Police dogs are an important part of law enforcement. They play a crucial role in helping officers apprehend criminals and keep the community safe. There are many different breeds of police dogs, each with its own set of characteristics that make it suitable for this type of work.
Police dogs must be intelligent and trainable, as they need to be able to follow commands from their handlers. They must also be physically strong and have a lot of stamina, as they may need to chase after suspects or search for missing people. Additionally, police dogs must have a good sense of smell, as they are often used in tracking or drug and explosives detection.
And finally, police dogs must be calm and level-headed, as they need to be able to work in potentially stressful and chaotic situations.
General Purpose Police Dog Breeds
The most common type of police dog is the general-purpose dog. These dogs are usually German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, or Dutch Shepherds. They are bred for their intelligence, strength, and agility. General-purpose dogs are used for a variety of tasks such as tracking criminals, searching for missing persons, and patrolling public areas.
Believe it or not, the German Shepherd actually does originate from Germany. Captain Max Von Stephanitz, a retired German cavalry officer, at the end of the 19th century (1899 to be precise) wanted a strong, intelligent working dog. He admired the herding abilities of the various continental shepherd dogs but could not find one that had all the performance traits he imagined an expert working dog should have. So, he began his quest to research into how to breed the ultimate German herding/working dog and eventually achieve standardization of the breed.
|Size||Medium to large-sized||Medium to large-sized|
|Height||22-26” (60-65cm)||22-24” (55-60cm)|
|Weight||66-88lb (30-40kg)||49-73lb (22-33kg)|
|Lifespan||9-13 years||9-13 years|
|Litter Size||4-9 puppies/litter|
GSDs are of strong character, hard-working, thrive on having a purpose and like to please. This makes them highly suited to multi-disciplined working environments: working dogs for the police, search and rescue, drug identification teams, guard dogs and acting as skilled service dogs for visually or hearing impaired people. They will be protective and show strength if threatened and protect their master with their own life if necessary.
The Belgian Malinois is a breed of dog that is widely used by police forces and military throughout the world. They are known for their intelligence, trainability, and physical strength. Additionally, they have a very good sense of smell, making them ideal for drug or explosives detection. Malinois are also known for their calm and level-headed temperament, which makes them well-suited for work in potentially stressful and chaotic situations.
An intelligent breed that is always eager to learn and please, the Dutch Shepherd makes both a great working dog, excelling in agility and obedience competitions, and a great family companion that’ll stand by you and your children day to day.
Originally used as a herding dog, this breed is still recognized as a herding dog by Kennel clubs, much like their other Shepherd cousins are. Nowadays, these pups are often used by law enforcement to help tackle crime.
The Dutch Shepherd is recognized by the United Kennel Club and the FCI as a herding dog. They have not yet been registered by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in a specific breed class, however they are classified in the miscellaneous class because of their growing popularity. There are two official Dutch Shepherd breed clubs — the Dutch Shepherd Dog Club of America and the American Dutch Shepherd Association.
Out of all the Shepherd dogs, the Dutch Shepherd is the most intelligent dog. This also means they are the easiest to train. These dogs live to please their owners and they’re incredibly active. Their ease of ability to train, intelligence and high levels of energy make them great candidates as police dogs.
The Rottweiler Dog is a strong yet goofy dog that is extremely loving and loyal. It is for this reason that this dog breed is one of the most popular dogs in the United States and ranks at number 8 in the top 10 breeds. The Rottweiler originates from the town of Rottweil in Germany. These dogs are one of the oldest ever recorded dog breeds and their ancestors can be traced back to Ancient Rome. They were originally used as working dogs by the Romans for driving livestock and pulling meat carts.
These dogs have a working history and, although they are normally seen as companion dogs today, they are still used as police dogs, military dogs, service dogs, search and rescue dogs and therapy dogs, and can make great guard dogs and watchdogs for families too.
It is thought that these dogs first came to America in the 1920s, and they have been recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) since 1931.
Did you know the Rottweiler has a bite force is 328 pounds per square inch, which is around half the strength of a shark’s bite!
Specialist Police Dog Breeds
Specialist dogs are another type of police dog. These dogs are bred for specific tasks such as detecting explosives or narcotics. Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Spaniels are often used as specialist dogs. They undergo intensive training to learn how to use their keen sense of smell to detect these substances.
Labrador Retriever’s have been the most popular breed of dog in the United States for 29 years running! An extremely lovable breed, these pups have one of the best temperaments out there and make a wonderful family dog.
Labradors date back to the 1830s and were first established in Newfoundland, Canada and in England. They were originally bred as water dogs, gun dogs and hunting dogs and used to accompany hunters and retrieve animals that had been shot. Their loyal and loving nature mean that they quickly became a very popular family dog and were registered by Kennel Clubs.
Labradors are known for being one of the easiest breeds of dogs to train thanks to their intelligence. Any Labrador will respond well to treats, praises and other positive reinforcements.
The English Springer Spaniel is a breed that was originally used as a gun dog to flush out game in a field. Energetic and athletic, these pups are often still found in this profession, but are now more commonly found as companion dogs.
Springer Spaniels live to please their owners. Combined with their intelligence, this means that they are very easy to train and will pick up commands and even tricks very easily. Thanks to their history as a gun dog, the English Springer Spaniel is a very active dog.
These dogs are often used by British police as specialist service dogs to track drugs, money or explosives.
The Bloodhound breed is a gentle and affectionate breed. They have an excellent sense of smell and belong to a group of dogs that hunt together by scent, known as Sagaces. Because of this, they love to be outside, exercising and walking, and following their senses. This wrinkly hound has a lot of energy and can be very stubborn.
The Bloodhound is a dog that hunts by scent, making them a useful tool in todays society and they have found careers as mantrailers for police departments and search and rescue organizations. These kind of scent dogs have been around for hundreds of years, with the first dating as far back as the first century AD. However, it was in medieval Europe that these dogs began to develop into the scent followers we know today as the Bloodhound.
The Beagle is a small and fun-loving dog that can make the perfect companion for both adults and children. Originally bred as a scent hound, these dogs are happiest when following a smell and, although they love to be around you, can be quite stubborn.
With their nose constantly to the ground trying to sniff something out, they are often used across America as scent dogs in airports.
Because of their excellent sense of smell, Beagles are often used to sniff out contraband food being brought into the United States across 20 different international airports. Because they are small, friendly and cute, Beagles don’t intimidate people who are afraid of dogs, and with their super nose power, they are trained to identify specific food articles while bypassing those that aren’t contraband.