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  • K9 Officers

    I'm currently in the applying to several LE agencies and my hope is to some day work as a K9 officer. Is this something I should let people know when I'm interviewing or do that after I get hired? Also what is the best way to become a K9 officer? Is there something I should be doing now so when the opportunity arises I'll be a more appealing options as a K9 officer? As always your advice is appreciated.

  • #2
    What experience do you have with dogs? Have ever been a breeder? Trainer? Contact local law enforcement and attempt to schedule ride alongs with their K9's. Then listen to what they say. If you don't know about dogs, don't attempt to bluff them with bull s*$t because they'll know. Search your local area for SCHUTZHUND clubs. Excellent dog training hands on including obedience, tracking, and protection. Go to germanshepherddog.com for schutzhund clubs in your area. Schutzhund is German for protection dog. Read books, go to your library and get training videos. Go to RAY ALLEN website and get a catalog sent to you. Order his books. Purchase a good Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, or Dutch Shepherd from a WORKING DOG LINE, not SHOW LINE, breeder. Local law enforcement might help in referencing you a qualified breeder, but not always because some K9 departments are a joke. It's a fat cop with a 10 year old dog that wouldn't bite ya if ya kicked it. Stay clear from these Mickey Mouse outfits. Larger Departments are generally the way to go. Search on the Internet for working line K9 breeders. You'll spend typically $800-$2000 for a well bred puppy at 8-12 weeks of age. If you anticipate it being sometime before you can possibly make a K9 Team, owning a dog yourself from pup to adult can be a tremendous learning experience in several areas. I can recommend contacting Enckhausen Shepherds if you want a puppy. Best lines around, very knowledgeable breeders, active K9 officers. Don't go cheap and waste your time on s#*t dogs. Not every GSD or BM or DS can be a K9. It takes breeding, with good German or Czech lines. Hope I've helped. Good Luck--

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    • #3
      Ryan: It may be different elsewhere, but here K-9 is one of the most difficult position to get into. Everybody has to start off by volunteering as an agitator with the dogs and helping in training them. This gives the detail an opportunity to see how you interact with the dogs and the other folks in the detail. There is training you can take. I notice there is a link in the training board discussing a K-9 course. When the rare opening occurs, they hold board interviews just like the one to get hired. (Read that as they know who they want for the most part and use the interviews to confirm their choice) As for things to do know; start reading books on dog behavior and training. It doesn't have to be related to police work, just focus of dogs in general.

      ------------------
      Wear your vest!
      Second Chance save #821.

      [This message has been edited by DesertRat (edited 02-20-2001).]

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      • #4
        I echo what DesertRat said. Our agency just went through K9 interviews for one opening. As the Captain of the division that K9 comes under I also sit on the panel. They must do an essay question exam....an oral board with the K-9 trainers, and then there is a review of the candidates department history. They must also be in top physical shape. The handler must be able to keep up with the dog , it is physically demanding

        These positions open up very rarely. Usually once a handler, always a handler. Such dedication they have to both their dogs and the competition between each other. They are always trying to oneup each other.

        The biggest thing to rememeber is that its hard..hard work,and you must be willing to make a ten year commitment.

        To all the dedicated K-9 handlers out there..
        I salute you...

        Ryan..good luck in finding a LE job.

        Regards

        ------------------
        "We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way." General George S. Patton

        [This message has been edited by Guard Dog (edited 02-20-2001).]

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