Posts Tagged ‘Police Dog’
Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
Police forces all over the world use specially trained police dogs for a variety of purposes. Every role in a police force is important, and each helps to enforce the law and protect citizens in its own way; however, tactical police work is often considered the most physically and mentally demanding of all tasks. Engaging a dangerous criminal requires an incredible amount of bravery and team-work. The end goal of any confrontation is to end the situation with as few injuries and casualties as possible.
When you introduce a poorly trained canine into a dangerous situation, it can make an already bad situation much worse. Proper training can mean a huge difference between a dog that endangers lives versus a dog that can save them. The single most important part of training a dog for tactical police work is to make sure it is trained to handle real danger in real situations. One aspect of this is to train for work with gunfire. During a confrontation, there is a very real chance that guns may be used by both the suspect as well as police officers. A poorly trained dog will immediately become confused and disoriented by such a situation, and will become a danger to all involved. On the other hand, a properly trained dog will be unaffected by the noise and commotion, will stay on target, and will be able to disarm the suspect efficiently.
Of course, there’s more to working effectively with a tactical police dog than having a dog that’s trained properly. The officers involved must also be able to work efficiently with the dog. The handler is responsible for ensuring that the officers involved know what to expect, and how the dog has been trained to react to different situations. This is especially important when introducing canine units into police forces who may not have any prior experience working with police dogs.
Canine protection is not a game. It takes a well-trained police protection dog, be it a German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois or Dutch Shepherd, to work effectively with a police force and to help ensure the safety of everyone involved.
Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
Canine units are an essential part of police forces all over the world today. These elite canines are expected to help police officers enforce the law and save lives. Their duties range from tracking lost individuals, to rescuing drowning victims, to disarming dangerous criminals. It takes a very special dog to be able to perform these tasks with the efficiency and dependability that is required of working police dogs. For the police officers who are putting their lives at risk, having a canine partner who is guaranteed to be fully trained and capable of performing the task at hand is a necessity. In order to prove their capacity, working dogs must pass strict police canine certification programs before being admitted into the force. These certification programs ensure that only the best of the best make it onto the field as a working police dog.
Throughout the world, police forces in each region and country rely on their own localized certification programs. No international standard exists for the certification of police dogs, so it is up to the police department and the local government to determine if a certain certification is up to par with their own expectations for a police dog. For example, police dogs in the U.S.A often obtain certification from the United States Police Canine Association, while the Royal Mounted Police offers their own certifications for canine units working in Canada. However, the majority of organizations offering official certifications for police protection work follow a similar set of criteria. Typically, police dog certification programs will test dogs for general obedience and agility, tracking, criminal apprehension, searches, narcotics detection and explosives detection.
It is important to note that the certifications given for dog sport events, such as Schutzhund or French Ring, are not equivalent to those offered by official police dog certification programs. Police protection dogs should always be trained for real-life scenarios, as the danger they will face on the field is very real. Never expect a dog trained in sport to handle real protection work in the real world.
Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
Koninklijke Nederlandse Politiehond Vereniging (KNPV) is a popular dog-sport based out of the Netherlands. The name literally means “Royal Dutch Police Dog Association”, and it was founded in the early 1900′s as a way of testing the ability of dogs for their suitability for breeding and work as a police dog. As with any sport, the rules and exercises are clearly defined to ensure fairness among competitors. After over a century, the rules and titles involved in KNPV have changed and grown considerably, but the basic concepts remain.
In KNPV, a team consisting of a dog and its handler compete to obtain varying levels of certification. Points are awarded or deducted based on performance in various exercises, and certificates are awarded to dogs who are able to obtain a high enough score. The most basic title in KNPV is known as Politiehond 1 (PH1). Competing dogs must first obtain this title before attempting any of the more challenging titles, and in Holland, a dog must have this title before it can work as a police dog. Obtaining this title involves completing exercises in obedience, scent work, water work, and protection. A score between 302 and 347 out of 440 possible points is enough for the dog be awarded Certificaat A, which lasts for one year. A score above 348 awards the dog a full PH1 certificate, and a score above 402 awards the dog a Certificaat Met Lof (certificate with honors).
After completing PH1, it is up to the handler to decide whether or not to continue training for a more advanced title. Possible titles are Politiehond 2 (PH2), Object Bewakinghond (ObjBW), Speurhond (SpH), and Reddingshond (RH). PH2 includes the same exercises as PH1, but at a more advanced level. ObjBW is considered a specialised Guard Dog title. It includes many of the same exercises as PH1, but does not include water work, and has a stronger focus on guarding. SpH is a very specialised title that focuses on complex tracking and scent work exercises. The exercises are judged harshly, and only about 20% of dogs attempting this title are able to obtain it each year. Finally, RH is a specialised title that focuses on search and rescue operations with exercises that simulate the rescuing of a drowning person, or a person trapped under rubble.
KNPV is both incredibly important in maintaining the quality of working breeds such as the German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois, as well as promoting standards for the training of police dogs, protection dogs, and guard dogs. However, as honorable as the sport is, one should always remember that KNPV is just a sport. A true protection dog should be trained for real world scenarios, and not for sport.
Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
Police Protection Dogs are a valuable asset to police forces everywhere and essential to many police operations. Among all of their capabilities, tracking is one of the most frequently used. However, when dealing with serious cases, as the police often do, the reliability of a dog’s tracking ability is of incredible importance. At present, United States courts do not consider a dog’s tracking ability to be 100% reliable. The results produced by a police tracking dog can only be used as supporting evidence, and cannot be presented as the only available evidence. Furthermore, the dog’s tracking ability must also be proven to be reliable. In all cases, the first test of reliability is the dog’s ability to track human scent.
A dog’s ability to reliably track human scent has been a topic of debate for many years. As humans, it is difficult for us to understand the process of scent tracking from a canine perspective. The canine nose is more than capable of identifying between a wide variety of scents, but ensuring that a police dog is following the correct scent is far more difficult. The biggest skeptics have always maintained that rather than tracking a humans unique scent signature, dogs track scents left behind by the disturbance of the ground as a human walks or runs, and thus kicks up a variety of dust and dirt particles along the way. Others have suggested that dogs are primarily focused on the scent of the feet or shoes that have left behind traces as they have rubbed against the ground. Others still say that unique human scents are left behind as a multitude of skin cells and hair are shed from our bodies. The reality is that a well trained tracking dog will be looking out for a mix of both human scent as well as ground disturbance. However, human scent must remain the focus with ground disturbance acting only to assist in maintaining the trail on a human scent. A reliable dog must be able to demonstrate the ability to track human scent without getting distracted by converging trails left by other humans.
The key to reliability in a police protection dog is to begin training at an early age. It is not enough to simply begin training track drive in a young Belgian Malinois puppy or German Shepherd puppy. Detecting human scent should be taught almost from the beginning, and should remain the focus of tracking exercises throughout the dog’s career.
Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
The Koninklijke Nederlandse Politiehond Vereniging (KNPV), roughly translated as “Royal Dutch Police Dog Sport”, is an intense dog sport that developed in the Netherlands as a way to test the breeding potential of working dogs to ensure their bloodlines remained strong and capable. While a variety of breeds are permitted to participate in KNPV, the sport is largely dominated by the Belgian Malinois. Although the breed does enjoy a fair bit of popularity in the area, its widespread use as a sporting dog for KNPV is a result of the Belgian Malinois’ ability to prove itself in KNPV trials time and time again.
Breeders put an incredible amount of time and effort into keeping their bloodlines strong and training their dogs to perform their absolute best. Whether they are training working dogs for police work, or sporting dogs for KNPV, it is important that training begins while the dogs are still puppies. A breeder must also determine the capabilities of his puppies very early on. While KNPV sporting dogs often produce very strong litters whose pups go on to be full-fledged police dogs or protection dogs, it is important to realise that the type of training they receive must be centered around the work they will be doing from the very beginning. Training a Belgian Malinois as a sporting dog will make it unsuitable for work as a true protection dog, even if it were to be cross-trained. It takes a huge amount of skill and expertise on the part of the breeder to ensure that their Belgian Malinois puppies are living up to their full potential and continuing to improve their bloodline.
Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
The Koninklijke Nederlandse Politiehond Vereniging (KNPV) is a dog sport originating in Holland that uses a number of exercises in an attempt to mimic situations encountered by police k9 units. One such exercise is centered around a search for small articles.
The KNPV small articles search takes place in a square section of grassy field. Three small objects, such as a key, a ring, a bullet casing, or a coin, are placed on the field. The dog then has 10 minutes to search the field and retrieve the objects. The handler is permitted to give basic commands instructing the dog to search, stay or release the retrieved object. A retrieval time of under 3 minutes is required to obtain a perfect score, while the dog is also graded on general obedience, the manner in which it searches the field, and how it handles the objects during the retrieval stage.
The intent of this exercise is to train the dog to act in a manner that mimics a police search for evidence. Unfortunately, the way this exercise is performed by the KNPV presents a number of problems when compared against what would be required of a search conducted by actual police forces. One of the biggest problems is that the dog is trained to mouth the object, pick it up and bring it back to the handler. In a real police search, investigators wear latex gloves to avoid disturbing the evidence any more than absolutely necessary. To have the dog mouth a piece of evidence might completely ruin it. The correct action for the dog to take would be to indicate passively by sitting next to the found article. Secondly, because KNPV is a sport, the exercises are performed with specific regulations concerning the search area. During a search, an officer can almost never rely on evidence being simply dropped in a perfectly square patch of grassy field.
The most important thing to remember is that KNPV, like all other dog sports, is just a sport. Police dogs, protection dogs and guard dogs alike need to be trained to handle real situations from the very beginning. Training for sport just isn’t good enough for work in the real world.
Thursday, April 1st, 2010
In the LA Times, a police dog was reported to have been stabbed in the line of duty:
San Marino, CA – A police dog was injured last week during an incident involving an intense standoff following police response to a burglary alarm.
When police arrived at the scene they encountered David Pohung Liu, 45, standing at the doorway with a large knife and a gun. Liu demanded that police shoot him, but then fled into the home whilst refusing to leave.
The standoff lasted approximately 5 hours as police negotiators tried to reason with Liu. Rik, a Belgian Malinois police dog, was sent into the home in an attempt to coax Liu from the building, but was slashed across the head and muzzle. Officers were able to call the injured dog back from the home and have it rushed to emergency surgery.
Shortly after, Liu set fire to the home, but finally surrendered after police began using pepper-spray projectiles as a last-resort non-lethal tactic.
Liu is currently hospitalized for treatment of burns and smoke inhalation during the fire. Thankfully, K9 Officer Rik suffered and no permanent injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.
This is just one of many examples proving the true danger of canine protection work. Unfortunately, sporting dogs sold as true protection dogs increase the risk of injury ten-fold. Failure to target the weapon-arm and disarm the opponent is one of the biggest mistakes sporting dogs make, and it can easily mean the difference between life or death. This is why we at Command Control K9 train all of our protection dogs to do real protection work in real-life scenarios involving real danger. Our dogs are very social and love children, but will protect you and your family 100% in an emergency situation.
Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
Glassport, PA - Zen, a two-year-old German Shepherd and Glassport police dog, was poisoned with anti-freeze last month at the home of his handler, police Deputy Chief Shawn DeVerse. DeVerse said he discovered an anti-freeze-soaked rag had been thrown atop the 6-foot chain-link fence that forms the dog’s pen. “I noticed a rag on the far corner of the cage there – it was kind of hanging in, dripping down,” recounts DeVerse. Upon noticing that Zen had lapped up some of the anti-freeze that had pooled at the bottom of the cage, DeVerse rushed Zen to a veterinary hospital where he underwent several hours of dialysis to flush the dog’s system.
Zen has since recovered and will be okay, but the attempt on Zen’s life has not been taken lightly. “[He's] part of my family. They’ve made an attack on the police department, they violated my privacy – they came to my home as well,” said DeVerse. Criminal attacks against police dogs are often met with serious consequences. Zen, as with many other k9 protection dogs, is considered a full-fledged police officer.
Glassport Mayor Terry DiMarco has set up a fund to reward information leading to the capture and conviction of the perpetrator, as well as to help pay the medical bills for Zen’s treatment. DiMarco even agreed to donate his next mayoral check to the fund. “We hope we continue to get more donations,” said DiMarco.
Thursday, October 15th, 2009
Taz, a German Shepherd working as part of the New York Police Department’s K9 unit, has recently passed away due to cardiac arrest. Taz was nearly two years old when he was assigned to first-response search-and-rescue after the September 11th attacks. He would have been ten years old this October 31st. Following his valient rescue efforts in 2001, Taz continued to serve the New York Polce Department where his duties were to search for evidence, suspects and missing persons alongside his handler, Officer Scott Ryan.
The New York Police Department has made use of police and protection dogs for over a century. While the concept of a police dog was mocked initially, dogs like Taz have proved themselves to be an essential part of police investigations and rescue attempts. In the search-and-rescue effort following September 11th, dogs were deployed round-the-clock with an average of eight police dogs per 12-hour shift.
The New York Police Department currently employs about forty police dogs, most of which are German Shepherds. Taz was the last of the dogs involved in the September 11th rescue effort to still serve on the force.
Tuesday, October 13th, 2009
Clear Lake, Iowa – The Clear Lake Police Department is holding a memorial service for Abby, a hard-working German Shepherd who joined the department in 2007, and died this September 21st after undergoing surgery for a cancerous tumor.
Abby apprehended bank robbers, sniffed for drugs and once helped locate a missing person. Her job was also that of a protection dog, defending her partner, Officer Ryan Eskildsen.
Abby came to the United States eight years ago from the Czech Republic. She was trained as a police dog, not as a pet, but was still popular among school children, recounts Police Chief Greg Peterson.
A display was set up at the service with flowers, photos of Abby, her collar and her badge. The service was emotional, attended by both the police force and members of the public, a true testament to her service in the community.
Call Us Toll Free 877.687.CCK9 (2259)
/ Or Email Us