SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Police Department announced three top dogs from their K-9 academy have graduated from the program.

Officials say Chico, Goraz and Xantos have “worked their tails off” to get to this point and are now officially certified K-9 officers.

According to SDPD, these pups are more than just cute faces. Officials explained that they are skilled in tracking, apprehension and can be utilized as a de-escalation tool.

(Photo: SDPD)

The department made this statement regarding the graduating police force dogs:

“We want to thank Chico, Goraz and Xantos for their service, and we know they’ll continue to be paw-some teammates for our officers. They truly are the top dogs in their field! So let’s give these furry graduates a round of ‘appaws’ and congrats on this well-deserved achievement! Keep up the great work, Chico, Goraz and Xantos, and keep spreading joy wherever you go!”

According to the City of San Diego, there are over 35 active SDPD K-9s that are currently serving the region.

According to a city FAQ handout about SDPD’s K-9 Unit, “the sheer presence of a police dog or hearing the bark of a police dog has a phycological effect on humans making the apprehension of a suspect easier.”

(Photo: SDPD)

Officials say police dogs were first used in the U.S. in 1911 by the New York Police Department and have been considered integral members of the law enforcement community ever since.

As the newest members of SDPD’s K-9 force, Chico, Goraz and Xantos will be starting their honorable careers helping police officers protect and serve San Diego.