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!
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.
Now 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.
It doesn’t matter whether a dog is a male or a female — both can make excellent police dogs!
Well-trained K9 units have performed one 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 who smelled something suspicious along the way.
How do officers train dogs to search for drugs? They train dogs by using their favorite toys — in case, a white towel. After the trainesrs 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 detect 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.
That is one of the reasons 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 a rubble.
Well-trained dogs can tell identical twins apart by their smell!
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.
Any dog has a big potential for scent work. Yes, even those pooches that came from animal shelters, adoption centers 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.
There are rare instances that police dogs remain active up to 10 years.
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!