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police dog (plural police dogs)

  1. A dog trained and employed by the police to pursue suspects or sniff out contraband.
  2. (dated) Synonym of German shepherd
    • 1917, Dogdom: Monthly - Volume 18, page 596:
      Finding myself, the other day, in New London, Conn., the thought occurred that it would be a good time to pay a visit to my old friend, Henri I. Baer whose kennel of police dogs (German shepherd dogs) at East Killingly, Conn., was only an hour or so away.
    • 1926, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Volumel 69:
      For instance, we will take a police dog, and no doubt you are all aware, as I am, of the fact that the police or German shepherd is one of the hardest dogs that we have to treat.
    • 1930 March, Stephen Sherman, “Was Your Dog Once A Wolf”, in Popular Science Monthly, page 57:
      Contrary to popular opintion, the shepherd or police dog has not been crossed with the wolf, and has none of the qualities of such a mongrel.
    • 2016, Janet Vorwald Dohner, Farm Dogs: A Comprehensive Breed Guide to 93 Guardians, Herders, Terriers, and other Canine Working Partners, →ISBN:
      By the mid-1920s, the annual registrations of German Shepherd Dogs surpassed 21,000 dogs a year in America and the breed had become one of the most well-known in the country. Unfortunately, to meet this demand for “German police dogs” too many puppies were bred indiscriminately and the breed's reputation suffered.