There are around 15,000 police dogs on the force in the United States today. But what do you really know about them?
Let’s go through the top fun facts about police dogs.
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1. Police Dogs Date Back to the Early 1900s
Police dogs aren’t a new innovation. In the United States, they actually date back to around 1902, when they were first used in New York City. Worldwide, they were first trained in Ghent, Belgium in 1899.
But, that isn’t the first time dogs were used in a law enforcement capacity. That dates back to ancient Greece!
However, police dog use in the United States didn’t become popular until around the 1970s.
2. Police Dog Training Starts Early
Police dogs begin their training around the time they’re a year old. The initial training period for a police dog usually lasts for around ten weeks. However, most police dogs continue to do training on a weekly basis, in order to keep their skills fresh.
Dogs usually retire by the time that they’re ten years old, so they can enjoy their golden years in peace. As a whole, police dogs usually work for between six and eight years.
Police dogs usually live with their handlers, including after they retire. That creates stability for the dog.
3. There Are Different Types of Police Dogs
Different types of police dogs are trained to different things. Drug detecting dogs, for example, have different training than arson dogs.
Other types of police dogs include cadaver dogs, explosion detecting dogs, search and rescue dogs, dogs to enforce public order, and tracking dogs. These dogs are used in different situations, in order to ensure public safety.
4. Certain Types of Dogs Make Better Police Dogs
Not just any dog can be a police dog. It depends on a dog’s temperament and health. The gender of the dog is irrelevant when determining if they will make for a good police dog.
Some breeds of dogs also make better police dogs than others. Some of the breeds that are commonly used as police dogs include German shepherds, beagles, Labrador retrievers, English cocker spaniels, Doberman pinschers, bloodhounds, springer spaniels, and many others.
5. Police Dogs Can Differentiate Easily
The reason police dogs are used is because of their sharp senses. A dog’s sense of smell is approximately 10,000 times better than a human’s. In fact, some research shows that dogs may be able to find a human up to twelve feet under the ground.
That’s not the only way that police dogs have significant sense advantages over humans. Police dogs can even tell the difference between identical twins! So, if you need some extra senses, you definitely need to bring a police dog.
Now You Know More About Police Dogs
Aren’t police dogs interesting? Clearly, there’s a rich history of police dogs that you may not have previously been aware of.
Are you interested in reading more about dogs and other animals? Check out some of the other great articles on this website for more.