How to Adopt a Retired Police Dog

These days, police officers have a lot on their plate. They are often overworked and underpaid and face particularly dangerous situations every day. That’s why it’s so important to understand the different ways you can show your appreciation for police officers, whether that’s by investigating the best ways to support them in your community or considering adopting a retired police dog.

The latter is a particularly rewarding experience since these dogs usually have excellent personalities that are well-suited for families or individual owners alike. To learn more about the specifics of adopting a retired police dog, check out our guide below:

Take care of your dog and he will take care of you as well

You should know that dogs are loyal to their owners. They need exercise, mental stimulation and training. Before taking your dog home, you will need to make sure he is trained to obey commands such as “sit” and “stay.” He also needs to be socialized with new people and environments so that he does not become afraid of them.

Determine whether the dog fits your personality and lifestyle.

Before you take on the massive responsibility of adopting a retired police dog, it’s important to ask yourself some questions about your personality and lifestyle.

  • Do you have a fenced-in yard? If not, do you feel comfortable taking your pup on walks in public places? Both of these things are important because they will help determine whether or not the dog is right for you.
  • Are there any other pets in the house (other than cats)? This is something that should be considered before bringing home a new four-legged friend. While most dogs can get along with cats just fine, some may not be able to tolerate their presence at all.
  • Do your kids like animals? If they’re old enough (and responsible), this shouldn’t be an issue; but if they’re still pretty young, adopting an animal might not be the best idea just yet.

Know the dog’s history.

Before you set out to adopt a retired police dog, it’s important that you know the dog’s history.

  • What was the dog trained to do? If it was tasked with sniffing for bombs or tracking criminals, then don’t expect it to be content spending its days lounging around your house. Depending on where they’re from, some dogs are even trained to bite people (or other animals).
  • What was the handler like? Did he or she treat their partner well and give them enough exercise? Did they take care of them in general? If so, then those traits will most likely be passed along through genetics and imprinting—even if they seem dormant at first. And if not…well…you’ll have your work cut out for you!
  • How was the dog treated before being retired? Was he or she abused by officers who weren’t trained properly on how not to hurt their canine counterparts during training sessions/patrols/etc.? Did they get left alone at home all day while their handler went off doing whatever cops do when they’re not working (eat doughnuts)? Or did someone genuinely care about this animal as an equal being who deserves respect and dignity regardless of species difference…and maybe even love?

Find a group that specializes in retiring police dogs.

Find a group that specializes in retiring police dogs.

There are many organizations that specialize in adopting retired police dogs, but you should make sure the one you choose has a good reputation and is reputable. You can check the organization’s finances, insurance and accreditation by looking at their website or contacting them directly.

Ask friends and family if they have experience with the organization.

If your friends or family have used this kind of service before, they may be able to tell you more about what to expect from it than a stranger would!

Purchase or rent equipment for the dog.

Once you’ve decided to adopt your retired police dog, it’s time to purchase or rent equipment for the dog. This includes a dog house, food and water bowl, leash, collar, toys and bed. You should also consider purchasing a blanket for warmth during cold weather months.

You’ll also want a food dish and treats for reward-based training sessions. If you have an extra room in your home that can be converted into an indoor kennel area (with proper ventilation), this may be another option for your new pet’s sleeping quarters after training camp is complete and they’re ready to come home with you full-time!

Finally: medical records are extremely important when adopting any animal—especially one who has served as part of law enforcement!

Consider hiring a trainer for the adjustment period.

If you’re interested in adopting a retired police dog, consider hiring a trainer for the adjustment period. A trainer can help with housebreaking and socialization skills, obedience training, behavior modification and basic commands. Some may also have experience with advanced commands such as agility or tracking.

Investigate your property to be sure it is secure.

Before adopting a retired police dog, it’s important to make sure your property is secure. Check your fences for holes and look out for places where you could get through an opening in the wall or windows with something as small as a pencil or pen. You should also check under your floors, doors and gates so that if they were left open by accident when you bought the house they will not be easy to access now either. The same thing goes for sheds on your property (or any other outdoor buildings)


Adopting a retired police dog can be a wonderful experience. You will add years of love and companionship to his life, and he will bring companionship to yours. It is important to know the dog’s personality before you adopt him so that you can meet his needs in the best way possible.