Police forces all over the world use specially trained police dogs for a variety of purposes. Every role in a police force is important, and each helps to enforce the law and protect citizens in its own way; however, tactical police work is often considered the most physically and mentally demanding of all tasks. Engaging a dangerous criminal requires an incredible amount of bravery and team-work. The end goal of any confrontation is to end the situation with as few injuries and casualties as possible.
When you introduce a poorly trained canine into a dangerous situation, it can make an already bad situation much worse. Proper training can mean a huge difference between a dog that endangers lives versus a dog that can save them. The single most important part of training a dog for tactical police work is to make sure it is trained to handle real danger in real situations. One aspect of this is to train for work with gunfire. During a confrontation, there is a very real chance that guns may be used by both the suspect as well as police officers. A poorly trained dog will immediately become confused and disoriented by such a situation, and will become a danger to all involved. On the other hand, a properly trained dog will be unaffected by the noise and commotion, will stay on target, and will be able to disarm the suspect efficiently.
Of course, there’s more to working effectively with a tactical police dog than having a dog that’s trained properly. The officers involved must also be able to work efficiently with the dog. The handler is responsible for ensuring that the officers involved know what to expect, and how the dog has been trained to react to different situations. This is especially important when introducing canine units into police forces who may not have any prior experience working with police dogs.
Canine protection is not a game. It takes a well-trained police protection dog, be it a German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois or Dutch Shepherd, to work effectively with a police force and to help ensure the safety of everyone involved.