Police and customs dogs

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Police dogs are mostly used as a deterrent to intimidate potential troublemakers in high-risk situations such as demonstrations or highly charged sporting events. Sometimes they will be called into action. German Shepherds are the most commonly used breed of dog in the UK, although Dobermanns, Rottweilers and Weimaraners are used too. German Shepherds are muscular, agile and fearless dogs that can move at a fast pace. Police dogs are always trained to the highest possible standard and tightly controlled by their handler when on duty.

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Dogs are also used to detect explosives and drugs, as already discussed, and to comb buildings and areas prior to major events. Some forces also have specialised dog teams for urban or rural search and rescue operations, in countries where these tasks do not fall within the remit of other agencies.

As we have seen, sniffer dogs are permanently posted at ports of entry and other high-security zones, including prisons, to find contraband.

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