The Old Way To Handle K9s: Compulsion Wears Out Fast
When Phoenix police officer Vince Bingaman joined the department 10 years ago, compulsion was the name of the game.
With the types of strong dogs we deal with, thats how you got an animal to do something, he says. He was forced to do it and there was a negative repercussion if he didnt. When the dogs did well we praised them, but we were really into compulsion to force strong-willed dogs to do what we wanted them to do and it led to a lot of conflict.
The conflict between dog and handler led to many handlers sustaining serious bites. The idea of compulsion and punishment leading to increased bites is not limited to working police canines. Many pet dogs react the same way, especially when punishment techniques are employed in an attempt to modify aggressive behavior. The agency eventually turned to Bob Eden, who, over three months, helped transform the canine department with amazing success.
Compulsion adds a lot of stress to a dog and we had difficulty getting ideas across to the animal, says Bingaman. With compulsion, because the dogs were forced to do what we asked them to do, the results were quicker, but they werent long-standing. It was a cycle. The dog would work for us for a while and then there would be some negative side effects of the dog falling back into his old ways and then the compulsion would have to come back in and the dog would comply and the cycle would continue. When we trained the dogs in a more positive environment, the training stuck.
What Is A Correction
Something else to consider is how we think about corrections. What a human thinks is a correction may not be perceived so by a dog. My dogs simply thrill over the prospect of having their prong collars go on because it means we’re going for a stroll. The prong collar is simply there to ensure that my 85-pound dog doesn’t pull me down the street. He walks like a dream because the pressure was taught correctly during “leash-pressure training”. If you want to learn how, view our DVD and our course on leash training.
I also want to reiterate this statement:
The purpose of a correction in dog training is not to punish a dog for inappropriate or bad behavior, but rather to change a dog’s behavior.
Corrections are too often misunderstood or abused. It’s important to understand this subtle distinction. Your motive should be to deepen your bond with your dog, not weaken it.
Lastly, if you are one of those people from the second groupthose people who love dogs but don’t have the experience to realize all-positive training systems don’t workI would ask you to rethink your position. Be honest with yourself. Know what distraction levels really affect your dog. You can manage your dog by keeping it on-leash and away from these distractions, but what would you do if your dog accidentally got off-leash in the face of these distractions? What could happen to your dog in an uncontrolled environment? What could be the consequences?
What Functions Do Police Dogs Serve
Early police dogs served basic functions: They would accompany officers on foot patrol at nights, both to defend police and pursue or attack suspects in flight. Today, some police dogs may take oaths and become officers upon graduation from training academies, and others have their own badges.
Just as human police departments grew and law enforcement jobs began to encompass all parts of what we now consider modern police work investigation, detection, pursuit, and forensics among them police dogs became increasingly specialized. Depending on the size and resources of a given department or sub-unit, police dogs may serve either a combination of functions or be specially trained to accomplish a focused set of tasks.
The duties of police dogs in modern K9 units include crowd control, search and rescue operations, and tracking and pursuit of suspects and missing persons. Some police dogs are trained in the detection of illegal substances that range from narcotics to explosives to poisons.
You May Like: How To Become A Ci For The Police
American Pit Bull Terrier
Despite the negative stigma attached to the American Pit Bull Terrier, many U.S. police agencies have over the past few years been using American Pit Bulls as detector dogs. The reason for this is simple: price. A fully trained imported German Shepherd can cost as much as $20,000 for a single dog, whereas rescued Pit Bulls are extremely cheap. Thanks to a grant program run by police Universal K9, police agencies can have rescued Pit Bulls trained as single-purpose narcotics or explosive tracking dogs, free of charge.
This is a fantastic initiative that not only provides communities in the United States with a K9 resource that their local police may not otherwise have been able to afford, but it also helps reduce the number of abandoned American Pit Bulls that destroyed or end up spending their lives languishing in animal shelters.
When It Comes To Dog Training Our Standard Is Excellence And That Standard Is Non
We strive for perfection in everything that we do, we refuse to cut corners when it comes to training and customer service. We guarantee that when you start working with us you will receive the best dog training in Colorado!
Get in touch with us so we can go over any questions you have, your goals, or anything else that is on your mind. We are here to support you, your agency and your dogs.
Recommended Reading: Can I Get A Police Report For Someone Else
Training Helps To Establish You As Alpha
If your dog doesnt respect you, she isnt going to listen to you. This can quickly spiral into an out-of-control problem, especially for larger dogs like German Shepherds.
Its important to establish your position as pack leader within your household. Social order is an intrinsic part of life as a dog. As a dog owner, you need to be able to simulate this order in your home.
One component of establishing your role as alpha is the bond between you and your dog, but its equally important to assert your dominance. The relationship between the alpha and the rest of the pack isnt a mean or controlling one its a relationship based on mutual respect and survival. Your dog will recognize that youre in charge, and youll make sure she stays out of harms way.
If your pup feels that she needs your approval as the top dog in the group, shell naturally want to behave in a way that gains it. The result will be a well-trained dog that has no problem following your commands.
How Do I Make My Dog A Police Dog
The course to qualify as a police dog is arduous, and the dog and handler must undergo periodic booster training. The dog is run through simulations including being able to find hidden objects in a large area, tracking down a suspect, navigating environments such as schools and subways and detecting bombs.
Read Also: Is It Hard To Become A Police Dispatcher
What Method Is Used To Train Police Dogs
We can train them by using commands like sit down, stay, close, come, go, shake hands, etc. The training process will take some time depending on the breed of the dog and the way how they understand our commands. So in training it is must that we should be patient enough to make our dogs the best in obeying our orders.
How To Train Your Dog Like A Cia Officer
Lab in training
Not every dog is cut out for life as a CIA agent, but that doesnt mean every dog cant learn from their example! For those of us with more humble aspirations for our dogs, the CIAs training program offers tips to help train any dog, whether theyre in the field sniffing out explosives or on the couch sniffing out potato chips.
The CIAs 10 most important tips for training your dog:
You May Like: How Do You Know If Your Wanted By The Police
Check Your Ego At The Door
Ego often interferes with good dog training. Much of the often inhumane actions inflicted on dogs are based on the handlers need to feel dominant over the animal.
You can shoot yourself in the foot if you take it personally when the dog doesnt listen to you, says Bingaman. If a dogs not listening, I need to step back and look at how I need to adjust my training its the human end of it thats missing something. The dog is a simple-minded animal. Theres no conspiracy going on in the dogs head, no matter what people think.
The problem with ego is compounded by the general human misunderstanding that dogs have the logical capability to know right from wrong to a degree that they can make a logical decision. Dogs make behavioral decisions, not logical ones. The dog will only do what the dog wants to do. As White often explains it, whenever you ask a dog to do something, the first thought that goes through his mind is, Whats in it for me right now?
The dog has to have the desire to do it, reiterates Eden. If he doesnt get a reward for what hes doing, hell only do it to avoid punishment. When you have a dog whos constantly under stress and doing things to avoid punishment, he wont work as intensely, as efficiently, or as stress-free as one who does it because he understands and knows what he needs to do to get the desired result.
Off Leash K9 Training Of London
Off Leash K9 Training London is a world recognised dog training company specialising in private 1-2-1 lessons, residential training and behavioural consultations.
Our goal is simple: to create an unbreakable bond between you and your canine. We have locations throughout the world and UK, including right here in London. Our customised and proven training methods are known worldwide, with our founder being recognised as one of the Top 10 Dog Trainers in the World.
Training takes place in your area, with all the normal everyday outside distractions you and your dog encounter. OLK9 London provides an off leash lifestyle for you and your dog with more freedom to enjoy life. Our goal is for every dog to know what its like to have the freedom of being a dog. We want every owner to experience the confidence, joy and pride of having a dog that is reliable and consistently well behaved under any level of distraction.
We guarantee a more obedient pup with the ability to be off leash and distraction-proofed at the end of specific programmes. Your dog will be trained to have the same level of obedience as most police/military working dogs.
You May Like: What Happens If A Police Car Hits You
K9 Positive Training: Overview
1. Do your best to eliminate compulsion from your training. Look for every opportunity to reinforce your dog for increasingly better efforts.
2. Support your local police canine foundation theyre often a source of funding for police K9 units.
Stephanie Colman is a writer and dog trainer in Los Angeles. She shares her life with two dogs and actively competes in obedience and agility.
How Are Drug Sniffing Dogs Trained To Find Narcotics
Published April 26th, 2021 by 3DK9 LLC
You’ve probably seen drug sniffing dogs on television before. Consider this scene:
A flight is ready to take off in a few hours, and many passengers arrived early to check-in. Many of them give their luggage to the airport staff, put on a conveyer belt, and transported it to another room.
In that room, an officer and her black Labrador Retriever inspect the bags. The officer puts small shoes on the dog to jump onto the conveyer belt without hurting its feet. The officer walks the dog across the belt as the canine quickly sniffs each passing item.
The dog then comes across a purple suitcase and sits down. The officer takes the bag off the conveyer belt, sets it on the ground, and unzips it. She digs through the person’s belongings and finds a bag of cocaine they were trying to smuggle.
Drug sniffing dogs are an invaluable tool for law enforcement, but have you ever wondered how they get trained?
How Do You Train Drug Sniffing Dogs?
Training k9 detecting dogs is a simple matter that starts with play.
First, you play a game with the dog’s favorite toy. In most cases, the toy is a white towel with no scent. The dog becomes accustomed to playing with the toy and constantly seeks it out.
Eventually, you roll up drugs inside the toy. The dog learns to associate the smell of drugs with the toy.
This training method helps build a positive feedback loop with the dog and its toy. The dog seeks the illegal substance in hopes of getting a reward.
Don’t Miss: Where To Get Copy Of Police Report
Punishment In Dog Training Creates Conflict
For many dogs, especially those who are deliberately selected for their high-drive personalities and strong physical and emotional make-up, these techniques routinely create a conflict between dog and handler that results in a bite.
For White, the bite came after working with Astro, his first canine partner. The dog was willing to acquiesce to sit and perform heelwork, but was all too ready to fight back when White attempted to force him into a down. In an intense battle of wills, White sustained a bite that sidelined his training for two weeks. He returned to work a different dog and went on to finish the program as a Distinguished Honor Graduate.
was common enough that they taught you how to deal with it, says White. They taught you how to protect yourself . . . to string up a dog. If the dog came at you, you lifted up on the leash and kept the pointy end away from you until the dog stopped fighting. It wasnt an act of training it was an act of self-defense until the dog could no longer offer an offense.
One of the dangers of punishment, aside from the potential for physical harm and its ability to erode the dog-handler relationship, is the tendency for the handler to escalate out of frustration or a misguided desire for revenge.
Another media report recounted how, in June 2006, a frustrated Miami-Dade Police Sergeant, Allen Cockfield, delivered a lethal kick to his canine partner, Duke, in an ill-fated training session.
What Do German Shepherds Do In The Police Force
German Shepherd dogs can be used by the police for a variety of different purposes, and each of these will usually require specific training for the dog.
The length of this training will depend on the specific intended application, but it can vary from anywhere between 3 and 12 weeks.
German Shepherd dogs have been known to learn much more quickly than their handlers, and a lot of the training will be spent teaching the handler.
Some of the different applications that police dogs can be trained in are attack, search and rescue, and detection and explosives.
Read Also: When Do Gsd Puppies Stop Biting
Don’t Miss: How To Sign Up For Police Academy
How Long Does Police Dog Training Take
The amount of training police dogs require may vary depending on their job and jurisdiction, but typically the minimum that police dog training requires is eight months. In general, a dog is considered ready to be an active part of the police force after a minimum of eight months of training. However, specialty fieldwork can extend their training longer than a year.
In hindsight, training a German Shepherd to be a K-9 police unit does not take long. However, complex roles like explosives sniffing or cadaver sniffing may increase the time it takes to train.
Learning time varies for each task, dog, and trainer. Police often choose German Shepherds because they have no difficulty picking up on things the first time around, no matter their temperament.
Because K-9 pairs are already required to meet monthly training quotas, it can be beneficial to complete specialized training during this time. Officers can select which training is most beneficial to them, or their department may assign them a specialty based on necessity.
In many cases, narcotics and explosives detection are highly recommended additions. Not all dogs get additional certifications. However, it does make them more useful in the field. Certifications like explosives or narcotics detection make an officer and their unit more valuable.
Read Also: Pitbull Vs Wolf Who Would Win
Teach Your Dog Obedience Commands
The first thing you need to do is teach your dog basic obedience: Your dog must respond to all basic obedience commands. He should sit, lie down, and come to you 100% of the time when called. Your dog should heel without a leash. In addition, your dog should learn and respond to the bark and leave it commands.
Important note: If your dog does not follow these commands consistently, or if you are not able to teach her new commands, you need to stop trying to turn your pet into a personal protection dog.
Don’t Miss: How Do Police Investigate Drug Dealers