The different dog breeds used for safety jobs - Keeping Canada Safe - CBC-TV
The different dog breeds used for safety jobs
The different dog breeds used for safety jobs

(Click to enlarge infographic)

Dogs with jobs


Photo credit:

There’s a reason bloodhound has woven its way into the English language as a word for tenacious tracker.

  • Bloodhounds have 300 million olfactory sensors, the most of any breed
  • an extraordinarily keen nose is combined with a strong and tenacious tracking instinct
  • thick powerful bodies and legs allow them to follow a trail over miles of tough, punishing terrain
  • they are naturally gentle, but they are not easy to obedience train and require a lot of consistent, firm leadership

Potential career path: Tracking dog

German Shepherds

german shepherd

Photo credit:

RCMP Police Dog Services only uses purebred German shepherds for General Duty teams. (Some police forces use the Belgian Malinois which looks similar but is smaller and more hyper than the German shepherd.)

  • heavy coats mean they can work in extreme climate conditions
  • strong jaw muscles
  • sturdy, muscular body
  • powerful hind legs
  • intelligent and alert, easy to train, fiercely loyal and protective

Potential career path: Police or military dog; mine-detection dog; guard dog.

Labrador Retriever

Photo credit:

  • mellow, friendly and outgoing personality
  • high prey and retrieval drive
  • not good as a guard dog because they are not territorial
  • they have a double coat that protects them from cold and wet conditions
  • quick learners who love to please

Potential career path: Search and Rescue dog; “sniffer” dog for illegal substances and items in ports, airports and border crossings; bomb-detector dog; service dog for people with disabilities.

Golden Retrievers

Like their gentle Labrador counterparts, these shaggy retrievers are well-suited for service jobs.

  • strong, even gait
  • water-repellent coat 
  • friendly, devoted and obedient; easy to train
  • learn very quickly and are extremely adaptable
  • high prey and retrieval drive

Potential career path: Therapy and assistance dogs for people with disabilities; specialty detector dog.



Photo credit:

This small breed (stand 13” to 16” tall) is intelligent, gentle and loving.

  • can be independent, so patience is needed to train a beagle
  • vocal – likes to bark and howl
  • strong sense of smell

Potential career path: “Sniffer” dog, tracking illegal substances and items in ports, airports and border crossings.


Also on CBC