K-9 dogs aggressive only on command, safer than stun devices - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

K-9 dogs aggressive only on command, safer than stun devices

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Just what does it take to become a police K-9? A whole lot of training in tracking fugitives, detecting illegal substances and apprehending suspects.

This week, 41 police officers and their four-legged partners are doing just that. Every year, the Alvin Police Department hosts a workshop featuring training and certification for police dogs and their handlers.

Many people believe K-9s are "mean" dogs, because they are trained to bite suspects. But officers tell us the dogs are only taught to be aggressive, on command.

"My first one retired and lived a life on the couch," said Officer John Ivey with the METRO Police Department. "They're very social and they do hang out with the family."

Ivey says a dog can take down a suspect more safely than a zap from a Taser could.

Very few breeds are cut out for police work. Among the favorites: German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois and Labradors, which are talented at sniffing out clues.

Just don't sic a Lab on a perp, advises Mike Morgan, a master trainer with the International Police Work Dog Association.

"They'll do a takedown," Morgan clarified. "But there's going to be a lot of face licking going on afterwards."

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