The Vancouver Police Department raised more than a few eyebrows recently when their Facebook photo of a K-9 team rappelling down a building face went viral. The caption read, “Hey dad… This rappelling? Yuh, I’m not a fan.” In Canada they are called Police Service Dogs rather than K9s, and this dog is named PSD Niko.
Some people were a little less than thrilled by what they saw as exposing a dog to unnecessary danger. Here’s how the PD responded in their comments: Hi folks, we’ll jump in here. Our canine officers are well trained, well selected, and, most importantly, well loved by their handlers. We test dozens (if not hundreds) of prospective police dogs before finding the ones best suited for the VPD. The dogs we select are social and have high drive, and are very valued members of our department. As police tactics change, so must our training. Rappelling is a vital skill for our tactical teams to have, and it tests both handler and dog. In the training scenario in the photo, PSD Niko was introduced slowly to the task, and his handler rewarded him with praise and a game of tug-o-war afterwards (you can see the toy sticking out of the officer’s back pocket).
I’m always amazed by what dogs can be trained to do. I know the military even trains them to jump out of perfectly good airplanes!
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!