Excellence Travels Down the Leash

police dog trainingListen.  Every working dog handler is tempted to settle for mediocre.  It takes effort to excel.  To have a solid, reliable, confident team, handlers and trainers must invest time, energy, and effort.  If you are satisfied with average, your dog will be also.  If you demand excellence, lead towards excellence, and train with excellence, your dog will naturally respond.  Police dog training is more than the drama of a bite and suit.  Its purpose is to construct a team this is a finely-tuned machine which is capable of successfully accomplishing the task at hand.

Anybody can be mediocre.

Some handlers show up to in-service training but that’s it.  They don’t put themselves into it.  They don’t talk with trainers about how to improve, or share areas of concern.  These handlers are there to relax, to get off the street, to get out of the office, and have paperwork that shows they have “trained” for X hours.

Mediocrity shows itself in handlers having to repeat commands.  Training session after training session, they have the same problems, repeat the same commands, never overcoming weaknesses, never improving on procedure.  They don’t want to do an involved, lengthy building search, a difficult track, or narcotic searches that will demand attention or increase perseverance.

Police K9 training cannot afford mediocrity.  Too many lives are at stake.  Too much is riding on your success.  Too many defense attorneys are picking apart K9 teams in court.  The team will have to put in training time over and above what is paid and beyond the mandated minimum hours.

It is simply impossible to have a credible team by merely do what is typical, normal, or customary.  To have a dog that can consistently and reliably detect contraband, track a suspect, protect the handler, apprehend a suspect, while under the complete control of the handler, while off-leash, in situations you would normally expect on the street, you must make an investment.  There are building searches, area searches, vehicle searches, in all kinds of weather, in daylight and darkness.  Add in the case law by which the handler should operate, departmental protocol, and working with other officers, and you have an enormous challenge.  Excellence in these capacities must be earned; it doesn’t come by coincidence.

Hopefully your administration is truly K9-minded and will permit – and even encourage – that extra training which excellence requires.  Sit down with them and explain that your life and safety, the lives/safety of other officers, the general public, and credibility in court all mandate that you must not settle for average.  Mayors, chiefs, sheriffs, can be content for mediocre.  Many just want the image that a K9 team gives to the department without ever realizing the negative impact that failure can create.

Team up with a trainer that will go the extra mile.  He/she will answer your questions, truly work on your concerns, and nudge you to excel.  Their training will be realistic, thorough, and intensifying, consistent with department policy, tactical protocol, and court credence.  If your trainer can’t solve your problems, go to one who will.  Frankly, many a police K9 trainer will settle for average.

Get your certification where excellence is demanded.  Don’t settle for inferior standards, which an attorney can shred in minutes.  Some of the national accreditation standards are a joke.  High standards encourage your success and demand more than average.  Make your K9 unit the most respected segment of your department!

These criteria are what motivate us here at Conifer Canine.  If you see that we can help your K9 unit to excel, contact us today.  In-service training, ILEA recognition, high certification standards and much more await your K9 unit.