Canadian K-9 Units Team Up for National Competition

Wouldn't you love to see this competition? Thanks to the Canadian Press for this article. Officer's best friend: dogs and cops prepare for national competition...

Joy  |  Sep 1st 2007


Wouldn’t you love to see this competition?

Thanks to the Canadian Press for this article.

Officer’s best friend: dogs and cops prepare for national competition

EDMONTON (CP) Some people avoid living with their work colleagues. But Const. Mark Kassian has to. He also has to spend every weekend with his partner, take him on nightly walks and make all his meals.

And Kassian loves every minute of it.

Kassian has one of the most coveted jobs in the Edmonton Police Service. He and his partner, a 3 1/2-year-old male German Shepherd called Chevy, form one of the city’s 12 police dog teams.

Next week, Kassian and Chevy and four other city teams will go paw to paw with 47 teams in the annual Canadian Police Canine Association Championships.

Officers from Victoria to Winnipeg are barrel-jumping, plank walking and obedience training their dogs in preparation for the competition. Dogs and officers will take part in eight events, including obedience, detection and criminal apprehension.

Working with dogs has been a career-long passion for Kassian. After six years volunteering for the canine unit, which included frequently posing as a mock criminal about to be mauled by a dog, he was finally given his own puppy to raise and train.

After a year of solid training, the pair were accepted to the canine unit. They’ve been together for two years.

“We’re pretty close,” Kassian admits, To maintain the dog-officer bond, Chevy lives at Kassian’s home with his wife and children.

“I spend more time with him than I do my wife,” he laughs.

At next week’s competition, officers will be judged on how well they control their dogs.

Const. Murray Maschmeyer says this is vitally important.

“They are very prey-driven,” says Maschmeyer, as his partner, seven-year-old German Shepherd Nitro yelps excitedly. Nitro has just spotted a man posing as a criminal hiding behind a nearby fence.

Maschmeyer unleashes Nitro as the “suspect” runs for his life. Nitro inches closer to the man, just as Maschmeyer screams the German word for heel. By tradition, many German Shepherds are still trained in German.

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