The Complete Police Dog Breeds List

A close up of a dog

Modern K9 officers are trained for different tasks, and certain police dog breeds are picked for particular law enforcement jobs. Some breeds have been revered for their hard work at protecting their handlers and civilians. Similarly, several police dog breeds often trained exclusively for police work stand out as the best detectives, trackers, and innocent guardians.

1. Belgian Malinois

A dog looking at the camera

The Belgian Malinois is a confident, hardworking dog with a strong, muscular build. These world-class working dogs help humans with a variety of tasks ranging from herding livestock to police work. 

These distinguished dogs are commonly compared to German shepherds though they are usually a tiny bit smaller than their more popular counterparts. The Belgian Malinois has an incredibly strong worth ethic and develops a close, loyal bond with his handler. 

2. German Shepherd

A dog wearing sunglasses

German shepherds and German shepherd mixes are some of the most popular dogs for pet owners and police departments alike due to their loyal and loving nature, as well as their hardworking attitude.

These dogs are also highly trainable making them well suited for a variety of police force tasks and specialties. 

This versatile breed can be found in the military, police, at the farm, or even on the big screen. There’s no denying that these highly-trainable canines are great for just about any job you put in front of them. 

3. Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman pinscher, affectionately known as the “Dobie”, is a striking, dignified dog that seems like a perfect match for police work based on his proud, sharp looks alone.

These dogs have the intelligence to back their handsome looks and are eager to please their handlers. 

These dogs usually live anywhere from 10 to 13 years and are known for their agility,  stature, and courageous mentality. Dobies are lovingly loyal dogs, who are willing to dive into harm’s way if it means protecting those they love or accomplishing their job as a police dog. 

4. Labrador Retriever

The ever-popular Labrador retriever might not be the first dog that comes to mind when you consider breeds well-suited for the police task force, but this breed’s loyal, smart, and trainable nature makes them a surprisingly great pick. 

Labrador retrievers are muscular, athletic, and full of energy, allowing them to put in a full day’s work without issue. These dogs also bond closely with their handlers and are eager to please, even when faced with a high-pressure situation.

5. Beagle

A beagle might not be able to take down a key suspect, but these loving, muscular, and compact canines can still serve as excellent police dogs.

In particular, beagles have an amazing sense of smell making them perfect for scent tracking and detection-based nosework activities. 

Their small to medium stature also makes them suited for specialized tasks that would be inappropriate or impossible for larger doggos. These dogs love to keep busy and will enjoy having a daily set of tasks to focus on and stay engaged.  

6. Bloodhound

Bloodhounds are one of the first dogs to engage in law enforcement work due to their impressive sense of smell. They usually live anywhere from 12 to 15 years and need lots of obedience training early on to ensure that they follow their noses when instructed to do so. 

It’s worth noting that these dogs are known for being a challenge to train due to being easily distracted by enticing scents. However, with consistent obedience training, these docile dogs make great detection or search members of law enforcement task forces. 

These are some of the best police dog breeds.

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