negative behaviors resulting from their high-stress jobs. They are typically ready to retire between 7 and 11 years of age. Before Robbys Law was signed in 2000, they were unfortunately euthanized. These days, however, they are adopted, and they adjust easily to family life. Their handlers are the first choice, followed by other service members, and then the general public.
The different types of police dogs or k9s are working dogs that serve and protect their handlers as well as civilians. Whether their job is to help in law enforcement or perform military duties, their obedience training makes use of their skills and allows for bonding between them and their handlers. They are extremely valuable in stopping crimes and doing work that humans cannot do or cannot do as well as dogs.
Bonus: Mixed And Unexpected Breeds
There are certainly exceptions, additions, and even surprises to this list of popular K9 breeds. Many mixed breeds and shelter rescues have become successful members of various police forces around the country. And especially when it comes to detection or search and rescue, many different breeds can be used if they have the right temperament, Day says. The only ones hes seen struggle a bit are short-nosed breeds like Bulldogs or Frenchies.
Motivation is the biggest key, adds Parsnow. Weve trained all kinds of different dogs for detection work. In fact, right now we have a Dachshund, and he does it just fine. You wouldnt expect him, but he has all the characteristics for a detection and trailing dog. If a dog has those characteristicsthe prey drive, the hunt drive, the sociability, the want to possess a toythen the dog can do the job, she says, regardless of its size, breed or lineage.
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What Are The Top 10 Police Dog Breeds
What goes into the training of a K-9 unit?
Police dog units or K-9 units, are an important and highly specialized part of most police departments. Made up of specially trained dogs and staffed by highly skilled police dog handlers, K-9 units carry out a variety of policing tasks including searching for drugs and explosives, locating missing people, finding crime scene evidence, protecting people, and attacking criminals.
It takes a special police officer to become a police dog handler. It also takes a special dog to become a police dog, some breeds are certainly better than others. Even within the most popular police dog breeds, not all dogs make the grade, which is why most departments use dogs bred and raised specifically to do police work.
Here are the top ten dog breeds used by police departments across the United States and the world, according to multiple dog breeding sites like Hepper.com, Scotsman.com, and PetlifeUSA.com.
Final Thoughts On These Breeds Of Police Dogs
Though weve given a detailed description of the ten best breeds of police dogs on this list, other dog breeds have served throughout the years with law enforcement.
All types of police dogs have been helpful throughout history and remain active members in bettering their community in todays time. The best breeds of police dogs greatly depend on the training and the specific dogs instincts.
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Military & Police Dogs
These are the most popular police dog breeds serving humans all over the world. However, there are a lot more local dog breeds that serve mainly in their home countries.
These highly trained police dogs are generally called K-9, which is a homophone of canine. This term originated from the name of the Armys War Dog Program during the second World War. Back then, the dogs of the military were called the K-9 Corps.