Move Over German Shepherds: 7 Unexpected Dog Breeds Join the Police Force

More and more police departments around the world are discovering just how valuable four-legged coworkers can be–and we’re not just talking about Belgian Malinois and German Shepherds! Although these popular working dog breeds are common choices among police officers, they aren’t the only dog breeds who can be trained to serve their communities.

Many dog species were bred to perform specific tasks, from herding to scent work, and many more can be trained to excel in the same skills thanks to intelligence, a high working drive, and an eagerness to please. Even then–breed only determines so much. Very few dogs actually complete training and become police dogs, regardless of their breed!

These are some of the more unique dog breeds you may read about or even see as they assist police officers around the world.

1. Corgi


In recent weeks, one Corgi puppy has become famous overnight after making his first public appearance as a reserve police dog in Weifang, China. Fuzai, whose name means ‘lucky boy’ in Mandarin, began training at only two months old and now outperforms most of his peers at only six months of age. His short legs give him an advantage when searching in small, narrow spaces, though what makes him most successful, according to the head of the Weifang police dog base, are “his strong environmental adaptability, insensitivity, his desire to possess items, and his fondness for food.”

2. Bloodhound


Online videos of Fuzai show glimpses of another unusual police pup in training: Coffee the Bloodhound! Although these hound dogs aren’t often seen as working police dogs, it’s no secret that they have an amazing sense of smell. They may not be the dogs sent to tackle a criminal in dramatic moments straight out of a movie, but Bloodhounds aren’t that unusual in the police force. In fact, the New York State Police already employ two Bloodhounds–K9s Paris and Mecca–who make many important finds every year.

3. English Springer Spaniel


Spaniels don’t usually come to mind when thinking of police dogs, guard dogs, or even watchdogs, but their history as gun dogs (AKA hunting companions) makes them excellent at sniffing out even the smallest traces of explosives or illegal substances. There’s even one special spaniel named Angus who can sniff out the deadly bacterial superbug C. difficile in hospitals and care facilities!

4. Beagle


Beagles are well-known hunting companions, but not everyone knows that their sensitive noses make them perfect candidates for police and security dogs, too. But it’s true–you’ll most often find Beagles working in airports, where their small bodies can move around suitcases, conveyor belts, and crowds with ease.

5. Doberman Pinscher


Although some people find Doberman Pinschers to be intimidating, these dogs are actually incredibly smart, obedient, and eager to please. Their large, formidable appearance may certainly help when apprehending suspects, but these working dogs are not nearly as popular as police pups as they were several decades ago. They first gained popularity as military, police, and guard dogs during WWI, though Shepherds and Malinois have dethroned them in recent years.

6. Bouvier de Flandres

via The Dogist

In the 19th century, this French breed was one of three that rose to prominence in the countryside. It was bred to be strong enough to help with farm work of all kinds and fearless enough to work with large animals like cattle. They quickly gained popularity as police dogs, and later military dogs, though this was over for the most part by the time this breed was recognized in the UK and US.

7. Doodle

via Indianapolis Police Department

While Poodles–half of any beloved Doodle mix–are known for their intelligence and confidence, it’s almost unheard of to see one in the line of duty. This remains the case today, though the Indianapolis Police Department recently recruited Officer Gus to one of the most important roles there is: therapy dog! This miniature Australian Labradoodle and his handler received hours of training to learn exactly how to support the officers in their department. If you ask us, this should be a staple at every police department!

Next time you see a dog working in police or security, make a mental note of what breed they are. Every now and then, you just might be surprised at what you see!

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