Canine (K-9) Breeds

The following breeds of dogs are used by the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office Canine (K-9) Unit:

The Belgian Malinois was developed as a variety of the Belgian Shepherd Dog about one hundred years ago. The Belgian Shepherd Dog breed was developed out of a desire to standardize the characteristics of the local herding dogs of Belgium. The Malinois variety was named after the town of Malinois where, in 1898, a club was founded to promote the improvement of the shorthaired Belgian Shepherd Dog. The club emphasized the preservation of the Malinois’ character and intelligence, which made him a valuable utility dog. The breed was developed not only for beauty but also for talent as a working dog. Although excelling as a herding dog, the Malinois, along with the other Belgian breeds, has a very protective nature and high prey drive. They are tenacious and have a drive that never tires. Those characteristics are what make the Malinois so desirable as a Search and Rescue, Police or Military dog.

In Germany, in 1891, a group of enthusiasts formed the Phylax Society with the aim of fostering and standardizing native German breeds. The society was short-lived and in 1894 it disbanded, but it had sown the seeds from which the German Shepherd was to emerge. The qualities that made the German Shepherd such an exceptional sheepdog made it an excellent choice for other governmental uses. During World War I, it was used as a messenger dog, rescue dog, sentry dog, and personal guard dog. Servicemen from the United States, United Kingdom, and the British Commonwealth saw first hand the dog’s bravery, intelligence, and steadfastness, and many stories were taken back home. Not surprisingly, a number of dogs were acquired by servicemen and transported home with them.

The first impression of a good German Shepherd Dog is that of a strong, agile, well-muscled animal, alert and full of life. It is well balanced, with harmonious development of the forequarter and hindquarter. The dog is longer than it is tall, deep-bodied, and presents an outline of smooth curves rather than angles. It looks substantial and not spindly, giving the impression, both at rest and in motion, of muscular fitness and nimbleness. The ideal dog is stamped with a look of quality and nobility – difficult to define, but unmistakable when present.

The Dutch Shepherd, native to Holland, was originally a sheepdog, and was also used by Dutch farmers as a general-purpose farm dog. The Dutch Shepherd is a medium-sized, well-proportioned, well-muscled dog, with a powerful, well-balanced structure, an intelligent expression and a lively temperament. He is alert, devoted to his owner, obedient, and eager to please and oblige. He is a good guardian, is very faithful and reliable, undemanding, with plenty of stamina, is vigilant, active and is gifted with a typical shepherd temperament. He may be somewhat reserved and should be well socialized. The breed is very similar in coat types and physical characteristics, except for color, to the Belgian Shepherd Dog.

The name “Bloodhound” is derived from the expression “blooded hound”, meaning a hound of pure breeding. Large, long-eared hounds of notable scenting ability were found and written about in most of the Mediterranean countries before the Christian era. The Bloodhound developed distinctive strains early in his history as a breed. The most famous of these were the St. Hubert hounds, established in the 7th Century A.D. in Ardennes, France. It was not until the 16th Century that the Bloodhound was used extensively to hunt man, especially poachers and sheep thieves in England.

Their “testimony” was regarded so highly that they were given the legal right to follow the track anywhere, including into homes. The large amount of slobber they produce contributes to their amazing scenting ability. Generally, Bloodhounds are very good-natured and love children, but they are not popular as pets because of their slobber and the amount of exercise they require.

Public Demonstrations

To schedule a public demonstration, contact:
Sergeant Josh Bonafede

Contact Us

Sheriff's Office

Main: 303-441-3600
Alternate: 303-441-4444
Fax: 303-441-4739



Sheriff's Headquarters
5600 Flatiron Parkway
Boulder, CO 80301
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By Appointment Only
08:30 a.m.-4 p.m.