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Top 10 Police Dog Breeds

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Dogs are known to be loyal, loving, intelligent, and hard-working creatures. Their bond with humans is exceptionally strong and many would put their own lives at risk to protect the life of their owner.

Canines also have impeccable senses which aren’t easily matched by other creatures of the animal kingdom.

When considering these canine facts, it’s no wonder that they are a man’s best friend and are also frequently called upon to serve alongside military men, firefighters, and police officers.

There are many different dog breeds but not all of them are a good fit to do police work.

To help you select the right breed for the job, we have compiled a list of dog breeds that were born to be on the force.

With this list of police dog breeds, you should be able to find a canine that can stay by the side of police officers and help them catch the bad guys.

Best Police Dog Breeds

RankingNameHeightWeightLife spanBreed sizeTemperamentOrigin
1German Shepherd22-26 inches66-88 lbs9-13 yearslargeIntelligent, Stubborn, Curious, AlertGermany
2Labrador Retriever22-24 inches64-80 lbs10-12 yearslargeEven Tempered, Outgoing, Intelligent Newfoundland
3German Shorthaired Pointer23-25 inches55-70 lbs12-14 yearslargeBoisterous, Intelligent, Bold, AffectionateGermany
4Giant Schnauzer25-27 inches64-94 lbs
12-15 yearslargePowerful, Intelligent, Strong WilledGermany
5Boxer23-25 inches65-80 lbs10-12 yearslargeFriendly, Devoted, Intelligent, Energetic Germany
6Airedale Terrier
22-24 inches50-64 lbs10-12 yearslargeOutgoing, Friendly, Intelligent, AlertUnited Kingdom, England
7Doberman Pinscher
26-28 inches88-99 lbs10-13 yearslargeIntelligent, Energetic, Fearless, AlertGermany
8Rottweiler24-27 inches110-130 lbs8-10 yearslargeDevoted, Good-natured, FearlessGermany
9Bloodhound25-27 inches90-110 lbs10 -12 yearslargeEven Tempered, Stubborn, AffectionateFrance
10Belgian Malinois24-25 inches55-66 lbs10-14 yearslargeHard-working, Protective, Watchful, FriendlyBelgium

German Shepherd

German Shepherd

There is no surprise to see German Shepherd on this list as these dogs are often found to be helping police officers in their line of duty.

Being herding dogs, German Shepherds are quick to learn how to react to commands and are keen to impose order on a given situation. They are also bold, fast, enthusiastic, and intelligent, which make them perfect for the police force.

German Shepherds are easy to train and would bring down some of the toughest suspects down. These canines can also sniff out cadavers and narcotics and are commonly used in search and rescue operations. They are super versatile and adorable while taking their duties very seriously.

The German Shepherd’s job may consist of several duties – they excel in search and rescue, missing or lost people, detecting drugs or explosives, crime scene investigation, or even chasing down people.

Labrador Retriever

If there was ever an all-purpose canine, the Labrador Retriever – commonly known as the ‘Lab’ – would be it.

Labrador Retrievers are generally thought of as goofy, fun-loving dogs often found in households, but they actually make great police dogs too. They are popular because of their friendly and passive personality.

These canines are ideal for police and law enforcement agencies as they are highly obedient dogs. Labrador Retrievers are mostly trained for tracking.

Labs are used for tracking down bombs and search and rescue missions. Labs can also sniff out narcotics, which is one of the reasons why they are considered a great police dog breed.

German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer

Friendly by nature, but extremely hardworking, the German Shorthaired Pointer is the perfect dog breed for law enforcement.

These dogs thrive on positive training, vigorous exercise, and a lot of love. The male German Shorthaired Pointer stands between 23 and 25 inches and weighs up to 70 pounds.

The coat is liver and white in different patterns. The dark eyes of these furry companions shine with friendliness and enthusiasm.

German Shorthaired Pointers are known for their speed, endurance, power, and agility. ‘Noble’ is the word used to describe their overall look.

Today, these canines are employed in special law enforcement organizations all over the world. They specialize in tracking illegal substances and are widely used in air transportation security.

German Shorthaired Pointers are also found to be working with detectives – tracking evidence at crime scenes.

Giant Schnauzer

The Giant Schnauzer has intelligence and drive and can be the perfect dog for the police force.

With the height of up to 27 inches, this dog breed can intimidate criminals who stand in their way. These canines also have high energy and they love to play.

They are one of the only breeds to serve with the Air Force – Giant Schnauzers were used as working dogs for the Air Force back in the Second World War. They can learn special skill sets like odor detection, enclosure searching and obedience. Although the Air Force thought that they weren’t suited for this type of work, they decided to try again after the war.

These pups are very hardworking and loyal to their owners. Training this dog breed isn’t easy, but once you have properly tutored them, they will make a great canine for the law enforcement agencies.



The Boxer is a versatile war dog. Bright and alert, the Boxer is among America’s most popular dog breeds.

A male Box can stand up to 25 inches at the shoulder while females are a little smaller. The muscles of these canines ripple beneath a small coat.

They have a wrinkled forehead and dark brown-colored eyes which give their face an alert look. The coat is brindle or fawn in color and has white markings on it. ‘Smooth’ and ‘graceful’ are two words that best describe the movements of a Boxer.

This breed served in both World Wars and were used as effective patrol dogs, guard dogs, and messengers for the military. Boxers were bred to be all-purpose farm dogs.

One of their specialties was that they transported communication wires between groups and the battlefield – these spool wires connected to their collars. Boxers were heroes in their war days and today they can be used by the police force for certain operations.

Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier is known as the King of Terriers because of his strength, size, and unflagging spirit. It is one of the most versatile dog breeds and can prove to be a good companion for police officers.

Male Airedale Terriers stand about 23 inches at the shoulder. They have a dense, wiry coat that is tan in color and has black markings on it. These canines have long, muscular legs, long head, mustache and sporty beard, neatly folded ears, and dark eyes that convey keen intelligence.

The Airedale Terrier can be determined, stubborn, and bold. These canines are patient and docile with kids but are protective of their home.

With their police-friendly temperaments, Airedales have served as police dogs in the British Police Force. Their high intelligence, exceptional nose and tough wiry coats make them the perfect police K-9. Moreover, they are easy to maintain.

These dogs were specifically trained to those who are not in police uniform. Airedale Terriers were also fantastic war dogs for Great Britain during World War I. They did all types of tasks including scouting and carrying military supplies.

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher

Loyal, fearless, and alert, the Doberman Pinscher easy to train and responds quickly, why is why they make a fantastic police dog breed.

These canines are sleek and powerful and possess a keen intelligence and magnificent physique. They are also vigilant and fearless and won’t hesitate to protect their owners.

The Doberman Pinscher stands between 24 and 28 inches at the shoulder. Their body is sleek yet substantial and the coat color can be fawn, red, black or blue, with rust markings.

Doberman Pinschers are known to be tenaciously loyal and obedient to their masters, which makes them great guard dogs. They are also extremely intelligent. With both the brains and brawn, it’s a no-brainer why these dogs were once heavily used by the police force.


The Rottweiler is a robust dog breed of great strength. A male can stand up to 27 inches at the shoulder while females run a little smaller. They have a glistening black coat with rust markings. A well-bred Rottweiler will be confident and calm but not unduly aggressive.

Rottweilers are extremely versatile dogs. Known to be the perfect guard dog, a Rottweiler will love his family but will act alert around strangers. They are reliable and confident canines because of which they are currently used as police dogs, search and rescue dogs, guard dogs and military dogs – they can do it all.

With the U.S. military, Rottweilers were used as premier messenger dogs. For the World War I and World War II, these canines delivered urgent messages from base to base.


Friendly, independent, and inquisitive, the Bloodhound is another great police dog breed.

You can’t easily imagine this dog running with the legs of German Shepherd and Doberman Pinscher; however, they do serve a very specific role for law enforcement – tracking people and narcotics.

Their ability to segment a specific scent and follow it over a long distance make them such valuable dogs. In fact, bloodhounds arguably have the best nose in the dog kingdom. Their sense of smell is a thousand times better than a human’s.

This dog breed was the very first to be commissioned by a police unit for their services – Bloodhounds have been working with the police since 1889.

Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois is the smaller cousin of the German Shepherd. They are even more athletic than the German Shepherd due to their smaller physique; however, they hold many of the physical and personality traits as their larger counterparts. So it is no surprise that Belgian Malinois have become popular K-9 dogs.

In addition to the K-9 units, this dog breed has become increasingly used by the military for operations of all sizes. For example, it played one of the most crucial roles in a top-secret U.S. military operation in Syria.

Another Belgian Malinois named Cairo was a military working dog used by the Navy’s Seal Team Six. Cairo’s role was extremely crucial in the takedown of Osama Bin Laden.

Ending Note

This concludes our take on the top 10 police dog breeds. Which one of these dogs do you think is best suited for the force? Let us know your thoughts.

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