I want to challenge you to think about our future in North America with Law Enforcement Dogs. Shipping is expensive, dog prices are increasing, and law enforcement budgets are taking serious hits.
Law Enforcement in North America is dependent upon Europe to provide working dogs for us. World wide demand has increased for working dogs, and most of the world is shopping in Europe. It seems that the average dog I see being sold by vendors is somewhere around 1 year old. Most of these dogs are rushed through a training program and on the street somewhere around 1 ½ years old. Many of the dogs hitting the street are, in my opinion, not ready for what they may encounter. Because of our demand we are also purchasing and putting into service many law enforcement dogs that lack suitable nerves for the type of work they are being asked to perform.
There are some very nice dogs being bred here in North America. There just aren’t enough of them to meet our needs. Dog sports are slowly becoming more popular here and that is good for us in law enforcement. I believe it is time that we start looking toward our future in procuring law enforcement canines. We need to encourage selective breeding programs in the North America. In order for this to be successful I believe we need to encourage and support the civilian population to participate in this. The people breeding and raising working dogs must have a passion for this type of work in order for its success.
One way I believe that this can be accomplished is by establishing a national law enforcement canine sport in which civilians can train, compete, and title working dogs. Similar to what the Dutch have done with KNPV. I think that Americans need a sport with high standards that include the tasks we ask from our law enforcement dogs. This will keep the best qualities in breeding programs. Breeders who have a passion for their work will want to place suitable dogs into law enforcement service. This will offer real world proof of their hard work and go a long way in keeping law enforcement costs down.
We can’t continue to depend on Europe to supply us with a large quantity of the quality of dogs that we need. While many Europeans do an excellent job, there are not enough of them to meet our needs. If we continue with business as usual I believe there will be people willing to sell us the volume of dogs we want, however I believe we will see more dogs being sold and worked on the street with weaker nerves, less drive, and more health problems.