Do Retired Police Dogs Make Good Pets?

In the course of duty, police dogs build connections with their handlers. When they retire, their handlers are always the first option for adopters. In many situations, these canines live happily as family pets with their handlers.

Police dogs are generally amiable and sociable canines, although they may and do become violent when on duty. For this reason, potential adopters specifically request for approachable dogs, implying retired police dogs should be ‘friendly’ to the handler and simple to manage.

The police do not contribute financially to the dog’s care after retiring. Veterinary expenditures are pretty expensive, and although they are paid for in the case of active police dogs, the force’s financial assistance ends after the dog retires.

When dogs that have served in police K9 units are no longer needed, they are often put up for adoption. If you’re interested in adopting a former police dog, contact a local adoption group and fill out a formal application. But if you are still wondering if retired police dogs make good pets, then read on to learn more.

Why adopt a retired police dog?

  • Police dogs are well-trained, but they’re also socialized, in the sense that when they’re not on the job, they are taught to be as kind and friendly as any other dog; but, they still have that innate protective characteristic.
  • If a police dog doesn’t like someone, you should pay attention to that. Dogs have a sixth sense of how reliable people are.
  • They are deadly only if there is a threat to the owner and their family.
  • Adopting a retired police dog gives you the fantastic opportunity to provide a working dog the chance to be just that: a dog.

How to Adopt a Retired Police Dog?

Police dogs, like human police personnel, retire at a certain age. Healthy police canines often retire at the age of 8 or 9. Majority of these canines return to their handlers to continue living. However, a dog may be put up for adoption at any time. When compared to adopting an ordinary dog, the procedure of adopting a former police dog might be lengthy. Shelters must ensure that an adopting owner knows and can manage the dog’s demands that have built up due to their training.

  1. To adopting a retired police dog, contact your local police station. Even if the station does not handle adoptions directly, they will be able to send you in the right direction.
  2. Contact K9 officer training facilities. Because most dogs remain with their handlers once they retire, you may find yourself at the bottom of a lengthy list.
  3. The police station or agency should provide you with a list of prerequisites. Check to see whether your house meets the standards.
  4. When the time comes, be ready for a house inspection. Ensure that all members of your house are present during the inspection. Most adoption agencies will interview all family members.
  5. Have your veterinarian’s documents on hand, as well as a waiver authorizing your doctor to speak with the adoption agency about your pet’s history.
  6. While you’re waiting for your retired police dog, don’t adopt any other animals, such as cats. for example, will not put a dog in a household with a cat.

Which police dog is the best?

The choice of bringing a dog into your house should always be preceded by thorough study and consideration to ensure that the dog is a good match for your family. The following breeds are commonly trained as K-9s. Take your pick based on what you are looking for:

  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Bloodhounds
  • Dutch Shepherds
  • German Shepherd

When do police dogs stop working?

In general, police units prefer to retire canines after they reach the age of 8 or 9. Beginning from the time they are enrolled to become a K9 officer, the typical working life of a police dog is about 8 to 9 years.

Why are the vast majority of police canines male?

Police dogs are taught to look for narcotics, explosives, and other illegal items. Male canines are often chosen for police work because they are more aggressive and stronger when compared to female dogs. But then again, it is impossible to assert that a male dog is superior to a female dog.

Is it possible to adopt failing police dogs?

Did you know that canines do fail their police training? Yes, even those canines who aren’t made out for a life of service may be adopted by the right people. Don’t be deceived by the negative connotation of the word ‘failed.’ One of the reasons a dog may have ‘failed’ is that they are too comfortable with humans to remain focused on the job at hand, making them perfect candidates for pets.

Is it true that police dogs are paid?

Canine cops in some police agencies get extra canine pay to cover the cost of care. According to Go Law Enforcement, this bonus elevates a canine officer’s compensation over regular police officers. This ensures that the dogs are taken to veterinarians regularly for checkups, plus other costs of nourishment and exercise are also taken care of. However, this does not mean the dogs keep receiving the pay after retirement.

Do K9 officers take their dogs home?

In most situations, K9 officers provide round-the-clock care for their police canine companions, including transportation, maintenance, etc.

Police dogs are usually rehomed as they reach the end of their lives, but euthanasia could be considered in extreme cases. Sniffer dogs, cocker spaniels, or springers, who have served for many years, usually go to live with their handler’s family.


Bringing a retired police dog into your house should always be preceded by thorough study and consideration to ensure that the dog is a good match for your family and that your family is a perfect fit for the dog.

Adopting a retired police dog is not a quick or straightforward procedure, but it will be a rewarding experience. In any event, if you are unsuccessful or can no longer wait, consider heading to your nearest shelter. There are many dogs looking for a home, and many of them would love to live with you for the rest of their lives.

Author bio:

Sarah Paulson is a professional dog trainer who deals with severe dog behaviors. Regardless of breed, she’s a dog enthusiast who has 5 years of experience in training dogs and dog owners. Currently she is working with Orchard Knoll K9.

News Reporter