Domestication of Dogs

The dog is a subspecies of the gray wolf.  The dog was the first domesticated animal, and it has been the most widely kept working, hunting, and pet animal in history.  While the first dogs were domesticated thousands of years ago, most existing dog breeds have been in existence for only a few hundred years, having been artificially selected/bred for particular morphology and behaviors for specific functional roles.  Through this selective breeding, the dog subspecies has been diversified into hundreds of variant breeds.   Consequently, they possess more behavioral and morphological variations than any other land mammal.

History of Dogs 

Since Roman times humans have used canines for security and hunting.  The Romans and the Spanish conquistadors used dogs in times of war.  More recently, the British, German and American military forces have benefited from canine/soldier teams.  During wartime, dogs were trained for certain important roles: sentry dog, scout or patrol dog, messenger dog, or mine dog.  About 1,500 dogs were used as sentries in the Korean War.  During the Vietnam War, American troops used dogs to clear caves and tunnels of the Vietcong, as well as to find booby traps and land mines.  After the wars, the dogs were rehabilitated and returned to the people who loaned them to the military.


History of Police Canines around the World

Dogs have been used by law enforcement agencies for over 100 years.  The English used bloodhounds while searching for Jack the Ripper in 1888, and during that time they allowed canines to accompany bobbies (police) on  patrol.  In 1899, in Ghent, Belgium, police started formally training dogs for police work.  This enhanced the popularity of using dogs for police work.  By 1910, Germany had police dogs in over 600 of their largest cities.  In 1938, South London introduced two (2) specially trained Labrador Retrievers to the Metropolitan Police Force to accompany bobbies on patrol.

In the 1970’s the use of dogs in law enforcement took a foothold in the United States.  Now they are considered a part of the police force, and in many departments they even have their own badges.  From the hundreds of dog breeds, there are some that are widely known for their presence in law enforcement.  The most widely trained dog for regular patrol work is the German Shepherd. Other exemplary breeds include--but are not limited to--the Labrador Retriever, Belgian Malinois, and the Dutch Shepherd.  Certain breeds have been used for special purposes, such as detecting illegal drugs or explosives, and tracking fugitives or missing persons.

Police Dogs and Training

Dogs for Law Enforcement believes a well-trained canine team is essential to deterring criminal activity and for assisting police departments in locating illegal drugs and explosives, in tracking fugitives, and with finding missing persons.  Our goal at Dogs for Law Enforcement is to assist police departments in purchasing trained police canines through established vendors who provide excellent service and warranties.  Another goal is to sponsor seminars for canine teams to attend around the nation to enhance a canine team's working ability.



German Shepherd:  The breed originated in Germany.  Shepherds are often preferred by law enforcement because of their strength, intelligence, teachability and obedience.  German Shepherds around the world are often utilized in the detection of narcotics and explosives.  They are also used in the tracking and apprehension of human suspects. 


Labrador Retriever:  Labrador, or Lab for short, is one of several kinds of retrievers (a type of gun dog). Even-tempered and well-behaved around young children and the elderly, Labradors are athletic and playful, and they are a very popular dog breed. Labradors are frequently trained for detection work in law enforcement and for tracking of human suspects. However, they are not used for suspect apprehension.


Belgian Malinois:  The Malinois or Belgian shepherd dog is a breed of dog that is recognized in the United States under the name Belgian Malinois.  It is used as a working dog for tasks including detection of odors from narcotics, explosives, and accelerants (for arson investigation), and for the tracking of humans and suspect apprehension in police work.



Dutch Shepherd:  The Dutch Shepherd dog is a herding dog of Holland origin.  The Dutch Shepherd is used as a working dog for tasks including odor detection from narcotics and explosives, and for tracking of humans and suspect apprehension in police work.

Giant Schnauzer:  The Giant Schnauzer is a working breed developed in Germany in the 17th century. It is the largest of the three breeds of Schnauzer. Originally bred to assist on farms by driving livestock to market and guarding the farmer's property, the breed eventually moved into the city, where it worked as a guard dog. It was unknown outside of Bavaria until it became popular as a military dog during World War I and World War II.  Giant Schnauzers have been used for odor detection of narcotics and explosives, and for tracking of humans and suspect apprehension in police work.