Man’s best friend proves to be more than just a companion in the field of security. Since its inception in 1942, what was previously known as the “War Dog Program” or “K-9 Corps” evolved into a trusted and integral part of the police and military systems. Movies speak of their heroism, and competitions showcase their impressive skill sets. But even the most agile, efficient K-9s need our support. In this article, we’ll look at the top 5 K-9 dog equipment your trusted partner needs in the field.
5 Things A Police Dog Needs
Not all dog breeds can be police dogs. These animals are bred to accomplish the tasks required, which is why we only see specific breeds as K-9s. Here’s a quick look at some common K-9 breeds:
- German and Dutch Shepherds
- Belgian Malinois
- Labrador Retrievers
That said, these highly focused breeds still need the help of equipment to work efficiently.
Here are the top 5 K-9 dog equipment your partner should have:
The leash is necessary even among non-K-9s, but a police dog shouldn’t have just any leash. Here are some things to consider when choosing a leash:
- Weather – If it rains a lot in the area, you should choose a leash that doesn’t soak up water.
- Location – Areas close to the beach should avoid a leash made of steel. Synthetic leather is often a good choice.
- Dog tasks – If you plan to run with your dog, you need to choose a leash with a bit of stretch.
- Quality – Leather is a classic option for its aesthetic and its strength.
Not all pet owners need a harness, but a police dog needs a special-purpose harness that suits its mission. A harness generally has two parts: the body and the frame. Choosing the right one for your K-9 has a lot to do with their routine tasks and missions. Here are a few things to consider:
- Interchangeable harness system – This system means trainers and handlers can use different body capes for the frame, so they’re ready for any situation. These harness systems use a universal base frame, so you just need to buy the additional accessories required for the mission.
- Tasks – When choosing your harness, you should know what you need most. Do you need dogs lowered or lifted? These questions will help you choose the best product for your K-9.
K-9s put their life on the line on the field. It is crucial to have a first aid kit handy for your trusted partner. Here are some things to remember:
- Always ask a veterinarian for the basic first aid kit necessities you can bring.
- Understand the mission and your surroundings and choose the appropriate supplies. You may need a different kit for the woods and a different set for an urban mission.
A collar is an essential accessory. This is used along with the leash and helps to manage your K-9 efficiently. But more than control, they also give the police dog the sense of identity that connects him to you. Here are some things to consider when choosing a collar:
- Weather and environment – If you’re about to go on a mission to damp areas, make sure you choose a collar that’s water-resistant and durable.
- Quick fasten and release – You’ll need collar components that fasten and release quickly so you can save time during crucial situations.
- Secure – Collars should also be securely fastened to avoid any accidental release.
Dogs need as much motivation as we do. Treats and rewards are crucial to working dogs, so they continue to do what is expected of them. Here are some ideas:
- Reward Toys – You should try different toys so you can identify which one your dog enjoys. These toys are designed to reinforce desired behaviors, and the reward is the interaction involved, which is different from a regular chew toy.
- Praise – Dogs also respond well to praise, something a handler gives sparingly and only when they wish to reinforce the desired behavior.
- Treats – It is best to check with your vet to find the best treats for your K-9. Our friends from Pet Snap have a list of the best canned dog foods available for your K-9!
Our K-9 partners should be valued, and we can show our support in many ways. One of them is to equip them with the best gear so they can accomplish their tasks efficiently. Even as working dogs, they are still our best friends with services dedicated to public safety.