Pit bull lovers have long touted the gentleness and obedience of the breed that has been characterized as “dangerous” by so many of its critics. Increasingly, law enforcement officers are proving this negative label wrong by recruiting shelter pit bulls into their ranks.
Such pit bulls are a cheap alternative to more expensive, trained K-9 officers belonging to other breeds, but how do they measure up?
Some police departments in the United States can’t afford or are simply too small to employ the usual police dogs—K-9 units are essential tools in detecting things from drugs to cadavers. But law enforcement agencies across the nation have found a cheaper alternative that has proven to be just as effective.
“Police Departments are finally getting it,” stated Protect Pit Bulls from BSL.
“Instead of spending $10,000 to $15,000 for a trained Belgian or GSD [German shepherd dog], they are now taking pit bulls from shelters and training them, and they are proving themselves to be amazing police and military K9’s.”
Organizations like Protect Pit Bulls from BSL (breed-specific legislation) are working hard to change perceptions people have of the breed, proving that they are both trainable and professional-grade service dogs that can do practically everything the job requires.
K9 Gina, a proud graduate of our detection dog program with UniversalK9, has some really incredible ears, don't you…
Additionally, animal trainers such as Animal Farm Foundation, Austin Pets Alive, and Universal K9 are collaborating to rescue pit bulls from shelters to be trained as police dogs.
Many of these animals would end up getting euthanized in shelters; it’s a solution that literally saves lives as well as resources.
These training organizations specialize in finding pit bulls and training them to do detective work, including locating narcotics, explosives, missing persons, bodies, and fugitive criminals. The trainers have advocated that the breed is as capable as more traditional service dog breeds such as German shepherds and Belgian Malinois.
K9 Riggs is representing community safety and #tongueouttuesday!
Founder of Universal K9 Brad Croft explained, “Any dog that has the drive, confidence, and desire to work can do it! Breed does not dictate a dog’s ability to work.”
Animal Farm Foundation director of behavior and training Bernice Clifford says that they treat each dog as an individual rather than judge them on their appearance or their past.
In fact, one of the difficulties in training the breed for police work was getting them to act aggressively toward humans.
K9 Coco and Officer Dave Contreras are the perfect K9 team! They're in a contest to win a brand new SUV equipped for K9…
So far, police departments in several cities have incorporated these alternative, and more affordable, K-9 solutions. Police in Poughkeepsie, New York; Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia; and Washougal, Washington, have all adopted pit bulls from these trainers.
The breed is currently threatened by legislation that would see them banned from whole communities. Pit bull advocates such as Protect Pit Bulls from BSL are trying to head that off by highlighting their positive traits, such as obedience and loyalty.
K9 Kano is still in the running for the American Humane Hero Dog Awards! You can vote for this handsome good boy here:…