K-9 Officers: An Important History

Why we offer our K-9 Officer Special

Law enforcement agencies have used canines for assistance in various tasks for many years, making their jobs easier and safer. While used for over a hundred years, some procedures and techniques continue to change and evolve, including adding more breeds of man’s best friend to the list of K-9 officers.

The earliest K-9 training facility can be tracked to Ghent, Belgium, in 1899, and eventually became widely recognized as the leader in canine training.

The first training program implemented in the United States was by the New York Police Department in 1907 after they decided to adopt five Belgian Sheepdogs from Ghent and their training program. 

K-9 Officer training with handler

Military working dogs have been around for centuries. There was even an unofficial canine war force in WWI, but on March 13th, 1942, military dogs were officially recognized when the U.S. Army’s K-9 Corps was established. A day that is now recognized as National K-9 Veterans Day.

We fast forward to 1956 in Baltimore City, Maryland, when they instituted the first modern police department canine corps in the United States.

Baltimore’s program was so successful that it gained nationwide attention, prompting other police departments to request training to create their own K-9 units. 

K-9 Police Officer laying on the grass

“The canines help us do our job safer and faster, saving the Sheriff’s Office hundreds of man-hours every year. The canines freely and willingly go into areas deputies are not able to. We rely on the canine teams to use their special abilities to help us locate suspects, evidence, narcotics, explosives, or missing persons quickly.” [1]

[1] “K-9,” Spotsylvania Sheriff. http://www.spotsylvaniasheriff.org/divisions/patwww.spotsylvaniasheriff.org/divisions/patrol/k-9/.

At Terrybear, we believe in these brave dogs who have served. That is why through our B2B customers, we offer a K-9 Officer special that includes a complimentary, beautiful Cherry MDF box with custom personalization to honor each K-9 and its legacy.