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Discussion Starter #1
I saw this news article about K-9 Odin. Deputy on working with K9: 'It's the best job at the sheriff's office' | KCBY Everybody is very proud of Odin. He has rounded up quite a few criminals.

I wonder about Odin living with the handler's family when off duty, but 'limited' to keep his drive up. What is meant by limited? Is this standard practice? Where do working K-9s usually live?
 

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Our PDs dogs live with their handlers and many spend time in the house. However, they all also have a kennel in the backyard where they spend down time. Part to just relax away from the handler and quite a bit to stay acclimatized to the weather they work in. A dog that lives in climate controlled environments (house and car) all winter isn't going to last long tracking in -40o weather.
 

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Good question and the point about being used to weather makes sense . Never thought about it.
 

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I would guess it would be mostly or at least partly to be sure the dog gets enough rest and has plenty of energy to work. I even kennel my dog to be sure he is resting and to be sure he is sufficiently rested before a big event, and any work day might be a big event for a k9.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
This is what the sheriff said in the article that I am wondering about. Sure he wants him to rest but he says-
" "Some people don't understand that, but for him, work day is a stressful day mentally and physically," says Slater, who also houses, bathes and feeds him, providing 24/7 care for his furry partner.
But Odin's time at home doesn't mean time to play fetch.
"It's our family, so he has some interaction with them, but it's limited,” Slater says. “But that's the important thing - to keep their drive where it needs to be, to come out and do the job that they do."

They don't want to reduce his drive. He limits Odin's interaction with his family. Does hanging out on the couch reduce a dog's drive? I cant ask Officer Slater so I am asking police dog trainers here.
 

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In a dog that is driven to work and always pay attention to his handler: it might. The point is to let the dog rest both physically and mentally. He may be laying on the couch but at the same time is he tracking what his family is doing and staying ready to jump in and participate? That won't be as restful as being completely off duty.

Does the family include squealy little kids that are always running around and may trigger the dog's drives? You don't want to have to keep correcting the dog for following those drives it needs to work in inappropriate situations. That can kill drive, too.
 

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I see that a k9 officer in my neighborhood put a nice kennel in his backyard. Actually it might have been back there all along but the dog wasn't in it during the day when I walk by. I only noticed it when the K9 barked at my dog getting walked past his yard. It makes sense that the dog needs time to just chill out and be a dog.
 

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I sent Canine Officer Slater an email through the Coos Bay Sheriff's office asking this question directly. I will fill you in when I get an answer. Thanks
 

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A working dogs handler needs to remain the most important person in their lives. Everyone's family situation is different but rarely is a dog just hanging out on the couch and not receiving attention, affection, treats, playtime and if needed, management by others in the household and that's not ok. "Limited" can mean anything.

I train guide dogs and although the work and temperament vary greatly, even their handlers are instructed to limit downtime with other members in the house... this can be for the dogs benefit (crate or tie down in a quiet room) or for the benefit of the team / working relationship / performance. Dogs in general need consistency and boundaries.

If hanging out at home playing with the kids becomes more exciting or stimulating to the guide than working for and with the handler, that wouldn't be good.
 

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Coos Bay Oregon? Might be one of my dogs.

The contact is limited because there can be no confusion . If an "order" is given the dog must comply.
If significant other or the kids say sit and the dog ignores and keeps on walking - the dog learns disobedience .
No nagging, clear expectations with follow through, one person in charge .
Play and reward come from the handler.
They are not "pets" . They are social and able to transition to "pet" quite nicely after retirement .
I had one at Metro Toronto, black dog Keno --- when he retired at 11 he was the joy of his handler and family which included young children .
Old Keno missed his job so he went along to the training fields and spent the day in the staff sgts. office , greeted by all the k9 handlers and once in a while in a training session was able to ride in the cruiser with the sirens going .

Heaven. He thought he was living the life . Still needed - .
 

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I saw this news article about K-9 Odin. Deputy on working with K9: 'It's the best job at the sheriff's office' | KCBY Everybody is very proud of Odin. He has rounded up quite a few criminals.

I wonder about Odin living with the handler's family when off duty, but 'limited' to keep his drive up. What is meant by limited? Is this standard practice? Where do working K-9s usually live?
K-9's and all dogs should have a safe, secure place to go. Especially, Police K-9's as there is a tremendous amount of liability involved in handling one. A kennel is a necessity for a working dog, a safe place to secure the dog and a place where the dog can get some relaxing down time.

It seems all of my dogs have always been high drive and have lived in my house as pets. It depends on the dog and handler. Some dogs are fine living in the house and still have high drive. Other dogs may have their drive satiated by spending too much time with their handler and family. Boomer is fine in the house and grew up in my house. He has always had enough drive for 4 GSD's and 2 Malinois. Part of that is how I raised him and how I worked him.

I had a dog in my unit that was so spoiled by his handler at home that the dog never really worked up to it's potential. When a dog is praised, loved on and gushed on why work when the rewards are higher on the couch for nothing. This dog slept in the handler's bed and was totally spoiled. What could have been a decent Police dog just never made it. Then the handler wonders why the dog doesn't find dope or people and is marginal at best as a working dog?

It is really dependent on the handler, the home environment and the dog. Some dogs need to be kept in a kennel and have limited interaction with the family and civilians. A police dog is not "Lassie" and Lassie would be a terrible Police dog. I will say that if a dog needs to be kenneled to maintain drive or to build drive then there is an issue in the management of the dog. Boru is kenneled when he is not with me, not for drive building but because he doesn't play well with others. :wink2:
 

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I have kept all my civilian police dogs inside when at home. I do not have any children so it posed no problem. The only other people they listened to was the wife and the handler who could handle him in the event of an emergency on the job.


People who came to the house to visit knew they were working dogs and on more than one occasion I had to remind them they were working dogs and not pets. I wanted my dogs neutral to the visitors not over friendly.
 

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My husband is on the Canine Unit here in Ontario ( Canada ). His Canine Partner is part of our family. He knows when it's time to work and play. We have 2 other GSDs and cats. We do not kennel/crate and never have. We have family functions that we take all of them to. Family and friends have no problems with him. My daughter is also on the Canine Unit. She has daughters that are 3 and 4.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
 

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My husband is on the Canine Unit here in Ontario ( Canada ). His Canine Partner is part of our family. He knows when it's time to work and play. We have 2 other GSDs and cats. We do not kennel/crate and never have. We have family functions that we take all of them to. Family and friends have no problems with him. My daughter is also on the Canine Unit. She has daughters that are 3 and 4.
Thanks for your post, it helps to dispel the narrative that a dog that is active K9 should not be family dog. K9 dogs vary just like people, some are excellent family dogs, and some are better suited for kennel life.
 

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Thanks for your post, it helps to dispel the narrative that a dog that is active K9 should not be family dog. K9 dogs vary just like people, some are excellent family dogs, and some are better suited for kennel life.
You are very welcome. Our dogs before going through training are not allowed to be aggressive. If they show any aggression they fail and are out.
 

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My husband is on the Canine Unit here in Ontario ( Canada ). His Canine Partner is part of our family. He knows when it's time to work and play. We have 2 other GSDs and cats. We do not kennel/crate and never have. We have family functions that we take all of them to. Family and friends have no problems with him. My daughter is also on the Canine Unit. She has daughters that are 3 and 4.

which department is that ?
 
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