Have you ever seen a police dog at work?

Dogs have always been man’s best friend, not only at home but also in the field. Dogs have been an integral part of the police force for many years, even in military work. Certain types of work require a special kind of dog.

We all know that German shepherds and Belgian malinois are some of the best police dog breeds. However, what does a canine unit actually do?

Each K9 unit undergoes special training for various aspects of police work. Read on to learn more about what these police K9 units can do.

Search and Rescue

Police are often the first responders when it comes to missing person cases. That is when they bring in a canine unit to help locate living victims or human remains. As long as they have an item belonging to the victim, that dog can track the scent trail.

When search and rescue dogs find their target, they either return to the handler or stay with their object and alert their handler. Dogs are capable of covering a lot of ground in a short time, which makes them crucial in these missions. Search and rescue dogs can also help in avalanches or other incidents when a hiker goes missing.

During 9/11, there were over 300 SAR dogs deployed to find survivors. Many search and rescue dogs also uplift the spirits of their handlers and victims.


Apprehension is one of the most popular disciplines of police dog units. There’s a reason why many of these police dog breeds also serve as good guard dogs. These dogs are protective of their handlers and are not afraid of conflict when faced with it.

Police dogs are often the first in line to go against criminals and armed suspects. Because of their ferocity, police dogs are great at restraining dangerous people. While police dogs do bite, they need to know when someone is a threat and only act at their handler’s command.


The power of a dog’s nose is unbeatable and goes beyond locating humans or objects by scent. Many canines in police dog training learn to detect various drugs, explosives, and accelerants. Bomb sniffing dogs are often the first on-site when the police receive a bomb alert.

These dogs are often present at airports and border entries to sniff out explosives and illegal drugs. Some may also come to work at civilian traffic stops or huge events. In the military, these dogs clear a path safe from landmines to keep their handlers safe.

The Job of a Police Canine Unit

Now you know what the canine unit can do and their role in our police forces. If you ever see a police dog on duty, you don’t want to interrupt or distract them. These dogs are cute and friendly, but they have important work to do.

Do you want to learn more about obedience and police dog training? Your dog may benefit from these lessons. Check out our other blog posts to learn more!