Dane County K9, Inc.

Who pays for the Dane County Sheriff's Office K-9s?

All K-9s are privately funded. No taxpayer dollars fund the purchase of these dogs. K-9 handlers were responsible for funding their dogs prior to the formation of Dane County K9, Inc.

Dane County K9, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the Dane County Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit. Community education and fundraising activities are essential components of this organization.

How much do police K-9s cost?

Cost depends a lot on the amount of training the dogs have already been given prior to us purchasing them. We generally prefer to purchase "green" dogs since they have fewer bad habits, but do have some foundational work done on them. To purchase a "green" police K-9 costs $10,000 - $15,000. This does not include the additional training the handler and dog will go through together to bring their skills up to minimal industry standards.

How does a dog become a police K-9?

The dog is first selection tested in Europe or the United States. Upon successful completion of testing, the dog begins training as wither a single-purpose dog (odor recognition) or dual-purpose dog (patrol work and odor recognition). Single-purpose dogs receive about three weeks of training to imprint the odors they are being trained to detect. Explosives detection dogs may be imprinted on as many as two dozen odors during their career. Dual-purpose dogs receive anywhere from 5 - 12 weeks of training depending on the training methods and number of duties the dog is being trained to complete (apprehension, protection, tracking, building search, area search, article search, and odor detection).

Once this initial training is complete, the team is tested by the North American Police Work dog Association who sets minimum standards for police services dog teams. Dog teams then get tested annually.

How much training does it take to become a police K-9?

Beyond the initial training mentioned above, our K-9 teams receive sixteen hours a month of training time to maintain and enhance their performance. The handlers also give countless hours of their own time each year to improve their performance.

How old is a dog before becoming a police K-9?

Generally, we prefer to start with dogs between 10 and 18 months of age.

What jobs do police K-9s perform? Which is the most difficult?

Dual-purpose K-9s are trained in criminal apprehension, officer protection, tracking, building search, area search, article search, and odor detection (either narcotics, explosives, or cadaver).

Apprehension is the most difficult.

Which breeds are used for police K-9s?

The Dane County Sheriff's Office uses Belgian Malinois, German Shepherds, and Labradors.

How can I support the Dane County K-9 Unit?

  • Learn more about the Unit by attending public events.
  • Send monetary gifts to Dane County K9, Inc.
  • Volunteer to work at special functions.