K-9 Police Units – article from a guest blogger

Posted Posted by Carolina in Working dogs     Comments No comments

Dogs have been a part of human warfare for many centuries, used both in combat and on guard

duties, hunting and much, much more. Today most of the cute puppies we see have been divorced
from their hunting instincts, turning them into harmless and rather silly individuals due to excessive
pampering. Well not these dogs – dogs bearing the homophone K-9 can be seen in most law
enforcement agencies and police forces around the world, serving just as bravely as any officer.
They are specially trained to assist police in activities such as sniffing out explosives, drugs, arson
risks and tracking suspects.

The most commonly used breed is the German Shepard with also the Belgian Malinois being
a second best choice. Because of their status and special training they are covered by the law.
Intentionally killing or injuring a police dog is considered a harsh felony, usually leading to
penalties a lot worse than those of animal cruelty. In some police forces it is treated as an assault
on a non-commissioned officer, thus leading to serious charges. A growing number of law-
enforcement agencies around the world are outfitting dogs with specialized ballistic vests for added
protection. Many of these animals are being treated like full members of the police force, given a
proper burial with all the underlying respect given to a member of the police.

2012 06 14 17.46.19 2 K 9 Police Units   article from a guest blogger

Police K-9 on duty

In some cases dogs are used to apprehend and detain suspects through training them to intimidate
with aggressive gestures and barking. Other methods include the simple threat of the dog being
released on the suspect or by direct apprehension methods in the worst cases. The breeds most
often used in this are German Shepherds because they are both intelligent and available, however
plenty of other breeds can be seen around the world. Pit Bull Terrier, Doberman Pincher, Boxers,
Caucasian Shepard and others are used by police forces around the globe.


Mine dogs are used around the world to find and identify the presence of land mines.
Although many view this practice as inhumane the dogs involved are taught to search in
specific patterns using their keen and amazing sense of smell. Mines contain chemicals and
agents that dogs can be conditioned to identify, thus being invaluable and sometimes even
more useful than a metal detector.

Drug sniffing dogs are the best detection system in the world when it comes to identifying
and apprehending people carrying many compounds. These specially trained canines are
trained to sniff out substances such as marijuana, methamphetamines, heroin, cocaine and
more. One of the main reasons why dogs are considered a vital part of law enforcement.

Bomb dogs are similar in nature to mine dogs with the added range of what they are trained
to identify and react to. Bombs can come in all shapes and sizes and these dogs usually find
explosives such as ammonia dynamite, C-4, TNT, water gel, nitrogen dynamite, sodium
nitrate, smokeless powder and more. In some cases they are also trained to detect explosives
such as Semtex, military-grade dynamite, ammonia-nitrate fertilizer and more based on
previous experience with terrorist acts.

Arson dogs are especially useful to firefighters and disaster relief efforts. They are trained
to identify and warn against a number of dangerous chemicals such as gasoline, acetone,
Coleman fuel, turpentine, lighter fluid, diesel, brake fluid and more.

This guest post has been submitted by SW1 Man and Van

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