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Old 01-05-2013, 08:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Co-worker for a dog

My husband is in law enforcement and recently told me the k-9 unit will have an opening soon and he wants to apply. The dogs they use are German shepards or Belgian Malinois and he found out although we have a fenced in yard the state pays for a small chain link fenced area, concrete and a dog house because the dog is a "work" dog and not a pet for the family so it would have to stay outside. I do not agree with animals staying/living outside and wonder if it really would interfere with work to have him inside? Wondering on opinions on this before we go ahead and do this.

On a side note today would have been Zeus's 3rd birthday, I still miss him so much and wish he was here to celebrate his birthday...Happy Birthday Zeus I miss your physical presence but you are always in my heart.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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In the UK from what I understand police dogs live within the family, as part of the family, the reason being it helps them bond with the handler and the handler bond with the dog.
Making them a cohesive unit rather than something disjointed.

Perhaps your local police department consider a dog to be no more than a tool such as a baton, transferable, particularly if the bond between handler and dog is tenuous to say the least through disassociation/seperation.

I would just like to add, that living with a family also helps the dog with general social skills.
When working they are all business, when at home relaxing they are simply pets able to function within the world of people.

So sorry about Zeus, I can only hope that the pain you still feel gives way to nothing but happy memories soon.

Last edited by Toby'shuman; 01-06-2013 at 04:19 AM..
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You know that's something you should clear up with the K9 commanding officer. You sure don't want go break the rules and your husband get into trouble. Maybe he could ask the other k9 officers what they do.

I'm with you about dogs being permanently outside and can see no reason bringing one inside would hurt their work ethic. But that's just my gut feeling based on zero experience with a trained working dog. I will say one thing...FURRRR!!!

Sorry about Zeus...just time will help
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaH View Post
You know that's something you should clear up with the K9 commanding officer. You sure don't want go break the rules and your husband get into trouble. Maybe he could ask the other k9 officers what they do.

I'm with you about dogs being permanently outside and can see no reason bringing one inside would hurt their work ethic. But that's just my gut feeling based on zero experience with a trained working dog. I will say one thing...FURRRR!!!

Sorry about Zeus...just time will help
Hell, yeah, my friends Mali's are hairy beasties.

Saying that, my friends Mali who is trained up to police standard lives inside and it doesnt affect him.
Neither does it affect her Boxer drug dog or her Mali Search and Rescue dog. So I really cannot see where the police department who insist their dogs live outside are coming from.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Heck, take the free dog house and bring the dog inside often, to be with family (during non police work hours).
- just bend the rules (a little), and get the k-9 unit job / help the dog, be its best...and talk to the boss

Sorry Zeus's, and your loving family misses you.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I would not advise "bending" the rules. Agree with it or not, if your husband's dept requires that the dog be kenneled, then the dog should be kenneled. Perhaps if you have a basement or spare room where you could set up an appropriately sized kennel / run that could be an alternative to being kept outside while still being kenneled, but I wouldn't deviate from their protocol without permission.

As far as living in the house interfering with the actual work, for most probably not, for others it might. Of course there are working dogs that can live in a house with a family / kids just fine, but there are also plenty that for various reasons cannot, safety / liability issues included.


As far as the comment that keeping a dog kenneled detracts from the bond between dog and handler, not true. For some reason people seem to think that keeping a dog kenneled means that you ignore it 97% of the time. Provided the dog is getting the proper daily amount of training / exercise / interaction from it's handler, there is no bonding issue.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree with the other posters. You can not and should not "bend" the departments rules. It could cost your husband his job or his k9 career.

Our local depts k9s are kept in the house with them as a family. But every department is different and has there reasons why. It would be best for your husband to ask the other k9 handlers their reasoning for choosing to do it this way and educating himself as much as possible with the pros and cons of both sides so that he can enter a productive and active conversation. And help change the policy if he so chooses.


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Old 01-06-2013, 10:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
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As far as the comment that keeping a dog kenneled detracts from the bond between dog and handler, not true. For some reason people seem to think that keeping a dog kenneled means that you ignore it 97% of the time. Provided the dog is getting the proper daily amount of training / exercise / interaction from it's handler, there is no bonding issue.
I personally do not think a dog is better off living outside in a kennel, no matter what breed they are from. Dogs are social animals and a kennel by the very nature of it being seperate/outside the home surely restricts the amount of social interaction a dog receives from its humans. By interaction I do not mean exercise/training I mean being in ones presence. And a dog kept in the home (well you would expect it to be this way) is surely in your presence more than a kennelled dog.

However, this said, I accept not all dogs are suitable to live with a family.

But then, would such a dog make a good police dog? They surely have to be able to function in any situation, behaving themselves, acting as ambassadors for the police force by their exceptional temprements and behaviour.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Personally I would feel HORRIBLE leaving that poor dog out there. Think about those longing eyes locked behind a chain link fence begging you "take me with you" when you walk away to go into the house. Think about the nice warm home in the winter, the nice cool home in the summer, no flies or gnats/mosquitoes to bother you and then think about your partner left out of that. I couldn't....

But I'm not the one having to abide by the rules....
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I know in my area K9 dogs are part of the handlers family during off hours. Not that K9 Units have off hours in my rural area, they are on call 24/7 lol.

I am still aiming at law enforcement for my career, in Ontario, getting a job as a police officer is extremely competitive. Being part of a K9 team would be a dream come true for me, I am sure it is also for you husband. If he does get the job, I definitely wouldn't bend any rules or regulations the department has in place, it wouldn't be worth putting his carrer in jeopardy.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I know that in a lot of states (or maybe it is localities?), K9 dogs live with the families... they are trained to be in 'normal' mode when they don't have their certain collar or harness or other work-mode "uniform" on, and the socialization is a healthy part of their being able to interact with the public normally and calmly - which is vital. I'm kind of surprised that a K9 unit in this day and age would purposely want to isolate such a dog - it makes no sense - the dog will be lonely, feel disengaged, ---do they keep their human police officers in isolation when they are off duty?
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Despite what we think, there really is nothing to be done.

As the saying goes, 'rules are rules.'

And the rules are this particular police forces dogs are to be housed outside.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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****** playing devil's advocate here, but does not mean I agree with leaving a police k9 outside or away from it's family *******

So some others things that need to be added to this is that most police depts look at K9's like the tool they are suppose to be. The easiest comparisons: the officers gun, duty belt or cruiser. It is department property (in most cases) and is to be used to save lives, fight crime and for the over all good of the community and dept.
- an officer would not go home and leave his dept issued handgun on the counter for his family to use
- an officer would not go home and allow his wife/family member to drive his take home crusier
- an officer needs/has to be willing to throw his dog into anything, including in the line of fire or some other deadly sitituation. Most of us pull out pets out of danger, officers have to push there's in. Hence a tool in the dept's eyes. Good handlers love their dogs, but great handlers know they have to use them and possibly lose them

A police K9 is not the same as a "family" dog for numerous reasons. (i own a retired police k9 mali, so I speak from the heart and trials of this.
- there is no "on/off" switch for a fully trained k9, (it may be the same for a protection/working dog?). There is more like full bore and low idle. That dog is always on.
- That dog is always on on some level, and who is the only person it is trained to listen to? Probably not you or your children. What happens when something sets it off (that a "family" dog would never react to) and the handler is not there to control it? Hell and lawsuits and heartaches that's what.
* Diessel (my boy) barely listens to my husband, barely. I'm alpha, I'm handler. If there are people in my house he is crated, this includes close family like my parents. Not because he is a loose cannon, but because he was breed, raised and trained as a tool.
- I'm not saying they can't be family dogs, I'm saying dept's are looking out for their own asses, the officers and the familys. Like I posted earlier my local dept encourages the dog to sleep inside and be with the family. But they understand and the family understands this dog is a tool and will never be a "family" dog in the normal sense of the word.

We all love our dogs and couldn't imagine our dogs outside without us. Their "job" is to fill our homes with love, laughter and a lifetime of memories. A "k9's" job is to protect it's handler, catch the bad guy, find the drugs and step into the line of danger. 2 completely different lifestyles, 2 completely different "family" dogs.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Not to mention that the department could probably find this discussion, especially since your last name is your username(I think), your location is in the details, as well as the dogs names, that could cause problems if rules are being broken.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone, I am going to talk more about it with my husband but I believe it is liability because the dog is owned by the state not the handler. The dog I believe is 2 years old and trained when recieved by the department. Also, he tells me that the other officers do bring their dogs in if its too cold or hot but other than that, they stay outside.

I also worry about aggression with this bc our lab is a male and would be in the house while the work dog would be in a pen outside. The co-workers do have other dogs and seem not to have problems...but not sure I want to risk that also. It's going to be a long thought out discussion with my husband before we decide.
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