Man’s Best Friend’s ‘Job’ Is to Protect and Serve

Who doesn’t love puppies? If you said “me,” this one’s not for you. 


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We all know that police departments across the country feature K-9 units. The K-9 unit employs dogs that are specifically trained to assist police and other law-enforcement personnel. K-9 police dogs’ duties include:

  • Searching for drugs and explosives,
  • Locating missing people,
  • Finding crime scene evidence, and
  • Protecting their handlers.

According to dog trainer Stephen Parent, owner of West Michigan K9, police dogs can start their official job training as early as 7 to 14 months, as long as they’ve completed basic obedience training. These dogs are referred to as “green.” Green dogs attend a 4- to 12-week training program with their police officer handler. According to Parent, “[T]he officer and his K9 partner will then have to be certified by an independent organization recognized for patrol, narcotics and/or bomb detection before they are cleared for active duty.”

There are two types of police dogs: single purpose and dual purpose. Single-purpose dogs are used primarily for backup, personal protection, and tracking. Dual-purpose dogs do everything that single-purpose dogs do, but they can also detect either explosives or narcotics. However, dual-purpose dogs cannot be trained to detect both bombs and narcotics—it’s either one or the other.

Police dogs can also serve as detectives, as is the case for Prince, a 13-week-old bloodhound that recently took part in “A Very Good” induction ceremony with the West York, Pennsylvania, police department. Prince’s responsibilities will include locating missing people for the department. You can view highlights from the ceremony here, and we highly recommend giving this a quick scan for your daily dose of cuteness!

Police dogs aren’t just limited to the United States. A new batch of police puppies have been recruited to join Taiwan’s National Police Agency (NPA). The NPA recently recruited six puppies to join NPA’s K-9 Antibomb and Drug unit. The puppies were born to a current NPA police dog, Yellow, that is one of 22 NPA K-9 officers. According to an NPA Facebook post, “We hope that in the future the puppies can be like their mother Yellow, that they can pass through training successfully and enter the police force.” For a cuteness overload, you can check out pictures of the new recruits here.

And finally, police dogs aren’t immune to termination just because they’re cute, either. A police dog in Australia was recently fired after he flunked out of the police academy. According to the BBC, “Instead of tackling hardened criminals, the German shepherd pup liked to meet strangers, and police in Australia felt he ‘did not display the necessary aptitude for a life on the front line.’”

But they say it’s all in who you know, and fortunately for this pup, he was being fostered by Queensland’s governor, who immediately hired him for a different type of role. Gavel, the fired police pooch, is now the official greeter to Queensland’s Government House. BBC reports, “He also partakes in special ceremonial occasions—and the job comes with a custom-made uniform featuring the state emblems of Queensland.”

Now that you’ve officially overdosed on cuteness, it may be hard to get back to the serious world of HR.

Melissa BlazejakMelissa Blazejak is a Senior Web Content Editor at BLR. She has written articles for and the HR Daily Advisor websites and is responsible for the day-to-day management of and She has been at BLR since 2014. She graduated with a BA of Science, specializing in Communication, from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2008. Most recently, she graduated in 2014 with a MS of Educational Technology.


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