6 Facts about Police Dogs

Humans and dogs aren’t only best friends, they are also partners in crime. Dogs are loyal, trainable, and have incredible super powers! That’s why dogs have been used through history to help fight crime. Today, dogs are used in police forces and are known as K9 officers.

Here are 6 facts you might not know about police dogs.

1. Only the best police officers have dogs as partners

A police dog can cost more than $8,000 dollars to train. It’s well worth the investment because they have so much to offer. For this reason, however, only the most experienced police officers are assigned to have a dog as a partner. The partnership stays together until the dog is retired. In fact, the dog and officer will live together. A strong relationship helps the partnership to work more effectively as one It’s like having a life-long sidekick!

2. Police dogs have been used for centuries

The Persians, Greeks, Babylonians and Assyrians were the first cultures to use dogs with the police. Bloodhounds were being used to sniff out criminals in Europe more than 200 years ago. Dogs were used in World War 1 and 2, and are still used today in police forces.

3. Police dogs are intimidating

Police dogs have been known to stop criminals by using intimidation alone. A bark or a growl can be enough to get a criminal to stop in his tracks. Dogs are sensitive to human emotion, and if they sense that someone means to cause harm, they don't hesitate to attack.

4. Training is all fun and games

Have you ever wondered how a dog is able to be trained to sniff out drugs? Most dogs respond very well to a reward system. That’s why house dogs can be trained using treats. Typically more aggressive breeds such as German Shepherds are used as police dogs. A great reward for these high-energy dogs is a game of tug-of-war. So when the dogs successfully scout out drugs during practice, they get to play! That means police dogs are trained using games.

5. Various breeds are used as police dogs

Typically male German Shepherds are used by K9 officers. This is because the line of work requires a strong, aggressive, and smart dog. However, other breeds are also used from time to time. Other breeds used in the forces include the Belgian Tervueren, Blood Hound, Boxer Dog, Doberman Pinscher, Giant Schnautzer, Labrador Retriever, and the Rottweiler. Beagles are sometimes used in airports to sniff out vegetables in people’s suitcases.

6. Dogs are very beneficial to the police force

It’s no secret that dogs have a very useful superpower - their sense of smell! In fact, a dog’s sense of smell is 50 times stronger than a humans. This makes them very useful in discovering leads that their human counterparts may not be able to. They can sniff out drugs, bombs, and even electronics. A police dog can tell the difference between identical twins because they use senses other than sight. Police dogs played an important role in searching for victims during the 9/11 attacks. More than 100 search and rescue dogs looked for survivors.

Many police dogs have proven to be heroes in their efforts to protect people and fight crime. Dogs are absolutely dedicated to their work and give it their 100%!