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sad successor to a once-brilliant initiative: using shelter dogs as cop-k9s & detection-k9s

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by leashedForLife, May 28, 2018.

  1. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    Before 9/11, the Border Patrol in the U-S used exclusively shelter dogs to search for contraband - that might be drugs, explosives, big cash, weapons, or other smuggled goods, such as exotic wildlife [living or dead], wildlife PARTS, poached game, etc.

    the U-S Fish & Wildlife, a Federal dept, also used dogs sprung from shelters - they searched boats, shipping containers, airplanes, luggage, cargo, vehicles, & persons for smuggled or hidden banned foods [which might transport pests or pathogenic microbes], live plants in soil, fresh fruits & veg, dead or living exotic species, wildlife parts, poached game or illegal fish / shellfish, & more.

    Shelter employees or volunteers would nominate dogs who were too antsy & active to be good pets, but who would be perfect working dogs - active, enthusiastic, hard to discourage, never-quit dogs.
    They'd be tested by a rep, who would take dogs that met their search criteria - having witnessed one such "test", I think at least some of their testing-reps were sadists who enjoyed torturing both dogs & humans, but that's a different topic.
    Suffice to say, lots of good dogs with unknown or unhappy histories performed fantastic jobs, stopping millions of dollars in narcotics alone at heavily-trafficked border gates, bridges, & seaports around the USA.

    When 9/11 fueled insane levels of paranoia in D.C., the shelter-dog programs were scrapped, & E.U.-imported, bred for the purpose, hotshot BSD-Malinois became the flavor of the month for all k9-jobs. These dogs are on average, 9 to 18-MO, & cost an average of $1,500 to 2K, green-trained. They are also overkill - they bite on minimal or even zero provocation. U don't need bite-trained dogs to search a vehicle or a boat or a shipping container, & U don't WANT a bite-trained dog to search airline passengers! :eek:
    Inevitably, bad things happened & continue to happen - innocent ppl get badly bitten.

    Customs Dog Attacks 4-Year-Old Girl @ IAD - FlyerTalk Forums
    FlyerTalk - The world's most popular frequent flyer community - FlyerTalk is a living, growing community where frequent travelers around the world come to exchange knowledge and experiences about everything miles and points related. › ... ›
    Checkpoints and Borders Policy Debate,
    Feb 19, 2010 - 15 posts - ‎12 authors
    Poor kid. I hope that she wasn't badly hurt and isn't afraid of dogs in the future...

    Boy with autism bit by Henderson K-9 while police were searching for ...
    abc11.com/boy-with-autism-bit-by-henderson-k-9-while...searching.../3301821/
    Apr 5, 2018 -
    A Henderson teen with disabilities is in the hospital after his family says a police dog bit him.


    'There's An Infant In The Car!' Says Cop As Police Dog Bites Toddler ...
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/.../k9-attacks-toddler_us_56840804e4b06fa68881a4...
    Dec 30, 2015 -
    The video quickly spirals into the Belgian Malinois biting a 17-month-old child's arm, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports with the video's ...



    Police dog mistakenly bites child - News - Shelby Star - Shelby, NC
    www.shelbystar.com/news/20180317/police-dog-mistakenly-bites-child
    Mar 17, 2018 -
    A little girl was bitten when a police dog chased a suspect through a neighborhood Friday afternoon. ... "A K9 unit is a great tool for us, from apprehensions to searching for missing persons, ..."


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    Now, a new person is promoting the "shelter to K9" concept - but I can't promote him, or his methods, sadly. :( He's "saving" shelter dogs, but he's using old-fashioned yank-n-yell or shock-collars, choke-chains, etc, as training tools.

    - terry

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  2. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    I first heard about the program via RadioPetLady -
    http://www.radiopetlady.com/radio-p...ogs-from-shelters-not-from-european-breeders/

    ... but when i investigated further, this is one sample of their training gear -


    It's hard to see, U have to stop the video to get a good look at an opportune moment, but Wilson is wearing 3 collars: a dangling choke-chain [a useless hazard to the dog, while working, & a bad training-tool, in any case], a shock-collar, & a wide martingale being used with the leash.
    Wilson is a black pitbull-type, so the black martingale isn't obvious, but the white block-letters screenprinted on it can be seen on his left; the choke-chain hanging above it is chromed; the shock-collar appears to be pewter-grey & can be seen above the black wide-web at 1:42. // The battery-pack makes a large stand-off under the collar, to his left side.

    I'm all for using shelter-dogs vs needlessly killing them, but i'm not at all enthused about punitive training using aversive tools - for people OR for dogs, as this program also "trains trainers & handlers", which IMO is disastrous.
    Pos-R training was just beginning to get a solid foothold among the ultra-conservative police in the USA, whether small-town, megacity, state, or Federales, & this wrong-headed approach fits the former old-fashioned concept of training dogs perfectly. :(
    I'm very unhappy. A huge step backward.

    - terry

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  3. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    a fellow USA-apdt member & buddy, who was a long-time trainer with Border Patrol, told me in 2009 that she was just trying to make it to her retirement date; she was bitterly disillusioned by the new wave of "dominance" training, harsh handling, punitive tools, & a macho attitude that said Labs, pitbulls, & any other dogs that weren't BSD-Mals were sissy dogs.
    They wanted rough, tough, he-man dogs, ready & willing to use their teeth at any moment - even on impulse, un-cued. // She was heartsick over the sea-change in her job; the atmosphere was stifling & combative, & the new dogs were twitchy & untrustworthy. They might find the dope, but they frequently bit handlers, trainers, vets, & passersby.

    In Feb-2010, a Customs / BP k9-in-training bit a 4-YO girl at Dulles Airport savagely - even after her mother, holding the child's hand, asked the officer to move the dog away, please. // The 60# Mal bit her midsection deeply, & refused to let go, even after the handler cued him to out, then hit him repeatedly; the child's mother was also bitten, when she tried to pry the dog's mouth off her dotter.
    It took over 20-stitches to close the wounds. // The dog had no provocation whatever.



    WARNING - the 2-inch wide by 1-inch deep slash in her belly is clearly shown, as is her shredded t-shirt with multiple punctures.

    Dogs who work in public, like every other dog, need motivational pos-R training - & bite training should NOT be given to every dog, just as every handler is not qualified to handle a bite-trained dog, nor do most jobs require it.
    Bite-training every dog is expensive, superfluous, & creates an unjustifiable hazard - to the handler as much as anyone else.

    - terry

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    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  4. Flobo

    Flobo Well-Known Member Registered Partner

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    Why do we seem to be going back in time?? I just don't get it:( If it ain't broke why 'fix' it..? The rescue dogs and positive training worked before, it makes no sense.. and makes me really sad.. Though it seems to be a sign of the the times, ' we've new and improved this product/service/whatever, for your benefit, convenience, for the better of mankind etc' and it generally is just a bigger pile of poo than it was before, sorry..
     
    leashedForLife likes this.

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