Police dogs, also known as k9 or k-9, are a huge part of any force that can bring their own talents to enforce the law, to protect people and property. In this article we will discuss what kind of dogs are police dogs, the most common breeds that collaborate with law enforcement, and which are trained to assist the police and to be relied upon in extreme situations. Read on and discover what are the best breeds of police dogs, and some facts about them.
Police work includes various tasks, tracking criminals, searching for drugs and explosives, locating missing people, searching for bodies, and much more.. some dog breeds are better suited for the job than others. That’s why police forces around the world use different dog breeds to benefit from their incredible skills and talents.
Some police dogs are single-purpose, which means they have only one task to do. Others are multi-purpose, they are trained to perform 2 or more tasks.
What kind of tasks do Police Dogs do?
- Intervention dogs: Searching for criminals and attacking people targeted by the police, rescuing hostages, protection, riot control.
- Rescue dogs: in case of avalanches, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, collapsed buildings.. the rescue forces need to work with very intelligent and vigilant dogs.
- Detection dogs: Customs control, searching for drugs, firearms and explosives, illegal transportation of objects.
- Forensics dogs: Searching for bodies and cadavers (which have a distinct smell), searching for clues etc..
Dogs used in forensics and detection have a very strong sense of smell, which is one of the most important tools for any police force. And this is why most of detection and forensics dogs come from the hunting breeds.
What breeds are police dogs?
These are our choices for the best police dog breeds:
The Belgian Malinois:
Malinois, the Belgian Shepherd dog, a smaller and agile version of the German Shepherd, was bred to herd and watch over groups of animals such as sheeps and goats.
The Belgian Malinois is also one of the most popular type of dog in service in the US, due to their hard work, focus and high intelligence.
They’re also flexible and can be trained to do a variety of tasks, tracking criminals, searching for drugs and explosives, tackling someone with a weapon and more..
Life span: 12 – 14 years.
German Shepherd was the first breed of dogs to be formally trained as police dogs, and they’re still the breed most commonly used by police in the USA.
These herding dogs are confident, fearless and intelligent! They are incredibly quick to learn new commands, and adapt well to new tasks as well.
Life span: 9 – 13 years.
Bloodhounds, also called “St. Hubert Hound”, a large scent hounds, have a thin and loose skin, falling in wrinkles around their head and throat. They were bred specifically for hunting animals and tracking humans. They combine an amazing sense of smell with powerful tracking instincts.
Bloodhounds have an ability to track human and other scents from long distances. This perfect sense of smell has helped them track down missing people, fleeing criminals, and lost children.
Life span: 9 – 11 years.
Labrador Retriever’s qualities of strength, intelligence, energy, Loyalty and friendliness, made them one of the most popular dog breeds in the USA, Canada and the UK.
This breed provide great services to the police and the army, and can be easily trained to perform a variety of complex tasks.
Labradors have long been hunting partners, and this has made them good at sniffing out what they are looking for. They can tell if a person has alcohol in his system, smell high blood pressure etc..
Life span: 10 – 14 years.
The beagle is a small dog breed that has a big personality, this makes them great pets as well as great police dogs. They have one of the best noses in the business, they provide great services, by sniffing out and detecting the illegal hidden things like drugs, guns and explosives at airport security checks and drug raids..
Life span: 12 – 15 years.
Rottweilers are big in size, powerful and protective dogs. They were among the earliest police dogs and served with honor for many years.
They combine the abilities necessary to drive cattle for long distances as well as serve as a formidable guard and watch dog.
Even if they look aggressive, they are known to be shy toward strangers and incredibly friendly with their owners and families. This makes them a great addition to any police force.
Life span: 8 – 12 years.
Doberman Pinscher, was bred in Germany, a medium-large, muscular, and powerful dog breed. They combine elegance and strength with speed and endurance. They were originally bred to be intelligent, fearless and ready to protect its family and home, but sufficiently restrained to do so only on command. The things what make this breed great as defense dogs, police dogs, or war dogs.
Life span: 10 – 13 years.
The German Boxer is a medium large, short haired dog breed, developed in Germany, and weigh about 50 to 70 pounds. They combine a stylish elegance with strength and agility. They are a little stubborn, but very sensitive and responsive to commands.
The breed provided great services to the military, as valuable messenger dogs, pack carriers, and attack/guard dogs in times of war.
Life span: 9 – 15 years.
Read also: Are Dalmatians good dogs?