Did you know March 13 is the National K9 Veterans Day?
If not, you are in the right place. This day is for k9 dogs.
The National K9 Veterans Day is an ode to all the dogs that serve the military. The first United States K9 Corps was created on March 13, 1942. Since then, dogs play 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.
1. Why are dogs called K9?
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”, being 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
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 on the line of duty and are perfect to work in a K9 group. Their versatility makes them number one on our list.
It may come as a surprise for 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. With their larger-than-life personality and a strong sense of smell, they get an easy pass to the K9 unit.
3. Belgian Malinois
As a distant cousin to German Shepherd, they share a few personality traits. Like the German Shepherd, Malinois is a suitable protector and used in the front line of duty. They make a tremendous military dog and even work as support therapy dogs from time to time.
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Known as the best tracker dog in 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 they are huge, they are incredibly friendly and super sharp, which makes 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 an excellent sniffing ability. If they are appropriately trained, they can work in narcotics as a sniffing dog as well as in the police force.
3. 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 to strengthen their bond.
The dogs must jump over the walls, climb stairs, and should 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.
A K9 Unit is selected after a long and hard training process. Now that you have learned about the training process, don’t you feel that this day is well deserved?