Adopting pets has become a phenomenon across the country with many people preferring to take in a dog that needs a good home instead of buying from an expensive breeder. Police and military dogs are no exception, and after serving an integral role in their military unit or police department, these dogs deserve to live out their lives in a comfortable home. Many of these dogs' handlers will take them in after their service is over, but some are put up for adoption and they are great dogs to have in many households. Here are 5 considerations to make if you decide you are interested in adopting a military or police canine:
1. Do Your Homework
Police and military service dogs aren't just limited to one breed--there are a number of breeds that are used as working dogs throughout the police and military. For this reason, it's important that you do your research on whichever breeds you are interested in. German shepherds, Labradors, beagles, bloodhounds, and Belgian malinois are all breeds that are common and each has their own natural characteristics you will have to consider if you are planning on adopting them.
2. Highly trained
A highly trained dog might seem appealing to someone adopting a dog--after all, the initial training of a new dog tends to be the most difficult part of owning a dog if the pet is otherwise healthy. Military and police dogs have a different kind of training, however, and if you don't have experience handling these kinds of dogs, you might find them to be aggressive (in addition to not qualifying to adopt them at all). Be sure to check with the organization you are adopting from about the qualifications you need before you get your hopes up about owning a retired police dog.
3. Usually only a few years of commitment
Many police and military dogs are in service for seven or eight years, which leaves only a few years for them to live in retirement. You will no doubt form a bond with your retired canine, so it's important to be aware of this and consider if you are willing to take care of a dog for a just a few years. On the other hand, this might be appealing to you if you are expecting a lifestyle change within the next 5 years, say, your own retirement.
4. Might be a long waiting list
Most retired police dogs live out the rest of their lives with the police officers that handled them when they were in service. For this reason, adopting a retired police dog can be a special privilege, and there may even be a long wait list for such an opportunity. Military dogs are a little easier to come by, but they will usually also have a waiting list.
5. Adoption is Usually Free
Adopting a police or military dog is usually free. Military dogs are adopted through the Lackland Air Force Base, and their adoption program is completely free. Adopting a police dog can depend on your local department, but many police departments just want to be sure that their canine officer is going to a good home, so adoption fees are rare.
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FrontLine Designs is a supplier of police and fire rescue including thin blue line canine gear for the dogs that serve and protect us alongside their human counterparts.
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