The Modesto Police K-9 Unit is operates within the Operations Bureau of the police department. The K-9 unit
currently has six full-time canine teams assigned to
patrol. Four of these teams are also certified for drug
The K-9 Team’s Home Life
We believe in the very special bond that exists between the K-9 and the handler. All our K-9s go home with the handlers
each day, and become part of the family. At home, the dogs spend time relaxing, or enjoying their favorite hobby. Some
of the dogs love to play ball, while others enjoy spending time in the family swimming pool
or relaxing in the house.
What Kind of Dogs Do We Use?
Currently we use German Shepherd Dogs and Belgian Malenois for Patrol, Cross-Training and Drug Detection work.
What Do We Use the Dogs For?
Patrol K-9’s are used to search for criminal suspects as well as lost or missing persons. Due to the dog’s keen sense of
smell, a K-9 is able to search an area of building in less then half the time it takes for an officer to search. We also
use the dogs for tracking and evidence searching. The dogs have the ability to follow a person’s footsteps and indicate
the location of dropped articles. Patrol dogs are trained to protect their
handler from assault. They are used to apprehend fleeing suspects as determined by the handler.
Drug detection dogs are trained to locate various types of drugs, including Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Cocaine, and Heroin.
The K-9 Unit also conducts nearly 100 public demonstrations each year.
Where Do the Dogs Come From?
We purchase the dogs from various kennels in the United States and Europe.
Why do you get dogs from Europe?
We started looking at European dogs in the early
1980’s, as did many other police departments.
Canine training in Europe, especially in
Denmark, is a major sport. We found that there
were very high quality dogs, with basic training
already learned, available in Europe at a very
low price. As with many things, however, as the
demand increased, so did the price. Although it
is still possible to find quality dogs at a low
price, it is much more difficult. We are now
getting the majority of our dogs here in the
United States, although the dogs do typically
have a close lineage with their European
How long does a dog usually work?
||Where are the dogs trained?
|The Modesto Police
Department conducts all of its own training. We
have our own K-9 training facility, which is
where the teams conduct weekly training. The K-9
handlers also often find spots around town to
conduct training in different environments. The
dogs are put through rigorous exercises and must
pass demanding tests in order to become a police
This varies with each team. We usually start training the dogs around 18-24 months of age. Depending on the dog and the handler, the training
can last anywhere from four months to nine months. The dogs usually start showing signs they are ready to retire around the age of eight
After the dogs retire, they stay at the home and live with the family.
If you have any questions regarding the K-9 unit, you
can contact the Sergeant Kleiber of the K-9 Unit at the
Modesto Police Department, (209) 572-9533 or