What happens if a K9 Officer retires before the dog?

It's a well known practise that the K9 Officer and the Dog are literal partners. It's also been a common practise that upon the Dog's retirement from service, the Officer takes him or her home as his or her pet.

If the Officer would retire first, would the Dog be reassigned?

Would the partnership be terminated and the Dog treated just like another Officer and reassigned a partner or would they allow the retiring Officer to keep his or her Dog?

The Dog is worth allot of money and there is no good reason to retire the Dog other than not wanting to start fresh with a new Officer the Dog does not know.

Lets say the Officer is retiring for personal reasons like he or she has been injured or is sick or any other reason meaning he or she is no longer capable of performing their duties.


I'm a civilian and I'm curious. I've always been interested in the professional relationship between mankind and animals and this example is something I've always wondered.

Update 2:

I guess I'll say it AGAIN, the retirement was not forseen. Geez, thanks for reading the question before answering it.

5 Answers

  • Bruce
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I doubt that would ever happen, unless the retirement was for medical issues as you mentioned. If an officer is close to retirement, he will not be considered for a K-9 position.

    The major consideration would be the age of the dog. If he is close to retirement himself, they may allow him to retire with his handler. If he is young, then it is not cost effective to let the handler keep him, due to the expense of training. The dog would be assigned to another person, who would spend a lot of time establishing a relationship with the dog before it was put back in service.

    Source(s): Law enforcement since 1991
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  • 12345
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It would mostly depend on the age of the dog. The dog can absolutely go to another handler, especially when they are newer. We have had several situations where a fairly new dog has gone to another handler.

    We have also had a K9 handler promoted, meaning he had to leave the section. The dog was an older dog and simply retired and stayed with the handler.

    During another promotional routine one of the handlers had a much younger dog. Had he been promoted, the dog would have went to another handler.

    Of course, like everything else, it will depend ont he department. There are no standard rules across the board.

    Source(s): I am a LEO, I also live with a K9
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  • 1 decade ago

    Most of the time, unless the dog is under 5 years old they will allow the retiring officer to keep the dog due to the strength and bond of their relationship.

    Source(s): Senior Officer
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  • 1 decade ago

    My uncle had a K-9 unit in the inter-pol. The dog was trained to listen to one person and they are very loyal and family (pack) oriented animals, so re-assignment was not really much of an option. The dogs "career" is not as long as a humans. He took his home as a personal pet. Other than that I think they just put them down. The dogs are not exactly programed to play catch with the kids.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The dog has to go get a real job, like cooking eggs at the Waffle House.

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