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How long and how is a police dog trained?

Rebecca, 10 years old, asked us how long and how you have to train a police dog so that it can be used. We asked Mr. Dittmeier from the customs dog school in Neuendettelsau.

The best police dogs are German and Belgian Shepherds (the latter in the picture).


First of all, a distinction must be made between two different areas of application for police dogs: Detection dogs are trained to search for explosives, corpses, incendiary drugs or drugs with their fine sense of smell. Guard dogs, on the other hand, are used to find hidden people and to catch fleeing criminals.

Ten weeks of basic training

The training of the dogs takes 10 weeks in both areas. In an A course, a kind of basic training of 6 weeks, the dogs are made operational. They learn to be obedient to their handler, track tracking, and similar basic skills.

Sniff, protect and catch perpetrators

In-depth training After half a year to a year of service, the dogs receive a four-week training course, the B-course. Here they practice on practical examples, such as how to find hidden items of luggage, protect dog handlers, master obstacles or "catch up" with several fleeing people or catch a perpetrator. The dog must always have a good grip on itself. If a perpetrator doesn't run away, the dog mustn't attack me under any circumstances.

"Official in shifts"

A police dog works like a normal officer in shifts and lives with his dog handler. He / she lives with him / her at home and recognizes him / her as a leader. The police authorities cover feed and veterinary costs. After six to eight years, a police dog usually retires from active police service. They too then receive a kind of “pension” that ensures their basic needs.

Shepherds best suited

By the way: Not every breed is suitable for police use. German and Belgian Shepherds are the best fit because these breeds are particularly eager to learn and at the same time obedient.

You can find even more exciting information in WAS IST WAS Volume 11 Dogs. Heroes on 4 paws

and in

You can find out more about this in WAS IST WAS Volume 120 Police. Patrol, Kripo, SEK