A Closer Look at K9 Police Service Units
Law enforcement is not the easiest job. It’s hard enough for a human to wear the badge, but imagine what it’s like for the many dogs that wear one too. Police dogs are trained to detect narcotics, explosives, and even respond to dangerous situations like riots, fights, and even armed attackers; it’s pretty tough ground for a being who mostly chases frisbees and cuddles on the couch with you while you watch your favorite show. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at these brave dogs that make up K9 Police Service units spread across North America and around the world.
What does it take to become a K9 police dog handler? Keep reading to find out…
A brief history and origins of the K9 font
Interestingly enough, dogs have been involved in law enforcement since the Middle Ages, according to Wikipedia. Think about it…if they’re good at hunting, then they must be good at catching a criminal, right?
It was in the 14th century that these police dogs were used as guards, actually guarding docks and other areas where a sentry was needed.
In their most notorious case, police dogs were actually used in the search and investigation of the world’s most notorious serial killer, Jack The Ripper. On Wikipedia, there are real photos of these dogs in action… actually looking for the infamous madman. Ouch!
In their early days, police dogs were primarily bloodhounds, which have also been used in hunting circles for generations and still are.
The training concerned
The training of police dogs is indeed quite intensive. It is also extended to what is known as the handler – the human who guides the dog and is associated with it. The bond between handler and dog is one that can never be broken and should not be.
The handler must have formal training as a police officer and have completed at least two years of patrol before they can even be considered for the position of K9 handler of any respective police force.
It is recommended that the handler also has experience with animals or specifically with dogs for some time. So at the end of the day having multiple dogs or volunteering at the animal shelter at school can indeed help to figure out if this is a career you want to consider or if your kids are expressing an interest. .
As for the K9s themselves, training should be fairly easy if the handler is on point and knows what he or she is doing. Love, affection and an authoritative voice when needed go a long way, which of course does when training a dog for obedience. The added feature here is the service factor…getting the dog to react to dangerous situations and to face those situations head-on and without hesitation.
Interestingly enough, these dogs are trained to attack attackers, they are forced to go through obstacle courses, pull people from burning buildings or other natural or man-made disaster situations and above all, they are trained to be there, reliable until the end.
There are also specific reasons why a dog will be and will be trained for specific tasks, and not all K9 Police Unit dogs are exactly the same or have the same training or tasks once graduates.
They can be trained for a single purpose or for multiple purposes and the situations vary from unit to unit, dog to dog. Requirements in particular areas are key here. For example, if an area is prone to riots, well, the dogs in such a unit would be trained to deal with riots and unruly citizens, and so on.
There have even been cases where these dogs have suffered post-traumatic stress and all because of work. Hey, it can happen to anyone. Seeing the crime day after day or going through a very difficult situation…one can get tired, or at least their subconscious mind can get tired of such excursions day after day…and one day the mind shuts down and doesn’t want to be part of it anymore. of the life he has or has had.
Well, it can also happen to animals, and police dogs are of course also at risk. This may also be why the bond between master and dog is so important.
Popular dog breeds used in law enforcement
And really, these dogs are used all over the world and have been used in this capacity for years as stated above. Interestingly, these dogs have been trained for service, even at the military level, across the world.
Popular dog breeds used specifically for police and military purposes include: Border Collie, Croatian Sheepdog, German Shorthaired Pointer, Golden Retriever, Rottweiler, Labrador Retriever, of course Bloodhound and of course German Shepherd , which is probably the most used and popular breed of dog in the police force.
And of course, there are indeed many other breeds used.
London, Ontario police certify new class of dogs
And it was in a beautiful tweet sent by the London, Ontario, Canada Police Department that it was announced that a class of German Shepherd Dogs had received their certification and were now ready to get to work with their respective handlers, these dogs specializing in general patrol and explosives detection. At Dog O’ Day, we congratulate Carbon, Koda, Carl and Ryker. Stay safe there, graduates.
Are there first person interactions with the hairy side of law enforcement or service dogs in general? Let us know your experiences with the K9 font below.