Military police dogs
Programs Dedicated To Helping Working Police Dogs
Training Police Dogs for Work and what potential police dogs must have to be considered for police work
First, only dogs that have proven good temperaments are entered into training programs to become K-9 police dogs. Any German shepherd that displays signs of over-aggressiveness or an inability to focus and engage in their exercises is not right for this job of becoming a police dog. Moreover, a good candidate for becoming a K-9 or police dog must be 100 percent predictable and reliable because their future partner’s life can depend on it.
Before they begin training for police work, German shepherds must first master advanced obedience training. Next, they must pass agility training on an obstacle course and learn to track by scent and by sight. Once the dog masters all of those skills, it is time to learn the art of protection and apprehension. This is where a special trainer begins bite-work training with the dog, using a padded bite-sleeve. The German shepherd is taught how to knock down a perpetrator and keep them there by biting down on the person’s arm. This is called the bite-and-hold command.
Like any human police officer, a police dog works with the threat of getting shot or receiving other injury as part of their job. It is important for K-9 dogs to wear bullet-repelling safety vests, but some police departments are unable to find funds for them. Donations from the public are welcomed and appreciated.
Additionally, emergency and routine care needs come up. Police dogs need vaccinations, flea and tick treatment and regular exams. Thanks to the wonderful veterinarians and vet technical assistants who work for reduced rates or give their services free-of-charge, many K-9 dogs recover from injuries and continue to work at safeguarding the public.
Furthermore, police dogs must stay in shape with regular exercise just like any other athlete. Accidents are more likely to happen to a dog that does not receive ongoing training, exercise and warm-ups. The National Police Dog Foundation (NPDF) helps K-9 handlers by being their ally and advocate for medical concerns like snakebite, all types of wounds and accidental drug ingestion, among other hazards. The NPDF can also assist an officer at finding the closest veterinarian who provides free or greatly reduced fees for medical emergencies.