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What Do Police Dogs Do: The Everyday Duties Of A K9

June 13, 2021

​Police dogs are specifically trained dogs that assist police and other law-enforcement personnel in a variety of tasks. In this article, we’ll dive into the duties of a K9 officer and the role that they play in keeping the society safe. While they are out fighting crime and keeping us safe, it is our responsibility to prioritize their safety as well. Learn how you can make a difference in a police K9’s life by making a donation.

What Do Police Dogs Do?

Police K9s are specially bred service dogs who undergo extensive training, enabling them to assist their human partners with a variety of important tasks. Common K9 duties include suspect tracking and apprehension, narcotic and explosive detection, and search and rescue.

Some police K9s are single-purpose, meaning they have only one job, like finding illegal drugs. Other police dogs are dual-purpose, meaning they are trained for several tasks. So, let’s get into the details of the police dog duties!

Tracking & Apprehension

When dangerous criminals run from law enforcement, the K-9 unit is often deployed. Due to their speed, stamina and scent detection abilities, police dogs quickly track and catch a suspect. Upon finding the bad guy, police K-9s are often trained to bite and hold. A K-9 will latch onto the suspect’s arm or leg, debilitating and detaining the suspect until the handler calls him off and can make the arrest.

Detection of Illegal Drugs and Explosives

Police K9s have an exceptional sense of smell. It’s approximately 50 times more sensitive than a human’s, allowing police dogs to quickly find illegal drugs and explosives with precision. Police dogs are trained to stay focused on the scent they are looking for. They ignore myriad interesting smells that would distract civilian dogs. K9s can perform detection duties anywhere and are frequently used to find illegal drugs and explosives in locations like airports, concerts and athletic events, and even at routine traffic stops.

Search and Rescue (SAR)

When a tragedy strikes, such as an earthquake, tornado or explosion, special K9s are utilized for their search and rescue capabilities. A SAR K9’s compact, agile body allows it to search hazardous piles of rubble for humans—dead and alive. In fact, well-trained police dogs can detect human remains that are buried as deep as 15 feet underground. A SAR dog’s impressive endurance and ability to cover large swathes of land in a short period is a helpful tool when searching for missing persons.

How Can We Ensure Safety of the K9s

When police K-9s are released to apprehend suspects, they are often in immediate danger. The bad guys are frequently armed with deadly weapons and aren’t afraid to use them. A K9 is frequently sent off-leash ahead of his human partner, leaving the dog to fend for himself until the officer catches up. The only way to protect a police dog in these scenarios is with a state-of-the-art ballistic and stab-proof vest.

Unfortunately, many police departments don’t have the funds to provide their K9s with vests, which range in price from $1,000-$3,000. That’s where Brady’s K9 Fund comes in. While our organization has provided vests to 376 K9 officers, there are many K-9s who remain unprotected. Providing ballistic vests to wanting police dogs is made possible with your generous contributions. Brady’s K-9 Fund is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, meaning all contributions are tax deductible.

If you would like to make a difference in a police K-9’s life, please go to our donations page or click on the button below. We’re thankful for every contribution that is made.

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