Law Enforcement Specialties >> Special Units (K9, SWAT, etc.) >> New K9 handler..questions

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New K9 handler..questions

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Smokes_max50

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Posted over 3 years ago

 

I recently got selected to be our next K9 handler. I will be going to school in September. Is there anything I should know / do beforehand? I have been training with the K9 school on and off for the past year on days off to get to know how it works.


I guess I am excited to get this spot and want to do / know as much as I can.


Thanks for any input or help.


Dennis

Smokes_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

As for now I will be the only handler on 3rd shift, we have 1 on second and 2 on first.


Dennis

Beach-dugan_424_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Pay attention to your other handlers.  Watch what they do.  How they react to their K9 in certain situations.  How does their K9 react to them?  LEASH CONTROL, LEASH CONTROL, LEASH CONTROL.  Take the first couple of weeks to bond with your dog.  Take him to the park in your POV and just walk him and throw a tennis ball. You can work in basic obedience while you do this and not place any strees on the dog.  Take him to your local Lowe's or Home Depot or any other retailer in your area that allows dogs.  Muzzle him if you have to.  Its a great socialization exercise that will help foster trust between you and your dog.   Keep him on leash until he is responsive to your voice control.  Trust between you and your dog will carry you thru the training process.  TRUST YOUR DOG.  He knows what he is doing, your end of the leash is called the dummy end for a reason.  Ask for as many courses and seminars as possible.  I am sure that you train with a good group, but it never hurts to branch out and learn how others do it.  Learn who your local K9 gurus are.  Keep them on speed dial.  Don't be afraid to ask questions.  You may recieve a hard time for asking a "dumb question," but trust me, there are no dumb questions.  K9 handlers are the fraternity within the fraternity.  We tend to be a harsh group.  We are typically outcast causes we always smell like dog, are always covered in hair, our boots aren't shined, are more concerned with training and stopping cars than working traffic, domestics, etc., and can't transport prisnors so patrol will hate you if you make an arrest. 


LEARN CASE LAW.  Learn what you can and can not do.  You do not want to go to federal court and sit on the defendent's side.


Welcome to the club.  You are in for the ride of your life.

Th_avatar_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

 Take every opportunity to learn something. Watch every handler work thier dog.  You can learn just as much by watching as doing. When an opportune moment arises, pick the seasoned guys brains.  Join a quality K9 discussion forum or two and just read for a few weeks/months before asking questions. Dang near every aspect of dog training has been covered on a quality forum.


 


 Above all.  If the job isn't for you, get out and give someone else a shot. K9 turnover is low and it aggravates me to see slug handlers waste a good position.  Don't be a slug. Your reputation (and your life) depends on you being in it 100%.

Apache___me_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

HPD910 has a lot of great advice.  Take it one day at a time. The thing is each Trainer has his own game plan.  So pay attention to his.  He may resent anything different.  Listen, Learn and Bond.  Take a notebook and pen.  You will be told what to bring.  Once you graduate you will meet other Handlers and learn new things.  For now be the student.  The MOST important thing I can tell you is to have fun!  Stay up, positive.  It is all a game to the pup.  Have fun my friend!

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

I was the first K-9 handler for a dept in Central Kansas back in the late 80's. Took me 8 years to convince my Chief to start a K-9 Unit. He later told me that he wished he had done it earlier. Have worked 2 dual purpose dogs in my 9 year K-9 career. K-9 was the BEST years of my 33+ year career. My best advise is that a dog is only as good as his handler. I learned very quickly that having a good dog is not luck, it takes a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication. A hard working handler will bring his dog (or keep) his partner up to his standards. A lazy handler will soon have a lazy dog! ENJOY this assignment! Nothing more rewarding than to have your dog locate (and apprehend) a bad guy that is well hidden in the woods or in a building. BE SAFE!

Scott_ido_prev_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

What canine school are you going to? I will say this while in school take the extra time with your dog, not only in school but also while out working. When you are out  as a canine handler train your dog in every imagineable safe situation you can think of. If your working days, train him at night also. Make sure that you work him in the rain, snow, heat and any other weather condition to make sure he will preform when he's needed. Take the time to get to know what your canine may not be comfortable with and work them into it.   When others are not working with their dogs, get to know yours. Take the extra time to clean, and take care of your partner. There are so many theories with canines, every canine handler thinks they know everything the moment they graduate. It took me numerous years working FULL time with a canine to understand them. There is always more to learn. Always more to learn. I hope you like cleaning up dog waste, dog hair on your uniform, slobber on your pants, and the BEST job in the world. Dont get the sickness (FLCS) F*ck*n Lazy Cop Syndrome.


The path of freedom has been written in blood, grave yards from fields of stone where brave men gave their last. We as a country of free men and women owe these people the greatest thank you for their sacrifice in public service.

----disclaimer does not include politicians

Smokes_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Thanks for the advise from everyone. We will be going to TOPS in Grayslake, Illinois. I am excited as well as nervous....School starts in the middle of Sept. I have registered with Terry Fleck to take the Legal update class in Milwaukee the week before school starts. I hope this is a good thing to do ???? Thanks again


Dennis

Csi_squirrle_max600_1__max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

All good advice so far.  I would add make sure you are physically fit.  Dog training ain't no walk in the park.  You will get more exercise than you can imagine.  The up side is you always have a willing workout partner.  Good luck and have lots of fun with your new partner.

Beach-dugan_424_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

listening to terry fleck is a great thing to do.  ties in with the whole case law thing.  nothing will make you madder than to get subpeona to court and have some defense attorney attack your dog.  know your stuff.  it will keep you from looking like a grade A dumb ass on the stand.  its a great thing to be able to make that defense attorney look foolish.

Smokes_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Sounds good...As for a workout partner even better...the past year I have gone thru 3 other officers that "want to get in shape"....Im still the only one at the gym...lol


Thanks again for all the help


Dennis

Dscf2012_max50

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Rated +1 | Posted over 3 years ago

 

If you are your Departments first K9, make sure they have proper policy written before you ever take the dog out.  Also, be sure to document everything that your K9 does so that you have something to fall back onto if/when you get sued.  There are software programs that are great for providing documentation, most are user friendly.  Make sure your dpeartment provides proper squad ventilation at all times including some way to notify you if the A/C quits and the car is starting to heatup.  I know that seems obvious but I have read in the past of K9's dying of heat while the officer is out of the squad for what ever reason. 

Papillon_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Ahh! How lucky you have training like that in your school. How I wish there was some here. :(

It's a bit hard training K-9s with lack on how to start..

Photo_user_blank_big

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Rate This | Posted about 3 years ago

 

 Dennis


Congrats on your selection.  I'm new to this board and it appears that there is alot of experience and knowledge posting on the K-9 topics.  All of the posts have been great advice for you to follow.  The biggest issue I see with new handlers in training is they believe that their new K-9 will know everything right out of the gate.  They don't understand that training takes time and patience.  Keep in mind that each trainer has his/her own way of doing things. Also, there could be 100 different ways to train a dog on one topic, and you might have to explore 99 of them before you locate a method which will work best for you and your PSD.  Document all of your training and deployments, this is a must and will save you in court.  Keep the mindset that there is always something new to lean, and speaking with other handlers and trainers is the best way to gain knowledge on training issues and tactics.  Good luck and have fun

Scan0001_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 3 years ago

 

 first off congrats! I also just became a handler as of the begining of July. I must agree with all the other posts that tell you to watch the other handlers. As I went through the class I was having trouble and was on the verg of being asked to leave. What got me turned around was the advise from my trainers. WATCH THE OTHER HANDLERS. This allowed me to see where I was lacking. When you are working your dog you realy dont see that mutch of your dog. After looking at how the others were working thier dogs I was able to tune in to my dog and pass the class with flying colors. So keep those ears open and the best of luck to you.

Photo_user_blank_big

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

 Batch114 how is k9 going for you?

Photo_user_blank_big

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Rate This | Posted about 1 year ago

 

 My name is Daniel.  I have also recently been selected as my departments k9 handler.  The dog that I am getting is Kilo, and he has been at the department for approx 2 years.  The officer that has him now has recently been promoted to LT so he has to give up the dog.  I have been spending time with the dog and attempting to build up a bond with him.  So far, everything is going good with the bonding process.  Kilo is already starting to listen to the basic obedience commands from me.  I'm just waiting to get Kilo to my house and go get trained with him.  Any pointers or tips for me prior to getting him would be much appreciated.

Photo_user_blank_big

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Rate This | Posted 5 months ago

 

Hi all,


I have been allowed to propse a new k9 program for my small department.  Our last canine end of watch was 1972.  Anyway I am attempting to get MOU language agreement.  The state mandates off duty compensation for care and maitenance of the dog but seems like compensation is interpretted differently agency to agency.  Does anyone have the languange of their agreement with their city/county on this.  I would appreciate any help.  Our city likes to see multiple others before they consider an option.


 


Respectfully


Brandon