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Police dogs

The Finnish police have approximately 250 dogs. There are approximately 230 police dog handlers, which means that one handler can have several dogs when one dog is nearing retirement and the handler is training its replacement. Every police dog in Finland is procured and owned by the Police Dog Training Centre.

The police have both patrol dogs and specialist dogs. The most common police dog breeds are Malinois dogs and German Shepherds. Hunting breeds such as English Springer Spaniels and Labrador Retrievers are also trained as specialist dogs.

A police dog on the grass, pulling on the lead. The handler follows on behind.

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Patrol dogs

Patrol dogs are multi-task dogs: we train them in obedience, use of force, tracking, crime scene search and searching for people and objects. Additionally, we give each a special training subject. These include searching for narcotics, explosives, flammable liquids and bodies.

Read more about basic dog training

Specialist dogs

We train specialist dogs in obedience and one specialist task. Specialist dogs are only used in their area of specialization, such as searching for explosives or narcotics or aiding in fire investigations.

Read more about specialist dog training

Dog care

Police dogs live at the homes of their handlers as family members and go to work with them. The work of a police dog provides them with no shortage of stimuli.

We actively track the health of the dogs and ensure that they are fit. Dog handlers take care of the day-to-day tasks of looking after their dog. The Police Dog Training Centre looks after the dogs’ health.

Police dogs retire at the age of 10 and usually spend their retirement with their handler's family.

Read more about the police dog handler’s job

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