K9 Dog Breeds

Dogs have always played an important role in law enforcement. Today, K9 Dog Breeds are trained for a range of tasks and given jobs in specific areas throughout the security sector.

You will find information about some of the most common K9 Dog Breeds in this article. Each K9 dog is special in its own right, but some are more powerful than others and are, therefore, ranked accordingly.

Although they are typically reared as police dogs, it is not uncommon for people to have them as pets. If you want to know more about the most common K9 Dog Breeds, keep reading.

The Top K9 Dog Breeds in the Police Force

1. German Shepherd

The German Shepard is one of the most popular K9 Dog Breeds in the world. German Shepherds were popularized by a small puppy that was rescued during WWI by Corporal Lee Duncan.

He brought the dog back to Los Angeles and trained him. This German Shepherd later starred in the movie ‘The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin’. He was the main character and became one of the most adored and famous dogs in the entertainment industry.

There is not much that the German Shepard can’t do. The breed has also held jobs herding stock, visiting the sick, serving in the military, sniffing for drugs, chasing criminals, and leading the blind. 

The German Shepard was also crowned as a hero after their brave efforts after 9-11, searching through the rubble of the twin towers looking for survivors.

These heroes also spent time comforting families and rescue workers.

The German Shepard dates back to 1899. They were developed in Germany and originally bred to herd flocks, but their role has significantly changed since then. 

Behavior and Temperament

Despite the adoration for the German Shepard as an actor, they are not suited for everyone as pets.

They are very suspicious dogs and make great watchdogs; however, if you are planning on keeping one as a family pet, visitors beware.

German Shepherds don’t like strangers and will go into attack mode when they see someone they don’t recognize encroaching on their territory. 

There has been a long-standing debate that American-bred German Shepherds are much more easygoing than their German counterparts.

It is always recommended that you meet this breed yourself before making any judgment. 

German Shepherd doesn’t like being left alone for long periods of time and will experience separation anxiety as a result.

This can manifest in destructive behaviors, such as excessive barking, digging, and chewing. The breed is highly intelligent, and they have a lot of energy.

They require plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep them balanced. They need daily walks or jogs, as well as other types of play, such as fetch. 


German Shepherds shed so much that they’ve been given the nickname “German Shedder.”

You need to give your dog a good brush several times per week. You will also need a powerful vacuum, your carpet will thank you for it! 

Bathing your dog too often strips the coat of the natural oils required to keep it in good shape. Even though German Shepherds shed a lot, they are odorless and very clean.

Only bathe your canine when they really need it. Inspect and clean their ears once a week, brush their teeth daily, and trim your dogs' nails once a month. 

Additional Information

  • Lifespan: 7 – 10 years
  • Colors: Black and silver, red and black, grey, sable, black and tan, black
  • Weight: 50 – 70 lbs female, 65 – 90 lbs male
  • Height: 22 -24 inches female, 24 – 26 inches male
  • Hypoallergenic: No

Fun Fact: Six German Shepherds were the main characters of a play called ‘Going to the Dogs’ by Dutch director Whim Schipper.

Top K9 Dog Breeds Bloodhound

2. Bloodhound

Bloodhounds originated from France and were bred by monks during the 12th century. According to folklore, bloodhounds were used to track down William Wallace and Robert the Bruce when they tried to escape from the enemy.

Bloodhounds were originally bred to hunt deer. When fox hunting with Beagles became more popular, breeders stopped producing the bloodhound. Advocates of the breed saved them from extinction.

Their numbers declined once again during the 1st and 2nd World Wars. The breed was revived a second time by deporting the canines from different European countries to the United Kingdom.

Behavior and Temperament

Bloodhounds are very gentle and loving; when trained well, they do not show aggressive behavior towards humans or animals.

One of their most dominant character traits is sensitivity; as a result, they find it difficult to cope when shouted at during training. The breed is also known for its stubbornness, and they may decide they are not going to participate.

Their stubborn streak is also revealed as a K9 Dog Breed because when they catch a scent that stimulates them, they will search until they find the source. 

Although Bloodhounds are kind and affectionate pets, they do have several challenging characteristics that owners have reported as “off-putting.”

They snore very loudly, they drool a lot, they can have a very strong odor, and their bark is extremely loud. This is probably not the breed for first-time pet owners because they need training.

They need a lot of daily exercise, which can become difficult for owners who are not used to such demands on their time. Bloodhounds have a naturally high prey drive. This K9 Dog Breed will disappear to follow that scent.

Bloodhounds are not suited for apartment living because they need space to roam around. They are better off in a home that has a large yard with high fences to burn off energy when needed.

Bloodhounds are very independent and do not suffer from separation anxiety. They don’t like being left alone for too long, but they can entertain themselves pretty. Bloodhounds are not watchdogs, so don’t expect them to guard your house.

These canines do get along with children, but because of their size, they should be supervised while they are with young children. 


Bloodhounds have short and shiny coats that don't need much grooming. Brushing their coats once a week will help to maintain their shine and condition.

Bloodhounds have long ears, so you will need to clean their ears to ensure that they are dry and clean.

Bathing your dog once a month, brushing their teeth daily, and trimming their nails once or twice a month are recommended. 

Additional Information

Fun Fact: A bloodhound can follow the trail of a scent that is 300 hours old. 

Top K9 Dog Breeds doberman pinscher

3. Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman is named after a tax collector called Louis Doberman. He lived in the German town of Apolda.

As a tax collector, his job was a dangerous one, and he was always at risk of being attached. Louis was also a dogcatcher and very familiar with canines.

Instead of living in fear, he decided to breed a dog that would become a loyal protectant as he made his rounds, and this is how the Doberman Pinscher came about.

Louis Doberman took how he bred the pinscher with him to the grave. These are not hard facts, but it is speculated that the breed was developed by combining the black and tan Terrier, the German Pinscher, and the Rottweiler.

The Doberman was brought to the United States sometime in 1908, and they have been loved by the Americans ever since. 

Behavior and Temperament

The Doberman Pinscher is highly intelligent; they are playful, faithful, and loyal, and they enjoy being part of a loving family.

These K9 Dog Breeds are natural protectors, and when they feel that their owner is facing a threat, they will defend their lives and, if necessary, attack with all of their might.

The Doberman has high energy levels, and they need mental stimulation to stay balanced.

Because they are so intelligent, they pick up commands quickly and are, therefore, easy to train, but they need strong and consistent leadership to become their best. 

Dobermans love being around children, but they shouldn’t be left alone with them. These canines get along well with other animals and dogs who are also a part of the family.

However, they can get aggressive with animals they don’t know. 


The Doberman has a short, smooth, and sleek coat that doesn’t require much grooming, but you will need to brush it once a week.

They are very clean, and you will rarely detect a strong odor from them. You won’t need to bathe the Doberman often, once every three months will do.

Brush your dogs' teeth daily, check and clean their ears weekly, and trim their nails once a month. 

Additional Information

Fun Fact: Doberman Pinschers starred in the 1972 movie ‘The Doberman Gang.’

Top K9 Dog Breeds Giant schnauzer

4. Giant Schnauzer

These K9 Dog Breeds originate from Germany; their first jobs were driving cattle, working in stockyards and butcher shops, and guarding breweries.

It is believed they were developed by crossbreeding several dogs, including the Bouvier de Flandres, the black Great Dane, and the Standard Schnauzer.

Police used them for police work in the early 1900s and this became their main job.

The Giant Schnauzer is not as well known in America for its police work because they were not given the opportunity to showcase their skills because German Shepherds had this position. 

Behavior and Temperament

The Giant Schnauzer is sweet and mild-mannered, making it a great companion dog. But they are also bold and assertive with high energy levels, making them the perfect guard dog.

When they are a part of a family, they are very serious about protecting the home. They are extremely territorial, and they don’t like strangers.

First-time owners will not do well with this breed because they need an experienced trainer, or they will dominate whatever home they take residence in.

The Giant Schnauzer is not recommended for families with small children under the age of 12. 

This K9 Dog Breed doesn’t like other dogs, and they often have an added disdain for dogs of the same sex.

They do seem to get along well with cats, but because of their size, be cautious about having them in the same house together. 


The Giant Schnauzer has a double coat; the outer coat is dense, hard, and wiry, whereas the undercoat is soft and smooth.

The coat needs brushing with a slicker brush or a stiff bristle brush three times a week. You will need to hand-strip their coats every four to six months if you plan on showing them.

If not, clipping the coat every four to six months will do. Because of their beard, this K9 Dog Breed can use their faces washed after every meal.

Bathing your pet every four to six weeks, brushing their teeth daily, and clipping their toenails once a month are recommended.

Additional Information

Fun Fact: The Giant Schnauzer grows a beard.

Final Thoughts

K9 Dog Breeds are unique because of their breeding as police dogs, they need to go running for several hours per day.

It's not recommended to get an active K9 if you work long hours. You won’t have the time to devote to your pet.

Another important factor in making your decision is that most of these breeds need a lot of space and are, therefore, not suited to apartments.

K9 Dog Breeds are different from other breeds, and it's important that you take their unique needs into consideration when making your decision.

READ NEXT: 15 Most Popular Police Dog Breeds

Top K9 Dog Breeds

Diana currently lives and works in London, UK and she's been an animal lover and dog owner since she was a child. After graduating high school, she focused on getting her degree in English to become a writer with a focus on animals, pets and dogs.