*This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you).
Top 10 Police Dog Breeds Around the World Dogs 101
We see him in action packed movies, and television dramas, guarding his companion and sniffing out buildings for substances. The Police dog is everywhere, whether we see him or not. Also referred to as a K-9 dog, the police dog helps police officers and law enforcement, sniffing out drugs or bombs, leading officers to missing people, and simply guarding his masters. While any dog could be trained to be a police service dog, there are common breeds that are more popular. While this is not an all-inclusive list, these breeds have special character traits that specifically qualify them for police work, each breed having his own unique abilities. Today, we present the Top 10 Best Police Dog Breeds.
Like many on this list, the German Shorthaired Pointer is a dog breed that has transitioned from being primarily a hunting dog to police work. Enthusiastic, bold, and very intelligent, this easy to train dog has long since been used for tracking due to his keen sense of smell. Holding his large brown nose low, he follows ground scents intensely.
Non-aggressiveness, sturdiness, and a strong willingness to please his owners make the German Shorthaired Pointer easy to work with. The GSP likes to please his people and will work hard for them, especially if he’s rewarded with praise, play, or food.
Of course, you’ve seen prison break movie scenes where the escapees are being tracked by bloodhounds. Might’ve even heard a country song or two about it. The Bloodhound’s ancestors were created in medieval France to trail deer and boar. Today, he’s a highly active and intelligent dog whose keen sense of smell has found him a special place in law enforcement and search and rescue.
He is renowned for his man-trailing ability and under certain circumstances, his “testimony” is accepted in court.
8. Boxer Dog
Although he might not be as popular for police work as other dogs on this list, The Boxer has a long history of service to mankind as a police dog, war dog, and service dog. In his homeland of Germany, the Boxer was one of the original breeds accepted for police work. Additionally, the Boxer’s service in Germany during World War I and World War II was virtually unparalleled. Today, in some parts of the US, the Boxer is making its mark as both a narcotics dog extraordinaire and as well as a patrol dog.
The Labrador Retriever is yet another hunting dog that has transitioned to a police service dog. He is especially skilled as a detection dog. The perfect detection dog prospect is a dog that has a desire to hunt and retrieve an object. When testing a detection dog candidate, the trainers will gauge just how long and hard a dog is willing to hunt for an object using his nose. As a result of his genetic predispositions to hunt and locate game for a hunter in the most extreme climates without giving up, it is not uncommon for a Labrador to pass the detection dog selection criteria with flying colors. A working Labrador is a lean, fast moving machine whose diet is always optimized to maintain his best health.
Yes, the Beagle. The Beagle may not be what you’d think of when we say Police Dog, but his unique skill set fulfilled a very important need in protecting national interests. Beagle Brigade is a team of beagles and their human handlers who, as part of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, inspect luggage at U.S. airports searching for agricultural products. According to the USDA, the Beagle Brigade program averages around 75,000 seizures of prohibited agricultural products a year, any of which could be devastating to US crops.
Originally bred for rabbit hunting, the beagle has an acute sense of smell; he can detect smells that are too faint to be sensed by scientific equipment. In addition, he has a voracious and undiscerning appetite. The Beagle is generally friendly and gentle with people, and, due to his small size, is not intimidating. For these reasons, the beagle was chosen as the breed to be used for these airport inspections.
5. Giant Schnauzer
This large yet quiet dog breed who is very suspicious of strangers have been used as K-9 officers for many years as well, but they did enter the profession much later than other dog breeds.
The Giant Schnauzer has a tendency to be overly aggressive, which when tapped into and siphoned into the right direction make him an extraordinary tracker of suspects, missing persons, bombs, and narcotics.
The Giant Schnauzer is also used in search rescue, because of his relentlessness, loyalty to the task and unwillingness to give up.
So far this list has consisted mostly of scent dogs of some sort, but you’re here for the action, aren’t you? Well, we present to you the intimidating looking Doberman Pinscher. He’s a breed that was developed specifically for this type of work. He’s not a hunting dog with a new job.
Intelligent, courageous, and beautiful, the Doberman Pinscher is primarily used to apprehend fleeing criminals by grabbing the arm and pulling them to the ground. His athletic, fast moving body is perfect for this type of work.
It also helps that the Doberman is naturally very lean and swift – there are very few breeds in K-9 units that could ever outrun him, particularly when he’s on the trail of a suspect. He is sometimes used as a sniffer to detect narcotics as well.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is the newest kid on the block, as police departments have only recently started to use him for police work.
Most Pit Bulls used are rescued, which saves on costly fees from breeders. Due to his history of dog fighting, he was rarely employed for K-9 units before; however, this has been changing as law enforcement realized his great potential.
Confident, fearless, athletic, fast and sturdy, the Pit Bull is primarily used for detection and patrolling.
The Rottweiler is considered a perfect match for almost every job description in police work. He is strong, obedient, loyal, alert and loves action. He always wants to be in the middle of things. A Rottweiler is often recruited in teams of investigators who solve crimes, severe offense cases or drug trafficking, but he can also be trained to take care of policemen, protecting them from any possible danger.
Because he is an active dog, his attention span is also impressive and he can stay focused for longer periods of time compared with some other dog breeds.
Before we move on to number one, here are some honorable mentions.
It comes as no surprise that the German Shepherd Dog comes in at number one. Some people only know him as the police dog, forgetting that he actually has a name or at least don’t know the full name of the breed, which is German Shepherd Dog, by the way. He is the number one K-9 officer breed in the world, and it’s easy to see why.
Smart, fast, fearless, and enthusiastic, the German Shepherd takes the lead by leaps and bounds. Because he’s highly trainable and follows through on commands, the German Shepherd shines when it comes to bringing down suspects.
He is an amazing all-rounder who is also used to sniff out narcotics, cadavers, as well as in search and rescue missions alongside many other law enforcement units.