What Roles Do Police Dogs Have?

From man’s best friend to partner in fighting crime, dogs make incredible additions to any police force. Going through rigorous training for both K9 and officer, police dogs serve a variety of functions that assist local police departments. From officer protection, building search, suspect apprehension and tracking to narcotics or bomb detection, police dogs play many valuable roles in the day to day functions of police work. 

Vital Roles of Police K9’s

Typically, police K-9s are classified as patrol or detection.

  • Patrol: Patrol dogs provide typical patrol duties including officer protection, suspect apprehension, tracking, area or building search, article search and security in sensitive or controlled areas.
  • Detection: Detection dogs are responsible for finding and locating sensitive objects such as explosives or narcotics. Due to the rigorous training and specialized work required, detection K9s only specialize in one area of detection, not both. So, when you see a detection K9, know that they are either an expert at detecting explosives or a master at sniffing out narcotics. 

Of course, there are some K9’s that do not fall into those categories, but still serve vital roles in the police force. For example, some K9’s are only trained for tracking lost persons or detecting cadaver locations. Both of these functions are also crucial within the police force. 

Police dogs can further be classified by their training purpose, which is broken down into typically two groups: single-purpose K9s or dual-purpose K9s. 

  • Single-purpose K9’s: These police dogs are used for only one purpose, meaning they specialize in one role, which can include patrol, detection, or tracking missing persons or cadavers etc.
  • Dual-purpose K9’s: These police dogs are specially trained to combine patrol and detection duties to best serve their officer and the police force.

Importance of Intensive Training

Whether a K9 is single-purpose or dual purpose, a patrol specialist or a detection specialist, it all boils down to training. Proper and extensive training ensures that these dogs become highly effective police K9s. Depending on the dog’s role–patrol, narcotics, explosives, cadavers–they undergo training that focuses on the unique responsibilities of their role. 

For example, at Landheim K9, training for a Dual Purpose Patrol/Narcotics police dog is a six week intensive course where the officer and selected K9 undergo rigorous training to ensure the dog is up to the highest standard for their selected role. The dog will have had 6-8 weeks or more of pre-training before the officer joined his new partner in a course. At the completion of the the officers six week training, the officer and K9 are tested on practical applications of their training to ensure they are prepared to utilize the training on the job. If they pass the testing the team receives a third party National Certification from the American Police Canine Association. 

Offering Trusted K9 Training Services

If you are looking for superior police dog training in Northwest Indiana, look no further than Landheim K9. Since 1975 Landheim K9 has offered  Police K9 Dog Training in a variety of formats including patrol, narcotics, explosive and arson or cadaver training courses. Call 219-365-8897 or complete a contact form to get more detailed information about the various K9 training formats Landheim K9 offers or to inquire about training course pricing options.