Tuesday, 23rd April 2019


The Police Force heavily relies on a dog’s sense of smell and hearing to tackle situations; they are a valued member of the force as not only do they help deter criminals but also their sense of smell is ideal for tracking or detecting drugs, criminals, bombs, stolen property or even missing people. It is the responsibility of the dog handler to finely tune the canine’s sense of smell so they can detect a number of different substances.

Through training, the police dog handler and the dog will learn a series of commands and hand signals to assert different commands. It is a big commitment as training normally takes seven years and involves taking responsibility for the wellbeing and health of the dog in their own home.

Becoming a handler is one of the most exciting jobs within the Police Force as each day brings new challenges. There are a number of different police dogs, the most common is the German Shepherd as they are a combination of size, controllable aggression, stamina and willingness to work. Other breeds used are Rottweiler, Doberman and Giant Schnauzer. The dogs can be trained into a number of roles:

  • Passive Dogs - used in the detection of drugs on persons
  • Proactive Dogs - used in the detection of drugs in specific areas such as airport baggage control, nightclubs, schools, offices and warehouses.
  • Explosive Dogs - used in the detection of bombs of explosive material
  • General Purpose Dogs - used for tracking, searching for missing people or property and chasing and detaining fleeing offenders.