Why is police dog training trying to be kept secretive? - Page 14 - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 02-05-2011, 07:28 PM   #131 (permalink)
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They source dogs from them, and will let them train their dogs, but won't cross train with a civilian club
There are number of reasons. Our department is the same way. Any law enforcement can train with our department at no cost. We do not train with civilians for a couple of reasons.

1. Liability. Like it or not, this is a society that loves a good law suit. Lawyers can hear a potential law suit a mile away. someone gets hurt (and it is possible) The department is thought to have deep pockets - - viola' you have a law suit.

2. I'm the trainer for a large department. I can't charge people to train, I'm paid, by the state, to do that. If I train them for free (at the state's expense) then I'm competing with someone that is trying to train dogs for a living. I have no overhead, no expenses that come out of my pocket. Plus I don't have to take off work to train a dog, it is my work. It just isn't fair.

That is just a couple of the reasons.

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Old 02-05-2011, 07:55 PM   #132 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DFrost View Post
There are number of reasons. Our department is the same way. Any law enforcement can train with our department at no cost. We do not train with civilians for a couple of reasons.

1. Liability. Like it or not, this is a society that loves a good law suit. Lawyers can hear a potential law suit a mile away. someone gets hurt (and it is possible) The department is thought to have deep pockets - - viola' you have a law suit.

2. I'm the trainer for a large department. I can't charge people to train, I'm paid, by the state, to do that. If I train them for free (at the state's expense) then I'm competing with someone that is trying to train dogs for a living. I have no overhead, no expenses that come out of my pocket. Plus I don't have to take off work to train a dog, it is my work. It just isn't fair.

That is just a couple of the reasons.

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I can understand that. Would be nice to get use of their facilities though. Our city banned dogs from any athletic field so finding places to train is tough
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:58 PM   #133 (permalink)
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I realize this is an old thread, but in case anyone is just stumbling on it like I did, I can personally vouch for the fact that it's not all secret. One of our local K9 units trains with the local Schutzhund club regularly (sort-of separate but some stuff jointly, it's neat to watch), and their trainer also regularly works with local K9 SAR teams as a volunteer clinician. The latter isn't quite the same as watching them train, but we're still learning his methods and he talks a lot about training police dogs. Both the local K9 units (county and city) also regularly give demonstrations at public events like the State Fair or animal-related fundraisers (recently I saw them at a big fundraising event for a new facility for the county animal shelter), and actually try to bring a mixture of dogs from ones just starting in their training to experienced K9s.

A random member of the public wouldn't be allowed to sit in on one of their regular training sessions (except the weekend one they do at a public park with the SchH club), but I think that's more about liability and distraction than anything. Having curious onlookers at every training session would get very tiresome I'm sure, so a blanket ban makes sense to me. It's the same reason why they now restrict ride-alongs to people who have a reason--people who want to become LEOs or other first responders and need the experience, volunteers like police chaplains who do it as part of their training so they can understand what the officers are experiencing, that sort of thing. They used to allow anyone with an interest to go, but it became overwhelming and distracting (and thus dangerous) to the officers, so they restricted it to special circumstances.

Some methods they use in training might be bad publicity because training working dogs isn't always pretty, but honestly I think that's a pretty minor concern for my local police. I've actually seen one of their closed sessions and didn't see anything that most people would really have a problem with. I realize that's just one session and as others have said, training methods vary by department, but I'd be surprised if it's a PR thing for them. In fact, generally APD encourages interest in and questions about their training methods, as part of a strategy to rehabilitate their image (as a department they had many problems with corruption and excessive violence, to the point that the current chief of police was appointed specifically to reform the department, so it may be a bit of an unusual case, I will admit).

My mom is a police chaplain, I give clinics to the mounted police unit occasionally, and I'm a member of a K9 SAR team that works with the police trainer I mentioned, so that's where my knowledge is coming from, just for full disclosure.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:19 PM   #134 (permalink)
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One of the guarded secrets is how to effectively hide scent from a k9. Not too many ways but a major secret.

Also most cops only train with cops. The problem is that just because you are a LEO k9 trainer, that does not make you a good trainer.

Sometimes problems that are created at their facility are fixed by non LEO trainers.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:42 PM   #135 (permalink)
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In our area, there is quite a bit of crossover among our civilians and police...

Having said that, there are some who feel they are a bit elitist, and won't train with civilians at all...they probably don't want people to see their less than impressive dogs.

Some places simply won't let them train outside their "training circle"...they are not even allowed to train with other police that are not part of their clique.
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:33 AM   #136 (permalink)
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Any organization that has been in place for a length of time develops folks that take an eldest attitude about what they do and who they will do it with. I agree with D Frost about the logistical reasons depts. frown on or prohibit commingling of training with civilians. Even though I am granted access through my USPCA membership, and consulting in training, and a state vendor for procurement,....I still find officers that ask to train with me on the QT. it is what it is.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:13 AM   #137 (permalink)
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One of the guarded secrets is how to effectively hide scent from a k9. Not too many ways but a major secret.

.
I think that statement is funny. What we know about hiding scent from K9's is learned from those that are doing it. Drug runners can be very crafty in their concealment. There are no schools that I know that teach the proper way to hide drugs. While we certainly try to replicate what we see in the real world, it is that "real world" that is the teacher.

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Old 02-19-2013, 11:23 AM   #138 (permalink)
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LEO K9 handler here. I haven't read every comment but some are a bit disturbing to me.

As far as watching our training sessions, it wouldn't be beneficial to us if every person knew our dog's commands. We don't want the bad guy being able to "OUT" our dog and make him lay down. My working dog was trained in Israel and understands commands in Hebrew. Some are in Dutch, some in Polish, some German and so on. Some handlers make up their own commands just for the above mentioned reason.

Our dogs are chosen because they are super high prey & hunt drive. These dogs would make terrible pets but are well suited for police work. They need to be mentally stimulated numerous times throughout the day, even on our days off.

Our dogs typically hit the streets when they are 18-24 months old. These dogs LOVE to go to work. They hate it when their handlers have a class or court and are forced to stay at home.

These dogs are treated like NBA superstars; being with your dog 40 hours a week you notice little things about your partner. As soon as we see something irregular, they're taken to the vet and get superstar treatment and leading edge care.

Our GSD police K9s usually retire at the age of 7 and typically live with their handler to a nice ripe old age. We have lost several dogs to gunshots, getting hit by cars and one during a horrific accidents while riding in their K9 vehicles. However civilian dogs can also suffer these types of fatal endings. The big difference is when a regular dog dies, the funeral is not attended by 200+ police officers and another 100 K9s.

Police dogs do many functions that their human counterparts are unable to accomplish, and they love every minute of it.

If you want to see some police dog training in action, watch the show "ALPHA K9" on NatGeoWild. It is a very typical police/military K9 training facility.
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:43 PM   #139 (permalink)
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An aside to my earlier post:

I have found it is very important to not alienate civilians when it comes to LE in general, and especially with regard to K9. Civilians, and sport dog people in particular (at least in my area of the country) are some of the biggest advocates and supporters of LE dogs.
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:53 PM   #140 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tim Connell View Post
An aside to my earlier post:

I have found it is very important to not alienate civilians when it comes to LE in general, and especially with regard to K9. Civilians, and sport dog people in particular (at least in my area of the country) are some of the biggest advocates and supporters of LE dogs.
I would never alienate civilians, in fact I typically put on at least two K9 demonstrations each month; mostly for schools and scouts but have also done them at community meetings.

I just think having people watching/video-taping k9 training is about as smart as having them watch/videotape us practice our handcuffing techniques. It's much easier to defeat when you watch it a few times.
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