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Top 13 Best Dog Breeds for Police Work in 2022

Last Updated on January 17, 2022 by Dogs Vets


Top 13 Best Dog Breeds for Police Work in 2022

Dоgs hаve been utilized in lаw enfоrсement аnd роliсe асtivity sinсe the 5th сentury, ассоrding tо histоriсаl reсоrds.

Mоdern K9 оffiсers аre trаined tо dо а vаriety оf tаsks, аnd sрeсifiс роliсe dоg breeds аre seleсted tо рerfоrm sрeсifiс lаw enfоrсement duties.

Sоme breeds hаve eаrned ассlаim fоr their dediсаtiоn tо sаfeguаrding their hаndlers аnd bystаnders in dаngerоus situаtiоns.

Similаrly, сertаin роliсe dоg breeds, mаny оf whiсh аre trаined exрressly fоr роliсe wоrk, stаnd оut аs the mоst effeсtive deteсtives, trасkers, аnd guаrds оf the innосent.

The wоrk оf K9 оffiсers inсludes sniffing оut bоmbs аnd nаrсоtiсs, trасking аnd аррrehending сriminаls, аnd рerfоrming а vаriety оf оther lаw enfоrсement асtivities suсh аs seаrсh аnd resсue.

Best Police Dog Breeds for Police Work

But which dog breeds make the greatest canines for police service, and which ones do not? It should come as no surprise that some dogs are considerably better at this task than others.

We’ve combed through the history of police canines to identify the fifteen greatest dog breeds for police work, and we’ve ranked them in this police dog breeds ranking list.

Police Dogs: How They Can Help You and Protect You

Police Dogs are a vital part of the police force. They can help you and protect you.

Canine patrols have been used for many years to help law enforcement personnel with their work, but they have been used for centuries to hunt down criminals and track them down.

The use of dogs in law enforcement is not a new concept, but it has been evolving over time as technology has advanced. In the 1900s, the first canine patrol was established in Paris by French police officer Leon Francois. He began training dogs to track criminals and search for missing people.

Today, there are many different types of canine patrols used around the world, including drug detection canines that sniff out narcotics; bomb detection canines that sniff out explosives; cadaver detection canines that sniff out human remains; and are still widely used in law enforcement around the world.

Dog Breeds for Police Work

K-9 units have been the most popular choice for law enforcement agencies for decades. They are trained to detect explosives, weapons, narcotics, and more. The dog’s sense of smell is so strong that they can detect a chemical in one part per trillion.

K-9 officers have a long and illustrious history (Police Dog Units)

In the Middle Ages, dogs were used in law enforcement, but it wasn’t until the late 1800s in London that the concept of modern K9 officers and police dogs was conceived.

Bloodhounds were used to track down the notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper,

and the idea of modern K9 officers and police dogs was born.

In response to their reputation as one of the best-hunting dogs in the world, with a keen sense of smell and excellent tracking ability, police officers began training with Bloodhounds in the 1950s.

By the early 1990s, they had only grown in number and variety, with distinct strains for different purposes.

The British and the Germans were the first countries to aggressively employ dogs for police work in the 1890s, and they were not alone.

In order to track down offenders, they’ve researched, produced, and trained particular police dog breeds that have been specifically bred for the mission.

Nearly a decade later, when law enforcement in other countries realized the tremendous assistance dogs can bring, their police forces began focusing their efforts specifically on training dogs to assist in the battle against crime.

The first police canine training classes were held in 1899, and the program has been growing and improving ever since.

The number of police dog breeds has been increased, and law enforcement has incorporated more breeds that are used for police work training.

Currently, in many nations, a K-9 police dog is considered to be an official police officer, with a wide range of duties and obligations on its shoulders.

These dogs must be treated in the same manner as a human police officer, who would be protected under the law in the same manner.

A K-9 unit dog is treated in the same way as a law enforcement officer is treated in this country (with the perpetrator facing fines and long-term jail time).

The number of police dog breeds employed in working positions is rapidly increasing as officers recognize the additional talents and abilities that dogs possess.

For example, according to the New York State Office, police dogs are most frequently utilized in New York City today for tracking, detection, and criminal apprehension, but they also do a wide range of other tasks.

Dogs that are frequently used in police work, as well as how they are trained

However, many additional possible police dog breeds are currently being trained to be a member of K-9 units in various countries, with the breed variety expanding particularly rapidly in the western hemisphere.

It’s no secret that German Shepherds have been the most popular police dog breed for many decades (just look at the majority of police dog breed photographs), and they have earned this distinction for a good reason: they are extremely intelligent and loyal.

There is no single path that a dog can take to become a member of a police K9 team.

Some canines are reared from puppies to become police dogs, while others are rescued from service dogs and retrained to become law enforcement officers.

In some cases, police officers in the United States import dogs from other countries, mainly Germany and the Netherlands, and continue to teach these bilingual dogs for police work (in both the dog’s native language and English) while they are in the country.

Although there is no formal entry barrier, there are a variety of techniques used to bring in new police dog breeds and train them for a variety of various roles.

However, law enforcement takes this problem seriously; after completing the necessary police work training, the canine (as well as its handler) will be required to swear the oath in the same manner that a human police officer would be required.

The handler will confirm on the dog’s behalf, and the dog will bark in response to the handler’s affirmation.

The age at which police dogs are retired varies from country to country. After being gravely injured and unable to recover fully, the majority of dogs are put down. They also typically retire when they reach a certain age or when they become too ill to continue working.

Pregnant or nursing dogs are also known to retire or take a leave of absence from their jobs on a regular basis.

Most police canines will serve their communities for six to nine years on average. In some jurisdictions, retired police dogs are even eligible for pension benefits.

The discrimination against some breeds, such as Pit Bulls, leads to an increase in the number of police officers who bring them in and draw attention to the need for these dogs to be recognized as effective police dog breeds.

It is my pleasure to present a list of police dog breeds that have been in service for a long time, as well as a few new faces who are altering the way we think about some of the more “scary” canine species.

This is simply the tip of the iceberg, as more and more canines are being trained to serve as police dogs and are becoming recognized as such breeds.

For many years, working dogs have been protecting and serving humans in many capacities.

The roles they perform are diverse, but aiding human police officers is unquestionably one of the most challenging.

Look at the Top 13 greatest dog breeds for police service and the tasks they perform on a regular basis.



# 1. German Shepherd dog breeds


German Shepherd - Police Dog Breeds

As expected, the German Shepherd Dog ranks first on this list of the most well-known police dog breeds, with the American Mastiff coming in second.

Most people only recognize them as “police dogs” because of all of the television productions that have popularized this breed, completely overlooking the fact that they have an official breed designation.

Because of this, they are officially the most popular breed of K-9 officers in the world, and it’s not hard to understand why.

GSD leaps and miles ahead of the competition because he is intelligent, quick, fearless, and passionate.

German Shepherds excel when it comes to apprehending criminals since they are one of the most gifted and intelligent canine breeds available.

They are also extremely trainable and follow through on commands like clockwork (armed or not).

As well as sniffing out narcotics and cadavers, GSDs are also used in search and rescue missions, working alongside a variety of different law enforcement groups.

This is the ideal police dog breed since dog owners have raised it as such for decades; they’re not only trainable, but they’re also powerful, swift, and extremely loyal – all of the characteristics that make for an ideal K-9 unit for the police department.

#2. Belgian Malinois (Belgian Shepherd)


Belgian Malinois or Belgian Shepherd - Best Police Dog Breeds

The Belgian Malinois, which is closely related to the German Shepherd Dog, has been used widely as a K-9 officer for many years and is sometimes mistaken for GSDs by the public.

Malinois dogs are a force to be reckoned with, thanks to their strong protective instincts and loyal personality. They are the second most popular police dog breed in the world, after German Shepherds.

Despite the fact that they are smaller than German Shepherds, these canines have a faster reaction time than the German Shepherd.

The Malinois is bred, trained, and employed for nearly the same goals as the German Shepherd Dog, most often to arrest and bring down criminals, but they are also utilized for a variety of other law enforcement activities (like narcotics or bomb-sniffing).

Today, they’re even more frequently sighted sniffing out narcotics and explosives in airports than GSDs are.

Because they are not naturally violent by nature (German Shepherds, on the other hand, are naturally more aggressive), this police dog breed makes an excellent K-9 police officer.

Because of their excellent listening and attention skills, it is a breeze to deal with them.

#3. Boxers dog breed


Boxers dog breed - Best Police Dog Breeds

Considered as guard and patrol dogs alongside military officers during World Wars I and II, boxers have earned a place in history as one of the most versatile dog breeds. It is for this reason that they are commonly recalled when it comes to their past as working dogs.

On top of that, Boxers were also employed as messenger dogs, transporting communications between troops caught in the gunfire during World War II.

In light of the foregoing, one of the most interesting things that Boxers used to accomplish during wartime was transport communication wires on a spool that was attached to their collar, and they did so admirably.

They were able to unwind it as they rushed between key spots during the ferocious battle.

Because of their loyalty, stability, and social nature, the Boxer is still very popular and frequently used as K-9 officers in their native Germany, where they are one of the more popular police dog breeds in Europe in general. However, they are not as popular in most other countries, and certainly not in the United States.

It’s likely that their hereditary predisposition to various illnesses and disorders is contributing to their declining popularity as K-9 units.

#4. Labrador Retrievers


Labrador Retrievers - Best Police Dog Breeds for Police Work

For many years and generations, the Labrador Retriever was bred as a hunting gun dog, trained to sniff out the game and also retrieve it from the field (where the name comes from).

As bomb and narcotics detection dogs, they are also becoming increasingly popular in the United States, where they are considered to be one of the most popular police dog breeds. Their handlers accompany them as they monitor airports and waterways, making certain that nothing suspicious enters their nations.

Labrador retrievers are a popular dog breed that is well-known throughout the world but is particularly popular among pet owners in the United States.

This is due to the fact that they are well-known for being extremely gregarious, kind, loyal, and intelligent.

Labradors have a natural curiosity for learning and a desire to interact with people.

Due to their intelligence and ease of training, Labrador Retrievers make excellent K-9 officers since they are one of the most intelligent and easiest canine breeds to teach.

Working Labradors – those that are frequently seen working alongside police officers and as service dogs – have a distinct appearance that differs from the typical household Labrador you might see in your neighbour’s home; they are typically slightly more muscular and leaner due to their work as working dogs.

Some people may believe that they are undernourished, yet the reality is exactly the reverse.

A working Labrador is a lean, fast-moving machine whose food is constantly being tweaked to keep it in peak physical condition.

#5. The Doberman Pinscher Police Dog


Doberman Pinschers

The Doberman Pinscher is one of the most common police dog breeds that everyone has seen on television and in movies.

This intimidating-looking species, like German Shepherd Dogs, has been utilized in law enforcement for many decades. Despite their popularity, they are not utilized as frequently as the other police dog breeds described above.

They are not taught to be aggressive, but rather to enjoy the experience of going out into the field to do their task.

Doberman Pinschers are intelligent, fearless, and handsome dogs, but they are rarely taught for sniffing or other law enforcement activities that do not require athleticism on their part.

Dobermans are mostly used to catch fleeing offenders by seizing them by the arm and bringing them to the ground, as opposed to other methods.

Their bodies, which are extremely athletic, physically fit, and quick to react, are ideal for this type of employment.

This is further aided by the fact that Dobermans are inherently slender and speedy — there are few breeds in K-9 teams that could ever outrun these police dogs, especially when they’re on the prowl for a suspect.

Even though it is uncommon, Dobermans are occasionally employed as drugs sniffers, although this is one of the tasks for which they are not as well suited as German Shepherds or Bloodhounds.

#6. Bloodhound dog Breed


Bloodhound dog Breed

It is regularly recognized as one of the most popular police dog breeds, and by law enforcement officials, the Bloodhound has been named one of the top ten best K-9 officers in the country. The Bloodhound is an excellent tracker and one of the original police service dogs.

This canine breed is large, powerful, and manly, and it can track down a missing person even weeks after they have vanished.

Bloodhounds began their “careers” with humans as hunting gun dogs, and due to their remarkable sense of smell and tracking ability, they were eventually employed as law enforcement dogs.

Despite the fact that they aren’t as widespread as they once were, they are an example of an old-school police dog that made the job of police officers a lot easier when they were trying to track down criminals.

The Bloodhound canine breed proved particularly effective in the search for missing children since they are not frightening or violent in appearance and have a genuine affection for children.

#7. Bouvier Des Flandres (Flanders’ Bouvier)


#7. Bouvier Des Flandres (Flanders' Bouvier)

Despite the fact that they may not appear to be police dog breeds from certain angles (and that you are unlikely to have heard of them as such), these enormous canines have been used as protection and service dogs for many decades.

Bouvier des Flandres are compassionate, courageous, and protective, even to the point of being aggressive in their protection of their owners.

Bouvier Des Flandres - Best Police Dog Breeds

In the context of a K-9 officer, there isn’t much stated about this particular dog breed, and you don’t see them working alongside police officers very often. There is also probably no television series dedicated to this breed.

Handlers, on the other hand, are extremely respectful of this breed, and in some nations, they are employed as law enforcement officers.

When offended (or ordered), the Bouvier des Flandres will become furious and produce a loud guttural growl that will cause any rational human to flee in the opposite direction or immediately accept police orders.


#3. Giant Schnauzer


Giant Schnauzer - Police Dog Breeds

For many years, this relatively large yet calm dog breed, which is highly distrustful of strangers and Giant Schnauzers, has been deployed as K-9 officers in police departments around the country.

They are, however, a rare sighting as police dog breeds in the United States, owing mostly to the fact that they entered the field considerably later than the other police dog breeds described above.

Giant Schnauzers have a tendency to be too aggressive, which, when harnessed and channelled in the appropriate direction, may make them outstanding trackers of suspects, missing persons, bombs, and narcotics, to name a few applications.

The Giant Schnauzer is also employed in search and rescue operations due to his tenacity, devotion to the work and unwillingness to give up.

#9. The American Pit Bull Terrier (American Pit Bull Terrier)

Pit Bull Terrier - Police Dog Breeds

The American Pit Bull Terrier (not to be confused with the American Staffordshire Terrier or the Staffordshire Bull Terrier) is the newest member of the police dog breed family, having only recently begun to be deployed for police work by a number of different law enforcement agencies (in fact, mostly in the last few of years).

The vast majority of Pit Bulls employed in K-9 units are rescues, which saves money on expensive breeder fees, as some K-9 officer canines can cost upwards of $20,000 to train.

American Pit Bull Terrier - Police Dog

Because of their dogfighting heritage, they were formerly underutilized as K-9 units; however, as law enforcement has learned their tremendous potential, this has begun to change.

Pit Bulls are being taken into custody by an increasing number of police departments today.

The Pit Bull is a confident and courageous dog that is athletic, quick, and durable. These days, the Pit Bull is largely utilized for detection and patrolling.

There have been reports that the military is considering the use of this dog breed in the future as well.

The New York Police Department is also exploring animal shelters for Pit Bulls to adopt, such as this one that was recently employed.

#10. Briard dog breed


Briard - Police Dog Breeds

After seeing this canine breed in person, you might not believe it would make a decent K-9 police dog officer. But that’s not the case.

However, due to their attentive demeanour, Briard dogs make great guards and watchdogs for law enforcement officers assigned to specific law enforcement assignments.

In certain countries, they are frequently employed as police dog breeds.

This dog breed is also regarded as being easily trainable, bold, and brave, among other qualities.

To this day, police search and rescue missions, tracking missions, and PTSD therapy dogs are the most common applications for the Briard.

Briard, a giant French dog, has altered the perception of many people about professional K-9 officers, and this is due to the fact that Briard’s work is distinct from that of a German Shepherd.

#11. The Airedale Terrier 

The Airedale Terrier  - Police Dog Breeds

This dog breed was originally referred to as “The King of the Terriers.” The Airedale Terrier was a loyal and athletic dog that served as a protection dog for military personnel during World War I and World War II.

Unfortunately, not much is published about the K-9 Airedale Terrier officer, despite the fact that they are mostly utilized as patrol dogs and deserve to be recognized for their abilities and commitment.

The largest of all the terriers, the Great Dane was highly popular with hunters, and was originally designed to catch tiny creatures such as rats and other rodents, which he did quite successfully.

As patrol dogs, they can use their keen sense of smell to sniff out drugs, bombs, and other potentially dangerous items around the area.

However, although they are not the most common of police dog breeds, you can occasionally find them working in K-9 units around the United States and Europe.

#12. The Beagle Dog Breed


Beagle  - Police Dog Breeds

Beagles are another canine breed that began working with humans as gun dogs in the early 1900s.

Because they have one of the best senses of smell of any breed, this new K-9 police officer is usually employed in international airports and harbours to sniff out narcotics and illegal substances that attempt to enter their country.

There are numerous advantages to utilizing Beagles as police dog breeds as opposed to some of the other types discussed previously.

For example, because of their size, Beagles can easily be lifted into places where a person would otherwise be unable to reach them, which is something that police enforcement frequently accomplishes with them.

They can also be fast, swift, and excellent at tracking while remaining less visible and more stealthy in their movements.

Beagles are also utilized as cadaver dogs, sniffing out dead bodies and other suspicious material.


#13. Cane Corso Dogs


Cane Corso Dogs  - Police Dog Breeds

Given that the Cane Corso is a descendant of Roman combat dogs, it’s only natural that they should be deployed in a police task force.

This canine breed is a hardworking K-9 police dog that is great at both protection and patrol work. It is alert, courageous, strong, and quite frightening in appearance.

Like Dobermans, they are renowned for their physical prowess – although they are not as swift as Dobermans, they boast one of the strongest bites of any canine species to their credit.

In general, police dog breeds are not very popular among the public.

As far as the authorities are aware, there is now only one Cane Corso working for police enforcement in the United States. 

Because of their flexibility and willingness to work, it appears that in the future, as more Pit Bulls and other similarly prohibited and forbidden dog breeds enter police employment, the number of Cane Corso dogs serving as K-9 unit officers will climb as a result of their increasing popularity.

Top 10 Best Police Dogs for Every Situation

There are many breeds of dogs that have been trained to do a variety of tasks. One such breed is the German Shepherd. They are well-known for being intelligent and obedient, making them a good choice for police work. The German Shepherd can be used in law enforcement, search and rescue, and even in military operations.

The following is a list of the top 10 best police dogs for every situation:

1) German Shepard

2) Labrador Retriever

3) Belgian Malinois

4) Bullmastiff

5) Doberman Pinscher

6) Rottweiler

7) Bloodhound

8) Beagle

9) Boxer

10) Australian Cattle Dog

Training A Police Dog – What’s Involved?

Training a police dog is a long-term commitment and requires a lot of time and patience.

The first stage of training is obedience training. This teaches the dog to obey commands such as sit, stay, bark, and lie down. The next stage is called protection training where the dog learns how to chase and apprehend criminals.

The final stage of training is detection work which teaches the dog to detect drugs, explosives, and other substances used in crime.

Honourable Mentions

These are by no means the only police dogs you may encounter.

Although they are not as well-known as the varieties on our list, here are some additional prominent police dog breeds that you may see on the job.

These are by no means the only police dogs you may encounter.

Although they are not as well-known as the varieties on our list, here are some additional prominent police dog breeds that you may see on the job.

  • Belgian Tervuren
  • Golden Retriever
  • Groenendael
  • Border Collie
  • English Springer Spaniel
  • Rottweiler


Questions About the Most Popular Police Dog Breeds

What is the Ideal Age for a Police Dog?

The ideal age for a police dog is around two years old. The reason for this is because they are at the perfect age to start training. The training will last about six months and then the dog will be ready to work.

What is the median age of canine in law enforcement

The median age of canine in law enforcement is about six years old. This means that half of the dogs are older than six and half are younger than six.

Which breed of dog is most frequently utilized by police officers?

German Shepherds, Dutch Shepherds, retrievers, Belgian Malinois, and Bloodhounds are some of the most often used police dogs.

Which police dog is considered the best?

The German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Doberman Pinscher, Belgian Tervuren, Rottweiler, The Giant Schnauzer, and Dutch Shepherd are just a few of the best police dogs.

Which dog breed is the most popular police dog in 2019?

The Labrador Retriever has become the most popular dog breed in recent years.

Why are Belgian Malinois police dogs popular?

Belgian Malinois police dogs are popular for a variety of reasons. These characteristics include their loyalty, their strong protective instincts, and their capacity to be trained to defend and serve their people.



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