Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT KIND OF TESTS DO YOU DO ON THE DOGS YOURSELF?
Prior to entering a dog into our training program, it is thoroughly tested by our training staff in Europe. Tests are conducted to ensure that each dog possesses the drives and character traits necessary to be a successful police dog. The dog also receives a complete veterinary exam, including hip x-rays, prior to leaving Europe. Our veterinarian also conducts a complete exam on each dog when they arrive here in the United States. The dog is again run through a battery of tests at our facility to confirm that the dog will be able to successfully complete our training program.
IF I AM ATTENDING EXCEL K-9 SERVICES BASIC TRAINING SCHOOL, WHAT KIND OF TRAINING WILL MY DOG HAVE WHEN I GET HIM?
Prior to the handler receiving the dog, it will be completely imprinted on all of the odors it will be searching for. For narcotics detection dogs, these odors will be cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine. For explosive detection the dogs are imprinted on all of the odors used for state and national certification. The patrol dog will be imprinted in the following areas: agility, obedience, tracking, aggression control, building search and area search.
IF I AM JUST PURCHASING THE DOG AND PLAN ON COMPLETING THE BASIC TRAINING IN-HOUSE WITH OUR DEPARTMENT’S TRAINER, WHAT KIND OF TRAINING WILL THE DOG HAVE?
All of the dogs in our kennel have been thoroughly tested and have the proper drives and traits to make excellent police dogs. The dog can be completely green or it can be imprinted on either narcotics or explosive odors. A dog fully imprinted at our facility will locate the target odors in boxes, luggage, rooms and vehicles. Our green patrol dogs will have been imprinted on basic bite work / aggression control on both the training arm sleeve and the full body bite suit.
I READ ABOUT A POLICE DEPARTMENT THAT HAD A PUPPY DONATED TO THEM, AND THEY RAISED IT TO BE A POICE DOG. ISN’T THAT A LESS EXPENSIVE WAY FOR US TO GET A DOG?
Some police departments have gone this route, however there are several considerable drawbacks. First, there are no guarantees for the dog’s health or workability. Second, even with the best parents, there is no way to guarantee that a puppy will have the necessary drives to be successful as a police dog. Experts agree that hunt drive and prey drive, along with a dog’s courage and confidence cannot accurately be measured until a dog is between 10 and 14 months old. Also, with this method, while the cost of the dog is not factored in, consider that an officer’s time over the course of a year for training and care will be considerably higher than if the K9 team completed training in our six week course. By attempting the puppy method, a department may have 12 to 18 months of time, money and care into a dog before they see any results. Often these dogs do not posses the proper drives or confidence to be an excellent police dog. However, the handler raised the puppy into an adult dog and the department often keeps the dog in service and makes the best of a difficult situation with poor overall results for the community and the department.
THE LOCAL SCHUTZHUND CLUB (GERMAN PROTECTION DOG SPORT) TRAINER HAS OFFERED TO TRAIN OUR DOG AS A COST SAVING MEASURE. IS THAT A GOOD IDEA?
While some schutzhund dogs may make successful police dogs, and there are some very good schutzhund trainers, there are considerable differences between police K9 training and sport dog training. Generally speaking, sport dogs are trained in a routine with very specific tasks and equipment used. In the real world, where our police dogs are deployed every day, nothing is routine. Just as you would not have a paint ball team train your SWAT Team, it is not advisable to have your K9 team trained by someone without real world law enforcement experience. At Excel K9 Services, Inc. our training staff is made up of active and retired police officers that have successfully deployed their dogs in some of the most challenging environments.
I SEE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO CLAIM TO BE ‘MASTER TRAINERS’. YOU ARE A MASTER TRAINER THROUGH THE NORTH AMERICAN POLICE WORK DOG ASSOCIATION (NAPWDA). WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
Anyone can claim to be a master trainer or start their own association and give himself or herself any title they want. Many people that claim the title “master trainer” are simply using that title without any true outside accreditation. When considering someone’s qualifications, it is important to research the organization they claim to be accredited through. The North American Police Work Dog Association is among the oldest, largest and most well respected police K9 associations in the nation. Courts throughout the country have recognized their certification standards and accreditation rules. I spent over nine years working towards Master Trainer of Utility Dogs, Narcotics and Explosive Detector Dogs. The process to become NAPWDA Master Trainer included the following steps:
- Prior to becoming a NAPWDA Accredited Master Training, you must first become a NAPWDA Trainer.
- This process requires several hundred hours of mentoring under numerous master trainers and being critiqued on your K9 training knowledge, techniques and methods in each discipline you are pursuing.
- You must then complete a lengthy written test, followed by a panel interview before the NAPWDA Accreditation Board, which is made up of at least five Master Trainers.
- Upon receiving Trainer Accreditation, you may begin to pursue Master Trainer Accreditation, which again involves being critiqued by multiple Master Trainers, however the number hours increases considerably for Master Trainer applicants.
- The applicant must also have trained a prescribed number of dogs to the NAPWDA Standard, which is among the highest standards in the law enforcement K9 industry.
- A written test followed by another panel interview is required to complete the Master Trainer Accreditation.
- During the process for me to become a Master Trainer, twenty-eight Master Trainers critiqued me for several thousand documented hours.
The next time you read or someone claims to be a master trainer take a few minutes and question the association they claim to have received this title from and what if anything was necessary for this person to receive this title.
IS THE BASIC K-9 TRAINING COURSE PHYSICALLY DEMANDING?
During the basic training class, you will be expected to complete all of the tasks that a K-9 team will be called on to perform on the street. The class can be physically and mentally demanding, however this will better prepare you for the challenges a Police K9 Team will face once on the road.
ARE THERE ANY WRITTEN OR PRACTICAL TESTS THAT STUDENT HANDLERS NEED TO COMPLETE DURING THE COURSE?
Yes, each K9 team will be tested throughout the class to ensure that they are meeting the high standards of Excel K9 Services, Inc. These test include both written and practical tests.
WHAT GUARANTEES DO YOUR DOGS COME WITH?
Excel K-9 Services Inc. offers a two (2) year health guarantee on the canine. This includes:
Skeletal – Hips, Elbows, and Spine.
Genetic – Any genetic disease that precludes the canine from performing the task of a Police Service Dog.
The canine is guaranteed to posses an OFA passing rating on hips and elbows by the age of two (2) years (if not at the time of purchase)
We also offer a Lifetime Workability Guarantee if the canine and handler complete a basic school at Excel K-9 Services Inc. Lifetime workability is defined as until such time as a licensed veterinarian determines the canine is no longer fit for duty. This guarantee will be in effect as long as the handler and the canine attend regular maintenance training no less then sixteen hours each month with their department training staff. The team will document and practice all trained areas and attending a minimum of a one week refresher training and re-certification at Excel K-9 Services Inc yearly.
If the canine is purchased outright then we offer a one year workability guarantee that the canine will pass certification for the discipline it is being trained in. This workability guarantee can be extended if the team participates in a maintenance-training contract.
Please feel free to contact us directly by e-mail or telephone at 216-214-0060 for any other questions.