n Acta Criminologica : African Journal of Criminology & Victimology - The use of dogs in crime prevention

Special Edition 4
  • ISSN : 1012-8093


For centuries dogs have provided humans with companionship, assisted humans to hunt for food and provided protection for them. They have been used by law enforcement agencies for over 100 years and the use of dogs in warfare dates as far back as 700 BC. With the increase in private security companies over the years, dogs are no longer only used by police and military agencies, but are also used in the private sector as a security measure. Despite the new technological advances, dogs are still seen as the most successful and efficient detector due to their exceptional olfactory function, their portability and the fact that they can search and cover large areas. However, the success of these dogs in any form of crime prevention relies solely on the effectiveness and quality of training received and their handlers. There are a large variety of ways in which dogs can be used in crime prevention. This article is based on a preliminary literature study and provides an overview of the utilisation of dogs as security measures to protect and detect in a variety of situations and working conditions. It will also examine the various categories for canine functions, the suitability of the various breeds of dogs, and the dog handlers.

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