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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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advice??

Good afternoon,

I am currently in school for Criminal Justice. I do online schooling, and also work full time at a local tool shop near where I live. I am a certified dog trainer, and have trained and worked with dogs in all different aspects. My boyfriend and I currently have 5 coonhounds and a border collie. I have trained our one coonhound pup completely on how to track and trail a raccoon, as well as how to tree (give an alert) when he has found it and put it up a tree for us. I have also trained my border collie in AKC agility, and he already has a title on him. He was also a certified therapy dog (I say was, because we just do not have the time for it anymore). I also have a German shepherd that lives at my grandparents (I "trained" him to be a guard dog for them, he didn't really need trained though haha). I have also trained numerous other dogs, as well as owned numerous other dogs. I also used to have a dog that I was training in Search & Rescue, but she ended up getting rehomed because she did not get along with my other dogs very well. I am hoping to apply to the municipal police academy when I turn 21 (June 2014), and then after I make it through the academy, and get into a department, I would LOVE to become a part of a K9 Unit (my passion is dogs, if you couldn't tell haha). I was just wondering what advice everyone has on how I can achieve my dream. I know that it is going to be A LOT of hard work, but I am not stopping until I have accomplished it. I WAS supposed to go into the air force, but I injured my knee in soccer, and was unable to go. I was going to do Special Forces there and attempt to become a K9 handler there as well. I just want some advice so that I can be the best candidate I can possibly be. Thank you very much for your time!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 04:57 PM
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Try to get a part time or summer job with a kennel that does K9 training. That will give you an idea of what is involved and also practical experience.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 05:31 PM
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I would recommend reading everything you can about obedience, tracking, apprehension and detection. Emphasize your focus to learn as much as you can about detection and tracking...that is a large percentage of police K9 work. There are some great book and video resources, and you will soon become educated enough to be able to separate the positives from the negatives.

As a previous posted stated, try to find a kennel or training group nearby to learn from, and in particular, try to find a training mentor. Train some dogs, gain some experience. Immerse yourself in dogs.

Attend seminars, and gain some knowledge outside your local area, if you can. Learn from police and sport people, in various venues...they all have much to offer.

Above all, concentrate on your education, and prepare yourself academically, mentally, and physically to be the best candidate for law enforcement that you can be. I have run and assisted with many hiring processes, and I have had people show up for testing that cannot meet the minimum standards, that are not ready for testing. If you are eventually hired, bear in mind that it may be 3-5 years on the job before you do get an opportunity to test for/work K9. Attempt to join an agency that has a very active K9 program, to increase your chances.

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Last edited by Tim Connell; 03-03-2013 at 05:33 PM.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you both very much! I have been reading information online, and have participated in a few ride alongs. I am hoping to somehow get a chance to meet with our city's K-9 unit at some point to gain some more insight into the career.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 08:22 PM
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First you become a police officer. then you learn how to be a police officer. You show you are ready to work in a specialized unit by becoming among the best. I don't want anyone in my canine unit that can't handle the basic functions of a police officer, better than the average officer. Then you let your desire to become canine known. Just as a tip, the last thing I want to hear from a prospective handler is how many dogs they have trained. I have never asked that question when interviewing perspective handlers.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-04-2013, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thank you. I know some K9 handlers I have spoken to have told me that it would be a good thing to let an interviewer know that I have trained dogs, especially since I have trained them in different aspects such as agility and tracking. Thank you for the advice though, I am just trying to get as much as I can so I have it for when I apply to be a handler years down the road.
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