22 Police Dog Breeds That Catch Criminals The Best

Dogs have been used by law enforcement agencies for centuries, and their importance in the criminal justice system has only grown in recent years.

These dogs are highly trained and can track down suspects, find hidden evidence, and protect their handlers. Police departments around the world rely on these furry officers to keep the peace.

We take a look at 22 of the most common police dog breeds to see which ones have what it takes to catch criminals. From German Shepherds to Belgian Malinois, these dogs are bred for one purpose – catching criminals! Read on to find out which breeds are the top crime fighters.

22. Labrador Retriever

Image from 1-800-PetMeds

Labradors are a popular breed of dog for many reasons, but their role as police dogs is one of the most notable. Labradors are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and obedience, which makes them ideal candidates for law enforcement work.

In addition to these qualities, Labradors also have a strong sense of smell and are athletic, making them well-suited for tracking down criminals and evidence.

21. English Cocker Spaniel

Image from Best Bully Sticks

English Cocker Spaniels are sometimes used by the police as sniffer dogs. They are also used in search and rescue, as well as drug detection. The cocker spaniel’s gentle nature makes them ideal for therapy work with the elderly or infirm.

This breed is an energetic dog that loves to play and needs plenty of exercises. They are intelligent and easily trained, making them good candidates for obedience or agility trials. Cockers can be strong-willed at times but respond well to consistent training and positive reinforcement.

20. Malinois

Image from Best Bully Sticks

The Malinois is a popular breed of dog in the law enforcement community because of its intelligence, obedience, and loyalty.

These dogs are often used as police K-9 units and excel at performing various tasks such as tracking, apprehension, and detection. Malinois are also known for their high energy levels and intense drive, which makes them ideal for working in high-pressure environments.

19. Rottweiler

Image from Wolfgang

Rottweilers have a natural instinct to protect and serve, which makes them excellent candidates for police work.

They are strong, athletic dogs that are quick to learn new commands and respond well to training. Rottweilers also have an intimidating appearance, which can be helpful when dealing with potentially dangerous situations.

18. Airedale Terrier

Image from Paw.com

Known as the King of Terriers because of their large size, the Airedale Terriers are appropriately part of this list. But they have more to offer other than their strong muscular bodies. 

They are alert and courageous too and will not back down when there’s a need to protect their territory or loved ones. They are also smart dogs that can sense immediate danger and respond accordingly.

17. Boxer

Image from Paw.com

The use of Boxers in law enforcement has been shown to be effective in many ways. Boxers have a great sense of smell and can track down criminals or missing persons.

They are also very strong and can subdue suspects without causing serious injury. In addition, boxers are intelligent and trainable, making them ideal partners for police officers.

There are some drawbacks to using boxers in law enforcement, however. Boxers can be aggressive, especially if they perceive a threat to their handler. They also require a lot of exercises and need to be properly socialized in order to avoid becoming overly excited or anxious. If not given enough attention, boxers may become destructive or even dangerous.

16. Rajapalayam

Image from Instagram:@rajapalayam_the_king

The Rajapalayam are used in the Indian army and police to help with security and search and rescue missions. These dogs are known for their loyalty, strength, and intelligence. Rajapalayam dogs are also used as guard dogs and watchdogs.

They are loyal protectors of their homes and families. Rajapalayam dogs are not suitable for everyone. They require a lot of exercises and need a lot of space to run around. They also need a firm hand to keep them under control. Rajapalayam dogs are not recommended for first-time dog owners.

15. Beagle

Image from Pawstruck

Because of their adorable faces, with big brown eyes set off by long ears that are set low, Beagles look anything but intimidating. But don’t mistake them for timid dogs, after all, they belong to the hound group.

While it’s true they have merry personalities, these cute dogs also have excellent hunting skills. Their superior sense of smell has made them staple dog breeds in the police force.

14. German Shorthaired Pointer

Image from Pawstruck

Built to work for long hours on the field, the German Shorthaired Pointers are equipped with power, speed, agility, and endurance. They can come in a solid reddish-brown coat or a combination of white and reddish-brown in distinctive patterns unique to the breed.

These energetic dogs thrive on outdoor physical exercises like running, swimming, or organized dog sports. They are also remarkably easy to train.

13. Basset Hound

Image from Pet Plate

Aside from having recognizable faces thanks to their extremely long, velvety ears, mournful eyes, and wrinkled brows, Basset Hounds are also famous for having the most accurate and sharpest sense of smell among all dog breeds. 

Since they are short and heavy, these dogs are built for endurance rather than speed. Their powerful short legs, stamina, and impressive scenting abilities made them prominent dogs in law enforcement.

12. Briard

Image from Instagram:@briardpino

As a member of the French police dog, Briards are excellent guard dogs because of their alert nature. When properly trained, they become fearless and brave dogs that are deployed in search and rescue operations.

During off duty, this herding dog covered in a wavy coat and sporting a peek-a-boo hairdo parted in the middle with a matching luxurious beard enjoys quality playtime with the children of their families.

11. East-European Shepherd

Image from Instagram:@easteuropean_shepherd

Originally from Russia, the East-European Shepherd is a descendant of the German Shepherds. These dogs were selectively bred to produce larger dogs that can better withstand cold conditions and were intended for guard dog work.

The notable difference from the German version is the medium-length dense coat with a well-developed undercoat that helps them survive the cold. But like their ancestors, they are intelligent, courageous, and tough.

10. Belgian Shepherd

Image from Instagram:@belgianshepherdlover

The parent breed of four Belgian dog varieties, the Belgian Shepherd is believed to have descended from other shepherd dogs such as Dutch and German. They are one of the most versatile dog breeds as they can be used as assistance dogs, companion dogs, guard dogs, and police dogs.

They are intelligent, alert, and sensitive with a strong guarding instinct making them well suited for security services.

9. Dutch Shepherd

Image from Best Bully Sticks

Used to be employed as an all-purpose farm dog, the Dutch Shepherd has made its way to the homes of many families and into the law enforcement department. They used to specialize in guarding farms and droving livestock but is now using their skills as a police dog.

These intelligent, alert, and independent canines are known as competent working dogs used for tracking and search and rescue.

8. Giant Schnauzer

Image from Instagram:@giantschnauzers

Giant Schnauzers are essentially just bigger versions of Standard Schnauzers. And the increase in size also meant more aggressiveness. These dogs are known for being relentless at work and so are always part of search and rescue operations.

They are always alert and cautious around strangers making them ideal guard dogs. This dog breed is famous for being the only dog to serve with the Air Force.

7. Bouvier des Flandres

Image from Instagram:@olliethebouvier

One of the biggest dog breeds on this list, the Bouvier des Flandres are built with heavy bones and powerful muscles beneath their weatherproof coats. This stocky dog is the ultimate farm dog that can do almost all farm tasks. 

But aside from guarding livestock and herding barn animals, their large size and immense strength also enable them to take on the role of guard dogs.

6. Doberman Pinscher

Image from Instagram:@doberman_pinschers

Police dogs are not always the stocky-built dog breeds, the best example of this is the compact Doberman Pinschers. These sleek-bodied dogs are just as powerful and reliable as other robust guard dogs. Their magnificent but substantial physique confers them the necessary agility to perform their tasks.

These smart and loyal dogs are also incredibly fearless and vigilant. They will surely deter anyone wherever they patrol.

5. Springer Spaniel

Image from Best Bully Sticks

Closely related to the previously-mentioned spaniel, the Springer Spaniels are also outstanding gundogs. Game hunters take delight in their intelligence, stamina, and boundless energy on the field. They are people-pleasers that always aim to be praised as they are employed to work closely with humans.

These beautiful dogs that work as retrievers are highly trainable, a dog trait that is sought after for working police dog breeds.

4. Akita Inu

Image from Instagram:@akitainuclub

Rightfully awarded as the national dog of Japan, the Akita Inu has a lot of suitable dog qualities. They are known for their dignity, courage, and loyalty. These intimidatingly muscular double-coated dogs have erect ears and dark, shining eyes which contribute to their alert nature.

They are the preferred family protectors in their hometown because of their sharp senses that help warn their families of any perceived danger.

3. Corgi

Who says police dogs need to be as big as shepherd or mountain dogs? The Corgis might just show you that big dog personalities also come in small packages. Although they are built short and low, they have powerful limbs and agility to make up for their lack of size.

They are bright and fearless dogs with heightened senses making them great watchdogs and valuable members of the police team.

2. Bloodhound

Image from Instagram:@bloodhoundsofinstagram

The first-ever dog breed to have worked with the K9 police unit is the Bloodhounds. And it is no surprise given that these dogs have incredible noses that can track scents even miles away. It is said that their scenting ability is 1,000 times that of a human’s nose.

However, just like other hound dogs on this list, this dog breed is not particularly quick and agile.

1. German Shepherd

Image from YuMove

When you hear about police dogs, generally the first breed that comes to mind is the German Shepherd. And rightfully so, because these large and muscular dogs are noble and exceptionally intelligent.

They are an all-purpose worker that is well-loved in the law enforcement team because of their agility, courage, and easy trainability. They are loyal and willing to risk their lives to protect their loved ones. 



Do Cop Dogs Get Paid? 

No, cop dogs are not paid as they are dogs and dogs do not know the concept of money. Instead, canine officers, who handle these dogs and make sure they execute their duties, are the ones getting paid with actual salary. The dogs are compensated with meals, shelter, medications, and training.

What Is The Charge For Killing A Police Dog? 

Class C Felony will be filed against anyone convicted of purposely assaulting, maiming, or killing federal law enforcement animals such as police dogs and horses. The court may impose a civil penalty of at least $5,000 and may increase up to a maximum of $10,000 if proven guilty.

What Does K9 Stand For? 

K9 is a wordplay on the word canine, which refers to the family of dogs, in English-speaking countries. Based on the concept of homophones, K-9 is an appropriate substitute for canine, which comes from the Latin word canis meaning dog, and canine was derived from that word which means “dog-like”.

Default image
Pete Decker