“These dogs train for 5 or more years before they’re even considered for the job”
It’s no accident that these police K9s are so amazing. They are carefully chosen and the selection process is rigorous and challenging.
When Canadas Mounted Police Force wants to search for the lost, catch criminals, or locate explosives, they often use highly trained K9s to get the job done. All the dogs in their elite unit have to be up to the challenge and have undergone training since birth.
What does it take to become one of their working K9s? They must be hardworking, devoted, and live to please their handler. Each dog begins to be evaluated, almost from birth, to determine if they may have the instincts, characteristics, and drive to become a police dog.
Their police dogs are a valuable part of their law enforcement team. They find missing people, sniff out drugs, and locate explosives. They also hunt down criminals and protect their handlers. Each year, they save many lives and apprehend many criminals.
Each one of their dogs is a product of selective breeding and training. There are about 140 teams and all the dogs and their handlers are trained at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Police Dog Service Training Center (RCMP). Their training starts with “Puppy Imprinters.” The imprinters help the dogs develop focus and confidence by exposing them to as many situations, scenarios, and places K9s might go as possible. For instance, a puppy will be taken to airports and for a ride on escalators to prepare them for a future job in airport security
Their training lasts about 5 – 6 years before they are even considered for their potential role on the K9 unit. The imprinters might handle several puppies before they ever have the chance to become a dog handler.
Once the handler and dog make the cut, they become part of the K9 unit. The officers’ entire lives are then focused on their dogs. The K9 teams are on call 24/7 and it takes a huge commitment and sacrifice.
German shepherds are typically chosen because of their strength, intelligence, and endurance. They must have solid nerves, a good nose, want to work, be trainable, and have the desire to please their handlers.
These dogs don’t come by accident. They are from a highly selective special breeding program that is used just to produce reliable working K9s for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Even the genetic mix chosen for each breeding is highly scientific. Each dog is chosen for what traits will produce the best police K9s. Each dog receives the best and most careful care throughout the entire process.
Then, from the moment the special puppies are born, they are nurtured toward their future in police work. From day 10, a team of people begins the process of determining if the dog has what it takes to become a working K9.
They are looking for dogs with the right personality to be police dogs. The best prospects will have drive, retrieval instinct, intensity, and a dominant personality. The ideal dog is also brave, confident, and a quick learner.
We hope you enjoyed a glimpse into what it takes for a dog to serve with the K9 Mounties. As always, please feel free to share with your friends.