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In the \"Training Discussion\" area I posted a question about using an ecollar to poison proof a dog. As I was typing I recalled an FHP K-9 handler that I once met and trained with one evening. He dropped hot dogs on the ground where he had walked to, as he put it, to teach the dog to track. He suggested that I could do the same for my dog. I politely thanked him and declined and stated that I don't want my dog to think it's ok to eat food off the ground due to the possibility of being poisoned. The young handler seemed a bit taken aback about my explanation. Honestly, I was a bit taken aback that police K-9's would be eating hot dogs off the ground. Admittedly I don't know much about PSD's but I assumed that they would be trained NOT to eat food off the ground or from strangers. It would seem to me that some bitter, sick criminal-type might get a thrill out of poisoning a PSD. Maybe I'm wrong, and I would be happy to find out I am. But there's still always a first for everything.

Do you PSD handlers poison proof your dogs?
 

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In my experience, most handler do work on poison proofing or for that matter just picking up anything off the ground. Allowing it is contradictory to many of the tasks the dog should be doing. Such as locating evidence, finding drugs, explosives etc. None of which we want the dog picking up. Having said that, we also understand nothing is 100%. Certainly the goal, but realistially, rarely obtained. To that end, we continue to train and as importantly, be observant while working.

DFrost
 

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Patrick, I can understand why the handler must have frowned, here we don’t poison proof dogs, as we use hot dogs as well too lay tracks with, so we don’t want to have any bad imprinting. The ratio of police dogs getting poisoned vs civilian is very low, as most dogs stay on kennel at police precincts here, the one’s that do go home, only get poison proofed well after they are trained.

We use a hand held coil, with a generator that you turn, like the ones on the old telephones from way back. Then we have some thin copper wire run on the ground, and as the dogs picks up the meat he gets reprimanded and a jolt. This also works great when you do it on an electrical fence for sheep, and you add two loops to the runners and put food on it.
 

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Be it good or bad, likewise most PDs that Im aware of do not teach food refusal. The dogs are supposed to be reasonably contained from public (in the house, kennel within a fence...) when off duty and when on duty the handler should have total control of the dog to not allow it to eat off the ground. I've heard more cases of unjustified bites from food refusal trained dogs who were incorrectly trained than cases of Police K-9s being poisoned. Again, pros and cons.
I think thats really more specific to a personal protection dog.
-Kristina
 
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