K-9 Breeds: Beagles and Pit Bulls

In our last post on K-9 breeds, we’re going to look at two breeds that most people don’t think of when discussing working dogs. But they should because they are hardworking, intelligent, and fill some unique roles.

Beagles: Due to their size, speed and keen sense of smell, beagles were originally bred for tracking hare and rabbits as part of the equestrian hunt. In modern times, their smaller size makes them excellent candidates for working indoors and especially around people. They are used for scent detection, primarily in airports and at borders, searching for prohibited imports, currency, and drugs. In fact, the Beagle Brigade is an important part of the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Beagles are also notable among K-9s as having the ability to actually categorize smells, meaning they can differentiate between restricted (such as certain foodstuffs) vs. non-restricted items.

Pit Bulls: Not an actual breed, pit bulls are a type of dog including the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bulldog. Often maligned, pit bulls are safely and effectively used currently in select police departments. Rather than spending up to $20-40,000 on a trained German shepherd, organizations like Animal Farm Foundation sponsor the of rescue pit bulls from shelters and help train them to be dependable K-9s. These high energy, very trainable dogs are used for patrol, drug and explosive detection, search-and-rescue, and tracking. They are also used as ambassadors between police and civilians.

Ann and I are going to take a few weeks off to enjoy the holidays and work on our edits of BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE (FBI K-9s book2). The best of the holiday season to you and your family, and we’ll see you in the new year!

Photo credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Milwaukee Police Department

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LONE WOLF is now out! Don’t miss this chance to start a great new series. It also makes a fantastic holiday gift for the dog or mystery/thriller lover in your life! You can find it as these fine retailers in hardcover, eBook and audiobook formats: Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, Chapters/Indigo, B&N, BAM, IndieBound, Target, Walmart, Hudson Booksellers.