The making of a police dog

The making of a police dog

Training a police dog is quite involved — certainly more than we can cover here. But hopefully we can answer a few common questions.

Breeds best suited for most police work are German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois [mă-lăn-WAH] and Dutch Shepherds. Labrador Retrievers are also great at detecting narcotics, explosives and other forms of evidence.

Purchasing a pup is well beyond the budget of most police departments, so many rely on public or corporate donations for this investment.

Most pups are mature enough to focus on training when they’re about a year old. General patrol training includes obedience, agility, tracking and various forms of searching.

Police dogs and their handlers form incredibly strong, lifelong bonds. That’s why — when a police dog retires — he or she spends their golden years being pampered in the handler’s home.

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