K-9 Dog with Family Dogs?

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K-9 Dog with Family Dogs?

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Old 02-17-2013, 07:55 AM
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K-9 Dog with Family Dogs?

This is something I'm extremely curious about, as my husband is a federal law enforcement agent and is considering going into the K-9 branch in the near future. How do K-9 working dogs interact with family dogs, if anyone has experience with having both at the same time? Also, the branch he is in most of the k-9 dogs don't work for more than a few years, so they are about 4-5 years old when they "retire". At this point you can choose to keep the dog as a family pet, or it will be euthanized. We would really love to keep it as a pet, but how does something that's worked it's whole life adjust to being a pet? Is it even possible when a lot of these dogs have been trained to be loud and aggressive, or even have that natural disposition?

Some of the current agents that are K-9 units say their K-9 partner gets along great with their family dogs and they play together/eat together, etc. But some say they keep the K-9 crated outside and separated, because they aren't supposed to be family members; they are working agents. Just not sure how this would effect the ability of the dog to get along with others after 4-5 years of being treated differently/separated.

Just some things I've been curious about. I'm going to ask about this to some of the other spouses on our spouses facebook page, and see. I think there is even some information on it on the actual branch's spouse/agent website. I was just wondering if anyone here had experience with it since it's more active than those forums/sites.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:10 AM
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I do not see there being a problem with the dog being part of the family. Just like any other Canine job they know when it is time to go to work. It all comes down to training.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:16 AM
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No experience but do many people have the heart (or lack) to have a dog euthanized just because its job is over?

Do you have children or do you plan on it? I know here locally a K9 officer got in big big trouble for taking her dog on vacation instead of having him boarded or arranging w/ another K9 officer to keep the dog. Well, the dog actually attacked a child she was vacationing with because the child was treating the dog like a pet and trying to pet it. LM do you remember seeing that?
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:23 AM
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No I did not see that. I agree taking the dog on vacation may have been a bit much, but how was the dog trained and were had it been living? How long had it been with the family? Was it trained by her or a mass training facility? I still think there are a lot of factors that play a part. How was it raised..how was it trained...were was it trained..etc. JMO
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:27 AM
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LM here is some info if you are intrested
Girl faces plastic surgery after K-9 attack | Newswatch | a Chron.com blog
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:31 AM
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One of my husband's work friends is a K-9 officer. He takes his canine partner home and it lives with the family with their other dogs (I think they have 5 or 6). They live out in county were they can get the space to keep them all. From what I heard, it works well for them.

Though side note: I do think it's really funny that my husband treats this officer's name very special. Instead of just calling him "John Smith", "Smith", "Officer Smith", etc. My husband calls him "K-9 John Smith" every time. I laugh about it constantly...and then shared it with the K-9 officer's wife. We got a kick out of it.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:32 AM
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Aussieguru...make sure your homeowner policy will accept whatever breeds this bureau uses.

I don't mean to be the negative Nancy. I have a ton of respect for police dogs. They are just so restrained and focused...it's amazing. I think it would be wonderful to have one in my home, but there are things that would concern me which sound like the same things that concern you. Knowing the dog would be killed if I didn't take him makes me feel like I'd take the dog and then deal with possible issues if they came since the stakes are so high for the dog. Still, if you do have kids, it might be something to really really think about.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:36 AM
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marbear I read what little they had. It sounds to me like it could have been any dog that might have done the same thing in the situation..
edit...If anyone is at fault it would be the handler...if the child had been an issue then the handler should have not had the dog around that child..

Questsmom...I love to hear when a Dog Officer is allowed to be part of the family. I have seen officers that are buddies with their K-9 and those dogs are well balanced.

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Old 02-17-2013, 08:39 AM
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Personally, though I don't know how true it is or have found any studies, I think that being part of the family would help the K-9 officer do better at his job and do better in the transition to retirement.

Aussieguru: Are you more so concerned about while the K-9 is serving or after he/she retires? Some departments may require the K-9 to stay in some sort of boarding facility while "employed."
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:06 AM
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We do not have kids, nor plan on having them for a very LONGGGGG time, if ever. Mostly on the never side of things haha.

Also, I'm concerned with both the dog during work time and after he/she retires. Our HOA does not have a BSL or anything like that, and all dogs are welcome. It's a small community out in the country-ish. We have a large yard (completely fenced with a 7ft concrete wall), lots of room inside the house, etc. The branch he works for also does not require any sort of boarding that I know of. All the k-9 units the hubby has worked with and talked to all bring their dogs home after work. When they retire, the ones that keep them for the rest of their lives, bring them home the day they work their last day. Both the hubby and I would never have the heart to euthanize an animal just because it's service was over.

I just want to make sure all our dogs would get along, I would hate for any aggression issues to happen. Our two dogs get along great right now. They sleep on top of each other, chew the same bone at the same time, eat from the same bowl, and are pretty much inseparable. I know that the possibility of a third dog coming in, especially a k-9 one, and doing these things is probably slim. But as long as everyone gets along, I'd be happy.

So many things vary I guess, and you can only really know once the other dog is there. He could get a mellow partner, he could get a really high strung one. Some of the other k-9 units have dogs that get along well with their other dogs, and others have ones that don't. There are rules you have to follow, that some agents don't. Like the dog is supposed to sleep in the crate outside and away from the family, but quite a few let the dog just sleep inside wherever it wants. Probably has more to do with the personality of the dog.

For training they go away for 3 months, and they get their k-9 partner as a pup (5-6 months old), and work on scenarios and training with them, then they come home and start work.

It's just something I've been curious about, since it's always his been a dream of the hubby's.
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