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The following is a list of dog breeds that are or have been used as aids in police forces. There are a number of different jobs that a police dog can do, including public-order enforcement, illicit-substance detection, tracking, and cadaver or survivor searching. Some police forces use only one breed of dog for every one of these tasks rather than using, for example, one breed for tracking and another for illegal-substance detection. In some cases, a single dog may be trained and utilised in a number of these tasks.
These dogs have the job of chasing a fleeing suspect and detaining the suspect until officers arrive; or restraining suspects from some action by threat of the dog being released and causing harm. This is the traditional image of a police dog.
These dogs sit with their handlers in airports and other transport hubs, sniffing the passengers from afar to detect any illegal substances a person may be carrying on their person or in luggage or carry-on items. The substances are most commonly drugs and explosives, although many nations also interdict foreign food items.
These dogs are used for sniffing the trails of lost or missing persons or objects.
These dogs are trained to detect the odor of decomposing bodies in order to find corpses and human remains. Their noses are so sensitive they have been known to smell a dead body under running water.