Friday, July 3, 2009

A day in the life of a Police Dog in Training!

Over the last couple of weeks (inbetween finishing my old job and starting the new) I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend a few days with the WA Police K9 Unit. They are currently taking five young dogs through their paces (three German Shepherds and two Malinois) training and preparing them for their future as Police Dogs, testing their drive, motivation, focus and natural abilities ... all very happy, confident and very toy motivated dogs.

It was pleasing to see them working so passionately, just for the reward of a toy and the recognition of their handler … all very positive and fun, bringing out their best. It’s quite amazing to see how quickly their natural abilities can be developed into, what one day could be, life saving skills.

I really enjoyed the Search and Locate training where they quickly learnt how much fun the game of finding the “bad guy” is; firstly in an old abandoned building, then later outside in a yard full of vehicles and junk where they had to find him hiding somewhere, even up a tree … and it’s all a big game!.

The bond that already exists between these human and canine teams really awes you in two ways … one in admiration and respect for the relationship between dog and human, and another in trepidation knowing the many risks that they will valiantly have to deal with in their coming years on the job.

More than a full-time job, a Police Dog Handler is responsible for his K9 partner 24 hours a day, 7 days a week … they never really get to knock-off at the end of their shift, go home and leave work at work – for them it is a way of life and these guys are really very special people.

Of course I was a little biased, and had to take some pic’s of the Malinois in action!

A big thank you to the WA Police K9 Unit for their hospitality and for this opportunity.

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