Choosing your K9 Partner - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-30-2014, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Choosing your K9 Partner

Just a broad general question for any active or retired K9/Military handlers. What was the process for the choosing of your K9? Did you have a set idea of what you wanted going into the selection of the dog, was the dogs pedigree ever looked at (or even needed), did you have anyone assisting you in helping select the right kind of dog that you could handle? Also what was the selling point that made you say "Yup thats the one"

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-30-2014, 04:09 PM
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In most cases I believe the trainer or agency that has been contracted, pairs the dog with the handler. He/she has little or no input in that decision.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 11:39 PM
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My husband is k9 and he had an idea of what he wanted when he went to pick his dog. But once he got there his dog picked him.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Freddy View Post
In most cases I believe the trainer or agency that has been contracted, pairs the dog with the handler. He/she has little or no input in that decision.
This is correct. The handler doesn't get to "pick out" his dog.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-23-2014, 11:20 AM
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It really depends on the department. Some smaller PD's only have one or two handlers and no "trainers," and the handlers go and pick the dog from a vendor. In our Department, myself and another trainer select the potential K-9's. We do bring the new handlers with us and they watch the evaluation testing and selection process. We will narrow it down to the most desirable dogs and rank them. We will then allow the new handler some input and discuss his / her options. I do take into consideration matching the right dog with the right handler, even family considerations. But, at the end of the day we are not looking for "Lassie." I want strong dogs and will make the final decision. New handlers that have a preference for breed, color or size do not get to choose.

A few years ago, I had a new handler that was a GSD guy and wanted a GSD in the worst way for his K-9 partner. I told him before we left on our trip to test dogs, that he probably wouldn't get a GSD, but he would get a good "working dog." He got a Dutch Shepherd and was thrilled.

I know other agencies where the trainers select the dogs and pair them with the handlers; the handlers have no say in the selection process.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-24-2015, 03:21 PM
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My former agency (now retired) the potential handlers would obtain their dog (GSD or Rottie, at the time) and then provide all training and then if a slot was available they would qualify themselves and their partners. Once that's accomplished the agency would select the K9 team they wanted and they went to work.
That was quite a few years ago and I know now that the agency has GSD and Malinois.
As far as the selection and certification process goes I would imagine that's all changed.
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