Can You Adopt Retired Police Dogs?

Police dogs risk their lives to protect and assist law officers. They are trained for jobs like tracking criminals, searching for drugs and explosives, finding missing people, and sniffing evidence at the crime scene. They are also trained to have sharp reflexes, so they are the perfect sensing machine in any criminal case.

Police dogs are a vital part of modern-day law enforcement; they train them to track even in the most extreme situations. The best breeds of police dogs include the German shepherd and Rottweiler as they are healthy, smart, and have a great sense of smell for tracking criminals. Police dogs usually retire at 7 to 8 years because of their old age or health.

Robby’s Law

In 2000, President Bill Clinton passed Robby’s law in Congress, allowing caretakers to adopt retired police dogs. Before this law was introduced, military and police dogs were euthanized for old age when they were no longer fit for service. Dogs that assist the army or police live for 11 or 14 years.

However, after Robby’s law passed, their handler or caretakers can now adopt retired dogs as they share a bond with them. But it is not so easy for these dogs to get comfortable with their new duty lifestyles as they have always been trained to be aggressive and stay on their guards.

Some dogs might even face stress and anxiety and could require specialized training to be more sociable and friendly to other people.

Adopting a Retired Police Dog

Although their handlers adopt retired police dogs, civilians can also adopt them. These cases appear when the dogs’ handlers die or do not pass law enforcement training. Civilians are third in the line after the handler’s family and law enforcement officers adopt a retired police dog. If a civilian manages to adopt one, they have to undergo a screening process.

Where to Find Retired Police Dogs for Adoption?

If you are thinking about adopting a retired police dog, try contacting the nearest police station. They can also provide information about other police stations that have retired police dogs for adoption. If the police stations don’t offer any help, you can conduct research online or from local dog shelters.

The Necessary Steps You Have To Take For Adoption

Once you have found an agency with retired police dogs for adoption, you will have to undergo an adoption process that includes an interview with an agency member. The information gathered from this will be used to decide whether you are qualified to adopt the retired K9.

The agency member will also inspect your home to ensure that your living arrangements are suitable for the retired police dog. It would be best if you also had sufficient finances to take care of the dog. If they approve you for adoption, they will transfer you to the waiting list until they find a suitable dog for you for adoption. You also have to manage the transportation costs of the dog to your house.

Is it Easy to Take Care of a Retired Police Dog?

The police department trains its dogs to be highly observant and responsive to catch criminals, sniffing evidence, etc. After being adopted by their new handler, they have to adapt to their new lifestyle; they can be aggressive in some situations. That is why taking care of a retired police dog requires the handler to be healthy to hold their ground and give firm orders.

Retired police dogs are also old, and so they require extra attention and care. They can also develop joint problems due to their hectic and challenging work life, so you will need to give them joint supplements with their diet to help them stay clear of joint issues.

Breeds of Retired Police Dogs

There are many breeds of police dogs; the most commonly used police dogs are the following:

1. German Shepherd

German Shepherd

When you think of police dogs, the first thing that comes to mind is big, energetic, and muscular dogs like a German shepherd. They are the breed of dogs known to serve the police because of their sheer intelligence and strength.

This type of dog can bite your arm with ease due to its large and healthy teeth. Moreover, they are also very loyal and easy to train, meaning they cooperate reasonably well with their masters.

2. Beagle


You might not have expected these cuddly little fellows to be police dogs, but this type of breed has the best nose in the job. Beagles are small cuddly fellows that make excellent pets and are good police dogs too. They are also known as narcotics-sniffing dogs meaning they also use them for the narcotics finding patrol.

3. Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois are smaller cousins of the German shepherd. They are very similar to the German shepherds. These dogs service under military, police, and sometimes they use them as therapy dogs.

4. Blood Hound

Blood Hound

The Blood Hound, also called the blood tracker, is up there with the best tracking dog breeds globally. This type of dog can track any scent up to miles. They were initially bred to be used as hunting dogs, hence one of the best options for police dogs.

5. Rottweiler


Rottweiler is an intelligent dog breed with a body like a truck; they have been great police dogs for many years. Though they appear prominent, they are timid and are extremely friendly.

6. Labrador


The American Labrador is also one of the best police dogs globally, but people mostly adopt it as a pet because of its cuddly personality. The American Labradors have long been used for hunting because they are good at sniffing.

Advantages of Adopting Retired Police Dogs

There are several advantages as to why you should adopt a retired police dog. The main benefits are listed below:

1. Happy Ending

Firstly, retired police dogs are in their old age that means they don’t have many years left, so adopting one may prove to be a happy ending for a retired police dog.

2. Heightened Senses

Retired Police dogs are trained to have highly keen senses, so in the case of any life-threatening danger, they might prove to be your life savior.

3. Guard Dogs

Retired police dogs can help prevent burglars from getting into your house as they are trained to fight criminals.

4. Great Company

They make for an excellent play company to keep you safe and take care of you. There’s a reason dogs are known as a man’s best friend, and retired police dogs try to be the best of them.

5. Smart and Intelligent

Police also trains the dogs to be intelligent and smart. They can follow just about every standard command. Therefore, it would be easy for you to order your dog to do just about anything.

Retired Police Dogs – Great Companions and Watch Dogs

Police dogs are good for security, and you can keep them outside of your house to keep an eye on the people who pass by. Moreover, they also help prevent theft and burglary by alerting the owners when they feel danger. They even help the owner in emergencies and act as their guardian to guide them and help them as needed.

That is why it is an excellent idea to have retired police dogs as your pets as they are suitable and helpful in many situations besides keeping an eye on strangers.