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Are you scared of your department's K9?

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  • Are you scared of your department's K9?

    Yesterday I ended up taking pictures of the cruisers for the web-page...which led to a massive car-washing binge of every one of the patrol cars.

    It took a good half hour, and the K9 officer was there, and I was just struck by the number of jokes about poor Argo. "Hey chief, Argo wants you to go say hello...Go pet him." "Hey, someone wanna disable the kill switch in the K9 cruiser?"

    And, of course, the moment when the K9 officer rolled a tennis-ball towards the LT, causing the dog to run after it...All the LT caught out of the corner of his eye was a massive snarling doberman charging at him. He yelped, leaped back, and then shouted something that probably shouldn't have been said in uniform. [Wink]

    So...this level of nervousness normal around K9s?
    I haven't felt this good since we stole the 2000 elections!--Ned Flanders

  • #2
    Depending on the dog, YES.

    Our Patrol/Narcotics dog (a Belgian Malinois) is very aggressive, especially if surprised.

    Our Bomb Detection dog (a black Lab), on the other hand, LOVES to play. The more, the better.

    Most of our city's PD K9's are Shepards, and are very aggressive, unless they know you.

    I don't call it fear, I call it a healthy respect for the dog's space
    Optimistic pessimist: Hope for the best, but expect the worst.

    Jack

    [email protected]

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    • #3
      When I was in the Academy, a past graduate who is now a K9 officer came in with his dog to talk to our instructor, just shootin' the breeze. I am a huge dog lover, but that means I'm also smart about them. I came into the office to talk to our instructor about something, and the dog didn't do anything- it just turned around with that "look". But I read from its body language that it really wouldn't feel comfortable if I came too close.

      Not being an idiot, I quietly asked my question from about 8 or 9 feet away, and walked back out. I love dogs, but I have a healthy respect for dogs which have been trained to that degree. I didn't want to make him nervous in close quarters on ground he was unfamiliar with. Pretty cool dog, though. Very imposing [Eek!]
      I am disrespectful to dirt. Can you see that I am serious? - Mr. Sparkle

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      • #4
        I was always scared of the handler. We had a couple who were idiots & had control (sort of) of a land shark.

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        • #5
          Like has been said, it's not fear but an understanding and healthy dose of respect.

          We have one Shepherd that has to smell the guys on the call with him. We were standing by to make a felony arrest one day and Manno came up to me to check me out. He sniffed my hand then my pants leg. My female Shepherd was in season at the time and I guess he caught a big ol' whiff of her. Nedless to say, I was his new best friend! He leaned up against my leg (a good 6-7 feet away from his handler) the whole time we were waiting on everyone to stage.

          Same dog likes to play with boots. The handler will let him out of the car and he'll go from Deputy to Deputy and bite their boots. Just one chomp and a shake of the head and he's off to the next.

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          • #6
            I'm not afraid of the dogs, just careful. It's just the handlers who have a big mouth. My dog will..... and than they explain what the dog will do with me But i always have the last word. I tell them how they can use their dog as a carpet in front of the fire because i never miss. That will make them humble.
            Better to die standing
            than living on your knees.

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            • #7
              Whenever I come across a working dog and its handler I always stop and have a chat which always ends with me asking if its OK to pet him/her, and I can't think of a time where I havent pet the dog (After letting it smell my hand/leg while im talking).

              Im just one of those people that dogs never get aggressive towards. My former boss had a pair of 200lb Rottweilers that were notoriously agressive, and the first time i was ever in his house, I walked straight past him and jumped into the dog's area and started playing with the Male, while my boss screamed, thinking I was gonna get eaten! I even rough housed with him, once he nipped me so i bit his ear

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              • #8
                So...I guess this means there is no chance for me to adopt a retired police dog? I had no idea they were that agressive when they aren't working!?! I would love to own one though, they are so smart.
                Dance like no one's watching -- Sing like no one's listening, and work like you don't need the money.

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                • #9
                  Ours are like furry aligators. I stay in my car when they are out. [Eek!]
                  Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

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                  • #10
                    Like everyone said, respect. I have seen "training" and someone isn't paying complete attention and kinda screwing off get bit in the hand.

                    Fear comes into play with the K9 handler that doesn't spend much time with his dog.
                    Drug Recognition Expert

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                    • #11
                      Funny this should come up, I was going to post a question about handler control over the dogs. The other night I asked this K-9 cop if his dog was in the car, it was dark so I couldn’t tell. He said yes so of course being the dog lover that I am I asked if I could see him. His response, ‘the dog doesn’t like it if people get close to the car’. Shouldn’t the handler be able to control the dog enough to open the window or door and let someone look at them from 6 –10 feet away? It’s like this guy was saying the dog was in charge and he wasn’t. Don’t these dogs live with the handlers? If they are so out of control wouldn’t they be dangerous to their families/friends?

                      Was this guy just not in the mood to be bothered or should I refrain from ever asking any k-9 officer to see their dog in the future? What do you guys do when people ask to see your dogs?
                      Have you ever noticed? Anybody going slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac.

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                      • #12
                        Fastie, most of the dogs view the car as "theirs" and are protective of it. Most will bark like they are going to tear thing up if yo get close, especially if the handler isn't present.

                        He must have been having an off-day, because most of the handlers around here are proud to show off their dogs.
                        Optimistic pessimist: Hope for the best, but expect the worst.

                        Jack

                        [email protected]

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                        • #13
                          GSD's are very protective of "their" belongings. They also take all they see as "theirs". To keep the dog from exhibiting this behavior would be taking one of their instincts, and one of the most important ones, away from them.

                          Dogs are great as a PR tool, but they are still a working animal first. They're cool to watch and great to talk about, but that's where it ends.

                          They should still have a degree of sociability about them, but they shouldn't get used to strangers coming up and playing cutesey with them.

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                          • #14
                            I have a little 13 lb mutt who goes berserk if you get near my car when she's in it, especially if I've around... It's a natural thing for a dog to do. It has nothing to do with the handler's control of the dog. Stay away from any car that has a police K-9 in it.

                            I respect our dogs a lot. The handlers make a lot of arrests behing them and they are a valuable asset to any department. But they aren't pets and shouldn't be regarded as such. That doesn't mean they can't be taken in as pets after retirement, but it takes a little patience.
                            Jim
                            "Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne

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                            • #15
                              quote:
                              Originally posted by Fastie:
                              Funny this should come up, I was going to post a question about handler control over the dogs. The other night I asked this K-9 cop if his dog was in the car, it was dark so I couldn’t tell. He said yes so of course being the dog lover that I am I asked if I could see him. His response, ‘the dog doesn’t like it if people get close to the car’. Shouldn’t the handler be able to control the dog enough to open the window or door and let someone look at them from 6 –10 feet away? It’s like this guy was saying the dog was in charge and he wasn’t. Don’t these dogs live with the handlers? If they are so out of control wouldn’t they be dangerous to their families/friends?

                              Was this guy just not in the mood to be bothered or should I refrain from ever asking any k-9 officer to see their dog in the future? What do you guys do when people ask to see your dogs?

                              I agree with what every else has posted regarding this. My partner absolutly HATES it when people come up to HIS car. He will bark his fool head off. He's the same way with the kennel in the backyard. If someone strange comes into the backyard, he will let me know about it.

                              But on the other hand, if you take him out of his car or kennel, he is just fine. He doesn't really care to be petted, but he tolerates it. He doesn't get aggressive, he just walks away.

                              Hightower
                              No, you've got the wrong number. This is 9-1....2.
                              - Police Chief Clancy Wiggum

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