understanding-the-k9-code

UNDERSTANDING THE K9 CODE

Like I said in our previous post, guys, you need to just relax. It’s not all serious in our blog. Yes, it’s way informative and that I hope serves you well in your endeavors to treat and care for your dogs just right. Make a note though, that we’re not vets, so don’t go on passing pertinent medical questions that we’re not qualified to answer. The best we can do is pass your queries on to those in the know, although I don’t know how long you’re prepared to wait.

But to give you a lift, service is good this side of the world, so you shouldn’t be waiting too long for an answer. In the meantime, as dog handlers who only do the jobs out of love for the fellows, we’ll be passing on as much as we know. We’ll be passing on as much as we can dig up, just like old Fido looking for his bone in the back yard over there. This post should give you some informal insight into the codification of the species term used to define dogs, that being ‘canine’.

The acronym has a nice homophonic ring to it, hasn’t it? It became quite popular in the early years of the previous century, so much so that the military decided to codename their dog operations accordingly. But it has to be remembered that the term ‘K-9’ in this instance doesn’t apply to the dog alone. It specifically applies to both dog and its handler. I like that because it signifies the pivotal relationship between a man and his dog.

The original term came from the K-9 Corps. It was an abbreviation for the military’s War Dog Program established during the Second World War. It was never used as a formal title – today it is, and beyond the military as is well known by now – but it was a popular one and the acronym stuck. During peace time, dogs were enrolled for active duty among the police forces around the world. The argument goes in some circles that a dog should not merely be referred to as a police dog.

I ask the question; why not. We refer to brave men and women as policemen or women, or simply police or law enforcement officers. Why can’t the term stick with K9 dogs? Why not give them rank as well? Haven’t they had enough formal training by now, and haven’t they already excelled in the line of duty. Some have done so well that they’ve often broken rank instinctively and gone beyond the call of duty, at great risk to themselves, to save the lives of others.

K-9 isn’t just for the military and the police forces. It’s for sportsmen and their sporting dogs too. Whether they’re out hunting or taking part in a show, the terminology sticks as it applies to the whole operation, if you will. Out in the wild, your dog, your rifle, you and your pickup truck, as well as your transmitter radio and first aid kit, are referred to as the K-9 unit. This also elevates the dog’s role in the whole operation, I guess.

Well enough of that for now. I hope this anecdote was enjoyable for you to read as it was for me to write.

bob