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Police Dogs

11 May 2013 | by Anu Bhambhani | Posted in: Wag Wiki

For a person to join the police forces, two attributes are always looked for. He should be smart and strong. When it comes to police dogs, same qualities are desired. Additionally, a police dog must be intelligent, aggressive and should also have a strong sense of smell. In many countries, police dogs form the K9 units. The services of these dogs are then used to detect bombs, sniff illegal substances, catch hold of criminals, etc., just like we see in the movies. But, have you ever wondered what it entails to train a dog into the perfect aid for the police to crack cases? I did too and when I found out how it is all done, I was amazed at the human understanding of a dog’s behaviour to nab criminals and prevent situations from getting worse. ( Guard Dogs )

Desirable aspects - 

police dogs

Dogs are as intelligent as humans and can be more so with their gifts that nature has endowed them like their excellent sense of smell or their agility and even their precise eyesight. Their sense of smell is so strong that it is said they can distinguish the smell of what they are looking for from an array of smells around and that their sense of smell is thousand times better than humans. In fact, some of the breeds are said to be good at smelling bodies even in running water and decomposing bodies under debris.( Aggressive Dog Breeds )

Preferred breeds - 

A strong and combatant dog breed is generally preferred to intimidate criminals on the loose, like a growling German Shepherd or a ferocious looking Rottweiler. Most of the times, when a criminal comes face to face with a police dog of this variety, he does not know where to run to for he knows the dog is going to pin him down, unlike Hindi movies where the hero knows how to get his way even if 10 GSDs are hunting for his life! A lot of times it is the cute and friendly looking Labrador who can be seen helping bomb detection squads, sniffing meeting rooms and searching buildings. A Lab is the dog of choice for police forces as these are friendly and easy to train. While a GSD can scare people away, a Lab sniffing trains or any other public place doesn’t bother anyone. These are the dog breeds generally opted by Indian police forces. ( Service Dogs )

Around the world however, several other breeds are equally popular along with the above three. These include Pit Bull Terrier, Doberman Pinscher, Boxer, Bloodhound, Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Australian Shepherd, Akita, Cane Corso and so on. All of these are trained specifically in various tasks that require their expertise.

Focused training - 

The first and foremost training basic is that a dog must become friendly with its handler. This person is in charge of taking care of the dog, taking him around for tasks, someone whom the dog would listen to. The handler sort of becomes the dog’s master whom he loves and listens to without a hitch. The handler trains with the dog, commands him to chase and stop when the dog becomes too aggressive. This obedience training is a must in a dog of any breed.

During the training, they also ensure the dog is comfortable around people as he is taken to a lot of public spaces for checks. A dog like Great Dane would do no good in a task like this for he is generally shy in front of people though his built may intimidate some.( Dog Training Accordingh to Dog Type )

Training dogs to sniff prohibited stuff requires them to smell the same wrapped tightly in a towel or thick piece of clothing. The dog plays with it and associates with it. The same stuff is then hidden making the dog look for it. He is then rewarded when he unearths the same. Similar situation is in front of the dog when he is at the actual task site. Dogs are trained to smell a variety of substances including drugs, chemicals used to make bombs and explosives, dead bodies and so on.

In situations when a dog is supposed to track down a criminal, he is trained to just pin down the man in question till the time officers arrive at the scene, not harm him.

But a dog’s job is not done with here itself. Several dogs have also lost their lives protecting public and people they work with. It is a tough job but these knights in shining coats are always up for any situation.

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