What Makes a Good Potential K9 Service Dog?

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Energy, intensity, intelligence, a drive to… do something are but a few of the components necessary for K-9 service dog work.

Grace under fire

German Shepherd Dog rescues, and other rescues and referrals, are often contacted by shelters or owners who must re-home their dogs due to aggression problems, training issues and behavior maladies. Most rescues and referrals, however, are unable to accept or list dogs with any aggression history and often unwilling to place dogs who are “too much dog” for a pet home, however, sometimes there is an alternative solution- public safety and law enforcement K-9 programs.

Many public safety and law enforcement organizations accept, and in some cases actively seek out, donated dogs for their training programs. For many GSDs with behavior issues or extreme energy and drive, placement with a K9 unit is more than the only option. It is the ideal one. K9 service dogs have an active challenging life. They are with their handlers most if not all of the time and receive the kind of mental and physical stimulation a high drive, high energy GSD was made for.

Grace

Grace

Ironically, many qualities that make a poor pet often make a good working dog; boundless energy, being “on”

all the time and needing more physical exercise and attention than the average dog. Prone to boredom behaviors such as excessive barking or destructive chewing, a “too big for his britches” attitude- not mean or aggressive per say, more of a “full of himself-ness” and importantly, the incredibly strong desire to play with sticks/balls/toys all the time.

Supporting K9 units can be a win-win situation. Public safety/law enforcement officers are better able to protect and serve our communities with a “K9” on their team, and young healthy high drive GSDs in need of a new life can find a home where they will be well cared for, needed and valued tremendously.

Please also check out A Call to Duty for more information on testing potential K9’s

 

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