Police Duty in England | The German Shepherd
Likewise, the situation was similar in England; from 1914, dogs were incorporated in the London Metropolitan Police, but these tended to be the officers' own dogs, rather than specially trained police dogs. It was only after the First World War, when the positive effects of highly trained dogs in war began to be more universally recognized, that dogs began to be seen as a viable option for extensive training, and dog training centers sprung up all over England and the Continent. By 1938, Colonel Hoel Llellwellyn, the Chief Constable of Wiltshire, was quoted as saying “a good dog with a night duty man is as sound a proposition as you can get. The dog hears what the constable does not, gives him notice of anyone in the vicinity, guards his master's bicycle to the death, and remains mute unless roused. He is easily trained and will go home when told to do so with a message in his collar.” Such a statement reflects the gradual change of attitudes of police workers towards the dogs who served as their companions, going from aggressive deterrent to fully-fledged, highly-trained partner.
Today, all British police dogs, such as the German Shepherd, are required to have a license in order to work. To get this license they are required to complete a course of training, then pass a test both on completion of said training and on every year of active duty thereafter until the dog's retirement, which tends to be around eight years of age. American police dogs are somewhat less common – after all, it is in England, where police do not carry guns, that arguably there is more need for “backup” - but most major cities use police dogs for a variety of reasons, most commonly for sniffing out illegal drugs or other substances.