The Toronto Police Dog Services was formed in 1989. At present, the unit consists of 21 handlers and 31 dogs. Many teams are comprised of one handler and one General Purpose Police Dog, but many handlers also have a second police dog specializing in  Search and Rescue or detection of Narcotics, Firearms, Explosives or Cadavers. Every handler is responsible for the care and maintenance of their canine partner. The dog not only works with the officer but becomes part of the officer's family, living with them in off hours.

Each dog has been chosen for its good health, temperament and training ability. Once selected, the dog is assigned to a handler who must also meet certain requirements. All police dogs are purchased after testing and are usually between the ages of one to two years. The officer must be a First Class Constable, have a good work ethic, and pass a rigorous physical test.  Both the General Purpose handler and the dog form a team and embark on a 15-week training course. During this period, the dogs and handlers are taught Obedience, Agility, Tracking, Property/Evidence Searches, Area Searches, Building Searches, Handler Protection, and Criminal Apprehension.

The Service presently uses German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois for General Purpose Police Dogs and currently use Springer Spaniel, Belgian Malinois and Labrador Retriever breeds for the detection of narcotics, firearms, ammunition, and explosives.

When the Police Dog Team graduates, they are assigned to general patrol work and respond to a variety of calls, such as lost or wanted persons, searches for stolen property or evidence, break and enters into stores or factories, or any other situation where a suspect has fled or may flee from the police or a crime scene.

Police Dog Services has been responsible for arrests of persons trying to evade police as well as locate property, firearms, drugs and other crucial pieces of evidence leading to criminal charges and arrests.

Featured Stories

Celebrating Lifesaving Police Dog

A police dog who saved the lives of fellow officers was honoured by hundreds of law enforcement members, including 75 Police K-9 teams from across the province who lined a procession route. Police Service Dog Bingo, who was fatally shot while searching for a murder suspect on July 25, was...


memorial dogs

Honouring John Zivcic's Legacy

A memorial tree honouring the legacy of Constable John Zivcic who died in the line of duty was unveiled on September 15 alongside his police dog namesake. The 22 Division officer succumbed to his injuries in early December 2013 just two days after he was involved in a collision on...

Fun Day to Connect with Community

Canine, Mounted and Emergency Task Force officers took time recently to engage with a group of people with physical and developmental disabilities, explaining and demonstrating some of the work they do to keep the city safe. The group from New Visions Toronto, a non-profit organization that has 16 homes and...


Hate the Hate -- Report the Crime

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