Our Northwest

Fun with the fuzz and furry friends

Friday, January 1, 2010by  Hailey Huntington

On Saturday, the WALLY team had a great time at the Fun with the Fuzz 5k, an annual event that raises money and awareness for the Behind the Badge Foundation. The Behind the Badge Foundation provides support to families and communities of fallen or injured officers and to Washington State’s law enforcement agencies.

Unique to many other 5k races the WALLY team attends, this race had many four-legged participants!

Some of these dogs were police dogs and part of the K9 unit, and there was even one puppy police-dog-in-training. We learned that it’s hard work training to be a part of the K9 unit, so here's a look at some of the basic skills each pup needs to perfect:

  1. Becoming experts at basic obedience

  2. Mastering endurance and agility training (being able to jump over walls, climb stairs, etc.)

  3. Acclimating to city life to ensure they won’t be nervous around people

  4. Going through specialty training, whether it be for searching for drugs, bombs, guns, or missing persons

Training is not only hard work for the dogs, but it's also a tough process for the K9 handlers. Since there are not many positions available for handlers, candidates have to first get past the rigorous interview process. This is followed by weeks of training, where handlers work with many different dogs until they find one that works well with them. Handlers have to prove their ability to handle and control a K9, which requires endurance and physical abilities, such as lifting your dog over a six-foot wall!

We are incredibly grateful not only for police officers who serve and protect our communities, but also for the brave K9 police dogs!

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