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Categories: Training Police Service Dogs

Q. I'm about to be a new K9 handler. When the dog arrives I will have a new baby and two dogs. I'm think about making an outside kennl for my K9 to live in. Is this a good idea?
I am going to be a new K9 handler his summer. My wife and I are expecting our first child in May and plan on picking up my K9 partner in July. We have a female German Shepherd and a male Siberian Husky. My question is I have been flirting with the idea of having an outside kennel and my k9 living out there. My thought process is that he can be well rested and not stressed with a new baby and two dogs when he comes home from work. Is that a good idea? I live in Iowa and also wondering what you would think are must needs in the kennel. It will be 5' wide x 6' tall x 15' long with a tarp roof, insulated dog house, and breathable side tarps for cover and concrete. Thank you for your response.

A. You are 100% right in how to handle this new dog.

I recommend that you read a few of the articles I have written that are on my web site, such as How to Introduce a New Dog into a Home with Other Dogs. This is just to give you an idea on why this new police dog should not be expected to interact with your other dogs. Keep them separated – forever. There is zero need for your service dog interacting with your pets.

I wrote a couple of articles on Preventing Dog Bites in Children. This is more for your 2 house dogs. This is a "no screw around deal." Many uninformed dog trainers think house dogs need to learn small children are a higher rank in the pack than the dogs. That is not only stupid it is dangerous. Dogs need to learn that babies and children are OFF LIMITES. They need to learn to stay away from the kids. Now over the years this may change, but why risk it?

My articles are in the list available here.

What I recommend for the outside house is that the floor of the dog house is the most important place to put insulation – 2 inches of foam under the floor is the most important. We sell a very hard plastic heating pad that can go into the dog house. You just need to have a hole in the house where the electrical cord can come out and get to an outlet – keep the house backed up to the chain link so the dog cant get at it.

When you get this dog I would strongly recommend you start to retrain your dog with MARKERS. I wish I had known about marker training when I was a K9 handler 24 years ago. This work will build your bond and end up with a much better service dog. If you decide to go in that direction we have done a bunch of training videos with Michael Ellis. Start with the food DVD (or stream), The Power of Training Dogs with Food and The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog. You can start this work now with your two house dogs.

Good luck.

Regards,
Ed Frawley
  
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