Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP’s newest trainee is interested in police work, curious, and fearless.
He’s also hungry, friendly and licks a lot of hands.
Gord, a 12-week-old purebed German shepherd pup, comes to Vernon via the RCMP’s dog training facility in Innisfail, Alta. He has been assigned to Const. Matt Taylor for training as a potential future police service dog.
“I’ll work with him locally on the basics of his tracking, criminal apprehension and familiarization and socialization to get him used to everything they might encounter being a police dog,” said Taylor.
“He stays with me for a year or 18 months, depending, then goes on to Innisfail. If they meet all the requirements, they’ll go to the dog handler’s course and get paired with a potential handler. They’ll go through the course together as a team, and if they graduate from the training course, they’ll hit the road as a dog handling team.”
One Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP dog hopeful didn’t make it. It was sold to a local family.
According to Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk, one in three police dogs make it into the RCMP police service dog program and two of three make it into some form of policing.
“A dog may not make all of our standards but other police forces will take that dog strictly for drug work or tracking or crowd control,” said Molendyk.
Gord is Taylor’s second dog. His last one went on to Kamloops to be with a handler for more training in the spring.
Gord, a product of two RCMP service dogs, has his own kennel and house set up at Taylor’s home.
“He’s there when I get home, there when I get up,” said Taylor, who picked up Gord when the dog was eight-weeks-old.
“I got him the first day he left his mom. He was shipped on a plane, I picked him up at the airport and I slept on the floor with a hand in his crate. He cried all night. It’s definitely 24-7 with the dog for the first little bit.”
Gord has just started tracking training.
“For 12 weeks old, he’s fairly smart,” said Taylor.