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Unheralded Heroes: Nepal Police Canine Division

The Canine Wing of the Nepal Police raises dogs that are not only man’s best friend but also man’s best protectors.

2021 Dec 19, 7:50,

Tihar is long gone, hence the day the nation remembers to care for its dogs and provide them with the attention they deserve is also far away in the past. While only in every Kukur Tihar at the Nepal Police Canine Division do the cameras remember the brave dogs and their masters, they defend and keep the society we live in safe and habitable every day.

At almost every high profile event, natural disaster, VIP security entourage, the paw patrol is an ever present and quintessential cog in the wheel of modern security.

How it all began:

In the year 1969 AD, 5 police staff from Nepal Police took a canine training course in Malaysia. Upon return the canine service started off with these 5 personnel and 4 other ‘German Shepherd’ dogs. In 1975, this division then expanded into the “Police Dog Section” under the Nepal Police Headquarters with 10 staff members in its ranks. The success and efficiency of this division then led to a further expansion in 1990 as the “Central Police Dog Training School” along with “Regional Dog Sections” established in each of the 5 development regions.

The division underwent its most recent change in 2018, with the title of “Nepal Police Canine Division”. This impressive and essential prong of the Nepal Police today stands 165 personnel and 87 canines with 11 branches across the nation including airports, border security and post stations. The 87 dogs found at the disposal of the Nepal canine division today range from German Shepherds, Labradors, Beagles, Belgian Shepherds and Cocker Spaniels to Dutch Shepherds and Golden Retrievers each serving their own purpose on the frontlines.

“The selection of the type of breed of dog that we buy from abroad is a meticulous one. Each new breed in the Canine Security world has its own specialties so we have to be careful about which dog we buy from abroad.” says the Director of the Nepal Police Canine Division SSP Dr Deuti Gurung. “Only those dogs breeds that have the correct olfactory levels: having 250 million or more cells in their nose can be eligible for this line of work, hence the reason why we cannot select “Himalayan Sheepdog”, she adds.

Types of Canine Dogs:

The dogs in the canine division of Nepal are split into 4 major categories as per the function they serve in the team: Trackers, Drug Dogs, Bomb Dogs and Search and Rescue Dogs.

  • Tracker dogs specialize in recognizing, memorizing and following the scent left by the criminal from a crime scene. The dogs that are trained as trackers have more stamina, olfactory capacities and working nous than the others. Currently the division has 14 tracker dogs.
  • Drug Dogs as their name implies establish these dogs as ‘Drugs and narcotic’s sensors, sniffing out the faintest trace of illegal substances present in the most discrete of locations. May it be inside human beings, inside bags or covered by some other scent, these dogs have mastered the art of drug detection. At the present, canine division has 26 of these dogs.
  • Bomb Dogs are experts in detecting the presence of any explosive substance hidden in any bizarre location. Currently the division has 36 of these bomb sniffers at borders and airports.
  • Search and Rescue Dogs are similar to tracker dogs, but rather than hunting down targets, they mobilize in natural disaster zones and missing persons cases to rescue those in distress. The canine division has 8 of these rescue dogs in their force.

Every dog in the Canine Division has a handler assigned to it from its early days. The handler takes care of the dog, trains it and leads it unto the frontlines when duty calls. “The dogs not only grow up with us but train, play and spend their entire lifespan with us; they are like our own children, we train them, trust them and love them as if they were our own kin.” says Sergeant Krishna Sen, a respected dog handler who has been working on the force for more than 14 years.

The dogs are selected when they are very young and then the handler has to learn its mannerism, what it likes, what it doesn't and acclimatize it to basic rules and discipline in the first 6 months. Only after the first couple of months of learning house mannerisms and discipline the dogs get specialized training for their field work, informs Sgt. Sen.

Currently the Training School offers: Basic Dog Handling Training, Arms and Explosives Detection Training, Tracker, Search and Rescue, Drugs Detection, Veterinary Orientation Training at its facilities for new handlers and dog recruits alike.

The handlers begin their day at 6 in the morning by letting the dogs out for their morning routines, they train twice everyday from 8 to 10 am in the morning and 2 to 4 pm in the evenings. And even more training throughout the day if needed.

Currently Sgt. Sen handles the Search & Rescue German Shepherd “Jumbo”. Having been in the service for 2 years Jumbo is already quite experienced in his craft. Just this November of the year 2020 Jumbo was deployed in the murder case of Sushila Khadka in Kapilvastu. Jumbo, having sniffed the evidence in the crime scene, quickly tracked the scent back to 23 year old Toran Bahadur Khadka who instantly pleaded guilty.

Cases of brave dogs, their handlers and their sheer efficiency in fighting crime and maintaining the security of the general public are countless. From sniffing dead bodies to bombs to exposing drug trafficking rings, the personnel and canines of the Nepal Police Canine Division are the unsung heroes working tirelessly in the background for us to continue leading safe lives.


Tihar Nepal Police Nepal Police Canine Division natural disaster security German Shepherd Labradors Golden Retrievers Himalayan Sheepdog Dr Deuti Gurung bomb Search and Rescue
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