Monday, May 18, 2009
Dogs have been working in the law enforcement world since the 18th century. They were originally trained in Europe as guards to protect territory in Europe. As time went by, they were used in the wars such as World War II and slowly made their way to England and America.
Today, most police departments have at least one police dog as its member. The average cost of acquiring a police dog is around $8,500. Many of these police dogs originate from Europe, since they put their dogs through much stricter breeding standards. If a dog doesn't past their tests, they will not breed that dog. A police dog has to have a combination of athleticism, concentration, strength and aggressiveness. Police dogs are usually not neutered to keep their aggressive nature at its peak. However, they undergo a strict training regimen that includes obedience, agility and scent tracking. It is with this training that their aggressiveness is kept in check.
Police dogs are mainly used for drug detection, bomb detection and in some cases as a partner. Dogs have over a million olfactory spores in their nose where humans barely have 100,000. Their sense of smell is so distinct, they can easily filter out the smell of drugs from something that masks it such as perfume.
The most common breeds of dog are German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever and Belgian Malinois. Police dogs last on the job on average about 6 years. To partner with a police dog, it is a privilege for the human. Only the officers with the highest accommodations within the department are selected. Working with a police dog is not something that lasts a couple of weeks or months but rather is a commitment for that dog's life.
Dogs are taught to find certain scents as their reward.They can also detect a criminal running from the scene from the trail they leave on the ground as well as the scent they leave behind in the air. There are different ways the dog tracks the scent and alerts their fellow officers. The most common is by barking. Some have taught to touch the item they've found wiwth their paw, but in the case of bomb-sniffing dogs, they have to use a more subtle method such as barking. Other times the mere presence of a police dog is enough to stop a criminal in their tracks.
All in all, police officers have a bond of closeness that is beyond compare. This is even moreso with officer and police dogs. Many k-9 cops have unselfishly devoted their time and in some cases their lives, to make the world a safer place. They deserve to be commended. A great site to learn more about these amazing animals is Policek9.com. As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for stopping in.