"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went"~Will Rogers

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Good Forum Post About Pits as Police Dogs

I think the qualifier here should be...... how common are pit bulls in law enforcement? The answer is that pit bulls have never been used by law enforcement agencies for police work in any substantial numbers, and the few dogs cited have been outliers. The Law Dogs program started by Diane Jessup shut down years ago, as there was little demand or interest from law enforcement agencies for pit bulls. The most common dogs used by police and military operations are GSD and Belgian Malinois. As a previous poster noted, beagles are the most common dogs used for agricultural detection work in airports.

Also note that there is a difference between a police canine and a detection dog...the small handful of pit bulls that have been used by law enforcement agencies have been detection dogs, similar the the beagles used for detection work.

The dogs used for police and military work come from breeding programs which are carefully selecting dogs for specific traits that make them suitable for this type of work....high drive, intelligent, low fear, and healthy...which means free from commono genetic diseases like HD, etc. It costs a lot of money to train, screen, and develop these dogs, and many still don't make the cut. There needs to be enough genetic material available, from suitable dogs, to maintain the health of the dogs, which is why some programs are importing dogs from overseas to keep the gene pools diverse and viable, and avoid too much inbreeding.

Pit bulls have never, and will never, be used in any significant way, in police work....the dogs are simply not being bred for these purposes, and the very small number of ethical hobby breeders existing couldn't produce dogs with the right qualities in any meaningful numbers. Terriers, in general, are not well suited for this work, because of their general lack of biddability and independent, often stubborn, temperaments.