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Canine Use on the Police Force

Police dogs have become a vital part of the police force. They are well trained, obedient dogs that, unlike humans, do not fear the daily challenges that arise on the job. Police units throughout the world use K-9 units. They are employed by most local police forces and by many governmental agencies. Police dogs can search 400 to 500 packages in a half an hour. They can search a car every minute. This speed saves time, when a human searcher could only do about one car every twenty minutes. Also, according to Canada Customs, in one year, 1993, the dogs searched 80,000 cars, 11 million packages and 6 million units of cargo. From this, they found 58,000 pounds of marijuana, 3,027 pounds of hashish, 18 pounds of cocaine, 29 pounds of heroin, 5 pounds of opium and 4.3 million dosage units of illegal prescription-type drugs. The combined value of all these drugs in 1993 was $192.5 million dollars.

Throughout the years, dogs have been trained using natural and artificial scents; they continue to use this training by tracking people and substances, despite on the job hazards. As man evolved, he began to use dogs to hunt prey and search for food. However, as he became more civilized, he needed to use dogs for more than those three simple things. He needed dogs to perform certain and specialized tasks. This is how selective breeding began. Certain dogs were used to herd sheep and were common on a farm. These dogs became known as Shepherd dogs. The German Shepherd in particular, is a late breed of various breeds of Shepherd dogs in Germany. Through selective breeding, they were adapted for the rough job they had, plus new ones. Their shaggy coat developed into a thick, dense, short coat. They are relatively tall, (22-26 inches) and have a medium sized head with a long nose. This large body helps it support more muscle mass, so German Shepherds are usually very powerful. They have

extremely powerful jaws with strong teeth, and have a


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