Dogs are always said to be the greatest companion a man can have, but being a great companion is not the only thing dogs are good at. Dogs can also track down lawbreakers, shreds of evidence, sniff off drugs or detect bombs, and many more benefits to police officers.
These dogs are called police dogs or most commonly referred to as K9 (a homophone of Canine). Police dogs are trained since the middle age, hunting down outlaws and helping the parish constable track down criminals.
Top Police Dog Breeds
These are the common type of dog breeds suited or trained to assist law enforcement personnel such as police officers:
1. Giant Schnauzer
One of the reasons why the Giant Schnauzer is said to be an excellent dog for defense is because of its size. Its giant size is enough to intimidate not only smaller dogs but also humans. It is 23 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder with its outer coat all wiry and hard and has a harsh beard and eyebrows on the face making it look like a retired general from the army.
2. Doberman Pinscher
While this list started with a big one, the Doberman pinscher is medium in size. Still, because this is one of the most common breeds that can be trained in the K9 Unit alone, its reliability as a guard dog has already been proven during several occasions. Dobermans are 24 to 28 inches at the shoulder, with a sleek, muscular, fast and sturdy body, quite perfect for running after lawbreakers don’t you think?
3. Belgian Tervuren
The name Tervuren is said to be a similar concord to the word “Terror” and is the perfect word we are looking for. The Belgian Tervuren exhibits a terrifying appearance. Belgian Tervurens are dogs who serve the greatest in the force when it comes to drug detection as well as bomb-sniffing and many other things. Belgian Tervurens stand at 24-26 inches tall at the shoulder with a long, rich fawn giving it a striking appearance.
It is said that the Rottweiler is considered as the most fierce in temperament and aggressive in their actions. One bite could snap your finger off instantly, making it an extraordinarily vicious and deadly dog to mess with. Rottweiler stands from 22 to 27 inches tall, depending on its sexuality. Their coats vary from black with rust to tan markings giving it a distinct appearance.
5. German Shepherd
Worldly known as a wise dog that even the little ones look up to, German Shepherds have long been considered to be at the top of this list. From herding sheep to search and rescue, military and police work to be a service dog for the disabled people. This specific type of dog breed has displayed excellent skills and an understanding of their environment.
Certain varieties regarding this medium to large size dogs have appeared throughout the years. Here are a couple of German Shepherd Mixes that have been proven to be quite popular over the years.
a. Siberian Shepherd
Also is known as Gerberian Shepsky, a mix between the German Shepherd and Siberian Husky. This large-sized dog weighs about 45-50 lbs and reaches 20-35 inches tall because of the Siberian Husky lineage, these types of the breed can acquire striking blue eyes.
b. Rottweiler Shepherd
A full-grown Rottweiler and German Shepherd mix can weigh about 77-115 pounds standing around 22-27 inches tall. The Rottweiler Shepherd was said to acquire its parent’s high intelligence enabling it to learn quickly.
c. LabraShepherd or Sheprador
The average weight of the Sheprador is somewhere between 65-88 lbs and can stand up to 22-26 inches tall. From loyalty and bravery to the friendliness and happiness, the qualities of both its parents makes it a great toy dog breed.
Police Dog Life and Training
Police dogs have an average lifespan of 6-9 years. However, this cannot be used accurately to determine its life expectancy also due to several factors like dog breeds, health status, job dangers, and many more.
Training these top police dogs takes about 3-4 weeks. Training includes patrol training and narcotics or explosive detection. K-9 teams are consistently training to maintain the skills they learn and to help them continue to have good health. The training mostly consists of command words to make it much easier for the officers. Endurance and agility training is also conducted once in a while to determine the dog’s capabilities.
One of the most frequently asked questions is how does a police dog know who to attack. Police dogs don’t act without its handler’s commands; the handler gives out the signals when it is time to be aggressive or when to apprehend suspects.
Sniffing out bombs and illegal drugs might be one of the hardest things to teach police dogs. There is a bit of a psychological aspect thrown into this part. A bag of marijuana is rolled up inside a towel, using this towel, a game of tug-of-war is conducted.
The dog later starts to recognize this smell through repetitive games and label it as his favorite toy. The marijuana will then be buried in various places for the dog to sniff out its location. The same method applies to the different types of narcotics as well as bomb detection dogs, but instead of actual bombs, chemicals used to produce bombs were used.
Police dogs are often looked up as vicious dogs, but they went through vigorous pieces of training to help our police officers ensure our safety. Guarding us, providing us service, and even in warfare and military aspects, dogs can indeed be a great companion for humans.
Dogs are generally smart animals. However, not all dogs can be police dogs. Toy dog breeds are too small, which makes them vulnerable for the job; meanwhile, the biggest dog breeds can lack agility. When picking what type of breed is the best as a police dog, the best choice is those that have the right size with the ability to be trained thoroughly.