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Top 5 Police Dog Breeds

A tan and brown german shepherd with a tennis ball in his mouth running out of the water
mber LaRock Author of Top 5 Police Dog Breeds

Police dogs are skilled canines with an important job. Their specialized training makes them fit to stand by our officers with pride and prepares them for a list of impressive tasks that help to keep us safe.

In this article, we’ll discuss the details of what makes a police dog so special, and which breeds are listed as the top 5 police dogs. 

What is a K9 dog?

A K9 Dog is a dog that is specifically trained to assist law enforcement with issues such as drug/explosives, missing persons, tracking evidence, and bringing down suspects when needed.

Police K9’s can specialize in certain areas of police work, and may even be used as the first line of defense in certain scenarios. Dogs have heightened senses when it comes to tracking down their subject of interest, giving them the ability to perform tasks that humans can't.

K9’s are trained with specific verbal cues and hand gestures to work on their set tasks and adhere to strict guidelines in order to accomplish their work. Police K9’s are considered officers themselves, qualifying them as highly trained professionals. Similar to human officers, police dogs will often have their own set of protection and gear.

A K9 dog is an invaluable member of the police force and offers a new set of skills that take a team to the next level. When an officer has a highly trained K9 on their side, they know they are a step above the rest.

Top 5 Police Dog Breeds

While any breed of dog can be trained in a police dog program, there are a few breeds that are known to excel in this field. Let’s dive into the top 5 police dog breeds and what makes each of them so special.


Originally bred for hunting, these dogs have impressive noses. Beagles are perfect for sniffing out narcotics or explosives due to having one of the strongest smell senses of all dog breeds, making them extremely successful as a police K9.

They are known to follow through intently on any task they set their mind to, making them ideal for intense searches. They are the perfect size for fitting in small areas, are agile enough to weave in and out of areas too tight for law enforcement, and they are known to be quite stealthy when hunting or on-task.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are the most well-known breeds when it comes to canine police work and other professional canine positions. Their fierce loyalty makes them the perfect companions in working situations, and their high level of intelligence makes them a wonderful training candidate.

German Shepherds absolutely love to work and do well in positions where they are able to please their owners or police partners. Focusing on a task or carrying out a job makes the German Shepherd happy, making them the most sought outbreed when it comes to police work.

Not only are German Shepherds ideal for police work in general, but they also come in handy when it comes to taking down suspects or guarding civilians. Their loyalty paired with their strength gives them the ability to take on anything, and they are definitely brave enough to do so!

Sold out


Boxers are not commonly seen in police work in the US, but they are extremely popular in Europe. With their physical abilities and low key demeanor, they make a wonderful addition to any police force or other professional positions. They first became popular after serving in the military during WWI and WWII, and have maintained their impressive reputation since.

They have served for years as protectors for police and military personnel, and continue to be loyal companions to those who need it. Boxers are also quick learners and love to impress their favorite people, making them fast learners in multiple training areas.

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinschers are at the top of the list when it comes to intimidation! Their striking appearance has made them the standard guard dogs in movies and television for the last few decades, which has led to their success in actual policy positions. Their fierce intimidation paired with their athleticism makes them the perfect candidate for a police K9 position. 

The Doberman Pinscher’s lean and muscular body helps them chase down suspects with ease and excel in every area of their training. Hard work is ingrained in their DNA, and they do not stop until they have completed their job!


Bloodhounds are known to be one of the best scent trackers around. Their powerful nose helps them track scents no matter how faint, and has landed them a spot on this list because of it. While they were originally bred as gun dogs, they later found employment with the police due to the tracking skills they displayed on their hunts.

Today they are considered an “old-school police dog” since they are not as prevalent in the police force, but you will still see them involved in important search and rescue or recovery missions. They are often seen as the “big guns” when it comes to any kind of search and have an incredibly high success rate any time they use their impressive tracking skills.

The Dogs in Blue 

A brown Labrador that is in the k9 Unit sitting next to his police officer

Each of the breeds on this list is impressive in their own way and possess a set of skills that demand respect. Police K9’s are certainly a force to be reckoned with, and will continue to provide an invaluable service to police forces around the world!

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Meet The Author 

Amber LaRock

Amber is a Licensed Vet Tech with a degree in Veterinary Technology. Recently she has specialized in veterinary and animal-related content creation and social media management. When she is not working she loves spending time with her furry friends exploring the outdoors.

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