Custom Police K9 Challenge Coins

A Partnership That Lasts a Lifetime

The use of dogs within the police department has been prevalent throughout the United States for many years as well. K9 units specialize in the areas of search and rescue, drug and explosive detection, as well as protection and regular patrol with their handlers. With their keen sense of smell, incredible vision, and intelligence, police dogs can be trained to aid officers in areas no human could be able to accomplish on their own.

Police K9 challenge coins commemorate the selfless animals who dedicate their lives to the force and work every second of every day to keep their fellow officers safe as well as the citizens of our county. K9 units are indispensable teams that work tirelessly to ensure training and execution are held to the highest level of excellence at all times. 


At Signature Coins, we have been a trusted source for police challenge coins since we first opened our doors. We take special care in creating original designs and supplying high-quality challenge coins that do justice in representing the service men and women of our county. They are physical symbols of an officer’s promise to uphold our laws and protect our citizens and are a perfect way to show respect and gratitude for their sacrifices and commitment.

K9 Challenge Coins


Building a K9 Unit

Training starts early. As puppies, future police dogs are taken in by an officer who will oversee all of their training and be their lifetime partner. Living in a normal family with their owner gives the pups much needed social development while also instilling a strong sense of loyalty to their partner and allows for the beginning of their police K9 unit training.

It is becoming more common for law enforcement to purchase their police dogs from overseas. Many European dogs are specially bred for police work and put through obedience training before they ever enter the police force. Once a dog has completed endurance and agility training, further obedience training, and specialized training in the States with their handler, they are finally ready to hit the streets. 

A day in the life of a K9 unit is pretty standard. They answer regular calls that normal police units cover as well, however, having a highly trained dog on your team makes for a number of unique strategies that normal units are unable to do on their own. Many police dogs are cross-trained for both drug detection and explosive and firearm detection as well as search and rescue. Airports, border patrol stations, schools, and even large theme parks and shopping centers use K9 units for all of these things. Police officers are trained to detect suspicious activity and to recognize dangerous situation but there are some things no human can do on their own. 

Even after a K9 unit has earned their certifications and begun work with the department, both dog and partner must constantly train and update certifications to make sure both are well equipped for success and their skills and teamwork are at their best.

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Common Breeds in K9 Units

A vast majority of police dogs throughout the world are German Shepherd, although Labrador Retrievers and Belgian Malinois are common as well. What is really important are attributes like intelligence, strength, sense of smell, and aggression which can be cultivated through training. All of these characteristics play a vital role in the line of police work. 

Just as a police officer is sworn into the service, so are police dogs making them sworn officers. And as sworn officers, they deserve recognition in training, service, accomplishment, and dedication. Custom police K9 challenge coins are an excellent way to show your support and honor the K9 units in your department. Get started with your order today!

We make creating custom challenge coins easy!

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K9 challenge coins by signature coins

What Makes K9 Units so Special?

For one thing, a dog’s sense of smell is fifty times more sensitive than a human’s. This alone opens a large range of possibilities. Dogs have been used to track suspects who have fled the scene of the crime and search for missing persons or injured people after accidents or disasters. Dogs are also trained to sniff out drugs, chemicals found in explosives, and guns. Where a normal officer would have to hand search people, bags, and containers a police dog can use their nose to sift through a crowd and group of objects quickly and easily. They cover more ground and they do it faster! 

A dog’s visual acuity is incredible as well. They can see better at night giving them the ability to move with confidence and lead officers in the right direction, as well as take down a suspect on their own. With an incredible ability to hear, police dogs can also be trained to react to subtle sounds that could mean imminent danger to their partner or other members of the police force. A moment's warning could be the difference between life and death.

On top of all of this, officers have said that just having a dog with them can prevent physical conflict. Suspects understand that dogs cannot be reasoned with or bullied. 

All of these things and so much more come together to make an incredible, indispensable team that is a police K9 unit. Get started with your department’s custom K9 unit challenge coins today!


Get Started Today!

Police dogs put the life of their partner, as well as other members of the department, above their own. They follow commands without hesitation and work tirelessly to ensure the safety of those men and women with whom they serve. Police K9 challenge coins honor their commitment, dedication, and love for their team. 

Signature Coins has been making custom police challenge coins, as well as firefighter, first responder, and military challenge coins for over fifteen years. We have earned the trust and return business of our clients through a commitment to quality and customer service. With every order, we include services like:

  • Free Artwork and Quote
  • Free Unlimited Revisions
  • Free UPS Priority Air Shipping 
  • 14 Day Delivery on Completed Orders 
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Thank you for choosing Signature Coins, and we look forward to working with you!  

Common Challenge Coin Questions

A challenge coin is usually a metal coin or medallion, bearing an organization's insignia, emblem or logo and carried by the organization's members. Traditionally, challenge coins were used by the military and displayed by service men and women to prove exclusive membership when challenged, and to enhance the military units' morale.

Historically, challenge coins were awarded by military unit commanders in recognition of special achievement made by a member of the unit. They are also known to be exchanged and traded during recognition visits to different international organizations, bases and service tours. These coins have been heavily collected by active and retired service members and law enforcement personnel for years.

Modern challenge coins are made in a variety of sizes and often include popular culture references such as superheroes as well as known characters in a parody. Many companies today are using them to build morale in teams, link people with similar interests and even to promote their brand. Challenge coin designs today are pushing the boundary of what a challenge coin could mean or be used for. One thing is for sure, personalized coins further strengthen the sense of bond within people that both give and receive them.

Challenge coins are often used as a physical token or symbol to represent membership to an organization, unit, or team.

Challenge coins also serve as a lasting personal award for anyone that has received one. Since they are custom and long lasting, challenge coins serve well to commemorate the time and experience put in to overcome overwhelming obstacles or the extraordinary effort and sacrifice needed to reach a given achievement. These keepsake coins become a life long reminder of the achievements made.

Challenge coins can also be used as a token to commemorate a special event or anniversary. You can view some of our commemorative coins here.

Our bravest first responder services also have a history of using challenge coins. Whether for fire departments, emergency medical technicians or law enforcement officers, challenge coins have been used to award bravery, acts of heroism and department camaraderie.

Many companies today have been started by veterans, or are veteran owned and are beginning to use the challenge coin tradition to help represent accomplishments in their businesses. This modern approach to awarding challenge coins has garnered some criticism from the traditionalists. Signature Coins has been making challenge coins for 20 plus years, and we see more and more companies joining in on awarding custom challenge coins to customers, staff, and volunteers. They are using them to build morale in teams, link people with similar interests and even to promote their brand or charities.

Generally speaking you give someone a challenge coin when you want to honor them for a good deed or for their hard work.

Challenge coins still play a major role in the military today, much like a "Thank you Plus" or "Great Job Plus". In the armed forces not every action rates an honorable medal or certificate, for those moments when someone is deserving of more than a thank you, awarding them with a challenge coin fills the gap.

As a very simple miltary example. You're out on a 3 day field op. One of your guys or gals busts their butt during a particularly stressful couple hours of it. Shows great attitude, effort, and was overal top notch. If you tried to write it up, it wouldn't "quite" be "award worthy" but definitely deserved "recognition."

Now even if you’re not a veteran or a member of the armed forces, you can still recognize and award someone with custom challenge coins.

You can use challenge coins to reward employees after the completion of a special project or if huge accomplishments have been made company wide. The coin design can be representative of the achievement, the employee or the company goals. Studies show when employees are recognized for a job well done, they feel more satisfied with their job performance, are more likely to reach for higher goals, and are more loyal to their organizations.

Finding the right time and place to give someone a challenge coin can be, well, a bit challenging.

  • Military tradition has a few ways of approaching this honor. One being "The Secret Handshake" where commanding officers, department officials or the president himself would shake a soldiers hand and "slip" them the coin via the handshake. Transferring the coin shouldn’t be dramatic or obvious, like a quiet wink and a nod, this honor is more personal to the people giving and receieving the award and less ceremonial. Although a bit more obvious, another military tradition is to hand them out in front of a formation or during a meeting, but it's more commonly done one on one.

  • As more civilians and businesses use challenge coins, they have taken a more ceremonious and inclusive approach to awarding them. When looking to give a challenge coin to an employee or team member most businesses will do it during a team meeting. Some businesses have even integrated their employee award recognition into their annual and quarterly ceremonies. Awarding their employees in front of others can be a great way to show the rest of the team that you too can be "recognized" if the effort is there.

  • Modern marketers are also finding that custom challenge coins make for great business cards, so many high end service providers, such as lawyers, accountants and commercial developers are now giving their custom coins out as a means of promoting themselves or their business offerings.

Challenge coins typically cost $3.00 -$5.00 per coin for a full production run of 100 coins generally speaking.

More specifically though, it depends. Challenge coin pricing is dependent on a variety of factors including size, quantity, and coloration. Your organization’s insignia or logo, as well as the brand standards surrounding it, will often dictate coloration. The level of complexity, industry standards, and personal preference will dictate the size of the coin.

You can view our challenge coin pricing here.

Designing challenge coins is a lot of fun, but there’s also a ton of things to think about before getting started. Luckily, we have years of experience making custom coins, and we’re happy to help you every step of the way.

We have put together a how-to guide that will tell you everything you need to know about challenge coin design.

Challenge Coin Design 101: A How-To Guide For Creating Challenge Coins