Fostering and adopting police dogs

Ten New Zealand Police puppies on a piece of wood.You may be able to foster a police puppy or dog:

  • to provide a temporary home, or
  • on a long term basis (for breeding females, mostly in the Wellington region)

Alternatively, you may adopt a dog that has been withdrawn from the training or breeding programme.

Most puppies will be placed with Police Dog Handlers and remain with them for their working life. Puppies may be fostered by members of the public for 7 to 12 months.

As they develop, puppies are assessed and when ready may be:

  • placed with a Police Dog Handler and enter our operational training programme or
  • enter the breeding programme or
  • be placed with another service agency in New Zealand or overseas.

Dogs selected for the breeding programme can be placed in a foster home for 5 to 6 years.

Note: except for specific circumstances, breeding stock are only able to be fostered in the North Island.

What do I need to consider?

Dogs bred or purchased for Police work are energetic and active and may not be suitable for all home situations. At times they can be difficult to manage and control. Like other dogs, they may cause some damage. Your insurance must be able to cover this.

To ensure that police dogs are placed in a suitable home, you and any other adults (anyone aged 18 and over) living in your household must be prepared to undergo a Police check. This includes agreeing to any information held about you by New Zealand Police being disclosed. This is not limited to conviction information.