How long does it usually take for you to train a dog so it is ready to go to the police?
The length of time it takes me to get a dog ready to go to the police depends on each individual dog. There are many factors that go into training and selling a dog to the police. Some of those include the age in which I start training them or the age in which I sell them, prior or lack of prior training, maturity level, and drive.
The police usually like to start their new police dogs on the streets usually between 18 months to 24 months old. That way the department maximizes the length of time per canine on the streets. I have gotten dogs as young as 8 weeks to dogs as old as 3 years old to train. The older dogs I get usually have a foundation training on them (basic obedience and protection training) or a sport title, so it is my job to convert them into police dogs. I have to turn their mentality around to support the stresses and demands of being a police dog. That is accomplished through many hours of training and exposure to the environment. The fastest dog I have turned around from a sport title and basic training to a police god was 6 months.
When I start a dog as young as 8 weeks old, I usually hang onto the dog until they are about 15 months old, and then depending on their ability to handle the stress, begin to list them for sale to agencies. I train the dog in on and off leash obedience, bite work, search work, and in some cases tracking/trailing. I try to get my dogs so used to any type of environment (slick floors, small rooms, dark rooms, large loud garages and buildings, crowds, noises, smells, and more) so by the time they go to an agency, they are so desensitised to everything, almost nothing scares them or makes them nervous. They are confident dogs. The longest it took me to train a dog and sell the dog was 15 months.
In answer to the question, I average about a year to fully train a police dog.