Moose Jaw K-9 Unit competing in police trials

Cole Carruthers
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Officers will compete in national Canadian Police Canine Association Championship

Times-Herald reporter Cole Carruthers offers a hand (and arm) in giving MJPS service dog Banan some extra practice for the upcoming Canadian Police Canine Association Championship Trials in Regina Sept. 6-9.

It’s been nearly three years since the inception of Moose Jaw Police Service’s K-9 unit and they'll be showing fellow officers and the public what they've learned this September.

Officers Const. Chad Scheske and Const. Jay Sills will be competing with service dogs Banan and Andy at this year’s Canadian Police Canine Association Championship Trials in Regina Sept. 6-9.

The event is highlighted by a public day to be held on Sept. 9, at the Co-operators Centre at Evraz Place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free to the public. Those attending will have an opportunity to view the last three events of competition including obedience, agility and a criminal apprehension scenario which each team competes. It also highlights a demonstration usually done by the canine teams working in the fields of narcotics or explosives detection.

Scheske and Sills started training with German shepherd siblings Banan and Andy in the fall of 2009.

“They’re brothers who came from Gig Harbor in Washington state,” Scheske told the Times-Herald. “They’ve always been very eager to learn.”

Scheske says the reason German shepherds continue to be an ideal breed for policing is due to their natural abilities. “Their noses are outstanding and (they) are a smart, highly trainable breed.”

The relationship and bond between a police officer and service dog develops through a career based at both work and home. When off-duty, Banan stays at the home of Scheske and Andy stays with Const. Sills.

“Banan lives outside; he can’t relax in a house, he thinks he should be working,” Scheske said about one of the biggest differences between a household pet and a service dog.

The officers say the average career for a police dog is five to seven years, but there are cases of dogs working longer. “Their joints take a beating get in and out of vehicles and wrestling with suspects,” Scheske said about the physical demands facing service dogs.

For more on this story, pick up the next issue of the Times-Herald.

Organizations: Canine Association, Moose Jaw Police Service, Times-Herald

Geographic location: Regina, Washington

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