• Rhizaldy Manalo

The K9s In The Line of Duty

Police dog training covers many responsibilities and usually, each dog has a specialization like drug and explosive searches, or the simple and usually relaxed patrol K9. These dogs all have the same drive and intelligence that put them ahead of the pack and this is due to the training and the bond they have with their handlers. But it is not all on the dogs, the handlers must know what they are doing as well.


Like every working dog, the police K9 units require beginner obedience training while still young and probably do this and other service dog training for the whole first year, slowly adding in public setting training to make sure the dogs can handle distractions. This is to set a good foundation that trainers and handlers can work on to mold their dog into any specialization that may be required. Think of this as puppy K-12, all the lessons for foundational learning without the angst of a teenager.




Different Types of Police Dog Training


There are different specialized needs for certain dogs that make them suitable for whatever scenarios they will face. Often time, the dogs don't learn more than one specialization due to the complexity of each specific job; rather, they excel at a single specialization.



Police Patrol


These dogs are on the streets as an additional unit to their human counterparts. Patrol dogs obtain police dog training in many aspects of day to day police life from finding suspects to protecting their partner and subduing criminals. The ultimate protection service dog, these guys go above and beyond to help whatever force they are assigned for; be it in the Police, the Marines, the Paramilitary, or the Army. Along with the protection and apprehension training, these dogs are often trained to find any drugs that may be present meaning they get narcotic scent training as well.



Drug Detection Dogs


Trained for one thing and one thing only these dogs learn how to find any kind of narcotics. Their training is tough and requires being able to distinguish different kinds of drugs while avoiding getting blinded if another smell takes over. These dogs could smell narcotics even if you were cooking a steak right next to them making these awesome doggos excellent at detecting the bane of men, drugs.



Strategic Bomb Detection Dogs


Bomb dogs are very strict when it comes to scent detection as there are more than 10,000 different smells they must learn that are associated with explosives. On top of this, they are trained in a 10-week extensive course which does not seem like a lot of time for that many smells, but nonetheless man's best friend makes it happen. This dedication makes them pros at what they do, and their noses are the best tool for the job. Not to mention the fact that they're literally putting their noses on the line between life and death.



Scent Tracking dogs


This highly trained group of dogs learn the ins and outs of tracking suspects that are hiding or that have possibly fled along with missing person reports. There are many situations that call for these dogs and they are very good at finding people. Often associated with bloodhounds these dogs, that search for hours if not days find people based on their scent and follow tiny scent trails to get to them. As you could imagine a lot goes into training these dogs and it is for good reason. We could probably have them look for Amelia Earhart in the Bermudas.




Where To Train


Police dog training that is used by the force usually come from one of two places, either a private training facility that specializes in this field or the police force has their own trainers on site. After the dog goes through this training it is paired with the handler that will be with the dog almost 24/7 from here on. These handlers also need to be trained on how the dog was trained and how to handle it to be effective in the field. This does not mean you can't train your dog to do these specialized tasks, there are protection dogs that specialize in basic patrol dog protection and are oftentimes either home trained or trained by professionals for civilians.




TIPS TO HELP TRAIN FROM THE PROFESSIONALS

  • Make it fun! If the dogs aren't enjoying it they won't retain as much.

  • Use what is proven to motivate your dog if it's treats use treats if its toys use toys.

  • Make sure your dog isn't overworked, they are dogs for crying out loud.

  • Be consistent but don't have patterns, train at the same time every day but not the same thing every day.

  • Introduce challenges, this will make sure your dog has the command down.

  • End in success never on a failed command, this will make for a more fulfilling period.


Police K9 training never stops as trainers and dogs must renew their training at least once every six months, in particular, they must keep up with commands and scent training to continuously hone their abilities to follow instructions and avoid distractions.


In the end, these are still dogs that need love, companionship, treats, and toys. the police force gives them these and is rewarded with partners unlike anything else. Whether you are looking to get into police K9 training or just to train your dog at home I hope this has helped and remember to give your dog all the love they deserve.



Rhiz Manalo is the co-partner to CentrAsia Tours a Central Asia Tourism Agency offering tours across the Silk Road, Managing Partner of Digital Kitchen Philippines, experts in corporate and SMB digitization. He is a seasoned digital marketing expert, an experienced blogger, systems architect, web designer, and a loving father to a beautiful 7-year-old girl whom he misses so much!


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