K9 Police Dogs
K9 Unit Community Protector
"STOP, or I'll RELEASE the dog!"
K9 Police Dogs can strike fear into even the
of criminals... Or at the very least, make them a little nervous.
The mere threat alone can be sufficient enough for a suspect to give
It is no surprise that many police
the German Shepherd as four legged officers. Their superior
intelligence, strength and high trainability make them well suited for
Popular Police K9 Dog Breeds
German Shepherd Police Dogs are a common
sight. One of
the more popular breeds
used in police canine work, other breeds commonly used are:
- Beagle ("The Beagle Brigade" is used to
- Belgian Malinois
- Bloodhound (commonly used for tracking)
- Dutch Shepherd
- Labrador Retriever
- Springer Spaniel (their compact size
allows them to
easily squeeze into tight spaces where drugs may be hidden)
Police Dog Roles
- Cadaver Dog
- Illicit Substances Dog (drugs, explosives
- Public Order Enforcement Dog
("traditional" role in
finding, chasing, holding or detaining suspects)
and Rescue Dog (SAR)
- Tracking Dog (locate suspects, missing
History of Police Dogs
The first official use of K9's for police
service was in
Ghent, Belgium in the 1890's.
New York Police Department began an
k9 program with imported dogs from Belgium. Two cities in New Jersey
(South Orange and Glen Ridge) began programs in 1910.
Other police departments soon began their
Detroit, MI in 1917, Berkeley, CA in 1930, Pennsylvania State Police in
1931 and Connecticut State Police in 1944.
Those Crazy 60's
In the 1960's, the reputation of police dogs
as a result of their use in the civil disputes at the time. Some dogs
were misused and seen as law enforcement weapons instead of tools. In
1962, canine programs reached their height in popularity and began a
Due to public opinion developed in the
many police canines were used in friendly demonstrations in schools and
public functions. In the 70's, many departments developed specialized
canines during this period, including cadaver, explosive, narcotic and
search and rescue dogs.
Merger of Minds
The Police Canine Association and the United
Association merged in 1971 to form the United States Police Canine
Association. This is the largest and oldest organization of its kind.
The Court Decides
The 1980's brought expansion of many
programs across the
country. Methods of law enforcement were heavily influenced by court
decisions, public opinion and updated training. Emphasis was placed on
"reasonable force" in suspect apprehension. Canines and their handlers
were also subject to "direct control."
Sadly, issues surrounding The Fair Labor
decreased the number of programs across the country in the 1990's. And
by 2000, a number of related lawsuits ended many canine programs.
To stem the tide, Police Dog Tactics
Training and K-9
Academy instruction began in 1997 for police and rescue dog handlers.
The Model Policy on Law Enforcement Canines
established by the IACP National Law Enforcement Policy Center. Case
law volume affecting canine deployment has grown. So has the demand for
highly trained dogs.
Today, K9 Police Dogs are used worldwide in
functions, including detection and apprehension.
The Price of Protection
Training of K9 Police Dogs costs
per dog. Police K9 training often takes 2 to 3 years.
With budget cutbacks, some police
departments may have
to replace their current K9 officer with a more economical breed.
In all seriousness, many localities are
cutting back on K9 police dogs due to budget constraints.
Several departments with an active K9 unit
protective vests for their four legged partners. At around $700, these
vests will protect canine officers from stab wounds and bullets.
These brave dogs perform dangerous work
they do it loyally and faithfully, to keep us safe.
If you want to help protect those K9 police
please contact Vest-A-Dog.
A Police Dog's Prayer
Oh almighty God,
whose great power and eternal wisdom
embraces the universe,
watch over my handler while I sleep
Protect my handler from harm
while I am unable to do so
I pray, help keep our streets and homes safe
while my handler and I rest
I ask for your loving care because
my handler's duty is dangerous
Grant my handler your unending strength
and courage in our daily assignments
protect my brave handler,
grant your almighty protection,
unite my handler safely with the family
after the tour of duty has ended
I ask nothing for myself
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take the place of expert veterinarian care. Please consult with your
vet and ask about using a natural and alternative approach for the
healthcare and treatment of your pet. Find a holistic vet.