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Deploying your beloved K-9

2005 Views 13 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Hil Harrison
Here's a question for K-9 officers. Is it ever gut churning for you to deploy your beloved K-9 into a dangerous situation? And how is a K-9 handler selected?

I once read somewhere that a K-9 supervisor was leery of \"dog lovers\" becoming K-9 officers as they might hesitate to let the K-9 do what it was intended to do. I guess I'd be disqualified. :mrgreen: But I'm guessing virtually all K-9 officers literally fall in love with their K-9 partner and so perhaps any \"filtering\" process in selecting a K-9 handler goes out the window.

I'm curious to know the reality of this because it doesn't get more real than what you folks are doing.
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my feeling is that the affection i've had for all of my dogs ranks far below that of my fellow officers well being and safety. it's his job to go into harms way to prevent officers from having to do it. it's kind of a crappy deal for the dog, but i'd rather my dog get hurt than a fellow officer. well most officers :wink: ..
I feel exactly the same way Tim does .

I don't know of any PSD Handlers that don't have a very tight bond with their dogs . We spend more time with them then with our families . During a few highrisk SWAT calls I've basically said my last goodbye to my partners . We had a job to do and did it . Thankfully the situations all had a good outcome .
I was never police or military, but I was a game warden and an animal control officer. In kenya the dogs are used as a poacher's tool. These dogs are bad asses and really mean their business. so deployment was highly restricted. We worked in lines (territory lines) at the Massai Mara Game Reserve. Mostly the dogs where used to effect immediate passive results.
I worked a dog named King, he was fully trained when I arrived, so I knew nothing about training. They gave me a short course in being a Handler and we did very well. I was already a game warden in canada before going to africa. To tell you the truth, I saw some dogs deployed and they really chewed a few guys up badly. These where the type of dogs that we labled Man Stoppers. They where only deployed if a poacher went for his gun, never any other reason. We didn't care if the perp ran off, because we knew they had no where to run except towards some LIONS maybe if they where unlucky enough, as long as we had the vehicles and animals, firearms we where happy.

Later yeas as an Animal Control Officer I worked sometimes with a GSD/Mix dog who was a partner to help with bear capture and releases way up North in Canada. He was a people friendly dog. But was always in full deployment when the bear was loose, his job was to keep the bear headed away and not come back at us (the officers).
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<<<I once read somewhere that a K-9 supervisor was leery of \"dog lovers\" becoming K-9 officers as they might hesitate to let the K-9 do what it was intended to do.>>>

This should be part of the selection procedure, for new handlers. While I can appreciate the bond that grows between a handler and their dog, it's imperitive the dog is used as intended. That doesn't mean the dog is cannon fodder, however there certainly are those occasions where a dog will be put directly into harm's way. The first time I ever saw a handler hesitate deploying a dog due to the possible danger involved, it would be the last time as a handler.

Anytime someone has to die a violent death should be disturbing. That doesn't mean it shouldn't have happened. That he had a flip flop in his hand was determined after the fact, not before. From what the officers knew, he had a gun, had stated he would use it, evidently he had convinced the officers he would use it. Which adds to the saying; Never bring a flip flop to a gun fight. That the dog was shot by officers would indicate they may be in need of additional training relative working with a released canine.

One of my coworkers was a k9 handler in Nam, and although I haven't discussed much about it with him, he definitely made it very clear that he did not have a strong bond with his k9. Appearantly the k9 had very low threshold to react very aggressively, and kept his handler constantly on his toes though.
A dog in a combat zone is a different animal, by design, than one we would use on the streets of the US in a law enforcement capacity.

<<< think Military dogs should be raised differently, there should be no surprise that they aren't suitable for civilian work. >>>>

I don't know why this should be. Having been in both the military working dog program (23 years) and civilian law enforcment dog programs (17 years) {{ damn I'm getting old}} I fail to see the difference in what is expected from a dog in the military and one in civilian law enforcement. In the 60's, I can understand with the use of the Sentry dog, but I fail to see the difference today.

I might be a little confused here... :lol:
Don't be confused. When I speak of the MWD, I'm mostly referring to their use as drug detectors, explosives detectors and patrol doing law enforcement work. In combat the roles are quite a bit different. Working base patrol I may release my dog on a person fleeing from a breaking and entering. In a combat zone, I'm not going to release my dog on a sapper team. Combat is nothing like law enforcement. My answer to the question of "raising dogs" does not change. The training however may well change depending on the circumstancses.

"by design" meaning you would choose a different animal for a combat zone than you would for LE?A different type of dog I mean.
No not a different animal, a different approach to training.

Drew Peirce said:
This is a disturbing video, but very relevent to the topic>
What I dont figure is why they started shooting and let the dog go in at the same one or the other! Waste of a good dog I think and it wasnt neccesary :?
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