America’s Police Dogs: What to Know About K9s

America’s Police Dogs: What to Know About K9s

( – Few people would deny that America’s police officers have a tough job. From conducting traffic stops and home wellness checks to tracking down dangerous criminals, they prepare for almost anything. Many departments choose to bring canine helpers into the mix, as these working dogs have life-saving and unique skills that can intensely benefit their partners and the local communities they serve.

According to the American Kennel Club, the most common breeds for police K9s include German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and Bloodhounds. Many of these canines are trained to apprehend criminals and protect their handlers with their lives. These dogs, however, must be incredibly strong, intelligent, and loyal.

Another routine job of police dogs, and perhaps the most commonly observed, are detection canines found in places like major sporting events, airports, and concerts. As pups have around 45 times more scent receptors than humans, they’re uniquely equipped to smell drugs, bombs, and traces of blood or other human scents across a crime scene. This skill also allows them to participate in search and rescue efforts during situations like avalanches, drownings, or kidnappings.

This intense work obviously requires immense amounts of training and purposeful breeding. There are many training academies that work with these dogs, but many departments also have in-house professionals to help canines meet the specific needs of their force.

In addition, once a dog is paired with their handler, they’re often a team for life, as the close bond and relationship between the two is essential for the clear communication necessary to complete any law enforcement task effectively.

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