The Basics of Police Dog Training

Brian Daubs, DVM, serves the Animal Specialty and Emergency Clinic in Rockledge, Florida, as chief of surgery. Dr. Brian Daubs additionally has received special recognition by the St. Lucie County Sheriff for his work with police dogs.

The first step in training a police dog is the same taken by all dog owners. The animal must learn and respond to basic obedience commands, such as “sit” and “stay,” with unwavering regularity so that officers can eventually control the force with which the dog approaches suspects. It is a common practice for dogs coming from other countries to be issued commands in their native language, such as German.

Following basic training, potential police dogs advance to agility and endurance training. Courses for police dogs are particularly rigorous, requiring the animals to scale walls and deal with a variety of additional obstacles. Following agility and endurance sessions, police dogs finally move on to specialty training. Police dogs are frequently trained to sniff out drugs, though they may also be used to smell for bombs or to track suspects and missing people.

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