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Categories: Training Police Service Dogs

Q. We have a few problems with our police K9 concerning his building search not being thorough, possessiveness of the cruiser, etc. Any advice is appreciated.
Sir,
I have three questions that came from one of our newer police K-9 handlers reference his service dog. I know you don't have all the info needed to make an exact opinion, just let me know in general if you have any advise on these problems.

1) On building searches, the dog will leave the handler, go in the building part way and come back to the handler without completing the search. He repeats this several times and his concentration is more on the handler than the search.

2) The same dog when doing bite work will out (clean) and immediately heel to his handler, rather than watch the threat. It is unknown if the same dog will do this in actual service work, but the handler noticed this is something the dog started to do recently. The same thing with the above mentioned building search problem.

3) Lastly, the same dog has begun to be extremely possessive over the inside of the cruiser. This includes window charging anybody (civilian or officer) who approaches the inside of the car. He does this mostly when the handler is in the car with him.

The dog is very sound with exception to the above and shows no obvious nervous issues. The handler has had no problem with his street work and the above mentioned problems are recent. The handler has gone to the extreme to educate himself on handling and has given the dog a quality life including home, work and training. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I searched the Q and A as well as the Training article section but did not find the answers.
Thank you,
Mel

A. I can only guess at this, and I would not put much weight on my guess. Without seeing the dog and knowing nothing of the training program - what can I say?

With this said I have written comments below:

1-Back the training up - let the helper stimulate the dog outside, and run into the building - so the dog sees him run in. Gradually increase the distance inside that the dog is allowed to engage the helper. In the beginning it's only 20 feet inside the door.

2- The instant the dog outs, the helper should re-engage the dog. If the dog turns too quickly, the helper needs to crack it (hard) with the whip or stick and then re-engage.

3- This can be a pain in the butt once it starts. To stop it requires a lot of force. I am inclined not to try and put that much force on the dog. If need be use an electric collar. I use a Dogtra 1700 NCP.
  
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