All What You Should Know About K9 Police Dogs 

K9 police dogs
Image by Wolfgang van de Rydt from Pixabay 



K9 dogs are pretty busy creatures. According to the dog, they can search for drugs, rescue people and even arrest criminals. These dogs are highly trained members of the police force, and only selected dogs will do. Let's find out more about these impressive dogs.


Why are police dogs called K9?


Domestic dogs are identified in Latin as Canis lupus familiaris, and the term canine has become an abbreviated version. The term K9 or K-9 is a canine homophone and is used to abbreviate canine. Although any dog can be called K-9, it is more commonly used to refer to police dogs now.

Canine working dogs have been used since the Middle Ages. In the beginning, bloodhounds were used to hunt outlaws. Over time, other breeds of dogs have been used, including German Shepherds, Retrievers and Belgian Malinois.

Where do police dogs come from?


Police departments obtain police dogs from a variety of sources. While some can be donated or purchased locally, Europe is an important source of American police dogs. In Europe, breeders measure potential police dogs against a set of fundamental attributes. They only breed very specific dogs and only if they have met each of the required attributes. There are also internationally renowned police dog services that are responsible for training police dogs, where they can receive international certification. One such programme is the Dutch Police Dog Association.

Unfortunately, importing a police dog involves significant costs, usually thousands of dollars. The good news is that a good police dog pays for itself in the long run.

What makes a good police dog?


Police dogs need a strong constitution. As puppies, they investigate their environment and are curious. As adults, they are highly skilled animals that can function in a variety of different conditions.

Several traits are common to police service dogs, such as:
- Intelligent
- Obeying
- Strong and powerful
- Sociable in a variety of settings

To some extent, potential police dogs must also be aggressive. They must have the will to protect civilians and bring down criminals.

Police dogs generally require a strong hunting instinct, as well as a strong nose. Police dogs can be used to detect bombs or drugs, hunt criminals or search for missing persons, which is why it is extremely important to have a good nose.

How are police dogs trained?


Basic obedience is the cornerstone of police dog training. If the dog does not master these commands, he will not be a successful police dog and will often be removed from any program in which he is enrolled. These dogs must obey each of their master's orders immediately and without hesitation. Although these dogs are generally aggressive by nature, their willingness to obey allows them to control their behaviour with the officer or handler. It also helps the officer control the force a dog will use against a suspect.

Police dogs are socialized to a variety of situations, especially to urban life. They have to get used to cars, crowds of people and loud noises, to name just a few circumstances. If they're too nervous in that kind of environment, they won't make a good police dog.

Police dogs must undergo agility and endurance training. They must be able to work for long periods and in different weather conditions. It's not the Yorkie in your family that won't pee outside when it rains. They must be able to climb walls and stairs while following their master's orders.

During their training, police dogs may receive specialized training. Depending on the use that will be made of the dog, they can acquire different skills. For example, bloodhounds are often used to find missing persons, so that's what they learn. Other dogs can learn to detect bombs or drugs.

Why are police dogs trained in German?


Most police dogs are trained in German or Dutch. The main reason for this is that the average layman, especially in the United States, does not know German, and therefore cannot try to give the police dog alternative directions.

Many police dogs are trained in the Schutzhund, which uses the German language. In addition, European dogs can learn German or their native language, which requires the police officer handling them to learn key commands in the specific language.

How long does it take to train a police dog?


Training a police dog takes a lot of work. Initially, these dogs are trained for several months, usually between eight months and over a year. Upon successful completion of this training, they are paired with a dog handler and the K-9 team/unit must train further. They usually train together for three to six months. Specialized training may take longer. For example, some police units undergo drug training, a program that typically lasts four to six weeks.

Once they learn to work together, the team doesn't stop there. Police dogs and their handlers must train together continuously throughout their careers.

Why are K9 police dogs male?


Police dogs are usually men. In a survey of police service dogs in Alberta, Canada, only 15% were female. The main reason given is that bitches tend to have more maternal and protective instincts. While a police dog should generally be able to watch and explore an area without being attached to its master, females tend to be less willing to leave their master, even to do their job. They tend to be less aggressive and may be reluctant to go out on their own to search an area or apprehend a potential suspect.

Are police dogs sterilized?


Police dogs can be sterilized or left intact. In many cases, they can spend their first few years as an intact dog, developing fully before being spayed or neutered. The reasons for spaying or neutering or leaving a police dog intact are varied. Many people believe that the dog retains more of its aggressive traits by remaining intact, but it may be more prone to being driven by hormones if it is not altered. The details depend on the service, the dog, where it was obtained and its use. Dogs that are adopted from sheltered environments are usually spayed or neutered, while those from a breeder may be left intact as possible breeding stock later.

Can pit bulls be police dogs?


Pitbulls can make excellent police dogs, and they are becoming more and more common. The first pit bull police dog in New York City was a female named Kiah who came from an abusive environment and became an excellent police dog. Most of the people who are part of it must have the same temperament and be very easy to train. That said, Belgian, Malinois and German shepherds are still the most used dogs as police dogs.

Do police dogs bite hard?


When police dogs bite, they tend to bite hard. They are trained to exert a great deal of force and continue to apply it, unlike a civilian dog, which can bite and then release immediately. Take a German Shepherd police dog, for example. The biting force of an untrained German Shepherd is usually 200 to 400 pounds per square inch or psi. A trained German Shepherd Police Dog can have a bite of over 1500 psi. While some studies have shown that only about 2% of civilian dog bites require hospitalization of a person (and these are often children), about 50% of police dog bites require hospitalization of the person. It is also important to note that these dogs are generally trained to bite only suspects, which makes them safer for the general population than an untrained dog that makes an attack without provocation.



When a police dog bites someone and they have to be hospitalized, the average number of bites is three. On the other hand, when a civilian dog bites, it usually shows only one bite.

Are police dogs considered officers?


Depending on where they live in the world and the particularities of the service they work for, police dogs may be considered officers. Unfortunately, they do not have all the protections that a police officer has. For example, if someone injures or kills a police dog, he is often not punished in the same way as if he inflicted the same trauma on a real police officer - read, human.

That said, in some areas, police dogs are considered officers. They receive their own badge and their own equipment, such as a protective vest. Regardless of the specifics, police dogs are generally treated with honour when they die, especially in the performance of their duties.

Are police dogs paid for?


Police dogs are not paid the same as police officers. Usually their expenses are covered, such as food and shelter. These funds can come from the police service or be raised through donations to the service. Their medical expenses are also generally covered, although donations can be collected for major operations or procedures.

In some areas, retired police dogs are given some kind of pension. It may not be much, but its purpose is to help the handler, with whom the retired dog usually lives, to take care of the police dog.

K-9 police dogs are an integral part of the law enforcement program. They can go into places that officers cannot reach and detect things like explosives and drugs that are not easily visible during a physical inspection of an area. These dogs go through a rigorous training process to become highly trained police officers, often learning orders in languages such as German or Dutch rather than English.

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