Police dogs

Police Dog - The only time when it is obvious how much work goes into training a police dog is when things go wrong. When police dogs are well-trained, it looks easy. At a word, they can detain an offender, protect a cop, check for drugs or explosives, and provide a wide variety of other services. Trained police dogs are really spectacular, but if the job is not done right it can be a liability for everyone. Not only will it make the police officer less safe, but it will endanger the public as well.

It could be said that police dog trainers have one of the most difficult and important jobs in all of law enforcement careers. I don’t I say this because I am a police dog trainer myself – although it certainly does bias my opinion. A lot more goes into animal training than you might anticipate. It is true that there are many by the book animal trainers who will do everything in a standard way. Nonetheless, a police dog requires a higher level of training. If you want to train police dogs, you have to understand things about canine psychology. Each dog is different, you see, and must be treated as an individual. Only then will you get the results you want.

A police dog, like a seeing eye dog for the blind or any other specialty purpose canine, must have a sort of split personality. On the one hand, all dogs love affection and are very loyal. When a police dog is off the job, it can be a friend to its caretakers. As soon as the harness gets put on, however, the police dog must be a machine. He must follow orders exactly, not delay a moments, and be willing to lay down his life if necessary in the service of law enforcement.

This means that the police dog handler must also be trained. He must know how to treat his dog at every stage. You can’t, for example, pet the dog and say good boy while he is on duty. It will only confuse him and start to undo his training. When he is on duty, you must treat him as a K-9 police officer. That way, the dog will continue to think of himself as fulfilling that role. Dogs, you see, are playful. Given the chance, they would much rather goof off. Training is only half the story – proper handling of a police dog is the other half.

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