How to adopt retired police dogs is a question that’s often asked by those who want to add a K9 companion to the family.

There are quite a few ways in which you can find a police dog for adoption. For instance, you can contact the National Police Canine Association or the United States War Dog Association, or you can contact an adoption agency.

Whatever route you wish to take, you are going to need to follow the right procedure in order to adopt a retired police dog.

Luckily, as police dog owners, we are going to help guide you through the entire process of owning your own police dog.

Table of contents


Getting a Retired Police Dog

Clearly these animals are well-trained. However, the difficult labor they must do and the high-stress events they must face throughout their life might have a severe impact on their conduct. A retired dog, for example, may experience anxiety, hostility, or even post-traumatic stress disorder.

Furthermore, because they "retire" at a very advanced age, the amount of time they spend with their new owner will inevitably be reduced. Nonetheless, adopting a retired police dog is a fantastic and satisfying experience for both the animal and you, because it is your chance to give a retired police dog a little rest and tenderness after working for our protection his entire life.

Do Your Research

Although there is no organization dedicated to the adoption of retired police dogs, you can begin your search by contacting law enforcement agencies, such as the National Police Dog Foundation and the North American Police Work Dog Association, as well as nonprofits like Mission K-9 Rescue and dog shelters. Your local police agency can also connect you with organizations that have dogs for adoption.

When police canines reach retirement age, though, handlers are still the preferred option. Law enforcement officers are next, followed by the general public. As a result, even if you discover a retired police dog that is available, you will almost certainly be put on a long waiting list.

There are several different types of police dogs. When a merchant refers to a "green dog," he means a dog that has been tested for its potential as a police dog, which means it possesses the necessary instincts (drives) and nerves (courage) to do the duty. Don't accept everything you're told since other dealers have higher standards and a better eye for dogs. In examining the dog, you should enlist the help of an expert trainer. Some green dogs are classified dual-purpose, which means they may be trained for drugs or explosives detection as well as patrol responsibilities including as tracking, apprehension, handler protection, and building and area searches.

Brush Up Your Training Abilities

Caring for a retired police dog involves a balance of firmness and compassion. If your training abilities are lacking, or if you've never owned a dog before, you should begin with this vital phase. So, if one of these dogs chooses you for adoption, you'll be prepared to welcome him into your home.

Take dog training classes to do this. Speak with former dog handlers to learn about the issues that a retired police dog may face, as well as the best strategies to cope with these canines. Check with groups that work with these dogs for further information, and make sure your house is suitable for such an animal. It's reasonable and admirable that you wish to provide a wonderful end of life for a retired police dog, but you must first ensure that you have all of the resources necessary to properly care for them.

There are two methods to get training: in an academy setting or with a private teacher. In an academy environment, green dogs are trained by a police agency and the trainers spend 14-16 weeks training with the dog. The dog is properly pre-trained by a private trainer, and the owner takes a four- to six-week handling school to learn how to maintain the training and deploy the dog.

Green dogs require a comprehensive training programme, which typically lasts 14-16 weeks for patrol or dual-purpose dogs and 10-12 weeks for detection-only dogs. Some academies only teach one speciality at a time, thus getting a finished dual purpose dog might take up to 36 weeks.

Fill Out the Paperwork

Fill out the form for the first time which is a two-page application for former military working dogs to find an appropriate family to pair the canines with. Prepare for an interview with the law enforcement personnel the retired K9 has served. You'll be asked questions to check if you're ready to adopt a former police dog.

Show that you have the financial means to care for pets. You may be required to demonstrate your ability to care for the dog financially which may require the details of where you work or your business’s name if you have your own business along with your income details. During this time you will also need to demonstrate your ability to work with former police dogs and you will also have to demonstrate that you have the temperament required to work with police animals.

Meet the Police Dog

You may be allowed to meet the dog if you've been accepted as a good fit for adoption. Pay a visit to the dog's present residence. Check to see whether the dog is a suitable fit for you. If you want to adopt a military working dog, which may mean having to make a trip to where the canine is currently, which may be an army base.

You'll very certainly be paired with a dog that fits your family's lifestyle. If you are adopting a retired police dog, go to an animal sanctuary. For the time being, retired police dogs may be maintained with their mate. Check to see whether you and the dog are a good match by interacting with it to get a good sense of its personality. It may be wise not to adopt if you are uncomfortable with the dog.

Prep Your Home

Begin preparing your house once you've been approved to adopt a former police dog. Consider how you'll be able to give enough outdoor and interior space for your new pet. Make sure your yard is enclosed. Since police dogs are trained in attacking if they sense danger, it is important to maintain the safety of your neighbors. Make your home dog-friendly regardless of the type of dog you are getting. If your dog will be spending time inside, check for stray wires that it may trip over or gnaw on. Remove any other potential hazards for your new puppy inside.

Speak with your loved ones since all members of your household should be aware of the advantages of having a retired police dog. While they make great pets, if you have children under the age of five or other pets, it's better not to adopt these retired police dogs.

While adopting a retired police dog is more difficult than adopting a dog from a shelter, it is not impossible. It does, however, take time and a great deal of paperwork. Depending on the organization, you will have a lot of paperwork to fill out and costs to pay. You'll also have to go through an interview to see if you have the necessary abilities to care for such a creature.

Because police dogs were not taught to be pets, the prospective owner must have confidence and experience managing former police dogs. This is why having military or police expertise during the adoption process is unquestionably advantageous.


Russell Wright

Russell Wright

I have had dogs my whole life and have always trained my own dogs with patience and positive reinforcement. My dogs are my life. My family always had dogs growing up. I've trained dogs for clients while working at a local dog daycare. I hope that my research and experiences are helpful to you as I share them here.

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