Types Of Police Dogs

7 Types of Police Dogs

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The police force is full of all sorts of different types of police dogs including breeds we may not even expect. These breeds (no matter what kind) prove to be useful dogs that help in so many ways. These breeds of dogs have their own unique skills and abilities that allow them to assist people in their time of need. These patrolling dogs have proved very helpful in K-9 units and are loved by the entire police community. They have served their community for many, many years, more then some of us would think.

It is important to note that the role of police dogs changes depending on one’s country or home town. So there is a huge variety of certain breeds that can carry out certain individual tasks/duties depending on what their natural talents are. Below are are the most popular types of police dogs when it comes to being in the K9 units and police workforce.

1. German Shepherds

Police Dog German Shepherd

This breed is a given and one of the most courageous types of police dogs. Whenever we think of police dogs the one that often first comes to mind is the German Shepherd. You have likely seen one of these fantastic canines on patrol whether it was walking around the city or at your local airports and schools. There is a reason this loyal breed tops nearly every list of K9 dogs out there.

German Shepherds are good for police work not only because of their personality and temperament but also their looks in general. On the inside they may be kind and sweet but on the outside they can look extremely menacing to a perpetrator. Their signature growl and sharp pointed teeth can be very scary and intimidating to criminals. They are trained to bite and hold criminals that are fleeing from police.

It is not a secret that they are known for their smart minds and unflinching loyalty. They can sniff out drugs due to their strong noses and can restrain a fleeing suspect due to their quick running and powerful build. Not to mention they are also quite agile and swift on their feet. Try racing this breed and you will most likely lose.

“It is not just those with two legs who are born with a soul that has courage to wear a badge.”


Overall German Shepherds make excellent police dogs because of their supreme intelligence, speed and agility. Any crook will have a hard time getting away from this four legged officer in pursuit.

2. Doberman Pinschers

Doberman Pinscher Dog

Sometimes referred to as the “Dobie” these dogs have an intimidating look with a powerful slashing bite (600psi). Although they are no longer the standard go-to breed of police dog, they were once highly utilized by police. Before the more modern version of police dog training was developed.

Back in the 1960’s Doberman Pinschers were used to attack rioters during a riot. They were very good at their job and fellow police officers would have to yank their leash to get them to release the perpetrator from their powerful jaws. This was before commands were properly trained and utilized.

Aside from their sometimes ferocious looks, they are also very intelligent and very eager when it comes to pleasing their owners. They like to listen and obey instructions, making them perfect for doing tasks such as scouting and sniffing. Doberman’s give us a sense of comfort despite their sometimes fierce attitude.

Personality aside this breed is known for its agility and stature as well. Dobies are loving and are loyal to those who show kindness and affection towards them. They will jump into the line of fire to save their handler. They will also go to great lengths to get the job done.

As an active member of the working group these dogs need a good deal of exercise and time to stretch their legs. This combined with their athleticism made them well suited for police work.

3. Dutch Shepherds

Dutch Shepherd Dog

Shepherd breeds in general are some of the best types of police dogs. Dutch Shepherds are no exception. This gorgeous breed is often compared to the Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd. They are high on the list of choices for K9 breeds although mainly in other countries. Many police officers choose this dog as their own.

They perform multiple tasks in the police field including a lot of detection-based jobs. Their keen sense of smell is used to find bombs or narcotics. They can also take on roles that are more active. Some examples of this are apprehension and patrolling.

This breed has one of the highest energy levels so they are super active and love to have some fun. These dogs do become serious though when they need to be. They know when it is the time to play and when it is not, making them good choices when it comes to being in the police workforce.

Dutch shepherds were originally bred to be all-purpose farm dogs. But their great personality and physical traits make them one of the best types of police dogs and pets in general. They are athletic, super smart, have undying loyalty and a high motivation to work.

4. Belgian Malinois

Police Dog Belgian Malanois

The Belgian Malanois is the preferred choice for police for several reasons. They are extremely agile, focused on the task at hand and very determined to get the job done. They are a little smaller than a German Shepherd which means less health issues.

This breed can perform a wide variety of tasks to assist the police force. Some of their duties include apprehending criminals on the run, detecting bombs, drugs or guns. They can be found patrolling areas or participating in search and rescue missions.

They are also quick learners and do well when it comes to listening to what their police office has to say to them. This means they do very well in training. They have become a common breed when it comes to being in roles for the police force. This sharp dog makes an excellent candidate for police work and also just a good pet in general.

They are a confident dog that can always be found working hard. They have a powerful, muscular build. These working-class dogs are always eager to help humans and do well in the working field.

These popular dogs are very often compared to German Shepherds. Though they are a bit smaller then most of their counterparts. They also develop close bonds with their owners. They are loved both in the United States and around the globe.

5. Labrador Retrievers

Police Dog Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are well suited for all sorts of jobs in the police department. Their main field of work is in scent-detection or search-and-rescue roles. But they can also be found patrolling airports and freight harbors keeping an eye out for anything suspicious entering the country.

Their background as hunting dogs used to sniff and retrieve game animals lends itself perfectly to this more modern role. Their intelligence and demeanor make them the perfect fit for this type of work on the force.

This breed may surprise you with their skills and work ethic. They have a knack for sensing who is nice and who means to do others harm. This makes them better suited for the police force then many would care to believe.

These dogs can also be very muscular and strong. They are athletic and full of energy, allowing them to put in a full days work of training. Labradors are very dedicated pets. These dogs also bond closely with their owners, making them eager to please and to obey commands. Even when they are faced with a scary or dangerous situation.

In addition, their friendly, kind nature makes them a good breed for working in tight spaces with the general public. They really do make make excellent family companions after they have retired from their task force duties.

6. Bloodhounds

Police Dog Bloodhound

Bloodhounds are one of the most well known types of police dogs. This is partially because of their roles as four legged detective in many films over the years. They are not as common today as they once were due to the more versatile breeds like the German Shepherd but this “old-school” police dog can still be found tracking down criminals.

They have a fantastic sense of smell and are most famous for their determined sniffing. Their olfactory system is very large and their big long signature noses contain a lot more receptors than other dog breeds. This is extremely beneficial for police when it comes to searching for drugs and bombs that have been hidden or lost.

“While most dogs can follow a scent that is hours old, bloodhounds can track a missing person weeks later.”


The police also use these dogs to track missing people, usually children. They have a huge advantage over other dogs when it comes to their scent and can track missing persons weeks later. They also help to locate criminals and can pick out specific scents in large crowds. The crime rate has gone down dramatically over the years due to this amazing breed.

There are many stories revolving around cases with bloodhounds because they are such good work dogs. This makes them the perfect match for finding lost children who may be frightened and not trusting of others. Dogs in general tend to be comforting and friendly with kids who may be scared to talk to anyone else.

7. Rottweilers

Rottweiler Dog

Rottweilers have served as police dogs for many years although less often compared to some of the above breeds. This breed can definitely seem intimidating but they listen and are quite kind. Referred to as “Rotties”, They have a powerful strong muscular body. This makes them good matches for pinning down criminals. These brave and loving animals love to stay busy, making them a good choice for being police dogs.

Rottweilers are very smart animals and eager to please. They do very well when it comes to training sessions. These sessions help them to become stronger and better police working dogs. They have a calm confidence which makes them well suited for accomplishing their duties. They are also not afraid to run away when they come across a dangerous situation.

Also, this dog breed is very loyal to their owners and handlers. Police officers can always count on this breed to listen and do always do their very best. They also will always try to keep safe while going about their everyday duties as a proud police dog.

In conclusion

From the more aggressive German Shepherds to the innocent Labrador Retrievers all these breeds are excellent work dogs who assist the police force in many different ways. They are there when the police officers need them and are committed to their work and training. They have helped our community and many countries from far and wide.

Dogs in general are so amazing and we are very lucky to have them around. Without them the crime rate would go up and their would be more fear. Dogs protect us and care for us as we do them. The police force has teamed up with these dogs and have created forever friendships. Teamwork is key when it comes to working in the police workforce. Dogs make excellent partners/companions.

There is a breed out their for everyone. You just have to look first. So if you ever want to adopt a dog, whether that be to just have one to play with or to use as a police work dog, there are always shelters around. You just have to do your research.

Please leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

What is your favorite out of all the different types of police dogs out there? We would love to hear about! Or let us know if you have any exciting personal stories of heroism from a particular police dog.

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