Dogs are often called “Man’s Best Friend” because they are loyal, energetic, playful, and always happy to see you! Playing fetch with your dog or teaching it to sit for a treat is great fun. It also helps form a life-long bond between you and the animal.
At the Durham Regional Police Service, we have dogs, too. We train them to track human scents and to find illegal drugs and explosives. Why dogs? A dog's nose is way more powerful than a human nose. A German Shepherd, for instance, has about 225 million sensory cells within its nose, allowing it to detect even the faintest smells. Humans, by contrast, have only 5 million receptors.
The police officers that work with these dogs are called ‘dog handlers’. Together, the dogs and dog handlers make up the police Canine Unit, also known as K-9. Dog handlers form life-long bonds with their assigned dogs and these special animals actually live with their handlers, even after the dogs have retired from police work!
Don’t assume that working dogs such as seeing-eye dogs or police dogs can be approached without permission. Not so! Always ask permission from the handler before you pet a police dog, just as you would for all other unfamiliar animals, big or small.
Most of the dogs used by our police service are purebred German Shepherds. Our narcotics dog, Dillon, is a Springer Spaniel from England. Our newest canine member, Justice, is a Belgian Malinois that is trained in narcotics as well as general patrol.
Police service dogs have an active life and get a lot of exercise and training. Best of all – they get to go to work with their handlers every morning!
Want to see pictures of our dogs? Click here!
Want to find out more about our Canine Unit? Read their message first!
I want to learn more about the K-9 Unit!
- Always ask for permission before you approach a strange dog!
- Always exercise your dog!
- Your pet counts on you for affection, health care, and exercise!
- Always be kind to your pets!