RCMP Police Dog Service

The RCMP police dog service is recognized as the premier police dog service in the world. Their history goes back to 1908 when privately owned dogs were occasionally used by members to assist them in their investigations. This use of man’s best friend worked out so well that in 1935 the RCMP Dog Section was formed. RCMP Police Dog Services only uses purebred German shepherds for General Duty teams. Other breeds may be used for Specialty Detection teams. All RCMP dogs are taught to protect their handlers, themselves or to apprehend upon command. Any that display reluctance to do so are not accepted. The German shepherd breed displays the versatility, strength and courage that makes it eminently suitable for Canadian police work. Their heavy coats allow them to work under extreme climatic conditions.In order to become a police doghandler with the RCMP you have to be a good investigator, be able to work independently, and be self motivated. You have to be a regular member of the RCMP. You have to be physically fit and maintain a fitness lifestyle. A good police dog handler is patient and understands that training takes time. He/she is willing to take the time to achieve results. To get into this is intelligent and respects that his actions will have an effect upon the dog. A good handler has an intuition as to what inspires the dog to respond to his commands. Finally, a good dog handler respects his dog not just as an asset or possession, or as a way of gaining recognition by winning trophies, but as a living, breathing and utterly unique product of nature. Some of the duties of include working along side of Tactics Teams, Emergency Response Teams, Explosive detection units, Provincial Search and Rescue organizations, Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association, Canadian Border Services Agency. Dogs are trained to detect human-laden scent articles, weapons, explosives and narcotics. Police dogs also assist in location of lost persons, tracking criminals, VIP protection, crowd control, hostage situations and last but far from least, community relations. The cost of training each dog can exceed $100,000.A Police Dog Story:On September 7, 1977, at 3:12 a.m., an alarm sounded at the Eaton’s store in downtown Red Deer. A police car on patrol in the vicinity arrived at the scene within seconds. At first glance no point of forced entry could be determined indicating that it was merely a false alarm. However, upon closer examination, the entry point was located behind a large wire fence enclosing the Garden Centre. The store manager and RCMP personnel were unsuccessful in locating anyone in the store. However, due to the initial speedy arrival of police officers, it was felt that the intruder had not had time to escape and Cpl. Danforth and his dog Shado were called upon for assistance.Shado started in the basement storage area and worked his way up to the second floor furniture display. In the drapery department Shado started to pace back and forth indicating that he detected someone. The area was searched thoroughly but nothing was amiss. Shado, meanwhile, persisted to indicate someone was present and he stood up between some drapes with his paws pushing against a wall. Brushing these aside, a small door was located in a false wall. The door was opened and the area searched visually. Still nothing. Shado entered the area and there, lying on the floor out of sight behind a radiator, was the culprit. Through their incredible sense of smell, police service dogs have located drugs in schools, bus and train station lockers; in luggage; hidden behind false walls; stashed in automatic washers and dryers; buried beneath ground; and concealed in various areas of automobiles, boats and airplanes. There is almost no limit to the ingenuity displayed by persons trying to hide a cache of drugs, but it is not mach for a police service dog. If a drug is anywhere near, a dog will find it.

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