Mystery and Crime Script posted December 4, 2019

Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
Brief History Of Police Canines

Canine Coppers

by Brett Matthew West

Well known dog trainer Dr. ROBERT MARTI meets with trainee police canine handlers and provides a brief history about the origins of police canines.



DR. MARTI: Canine police work dates back to France of the 1300s. That was when dogs were used to guard naval installations and the docks at St. Malo on the Channel coast.

Rookie #1: Why did this end?

DR. MARTI: This task was discontinued in 1779 when one of the canines killed a young sailor out on a stroll after curfew.

Rookie #2: The dude was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

DR. MARTI: It wasn't until 1895 in Paris that police canines were used again. This time to control gangs. Then in 1896 the Germans began an era of scientifically planning the breeding, training and utilization of dogs for police work.

Rookie #3: Didn't they select German Shepherds for this?

DR. MARTI: Indeed they did and Doberman Pinschers were their second choice. These dogs were trained in basic obedience, searching and tracking.

Rookie #4: When were police canines first used in the United States?

DR. MARTI: Before I answer that we need to look at Ghent, Belgium because they were the recognized world leader in the use of police dogs. Also of note about the corps in Ghent is that in 1899 they began to train police handlers and Belgian Sheepdogs as teams.

Rookie #1: Weren't those dogs Belgian Shepherds?

DR. MARTI: They also used Belgian Wolfhounds for this work. Now to answer your question about how police canines came to be used in the United States. The credit for that could easily go to the 1907 New York City Police Commissioner THEODORE BINGHAM.

Rookie #2: Why's that?

DR. MARTI: He sent GEORGE WAKEFIELD to Ghent, Belgium to study their canine operations. Wakefield also brought six Belgian Shepherds back to New York City with him for breeding and operational purposes. By 1911 this number expanded to 16 dogs who patrolled Long Island overnight from 11pm to 7am. Interestingly enough, these canines ran loose. When they would encounter anyone other than a police officer in uniform, they would knock them down, stand over them, and bark until their police handler arrived on the scene. Needless to say, this resulted in many complaints from citizens. However, the corps expanded.

Rookie #3: What city had the first successful canine corps?

DR. MARTI: Baltimore, Maryland in 1956. And that pretty much summarizes the origins of police canines. Now, let's take our canines out to begin today's training.


My son's dog Assasin by Lilibug6, selected to complement my script.

So, thanks Lilibug6, for the use of your picture. It goes so nicely with my script.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by Lilibug6 at

Save to Bookcase Promote This Share or Bookmark
Print It View Reviews

You need to login or register to write reviews. It's quick! We only ask four questions to new members.

© Copyright 2019. Brett Matthew West All rights reserved.
Brett Matthew West has granted, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.