Police dog services under the RCMP provide an effective tool to fight crime.
Only purebred German shepherds in perfect physical condition for general duty teams, and mostly male, states the following information on the RCMP website.
Those breeds are considered by the RCMP to be the best choice for police work as they are adaptable, versatile, strong, courageous and able to work under extreme climatic conditions.
A dog entering the RCMP training program has a 17 per cent chance to succeed due to the high standards required.
The dog starts its police training when it is about 12 to 18 months old.
Basic training is about 17 weeks, but training never really ends as daily practice is required to maintain a high level of physical and mental fitness.
Dogs and handlers are validated to the Dog Handler Course Training Standard Field Level capability annually.
Dog handlers are regular members who volunteer for this particular duty. Candidates must go through a staffing selection process, which involves meeting certain criteria.
Although expertise is acquired through training and experience, a dog handler should have a tolerance towards animals and be capable of appreciating the known dog instincts.
The responsibilities of police services dogs include locating lost persons; tracking criminals; searching for narcotics, explosives, human remains, crime scene evidence and lost property; protection of very important persons (VIP); crowd control, in conjunction with tactical troop; hostage situations; avalanche search and rescue; and police/community relations.