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K-9 Interview | Readers’ Questions Answered #5

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RHETT MATHEWS:

Being a current handler myself, I always get the question, “Why do the dogs come from Europe? And are they already trained?”

 

LT. E. RODRIGUE:

Breeding regulations are a lot stricter in Europe.  Some of these dogs have prior training, but may not be the training you’re looking for, so be very careful.  Some of the dogs come in with outstanding training and some with issues you may never resolve.  There are very dependable breeders and trainers in the stats that would also help you.

 

SHERRY TROOP:

What happens to the dogs after they no longer serve as a K9? Do their officer handlers get to adopt them? Can they integrate into “family” life?

 

LT. E. RODRIGUE:

Our department allows the handlers to adopt their dogs. We have had great success with the dogs integrating into family life. However, I have heard of dogs that could not integrate in family life.

 

SHERRY TROOP:

Just saw a news broadcast about Universal K-9 that trains shelter dogs on “death row”. The trained dogs are then given for free to police dept. So great to hear!! Wondered if you heard of them or deal with them?

 

LT. E. RODRIGUE: 

I haven’t heard of them, but will certainly check them out. Death Row dogs are very dear to me. When I started my first K-9 Academy I worked a German Shepherd, which was rescued by my dad K-9 Sam. K-9 Sam was picked up for killing chickens.

When I started with he did not know how to walk on a leash. I think for the first six weeks I retrieved the ball more than Sam. Then something clicked and he loved his ball. At the end of our academy we were awarded the Top Team award. I learned a lot from old K-9 Sam.

 

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K-9 Interview | Readers’ Questions Answered #4

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CAROLINE CASH:

How long do most dogs serve as a K9?

 

LT. E. RODRIGUE:

Most dogs work to between eight and ten years of age, depending on their health.

 

SHERRY TROOP:

What other breeds of dogs are used besides shepherds? Are some breeds better suited for the job or is it the personality of the particular dog?

 

LT. E. RODRIGUE:

Belgium Malionois, Dutch Shepared, Labrador Retriever are some of your most popular.  I have seen some mixed breeds out work any pure breed dog.

 

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K-9 Interview | Readers’ Questions Answered #3

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SYLVIA E. BULL:

Do you volunteer to be a K-9 officer? Do you get to pick the dog? What do you do with the dog during vacation? How long is the training?

 

LT. E. RODRIGUE:

In our department you volunteer to be a K-9 Officer.  I pick most of the dogs and try to match them with the handler’s personality.  In our department when the handler goes on vacation I kennel the dogs in my kennel.

When I go on vacation one of the other handlers will care for my dog.  If you look above I answered the addressed most of the training question.  In our department before a K-9 Team is allowed to work the street they must past their NNDDA certification.

Once they have passed their certification and are allowed to begin working on the street, they still attend weekly training sessions, which is required.  At the training session I make sure each team is performing well and address any issues that may arise.  I try to expose the teams to new things each training sessions.

 

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K-9 Interview | Readers’ Questions Answered #2

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ALEXANDER SIMPSON:

I’ve heard that some officers have to pay for their dogs out of their own pocket. Is that true?

 

LT. EDDIE RODRIGUE:

Yes it’s true. I have worked several of my own K-9’s. I donated my present K-9 Vic, so I would be allowed to work him.   Our department now buys green dogs for the other handlers and I complete the initial training to save the department the price of a fully trained dog.

Our department pays $5,500.00 to $6,000.00 for a green dog. This is for a dog with great drives and some very basic training . A fully trained Police Service Dog these days is any were between $10,000.00 to $15,000.00 plus.

 

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K-9 Interview | Readers’ Questions Answered #1

 

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K-9 QUESTION

SHERRY TROOP

“I saw recently on TV that dogs trained to sniff bombs in Afghanistan are now being used for the same job in Washington D.C. (The dog featured is 4years old). Is it difficult for both the dog & it’s handler to separate from each after working as partners for so long? I would think they would bond closely.

Which gender is best suited?”

 

LT. E RODRIGUE

“I find it very hard to separate once you have a good bond. I have seen some handler’s and K-9’s go through separation anxiety. Some K-9’s do fine and some may not work with another handler.

Either sex will work depending on the drive.”

 

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