State Patrol K-9 Program

The Minnesota State Patrol K-9’s are mostly Belgian Malinois which many people believe resembles they resemble a smaller version of a typical German Shepherd. The unit also uses a Laborador Retriever and a Hungarian Vizsla. Their smaller size fits their assignment well and allows them to access and sniff an area as small as the trunk of a passenger vehicle.The Minnesota State Patrol’s Canine Program has a rich history of success d
ue to the past and present handler’s hard work, dedication and the Agencies support and commitment to the program. The Program has seen much change in the last couple years with canine and handler retirements and the addition of new canines and handlers hitting the highways and State Capitol grounds. Two Troopers are responsible for the selection and training of both the canines and handlers. Currently the MSP Canine Program trains and maintains Drug Detection Canine Teams and trained one explosive Detection Canine, all of which are utilized around the state. The MSP K-9’s are not trained in other typical police functions such as apprehension or tracking. The dogs live with their State Trooper handlers’ families.

Breeds

The Minnesota State Patrol K-9’s are mostly Belgian Malinois which many people believe resembles they resemble a smaller version of a typical German Shepherd. The unit also uses a Laborador Retriever and a Hungarian Vizsla. Their smaller size fits their assignment well and allows them to access and sniff an area as small as the trunk of a passenger vehicle.

Training

These dogs are trained to sniff loaded semi-trailers by walking on top of the cargo, or by squeezing through gaps in the cargo, to check the entire length of the trailer. They are able to do this in a fraction of the time it would take a human to search the same vehicle

Troopers and their K-9 partners meet as a group for two days of training each month, and handlers perform maintenance training throughout the month.  This regular training is imperative for both the dog and handler to maintain their high level of performance.