All I can say . . . this dog is stylin’! While dogs have been used for protection for centuries, the practice of formally training them for police work only began in the late 1800s (in Europe). Ghent, Belgium, is generally cited as being the first city to establish a school where dogs were trained for law enforcement work. Eight years after Ghent, the New York City police department began using trained police service dogs. Now, the use of police dogs is widespread and canine units can be found in all major city police departments as well as numerous other smaller agencies/units at all levels (municipal, county, state, federal). The breed of choice: the German Shepherd; the Belgian Malinois is another frequently chosen breed.
In addition to the “protection” function, police dogs can be called upon to perform a variety of tasks:
- article searches
- search and rescue
- drug and explosive detection
- arson detection
- cadaver detection
Check out these popular police dog associations: