7 Fun facts about K9 Dogs you never heard about!
The National K9 Veterans Day is an ode to all the dogs that serve in the military. The first United States K9 Corps was created on March 13, 1942. Since then, dogs have played a significant role in the military. Like our hard-working military heroes, our K9 squad takes different parts in protecting society.
They work in various fields like Border Patrol K9s, Customs K9s, Police K9s, Secret Service K9s, Airport Service K9s, and FBI K9s.
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Why are dogs called K9s?
The “K-9” or “K9” is a typographic pun upon the word “canine,” inherited from military jargon. The term appears to originate from the name “K-9 Corps, " a shorthand for the Army’s War Dog Program established during World War II. The name K9 Unit refers to both the police dog as well as its handler.
Download Infographic: 6 Things you should know about k9 veterans
Best K9 Breeds
Dogs that get selected in the K9 unit should do things like search and rescue, protection, and drug sniffing. And not many breeds can handle such responsibility. Here are some of the best dog breeds cut to join the K9 unit.
#1 German shepherd
These incredibly loyal dogs can be easily trained and work well in units. They are known to work well in the line of duty and are perfect to work in a K9 group. Their versatility makes them number one on our list.
It may surprise many, but being a fox breed, beagles have one of the best noses in the game. They are known widely as narcotics-sniffing dogs and can be seen in airports, border zones, and narcotics-finding patrols. Their larger-than-life personality and strong sense of smell give them an easy pass to the K9 unit.
#3 Belgian Malinois
As a distant cousin to German Shepherds, they share a few personality traits. Like the German Shepherd, Malinois is a suitable protector and is used in the front line of duty. They make tremendous military dogs and even work as support therapy dogs occasionally.
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Known as the best tracker dog in the business, these dogs can trail a scent for miles. Originally used for hunting and tracking, it makes sense that these dogs are naturally a part of the K9 unit. They are very useful during rescues to help find survivors or to catch a perpetrator on the run.
These dogs have been a part of the police force for years now. With a strong body and intelligence, they are versatile and work great in a unit.
Though huge, they are incredibly friendly and sharp, making them part of the K9 unit because who wouldn’t want a super-strong dog to have your back?
Although they are known worldwide for their gentle and sweet nature, they have excellent sniffing ability. If they are appropriately trained, they can work in narcotics as a sniffing dog and in the police force.
How are K9 dogs trained?
Now that we have learned a few things about K9 units & suitable breeds let’s get to the exciting part- Training.
The first step in the training process is to pass the basic obedience test. They must obey their handler’s command without hesitation. This gives handlers the leverage to keep the dogs in check if they tend to get aggressive. After they pass the obedience test, the next step is to check their endurance and agility.
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The dogs are put through various tasks to help increase their endurance and agility levels.
These tasks also help the dog and handler strengthen their bond.
The dogs must jump over the walls, climb stairs, and get used to city life, as they should not get nervous with the bustling surroundings of the city.
The next and final step is to receive specialty training. Many dogs are trained to search for drugs, though some are explosives or gun sniffers. Police dogs can also track missing persons or suspects.
7 Fun Facts about K9 Dogs
#1 Paw-some Sense of Humor: While K9 dogs are known for their serious and professional demeanor during their duties, they can also exhibit a sense of humor. Some handlers have reported their K9 partners playing tricks on them or engaging in playful behavior when off-duty, such as stealing their handler's hat and running away with it.
#2 Tail Wagging Communication: K9 dogs use body language to communicate, and their tail wagging is not always a sign of happiness. It can also signify excitement, curiosity, or even a challenge to play. Sometimes, a wagging tail means, "Let's have some fun!"
#3 Howling Harmony: K9 dogs often howl when they hear sirens or other dogs howling. This is a throwback to their ancestral roots as pack animals. Sometimes, a siren might set off a hilarious chorus of howls among K9 units stationed nearby.
#4 Sniffing Competition: K9 dogs have an incredible sense of smell and take their sniffing seriously. During training, they might turn a search for a hidden item into a friendly competition, trying to outdo each other in finding the target first.
#5 Unexpected Cuddle Buddies: Despite their tough exterior and law enforcement roles, K9 dogs can be incredibly affectionate with their handlers. They often form strong bonds and may even surprise others by seeking cuddles and belly rubs when not on duty.
#6 Zoomies on Breaks: K9 dogs need regular breaks to rest and recharge, and when they do, they sometimes unleash their inner goofball. They might engage in a sudden burst of energy, running in circles or doing "zoomies" around their handler, much like playful puppies.
#7 Treat Tussles: K9 dogs are highly motivated by treats; sometimes, they can get a bit naughty regarding rewards. During training sessions, they might snatch extra goodies or pretend they haven't received one to get more from their handlers.
Remember, while K9 dogs can display funny and endearing behaviors, they are highly trained and focused professionals who play a vital role in various law enforcement and security tasks. Their dedication and skills are nothing short of impressive!