How long does it take to train a K 9 police dog? Get Your Pet Thinking

How long does it take to train a police dog?

For basic training, it takes 4–6 months to begin police dog training and up to 3 years for complete training. This timeframe also depends on the specific task that the dogs are being trained for and the breed of dog, but dogs trained for a singular purpose are usually done within 12–18 months. Multi-purpose dogs take far longer, usually around 2 years for an exceptional, fast-learning pooch, or up to 3 years for dogs that need extra work.

After puppy selection and the initial basic training, dogs will then be selected for their unique jobs, and training will begin accordingly. Training begins with “shaping,” a process of putting the dogs through situations in which they cannot fail. This engenders a sense of confidence in the dog, as they would otherwise be reprimanded for things that they are not yet sure are “wrong.” From here, tasks are turned into fun and engaging games, more obedience training, tracking work, socialization, and “bite work.

After 1 year, these methods are further intensified and refined according to the dog’s purpose, with obedience being the most important — police dogs should obey commands 100% of the time, for their safety and the police officer’s.

Police dogs’ training never really ends, though, as these dogs are still trained while they are in service until the day that they retire.

What Skills Do Police Dogs Need?

Police dogs need a very specific set of skills in order to perform their duties.

Police dogs must learn how to deal with stress, whether it comes from being in the heat of a chase or hearing gunshots coming from the direction of an active shooter.

They must also learn how to adapt quickly when they are given new assignments. For example, a police dog that is trained to find drugs may suddenly be asked to find a missing child.

How long does it take to train a K 9 police dog?

They must be athletic and fit, as they will often be called upon to run long distances, jump over obstacles, and more.

Intelligence is also important, as police dogs must be able to understand commands and follow them quickly.

Best Dog Breeds for Police Work

How long does it take to train a K 9 police dog?

  • German Shepherds
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Dutch Shepherds
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Police Dog: Training your best friend