The New Zealand Police service has 21 dog sections from Whangarei in the north to Invercargill in the south, comprising approximately 110 general purpose police dog teams.Police train German Shepherd dogs for the general purpose role, and predominantly Labradors for the specialist roles.
General purpose Police dogs
The general purpose dog is mainly used to track and search for people.
The training of a general purpose dog is based on a three-stage qualification process and takes approximately eight months. Dogs live at home with their handlers.
Police use German Shepherds because of their size, temperament and trainability. Half of the dogs Police train are gifted or bought from the public. The Dog Training Centre also has it own breeding programme which provides the remaining dogs needed.