Police Dog History
Parish constables often took their dogs to work for company in the 15th century, but the first use of dogs by the police is believed to be in 1888 when two Bloodhounds were used during the Jack the ripper murders.
In 1914, following experiments in Germany and elsewhere, the MPS introduced 172 dogs of various breeds to accompany officers on patrol. That year an officer and dog were commended for saving a person from drowning in a lake (and the dog got a new collar!).
In 1938 two Labradors became perhaps the first true police dogs patrolling in Peckham. Following the Second World War, six Labradors were re- introduced to combat crime and in 1948 the first German Shepherd Dog was used by the MPS. The dogs were very successful and numbers grew until, in 1950, there were 90. The Dog section was then based at Imber Court, Surrey.
In 1954 the current MPS Dog Training establishment at Keston, Kent, was opened, where all dog-training courses take place.
Since then the DSU have been at the forefront of Police Dog training, constantly looking for new ways to use the special abilities of dogs to improve officer and public safety, and detect and prevent crime.
Today, around 250 Dogs of various types are currently working across the MPS.