Take two Moose Jaw Police Service constables, add two sibling service dogs and transport them to the 2012 Canadian Police Canine Association Championship Trials and you get success.
Constables Chad Scheske and Jay Sills attended this year’s trials in Regina and came back to Moose Jaw with four awards.
A great start for the first outing of MJPS’s Canine Unit at the trials.
Eight single purpose, eight dual purpose and 26 general general canine units took part in this year’s event.
“We’re a two and a half year old unit competing against other units with six people who have been doing it for 25 years,” Sills said on the unit’s performance. “For the dogs to place and bring home two awards each is fantastic.”
Scheske and Sills started training with German shepherd siblings Banan and Andy in the fall of 2009.
“Both did phenomenal,” Scheske told the Times-Herald. “They did just as good as other service dogs from other units and we did better than expected.”
Sills and Andy won fifth place in evidence in profile and fourth place for agility.
“Andy is a 100 pound dog, some in the competition were only 50 to 75 and Andy was definitely one of the better for his size,” Sills said on Andy’s award for agility.
To earn the evidence in profile award Sills and Andy had 15 minutes to sweep an obstacle course to find five pieces of evidence littered over the course.
“It’s not just the evidence in there, it’s all the distractions and extra materials put in that make it so difficult,” Scheske said on the layout of the course.
“You’d think, is that evidence when you would spot a certain item that stuck out like a hat, and you would think to yourself that has to be the evidence, but it would end up being a piece of rope instead, you have to trust your dog,” Scheske said.
Scheske and Banan earned fourth place in tracking on Saturday of the event and fourth overall in drug protection.
“Banan got the highest placing for a general duty service dog for drug protection... the first time we’ve ever been there and Chad and Banan got sixth overall for points, Sills said of Scheske and Banan’s placing. Scheske and Banan were up against other dogs who just work exclusively in drug searches, as opposed to Banan who does both general service work and drug searches.
When the officers were asked what they walked away with from the experience besides awards Sills said, “the biggest thing is being able to learn and watch other units work, you get to have some shop talk and network which is so important.”
“You want everyone to do the best they can, everyone’s giving their best, and it allows you to see the bar being set high right in front of you,” Scheske said on the experience.
For more on this story pick up the next issue of the Times-Herald.