German Shepherd Police Dog: 9 Answer Guide



Dogs have been used dating back to Roman times for security and hunting, and since domestication, dogs have been used for a whole array roles in the working, hunting and pet animal areas.

One of these areas of work and dog breed used in that area is the German Shepherd Police dog.

This guide aims to run you through the 9 most important areas of information on the German Shepherd Police Dog.

We discuss what a police dog is, police work, police dog breeds, police training and commands, police dogs and puppies for sale and adoption for retired/ex/former police dogs – amongst much more!

Please note that this is an informational and educational guide only.


1) What Are German Shepherd Police Dogs?

Also known as a German Shepherd K9 or K-9, police use different dog breeds for different areas of their work. These areas of work include but are not limited to:

  • Neutralizing suspects in order to apprehend or detain
  • Protecting their police handlers
  • Guarding controlled and protected areas
  • Locating illegal drugs, explosives and accelerants
  • Locating items and scents of interest at crime scenes
  • Tracking people of interest, fugitives and missing people

Alsatian police dogs are most often used in detection, tracking, protection and apprehension work.

They were also famously used by New York Department for search and rescue in the aftermath of the World Trade Attacks on 9/11, with Appollo being a well known GSD used in the search.

GSDs are often thought of as the most valuable and flexible police dog breed because of their strength, agility, intelligence, focus, discipline and high level of obedience and coach ability.

It is an offence in many jurisdictions around the world to assault or kill a police dog.

Both males and female German Shepherds make good police dogs.


2) Police/Cop Dog, Service Dog and K9 Breeds

The following are dog breeds that have most commonly been used in police, service and k9 work:

  • German Shepherd Police Dog
  • Labrador Retriever Police Dog
  • Belgian Malinois Police Dog
  • Dutch Shepherd Police Dog
  • Giant Schnauzer Police Dog
  • Bloodhound Police Dog
  • Beagle Police Dog
  • Basset Hound Police Dog
  • Domberman Pinscher Police Dog
  • German Shorthaired Pointer Police Dog
  • Springer Spaniel Police Dog


3) German Shepherd Police Dog/K9 Unit Training and Commands

German Shepherds are put through intense training regimes from their first year that may include classes in scent tracking, agility, obedience, protection/attack, item and evidence detection and sometimes cadaver sniffing (locating dead bodies by smell).

German Shepherd police dogs are also trained to remember a range of both hand and voice commands in their line of duty.

Depending on the country the police dog is from, Alsatians are given their voice commands in the native language.

You can read more about English, German, French, Czech and Dutch Police dog and protection voice commands at


4) German Shepherd Police Dog Temperament

Not all German Shepherds make great police dogs. The best German Shepherd police dog usually has control over their temperament (controlled aggression), high intelligence/obedience, and of course a high drive to learn and accomplish tasks to a high standard.

East and West German working line GSDs (German Shepherd Dogs) usually make the most flexible GSD police dogs for their high work drive and working line pedigree. Read more about East German/DDR Line German Shepherds.

Show Line German Shepherds can perform well in tracking and detection, but may not have the drive or temperament for protection type police work. Read more about Show Line German Shepherds.


5) How Do The Police Buy or Obtain German Shepherd Police Dogs?

It depends on the country and the police department’s policies as to how they obtain their German Shepherd police puppies and dogs.

Victoria Police in Australia for example have their own police dog breeding program at the Police Dog Squad Training Centre.

This enables the Victoria police to monitor the birth of the puppies, ensure their health through the first 8-12 weeks, enables the dogs to get familiar with the sights and sounds of the police department, and of course be put through police training and assigned to a handler or owner if successful.

If the dogs are deemed not suitable for training or fail training, they are re-homed with the right dog owners as determined by the department.

Other police departments in America for example sometimes do not have budgets assigned for police dogs and have to rely on public and corporate donations to buy from respected working line breeders.


6) Police Trained German Shepherds For Sale, Adoption and Rehoming – Puppies, Former/Retired and Ex Police Dogs

The following police trained dogs may be available for adoption and rehoming:

  • Puppies that are judged physically or mentally incapable of being a police dog
  • Dogs that fail police training
  • Dogs that are injured in the course of police work
  • Retired and pregnant dogs. Dogs usually retire at 9-12 years of age.

Sometimes a police dog will be retired with its handler or owner as opposed to being adopted or rehomed.

If you would like to to adopt a police trained service German Shepherd, contact your country’s parent German Shepherd club and ask for more information on rescue centres and police dog rehoming programs. 


7) German Shepherd Police Puppies and Dogs Pictures and Images

German Shepherd Police Puppy

German Shepherd Police Dogs

Although it is extremely rare, there have been White German Shepherd Police dogs before –

White German Shepherd Police Dog


8) Male and Female German Shepherd Police Dog Names 

Apollo, Ulysses, Panzer, Antonov, and Clippers are a few names that have been used for police dogs in the past. 

You can check out other German Shepherd Police Dog Names and Name lists at Best German Shepherd Male and Female Puppy Dog Names: Ideas and Lists.


9) More Questions and Answers About German Shepherd Police Dogs and Puppies has some more frequently asked questions along with answers about American police dogs.


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