Dogs have been working and serving people in many ways for years. Police dogs are not a new concept – they have been around for over 100 years now, sniffing out for bombs, evidence, drugs, and criminals in the United Kingdom and Germany first, and then all over the world.
But just like in the case of people, not every dog can become a police dog; there are some individuals that aren’t right for the task, but, speaking more generally, some breeds are better for the job than others. It all started with Bloodhounds, because of their well-known skills in hunting, but since then, more breeds have proved their value in police work.
There isn’t one perfect breed for a police dog, as there are different units and responsibilities; protection, search, narcotics, rescue – all these teams will need something not entirely, but a little bit different.
What are the best police dog breeds right now?
1. German shepherd
This is the most popular breed among police dogs, often depicted in movies and tv shows. They are easy to train, and they stay obedient at all times. German shepherds are excellent at sniffing and searching, but they also serve on rescue and chase missions. They are incredibly fast, and it’s hard to scare them.
They are generally not pictured as police officers, but the truth is, beagles have one of the best noses among all dog breeds. You can find a lot of them in airports, border zones, and among members of narcotics teams. Especially that, apart from the great smell, they are great to be around, and their size allows them to fit into places that a human wouldn’t be able to.
They were the first breed to help police, and they keep ranking high in all best police dog officers. It’s a big and strong dog that can be of great help during rescue missions and manhunts. They are still highly appreciated because of their tracking abilities and smells, being able to track a missing person, even weeks after the disappearance. They found their recognition as children seekers, also because they are also friendly and not at all scary to children.
4. Belgian Malinois
It’s no wonder they are extremely useful for police work as they are cousins of well-known German shepherds. What’s more, they are smaller and have a quicker reaction time than their bigger cousins. They very often work the same job as German shepherds, sniffing out for bombs and rugs at the airports and border zones; apart from that, they serve as protection dogs because of their instincts and loyalty.
They are not only big and very strong but also highly intelligent and attentive. They are loyal and friendly among people they know and shy and careful among strangers, which makes them the perfect addition to any police team.
6. Labrador retriever
They were bred as hunting gun dogs at first, which makes them experts in detecting bombs and narcotics. They serve as patrol dogs at the airports and border zones, making sure that nothing dangerous enters the country. They learn quickly, and they bond with people they are around. They are also fast and great to train, even when it comes to more complicated tasks.
Boxers gained their fame after serving as guards and patrol dogs during the two world wars. Apart from that, they carried messages between troops and transported communication wires, even if it meant going in the crossfire. They can stay calm in many stressful situations, and they are loyal to their partners; however, they are prone to certain illnesses, which is the only reason why they are not as popular in police teams as other breeds.
8. Giant Schnauzer
They tend to be overly aggressive, but they can be tempered, and their sharp nature directed toward something useful and helpful. Because of their smells and natural suspiciousness toward strangers, they are great at tracking suspects, missing persons, bombs, and drugs. They are also very resilient and strong, which makes them perfect for search rescues.
9. American Pit Bull Terrier
Most of them are rescued dogs, so it lowers the costs that police normally need to pay to a professional breeder. They used to be bred for dog fights, therefore overlooked for long, but people discovered ways to redirect their tempers and skills. They are strong, fearless and fast, which makes them more than fit for the police work. It’s no wonder that they have been rapidly growing in numbers among police officers.
It’s important to remember that while a dog is always a dog, police dogs are a bit different than those raised in family homes. The most important thing to bear in mind is that a working dog is just like any other worker – it shouldn’t be pet or approached by strangers. Let the dog do his job!