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Discussion Starter #1
I got a chance to be part of a discussion on the fly today at work about the use of animals in dangerous situations. There seems to be 2 takes on the argument and would be curious to know how others feel

Take 1: It's a good thing. These dogs do things a human cannot do. They also help protect the officer. They are a great tool to be utilized (I am shortening this up it was a long talk)

Take 2: It's cruel. Forcing an animal to risk its life when it has no comprehension of the danger it can be in. The animal didn't choose to be there, it was trained and forced to be there by people. It's just a tool to keep an officer from having to risk himself, and to do the things the officer is unwilling to do.

As you can imagine, it was a heated debate. I chose not to express my feelings because well some battles are better left to those that want them...

So what are your thoughts?
 

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I respect all that are out there. I think they all should have the same rights or penalties as human LE(I think this is changing?), which means that if a person kills a K9 officer, it should be treated the same as if they were human.

As much as I do respect them I would not place a dog with the department. It might be an honor and very we'll make some proud, it would bother me to no end of they got killed in the line of duty.
 

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I can't stand comments like "The dogs are forced into doing it". If you have to force a dog into that type of work, then it's not the right dog. We are not talking about someones cockerdoodle. These dogs were purposely bred for this type of work. These are the types of dogs that are not going to be happy living life on your couch getting fat.
 

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Well I can see why people may feel uncomfortable with it, but they are working dogs and they love to have a job!

Also would those same people have a problem with them being used for sheep herding? Both jobs are dangerous and putting them in harms way... They were bred to protect and work, personally I think many working dogs are happier doing that than being locked inside all day, not to mention they get to be with their partner everywhere they go... Which we all know is our velcro dogs' dream :) !!
 

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Do you guys feel that dogs are utilized because dogs are more expendable? Or that they are stuck with the tasks an officer is unwilling to do? I've heard a lot of this as of late.

The person on the side of no dogs in LE also mentioned that just because a dog was bred for a "purpose" doesn't mean that purpose should not change. Their example are dogs that were bred for bull baiting. Since I think most people think bull baiting is a bad thing, they are no longer used for that purpose. Or that back in the day, doctors used lobotomies to help those with mental disorders. The other argument is as a society, why have we not progressed in dealing with matters that pertain to LE. A dog wanting to work does not equate to a dog putting itself in immiment danger.

On the other side, another point they made about supporting dogs in LE is that dogs are not just utilized to protect officers, but for many other tasks also. It is better to lose a dog than to lose a person.

Edit to add: I haven't really decided if I have an opinion on this topic yet. I'm on the fence and looking for insight from others
 

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Dogs are used for way more than just doing things officers don't want to do. If that was the case they would train chimps to do paperwork.

Yes. Patrol dogs can be used because they are more expendable. Sorry it's the truth. But they are also quicker, they can catch a running bad guy way faster than a human can. They can track and hold a bad guy in the dark, where an office is at a huge disadvantage.

Not police dogs, but SAR dogs are often used in situations that are too dangerous for people. It's a hazard of the job. It's one I accept. But a search dog can cover s huge area with greater accuracy in shorter time in areas too dangerous for people.

And it's more than work for these dogs. It's need. Sure a husky can be a pet. But I dang guarantee you, they are happiest pulling a sled.
 

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I think they are utilized most often for their sense of smell,to find drugs and tracking.The mere presence of a dog can keep a situation from becoming violent.My hubby works with felons in a prison and has pictures of our dogs displayed in his classroom.All of the "students" have great respect for police canines and sometimes great fear.
 

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You can take this way further: breeding animals for meat, dogs for SAR (also puts their health /life in danger), pouched rats for land mine detection, horses in sports, fishing etc. Where is the line?
What I definitely am against is: bull fights, dog fights, **** fights etc; activities in which animals are put in danger on purpose.
Edit: the **** was done by the forum automatically as it seems to be a perverse word (I didn't mean to :) ; the synonym for "rooster"
 

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I'm a little new here to chime in on a subject that is likely to turn touchy, but my 2 cents.
Two of my uncles were police dog handlers and I farm, so not only work my dogs, but also raise livestock for meat and horses for sport, as has been mentioned.

My uncles can't smell cocaine. They can't run over 30 miles an hour and it takes them a long time to search a building.
Dogs are better at all those things.
I can't smell a raccoon from 40 feet away. Cows, goats and sheep can all run way faster than me. Pigs, especially ones I raise, are not instinctively afraid of me.
Dogs are better at all these things.

Sometimes, I ask my dog to do dangerous things. But I think that some of us, because of our work, remember that life is dangerous.
Domestication is a pretty sweet deal. Some dogs are asked to do dangerous things, but wolves have to battle for every meal they eat, that's a lot more dangerous. And it's not like they are being asked to do something dangerous so someone can get their sick, twisted jollies off it, like bull-baiting. They are doing a really important job, better than a human can, and saving lives.
 

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My dog is not law enforcement he is a cadaver dog I will tell you that my dog is never happier than when he's working all day long and I believe the same of LE dogs. I don't think dogs have a bucket list I don't think they have a visions of the future in the past in the same way that we do. they provide a valuable service and protect human life and do things that no machine can do with their nose. so I guess I think it's about one of the best things a dog can do
 

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Bomb sniffing dogs, narcotic sniffing dogs, search and rescue, protection dogs play a huge role in fighting crime. No one should under estimate the work of a police dog. Police dogs are not your average pet dog- they must have the stamina to work long hours there are few dogs that can make the cut. If these dogs ended up in a average pet home they would wind up at the pound because they have no outlet for all that energy and get into much trouble. Police dogs are born to do the work they are meant to do. Yes it's horrible when you hear a police dog was killed but average pet dog can get killed by a number of accidents. I think it's amazing to see these dog at work- cruel not at all. It would be cruel sticking these dogs inside a house all day doing nothing but getting a walk on the weekends. A long time ago many breeds were bred to do a specific job. Today there is not much need for sheep herding, cart pulling, retrieving birds etc. But they do have competitions and clubs that people enter with their dogs so the dogs can use their skills they were born with and keep their dogs Mentally challenged and physically occupied.
 

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[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Somewhere along the evolutionary process, competition became cooperation with a huge bag of dependency between man and dog. We both learned from it and we both took advantage of it. No other animal has a better or the same relationship with us. A modern world has turned up and raised the anti for both. How could anyone not want such a marvelous partner in LE as our 4 legged K9 friends. [/FONT]
 

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Dogs are a win-win in law enforcement. They preserve lives, both of the officers, and the criminals, as dogs are not considered deadly force -- you cannot call back a bullet. They use their scenting ability which is much better than anything we can build for the purpose. The dogs LOVE the constant interaction and training. Dogs DO NOT obsess about dying, they really do not understand it as we do, so it doesn't put them in the same category when it comes to the stress of a dangerous job.

Dogs can be injured and killed doing this work. We don't put 20k-50k into a project such as this with the idea that we are just going to get the dog killed. If a dog does get killed in the place of a human officer or civilian, than, while it is sad, it is also wonderful that by having the dog there a human life was saved.

This is a dog site and we love dogs. So my take is definitely going to have some people unhappy. But you asked what our take is on it. Dogs live up to 14 years. A human can live many times that. Dogs might play with their puppies, but they are not responsible for the support and well-being of their progeny or their parents or their siblings. Humans are.

It is sad when a k-9 doesn't come home from a shift. It is devastating when an LEO or Soldier is killed. Their children have to be raised without a mother or father, the spouse that remains goes through an awful time, the parents of the diseased, if they are still alive are forced to live through losing a child which is against how things ought to be in nature.

I do not think a criminal should be charged the same for harming or killing a k9 as they are for killing a human officer. I do not want to see people get the death penalty for killing a dog. Sorry. They are not the same as humans. Most human victims of violent crimes, including murder do not rate the death penalty for their assailants, but a dog should? No. I don't believe it.

As for having no choice, the dog has no choice in a lot of matters: what he eats, where he sleeps, who he lives with, whether he is allowed to procreate, or if he gets his nads nicked, and whether or not he is trained in anything, whether or not he sits in a crate, or is chained, or is kenneled.

The real reason animal rights organizations want to stop k9 programs is because using dogs to provide a vital function in a visible manner increases the desire of people to keep dogs as pets. It ensure the life of the institution of owning canines as pets and as helpers.
 

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I don't think I would have been able to keep my cool in a debate like that. Typical that those are the arguements for people against it. They are most definitely the kind of people who have shih tzus and yorkies. For GSD's/Mal's/ Dutch Shepherd,there is no better lifestyle for them.They LOVE what they do and most people couldn't find the amount of happiness and satisfaction in there entire life as these LE/military K9's do in one night on the job. I was in the Marines and I have never seen dogs as happy, mentally and physically as k9's. Thats when I became a german shepherd enthusiast. But If anything it's more cruel to deny these dogs a job and keep them as couch potatoes then giving them law enforcement kind of work..I need to stop before my blood boils lol
 

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Dogs are a win-win in law enforcement.

It is sad when a k-9 doesn't come home from a shift. It is devastating when an LEO or Soldier is killed.
Their children have to be raised without a mother or father, the spouse that remains goes through an awful time, the parents of the diseased, if they are still alive are forced to live through losing a child which is against how things ought to be in nature.

Thank you selzer. I was scanning through the bits and pieces of this thread and was just ready to leave when the 1st couple of lines in your post caught my eye.

Your Entire Post was great, I'm going to forward it along to some people who I know will appreciate it the way I did.
I'll just say thank you again.
 

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I was actively in LE for 30 years and am presently in my dept.'s Reserve Div. My agency requires nothing less than what the full-time officers do. That said, I'd rather have a K9 as a partner than ANY person
 
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