K9 Unit FAQ

How long does it take to train a K9 police dog?

A dog usually already has anywhere from eight weeks to more than a year of training when they get paired with their handle. From there, the pair is trained together as a K9 Team (dog and handler), which usually is an additional three to six months of training. The K9 Team will continue to train on a regular basis until the K9 retires from active duty. 

Do K9 officers/deputies take their dogs home?

Normally, the dogs go to their kennel where they eat and get much needed rest from their workday. By allowing the dog to rest, they can prepare for their next shift. However, it is not uncommon for dogs to enjoy home life on their day off or prior to the start of their shift. Most dogs live at home with their handler, but some reside at their agency’s headquarters. 

What language are police dogs trained?

A police dog must be comfortable in public places and used to distractions like large crowds, other animals and loud noises (airports, concerts, sporting events, traffic). Dogs are often given commands in their native language, which includes Czech, Dutch, German, but sometimes English. 

What do dogs do upon retirement? Do they remain with their handler?

When dogs reach retirement age, Allegheny County allows dogs to spend their remaining days at home with their family. Deputies spend a large amount of time with their partner on a daily basis, on or off-duty.