Raising a Police K9 Puppy - It's Not for Everyone!
We recently acquired some really, nice four-month old, Belgian Malinois puppies and also currently have a litter of working-line German Shepherd puppies on the ground. To be honest, it's been a while since we've raised working pups at our facility and this got me thinking about all the work and effort that really goes into them. Raising a puppy, whether it be a Malinois, German Shepherd or Labrador to be a viable Police K9 is a challenge for anyone, even those with considerable experience with doing so.
There are a number of things to consider prior to selecting a puppy to raise as a police K9. The biggest consideration is the experience level of the trainer or person raising the puppy. Does the trainer have an adequate amount of experience in training a variety of dogs in bitework, obedience, detection, and other police K9 patrol functions? Does the trainer have the knowledge and experience to understand drive development and more importantly, do they have the time to put into this development everyday with the puppy?
Drive development is a critical factor in the success of any potential police K9 puppy. Drive development, as well as socialization, should be done on a regular basis, almost daily. This will require a considerable amount of time as well as resources. Puppies require completely different equipment resources (soft tugs, puppy sleeves, smaller harnesses, etc) to work with them. Time and equipment should definitely be a factor when considering raising a police k9 puppy.
So, what if it doesn't work out with this particular pup? There are considerable costs involved with the pup until it reaches the age of one year to 18 months. Food, Vet and equipment costs can quickly pile up, not to mention the cost of time that has been spent over the last year or so. Unfortunately, you won't likely be able to sell the puppy to a pet home and recover the costs involved.
Another issue with raising puppies to be police dogs is that you generally will not have any type of health guarantees to rely on in the event that the pup ends up with a congenital health defect or some other debilitating disorder at a young age. By purchasing a "green" or fully trained Police K9 from a reputable vendor, you should receive at least a two-year health guarantee on the dog.
If you are considering raising a police K9 puppy to work as a police K9 later, consider all of the aspects and commitments that will go into the pup throughout it's life. Understand that the success rate of raising a dual purpose police K9 from a pup is a bit of a "crap shoot" with a success rate that is far from astonishing. If you have questions about raising police k9 pups or need more information on police K9 training programs, feel free to contact us at 866.200.2207 or email firstname.lastname@example.org