Top 10 Best Police Dog Breeds

Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson
Ready to step in when law and order is needed, these police dog breeds are ready to serve and protect… and do a lot more than you thought the average K9 did.

Did you know that not all police dogs are created equal? Like me, you probably envision a trusty German Shepherd Dog stepping up to the plate to take out the bad guy but when it comes to policing there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all pooch. In fact, there is a different breed for just about every task including sniffing out narcotics, tracking and restraining criminals as well as search and rescue.

The multi-talents of the humble pooch weren’t officially recognized until the late 1800s when police forces first began utilizing their superior scenting skills. Today, you won’t find many forces that don’t have or have access to a K-9 unit. So which breed excels at which task?

  1. Beagle

Compact, easy-to-maneuver through stacks of luggage and quick to obey, this non-imposing pooch is often seen working airports and other ports of entry where his skillful little nose is pretty effective at sniffing out packed narcotics and hidden contraband. (Photo credit: Lenkadan/Shutterstock)

  1. Belgian Malinois

This handsome, alert-looking boy closely resembles a German Shepherd Dog and while he possesses the same keen intelligence and ability to follow commands, he’s smaller and quicker to react which makes him perfect for an unexpected chase and take-down. (Photo credit: Grisha Bruev/Shutterstock)

  1. Bloodhound

This mournful looking pooch’s amazing tenacity and over 230 million olfactory cells means he not only possesses an extraordinary sense of smell but he can pick up a scent and stay on the trail of a missing person for up to 2 weeks after they disappear. (Photo credit: NSC Photography/Shutterstock)

  1. Doberman Pinscher

He’s lean, swift and not what you want to see chasing you down. This athletic boy is trained to catch up to the criminal then grab their arm and restrain them till his handler catches up. His intimidating appearance can also encourage “order”. (Photo credit: gillmar/Shutterstock)

  1. German Shepherd Dog

This fearless pooch is not only intelligent but is highly trainable and can be used in multiple roles – from search and rescue to drug sniffing to chasing down criminals. His enthusiasm and eager-to-please personality makes him invaluable to any police force. (Photo credit: KellyNelson/Shutterstock)

  1. Labrador Retriever

Anyone with a Lab at home knows this dog doesn’t miss a trick… or the scent of a contraband snack. This clever boy is known for his amenable personality which makes him perfect for use in public spaces – such as sniffing out drugs in crowded airports. (Photo credit: Dimedrol68/Shutterstock)

  1. German Shorthaired Pointer

Like the Bloodhound, this pooch is known for his keen sense of smell and is often used for tracking missing persons or as a cadaver dog. His desire to please his handler gives this determined boy the tenacity needed to persevere until the job is done. (Photo credit: Nadezda Nikitina/Shutterstock)

  1. American Pit Bull Terrier

When the intimidation factor counts, this is the boy. Smart, obedient, fearless and certainly imposing when patrolling sketchy ‘hoods, these dogs are just now being recruited from local shelters, trained in obedience and responsiveness and given a second chance as K9 members. (Photo credit: David Robert Perez/Shutterstock)

  1. Rottweiler

In addition to having the physical build needed to take down a criminal, this pooch is loyal, obedient and has an astounding attention span that allows him to stay focused on the task at hand and not become distracted – critical when detecting contraband or bomb sniffing. (Photo credit: K PRABHU/Shutterstock)

  1. Giant Schnauzer

Typically used overseas, this pooch has now made his way into Canadian K9 units. Sociable, obedient and quick to get down to business when needed, these dogs can easily outrun a German Shepherd and their heavy, shaggy coats make them ideal for colder climates. (Photo credit: Grigorita Ko/Shutterstock)

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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