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Police Dogs

Police Dog
Source: USFWS

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Police dogs are dogs that help the police to solve crimes. They have become a major part of law enforcement in the past several years. Police dogs have saved many lives with their unique skills and bravery. They are loyal, watchful, and protective of their police officer counterparts and are often deemed an important and irreplaceable part of many police departments.

What kinds of police dogs are there?

Police dogs today are trained in specific areas. You could say they are experts in their field. Some of the specific police dog roles include:

Tracking - Police dogs who specialize in tracking use their powerful sense of smell to track criminal suspects or missing persons. Tracking dogs are trained for years and can find even the most cunning criminal. Without police tracking dogs, many a suspect would escape from the police.

Substance Detectors - These police dogs also use their sense of smell to help police, but in a different way from tracking dogs. Substance dogs focus on detecting a specific substance. Some dogs specialize in recognizing bombs or explosives. These brave dogs are trained not only in detecting the explosive, but also how to respond (very carefully!) and safely let their officer partner know where the explosive is located. Other dogs may focus on illegal drugs. These dogs help save officers from having to slowly search by hand through luggage or a car or other areas by quickly determining if an illegal substance is near.

Public Enforcement - These police dogs assist officers in maintaining order. They may chase down a criminal suspect and hold them while the officer arrives or they may just guard an area (like a jail or prison) to keep suspects from escaping.

Cadaver Dogs - Although it sounds kind of gross, these police dogs are trained in finding dead bodies. This is an important function in a police department and these dogs do it well.

Military Police Dog Detecting
Source: US Marines
Could my Poodle be a police dog?

Well, your poodle may be a great dog, but it probably wouldn't be a great fit for a police dog. Police dogs need to have very special and specific training. There are many different breeds of dogs that are trained in police work. What breed often depends on the type of work they will do. Some of the most popular breeds today include German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois, although other dogs like Bloodhounds (good for tracking) and Beagles (good for drug detecting) are used as well. Regardless of what breed they are, police dogs are usually trained from puppies to learn their job.

What happens to Police dogs when they retire?

Police dogs are usually treated as heroes. Many times they go to live with their human police officer partner. They have spent years with this person and come to think of them as family, so this works out well for both the officer and the dog.

Army K-9 officer Daga
Source: US Air Force

For more about Dogs:

Border Collie
German Shepherd
Golden Retriever
Labrador Retrievers
Police Dogs
Yorkshire Terrier

Check our list of kids movies about dogs.

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