Dogs have been used as K9 units for many centuries, for police work, narcotics detection, search-and-rescue work, and many more. Here are the other interesting things about police dogs that you need to know!
The K9 unit includes the following breeds:
- German Shepherd
- Doberman Pinscher
- Belgian Malinois
- Labrador Retriever
Police dogs or K9 units are popularly used across the US, and they are used in the federal, state, county and even local law enforcement agencies.K9 officers were first used in America in 1907, in the New York City.
Dogs start their police training when they are in between 12-15 months, the time when they are mature and able to concentrate well.
First, dogs should have obedience training. In this way, officers will want to make sure that dogs will willingly follow all commands, as well as will never misbehave and hurt anyone. K9 Dog training takes approximately 10 weeks. Here we have covered some interesting fact about service dog.
It doesn’t matter whether a dog is a male or a female — both can make excellent police dogs!
A well-trained police dog can save 600-1000 hours of man every year.
Well-trained K9 units have performed one of the biggest drug busts ever. In June 2014, officials were led to a drug laboratory where they located $10 billion worth of heroin, thanks to their police dogs that smelled something suspicious along the way.
K9 officers perform tracking, narcotic detection, explosives detection, cadaver detection and public enforcement. How do officers train dogs to search for drugs? They train dogs by using their favorite toys — in case, a white towel. After the trainers use the white towel for tug-of-war plays with the dogs, they would alter the smell of the white towel for weeks. For example, they wrap it with marijuana, then with chemical smells associated with bombs and explosives. This will help dogs to sniff and identify these smells while playing with their toy.
The most popular breeds are German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois. They are imported from Europe where these dogs are used for herding sheep.
Once the dog has spotted a thing it is sniffing for, it sends its handler one of two types of alerts. When a police dog detects the hidden drugs, it will place a paw on the spot where he finds it. In case of finding a bomb, they will just sit down as they were taught to; pawing at the spot can be a real danger.
Some police dogs have metal teeth made from titanium. They are given these sometimes purposely for biting while many at times to replace their natural teeth which may have broken during work and training.
Police dogs are also excellent doing search-and-rescue operations in times of disaster. They are able to find humans who are alive or dead bodies deeply buried under rubble, up to 12 feet underground.
Well-trained dogs can tell identical twins apart by their smell!
Police dogs compete against each other and win prizes. Some dogs have even gained fame because of these competitions, and most of them are held annually.
As with any pet parent, a police dog’s handler is responsible for its feeding, grooming and maintenance police dogs live with their handlers while on duty and even after retirement.
Sadly police dogs are not paid for services but provided with food and medical care which is borne by the department. In some cases, the handler of the police dog is given some salary for accidental expenses.
Any dog has a big potential for scent work. Yes, even those pooches that came from animal shelters, adoption centres and private agencies. They are the ones who supply these dogs that love to do some work.
German Shepherd dogs make popular police dogs because first of all, they’re extremely intelligent. They are also popular for their size, willingness to learn, and also for their work ethic. German Shepherds have been used for many centuries, even in wars such as the two World Wars, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War.
Beagles have strong sniffing ability and can easily sniff bombs, drugs and overseas food, therefore they are commonly found with the customer and border protection officers.
Bloodhounds on the other hand also have strong smelling sense but they don’t bite, therefore they are used to track missing persons.
Each K9’s career lasts only about 6-8 years. However, there are rare instances that police dogs remain active for up to 10 years.
Each police dog costs approximately $15000. A lot of dogs are purchased and trained using the money confiscated from criminals involved in drug trafficking. At least that’s a really useful way to spend it!
K9 dogs are generally trained for search and rescue, identification and location of missing persons and their remains, for controlling the crowd or chaos, detection of drugs, bombs and tracking of accelerants.
Trust Your Dog: Police, Firefighters, and Military Officers Talk About Their K-9 Partners
Here is a book that will give you first-hand information on police dogs straight from military officers and firefighters. Written by Joan Plummer Russell, who has spent a large part of his life with on-duty policemen and officer, this is an inspirational book that talks about the power of dogs and their role through different stories of heroism, loyalty, bravery and attachment. It also covers essential information about the physical characteristic of police dogs, their abilities and support as partners to their handlers.
The dog is one of the species gifted naturally with unlimited abilities, talent and intelligence; evidence to all is a police dog that is much more capable than any police officer. If you already like dogs, these amazing facts about K9 units and the book recommended above will not only more to your general knowledge but also add respect and fascination to their efforts and services.