Deutscher Schferhund

DOGS ON DUTY

I get to write a fair amount of these types of posts. And I really dig writing them. Because in these types of posts I’m at my subjective best and sometimes pour my heart out on matters related to the K9 movement and the animals in which it vests. Here’s where we get to have a hearty chat about our best friends, dogs. In this post, I’d also like to spare a thought for those fellows who are working very hard for us right now.

They’re the bravest creatures I know anyhow. I guess we can’t really include wild dogs or any other wild animal species in this analogy, because they essentially have to rely on their primitive instincts in order to survive out there in the wild. Yeah, for them it really is a jungle. And the unfortunate human term of ‘survival of the fittest’ has a harsh undertone for these wild animals. The dogs under our control are already quite fit.

Most of the dogs on duty have been specially prepared that way. In a sense, they’re pretty lucky, because most of the breeds that go on to do hardcore duty thrive in peak physical condition. Like the Doberman, for instance. There’s nothing more he likes than the opportunity to stretch his legs. And when that whistle blows, boy does he let fly. Call this a treat and a half. Patrol dogs get to walk all day long.

And when their work’s done for the day – they’re never overworked, that much I know – they get to rest good and proper. They get fed well too. A great thing about the K-9 service unit is that dog and its master get to bunk at home together. This is not a domain where vicious dogs get locked up in a cage once their services are no longer required. They work well in teams and usually the head of that team is their master.

From the moment a new canine police recruit arrives on time for its first day of training, it is with its master through thick and thin. Bonding begins almost immediately. The same applies to all other dogs reared for active duty. You have your sniffer dogs and you have your mountain rescue dogs. Gee whiz, let’s not forget those old farm dogs. They’ve been doing it for centuries, haven’t they? These are your sheepdogs that run rings around sheep herds, making sure that it never goes astray.

They’re also brave out in the field. Imagine if a snake or a wolf should happen by. Who’ll be the first to ward off these wild predators? In ancient times, dogs were used on hunting expeditions. Tribes would leave their reservations and be gone for days to stock up on meaty supplies for cold months ahead. The dogs’ scent was invaluable then. It still is today. They recognize danger a mile off. And you know this is for the guys and girls that don’t know our dogs too well.

Never be scared of dogs. They mean you no harm. What have we been saying all this time? They’re here to help you, not just because they can but because they want to. Remember, dogs can scent fear. Rather show him good cheer and his tail will wag you down until there’s no tomorrow.

bob