The Use Of Canines In Law Enforcement

875 words - 4 pages

The term “man’s best friend” stems from the domestication of canines in early history. Studies have shown that these four legged creatures became domesticated over 33,000 years ago. Starting with the wolf, there are now over 400 different types of breeds. Dogs were first used as helpers. People would use them for jobs such as hunting and herding. As time went by, people began to use them more for aid and protection. The U.S. Army was the first to initiate the use of K9 Units in 1835. Europe, Belgium, Germany, and Hungary realized the potential of these canines and picked up on the idea in the late 1800s. As early as 1911, Germany alone had over 400 police stations equipped with K9 Units. There are now over 22,000 canines used in law enforcement.
Bloodhounds, known for their idea; sense of smell, was the first breed used for police in Europe. This was in 1888 when Jack the Ripper was on the loose. The famous German Shepherd made its debut in Germany during the Holocaust by the Nazis for prisoner control. At this time, they were used less for protection and more for attacks. With the proper training canines are now considered legitimate police officers. Every state offers their own K9 training academy. On average, all training academies start the training process when the dog is still considered a puppy. This is around 12-15 months. It is possible, but very difficult to train at a younger age due to the lack of concentration and maturity of the puppy. The first step in the training process is basic obedience. This is when the puppy learns the basic commands, such as sit, stay, come, and, down. Depending on the academy, the portion of the training lasts about 6-8 weeks. Some dogs are trained in Europe and then brought over to the Unites States. In this case, the dog is taught the commands in the language of their home country. For instance, if the dog is taught “sit” in Dutch, then the new K9 handler in the US is responsible to learn the Dutch word for sit and use that instead of English. Some people argue that it is unnecessary to do so because dogs cannot differentiate languages, however; it is much easier for the K9 handler to learn a few new words rather than have to train the dog all over again. The first few weeks of obedience training are crucial. This is when the canine learns respect for its handler. This is also an important time for the canine to become more comfortable around...

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