How the Police Dog Program Works

Not Every Dog is a Capable Police Dog!

An Inside Look at the World of Police Canines 

There’s no doubt that police dogs can make an officer’s job easier, not to mention the fact that they greatly enhance public safety. Not just any dog can become a police canine, as the selection process for these animals is quite intense in order to ensure that only the right dogs are chosen for the job.

A good number of police dogs are specifically bred for this type of work. The overwhelming majority of K-9 animals are German shepherd, although other breeds may be chosen as well. Dogs bred in Europe are generally preferred over American-bred dogs, as Europe has much stricter requirements for breeding these animals. Dogs that are purchased from European countries usually undergo international certification training before being shipped to the United States.

Males are used more often than females due because they have a more aggressive nature. In fact, they are rarely neutered, since officers want police dogs to maintain their aggressiveness in the face of danger. In many cases, having an aggressive dog can help officers avoid conflicts with suspects because people are more likely to fear being attacked by a police canine than they are a person.

Police dogs have a sense of smell that is around 50 times more sensitive than that of a human being. They can also run faster than a police officer can, making it possible to apprehend fleeing suspects and detain them until help arrives. The average cost of a police dog is around $8,500, but departments who have them will attest they are well worth their price.