It’s December 22, 2013 and I have so much to be thankful for; a loving wife, 3 grown children that I’m proud of and my calling; working with dogs.  I have been blessed with a gift.  21 years ago when I entered into police canine services I had no idea where it would take me.  At the time I knew I loved dogs and that they were key to catching bad guys.   I didn’t realize it at the time, but the job as a canine handler is stressful.  I only knew I liked the adrenalin rush of the chase and the catch.

Police canine services are stressful for a variety of reasons.  When you arrive on scene with your dog, you are expected to perform.  Officers are standing by and have been waiting for you.  They expect your dog to find the drug, bad guy or evidence they could not find.  Many times your dog is the key to solving the crime.   It all comes down to how hard you trained.  Have you focused on tracking enough for your dog to succeed?  K-9 is not for the lazy and unmotivated.  The human and dog must have the drive to train and succeed.

Police canine services are also stressful on the trainer.  As a trainer you are responsible for the evaluation and selection of the dogs.  If you select dogs that do not have the drive and genetics to do the job, everyone looks bad; your handler, your department, your training program.  If you do not train the dogs so they can succeed, you also fail.  There is a lot of commitment training police service dogs and their handlers.  If you don’t put in the time and train them to be successful, there can be grave consequences.  Not only are you, as a trainer, responsible for training the dog, you are also responsible for training the handler to be tactically safe.  Police canine services are stressful and yet rewarding.

The stress of training police dogs did not sink in until I retired.  I now work with the public and their dogs.  Adams K-9 has given me a wonderful opportunity to do what I love, which is to help people with their dogs.  Nothing brings me more joy than to see a shy dog’s confidence increase only a few weeks of training.  Seeing the joy on the owners face when their dog goes to his/her place, stops barking, and comes every time.   I thoroughly enjoy passing on my knowledge to the public.  This is my calling and I am thankful for it.

When I began my business people who knew me asked, “Are you going to be training police dogs?”  Many assumed that is what Adams K-9 was going to focus on.  They always had a puzzled look on their face when I said I was going to help the public with their dogs.  Dogs can be great companions, but they also can drive you crazy if they are rambunctious; barking, jumping on people, running away, and knocking the kids down.  That’s where I come in.  I teach the dog rules and the owner how rules can take a crazy dog and change him/her into a loving, well-mannered pet.

So, I have a lot to be thankful for this Holiday Season.  I like to pamper my dogs just like everyone else.  Tomorrow, December 23rd, Dognip Bones with be delivering 3 large hickory smoked bones.  These bones are preservative free, healthy for my dogs, and will provide them with hours of entertainment.    So everyone in my pack gets to enjoy the holiday season.   I get family time and the dogs get a tasty hickory smoked bone.

Happy Holidays to you and your family.

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