Diesel was a Belgian Shepherd that was employed by the French police. During a search, Diesel ran into an apartment of a Paris bombing suspect. Diesel sustained multiple gunshot wounds from the suspect before passing away. His sacrifice saved the lives of all of his fellow police officers. He was awarded the Dickin Medal, named to Time’s 2016 list of Most Influential Animals, and will be remembered in the hearts and minds of people everywhere.
Diesel is not the only brave dog that put his life on the line for the public. K-9 units are used all over the world and do everything from search and rescue to explosive detection. While many breeds of dogs are used in k-9 units, they can be hand picked for certain purposes.
Here are a few common dog breeds that are employed on the force today and their jobs:
Bloodhounds are wonderful, calm guard dogs that also have an impeccable sense of smell. They are often used in bomb and drug detection but are more commonly known for finding missing persons, suspects, and cadavers. These pups are cool, calm, and collected under pressure but are unbelievably determined to find the source of the scent. If you adopt a bloodhound, understand that their snout has a mind of its own!
These pups are great guard dogs and are used all over the world in airports, government buildings, and on patrol. They are most used to chase down perpetrators and track suspects. These dogs replaced German Shepherds on many k-9 units because they will respond to commands, positive or negative, and have been known to withstand longer shifts. While they may come across as mean and menacing on the job, Belgian Malinois are wonderful family dogs that will fiercely protect their pack and will snuggle up with you at the end of the day.
This dog is the stereotypical “police dog” we have seen in film and television. It is most known for catching bad guys and sniffing out drugs on airports. This pup is, however, much more than what the movies portray. German Shepherds are fiercely loyal dogs that will do anything for their coworkers and are constantly focused on the task at hand. At home, they are sweet, loving companions and are always happy to sit by your side while you read or accept belly rubs while watching TV.
All dogs on K-9 units deserve our respect and our appreciation. Be sure not to pet a police dog while he or she is working and try to always be respectful of the police that are working with their fuzzy coworkers.