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Old 09-30-2010, 07:19 AM   #31 (permalink)
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I know how they train K9's and it's not pretty. It's why the dogs are wired and hyper, and they don't live very long.
Being a police trainer and K9 Unit manager, it would be easy to take offense to such ignorance. I don't but would like to know exactly where you get your information. I have a 50 dog unit. The current average age of my "fleet" is 6. I just retired a bomb dog that was 13. At 11 he placed third in the nation in a national competition. He was actually tied for second. The tie breaker was the actual time it took the dog to complete the search. He was beaten by a 3 year old malanois by 12 seconds. I've had many dogs work into their 10th and 11th year.

Of course police trainers select dogs that are high drive, high energy. While there has been, on occasion, trainers that go overboard, regardless of what people think, they are rare and usually dealt with. Not to sound melodramatic, the dog is relied on and must be able to perform. What we do is not sport, it's not competition. We don't work with dogs as a hobby or just for the fun of it. While indeed, there is a special bond between a police officer and their dog, they still have the mind set to send the dog into a situation that could well cause serious injury or death. Yes, there may well be some aversive training when training police dogs. I think most would be surprised however, well over 90% of all police dog training is using nothing but positive reinforcement.

I've fought this battle my entire career of seeing police trainers maligned with the "yank and crank" philosophy. Generally those tales are told by the person that knew a person who once talked to the mechanic that was third cousin to a police canine officer. Then it's reinforced by some bonehead police trainer doing something profoundly stupid.

More to the thread. With few exceptions ie, some tactical moves, explosives used and search techniques, there is very little secretive about police canine training. I'm a state agency. People are permitted to attend, to view, our training. There isn't any double naught spy activities going on, unless it's double naught spy activities. That would be work though, not training. Dog training is not rocket science. There isn't any smoke and mirrors. The basic principles pretty much apply across the board. Response, reward = response. No different than teaching a dog to go through weave poles, retrieve a down bird, pursue and hold a suspect. It's all pretty much the same.

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Old 09-30-2010, 09:16 AM   #32 (permalink)
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I have also trained with many K9 officers over the years, both participating in their actual K9 training and with them visiting SchH clubs (which was done for *training* not some PR scam) and some of the claims made in this thread really have my mind boggled at where people get these ideas. Sure, there may be a few cases of that sort of thing here and there, but it is far from common, much less the norm.

Thank goodness David saw this thread and responded with a dose of reality. And good posts by Lucia too based on some actual first hand experience.

Given the ignorance, ridiculous theories and negative propaganda being passed around in this thread as "fact" I really DO think it obvious why K9 departments aren't inviting every Tom, **** and Harry out to watch their training.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:49 AM   #33 (permalink)
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uh...you can't watch police training in general around here, K9 or otherwise.

Wolfiesmom - there are a lot of ways to train dogs, many that you likely wouldn't agree with. Doesn't make it right or wrong, just makes it different. The dogs here certainly aren't abused, and they definitely don't lead shorter lives. They are retired and most here live our their lives in the homes of their handlers.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:51 AM   #34 (permalink)
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I will tell you where I got my info. I can see that different countries and different states employ different training methods. I am only saying what I have encountered, or been told in my area. I come from a law enforcement family. My father, 4 of my uncles, and my hubby are all police officers or retired police officers. We have a lot of family friends and one of my uncles that are or were K9 officers. The breeder where I got my dog, Chief, was an active K9 officer, as well as breeding dogs for show, one of his dogs won top dog in the USA many years ago. He also bred dogs for pets, and bred dogs for the police dept. My hubby and the breeder ,whom I mentioned but passed away in an accident, both work for a dept of 2500 officers. My dad and uncles all worked for smaller departments. One of my uncles worked K9 for the military. My grandfather breeds tracking hounds. This is where I get my information from. Just to let everyone know that I am not just making things up as I go along, or passing something along from my mechanics' cousin's friends mother in law who knows a K9 officer. Dfrost, I am glad to hear that in your dept the dogs are treated and trained well. I am not making a blanket statement of all dog units, just what I have learned and seen here over the years.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:55 AM   #35 (permalink)
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It must be a very, very small dept if they are getting their dogs as puppies from a private breeder.

That could possibly explain where they get their ideas on training. However, you say several times "people in your family" and etc, but in reality how many direct family members do you talk to on a regular basis that are actual K9 handlers. Either way, one family who likely passes down methods to one another isn't an accurate picture of how K9's in this country are trained.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:58 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rerun View Post
uh...you can't watch police training in general around here, K9 or otherwise.

Wolfiesmom - there are a lot of ways to train dogs, many that you likely wouldn't agree with. Doesn't make it right or wrong, just makes it different. The dogs here certainly aren't abused, and they definitely don't lead shorter lives. They are retired and most here live our their lives in the homes of their handlers.
I didn't say anything was right or wrong. I was just saying that the average citizen, and especially the animal rights groups would find the choke method of training repulsive and abusive. If they open that part of the training up the the public, there would be an outcry from some of these groups. This is certainly not the only reason for not showing the training methods, but part of it. The K9 dogs that I have known , the longest lived one was 10. Your average GSD pet has a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years. These dogs are under high stress on the job, just like their human counterparts. Human officers suffer illnesses and many die younger due what the amount of job stress does to the body.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:00 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfiesmom View Post
The K9 dogs that I have known , the longest lived one was 10. Your average GSD pet has a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years. These dogs are under high stress on the job, just like their human counterparts. Human officers suffer illnesses and many die younger due what the amount of job stress does to the body.
Your original post made it sound as if these dogs were dying way younger than 10 due to abuse by the handlers. I think that might be what has people up in at your post.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:01 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Rerun View Post
It must be a very, very small dept if they are getting their dogs as puppies from a private breeder.

That could possibly explain where they get their ideas on training. However, you say several times "people in your family" and etc, but in reality how many direct family members do you talk to on a regular basis that are actual K9 handlers. Either way, one family who likely passes down methods to one another isn't an accurate picture of how K9's in this country are trained.
I didn't say that they are getting the dogs as pups. I said I know a K9 officer that was also a breeder, that bred dogs that police depts used. This breeder has since passed away. Idk if you consider a dept of 2500 officers small or not.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:03 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Your original post made it sound as if these dogs were dying way younger than 10 due to abuse by the handlers. I think that might be what has people up in at your post.
Yeah I probably worded it wrong
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:06 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Unless he is breeding, raising, and putting the preliminary training on the dogs it's hard to believe the dept is buying dogs from him. That is very rare. Most buy green dogs; puppies are a crapshoot and they don''t have the time and money or inclination to invest in a bunch of pups that may not make it.

There are a lot of breeders that say they sell dogs as K9's and for the most part, they are lying.
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