When people talk about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, you usually envision a Mountie decked out in a fine red Mountie uniform sitting on his beautiful black horse. But the RCMP is also known for there extremely successful K9 unit.
8 The Dogs of the RCMP K9 Unit Are Pretty Badass
They are just as heroic as their human partners and in some cases more so. In fact, some search and rescue dogs are so committed to their jobs that they will dig through hazardous material/terrain until their paws bleed. They will not give up until they reach the person who needs help. There have also been cases of police dogs jumping in front of bullets and knives to save their human partners, literally giving their lives to save them.
7 They Have Some Big Shoes to Fill
The RCMP carefully selects German and Belgian (Malinois) Shepherds to be official K9 Mounties. They chose these breeds because they are renowned for their bravery, loyalty and obedience. The dogs must be in absolute peak physical and mental condition in order to be selected. The RCMP's standards are so high that a dog only has a 17% chance of completing the basic training program. No pressure, pups!
6 Let the Training Begin!
The puppies start their basic training at 1- to 1.5-years old. The basic training takes about 17 weeks to complete, but they are constantly training throughout their career, between keeping up with current technology and maintaining their physical and mental fitness.
5 They're No One Trick Pony
According to the RCMP website, "The responsibilities of police services dogs include locating lost persons; tracking criminals; searching for narcotics, explosives, illicit alcohol and stills, crime scene evidence and lost property; VIP protection; crowd control, in conjunction with tactical troop; hostage situations; avalanche search and rescue; and police/community relations." That is a whole lot of responsibility for one pooch!
4 Naming Their Puppies
The Police Dog Service Training Centre, in Innisfail, Alberta, is currently asking Canadian kids to help name 13 of their new recruits. Kids are encouraged to choose original sounding names beginning with the letter, "J" so no "Joe"s or "Jeff"s! This will be the dog's official RCMP name for the rest of its life. Winners of the contest will receive a laminated photo of the dog they named as well as a dog plushy and an RCMP baseball cap. Not too shabby for a prize pack!
3 The Rules
The rules of the contest are pretty straight forward:
- There can only be one submission per child.
- The name must be fit for either a boy or a girl pup.
- The name must begin with the letter, "J".
- The name cannot be longer than 9 letters and must be between 1 and 2 syllables.
- All children must reside in Canada and cannot be older than 14 years old.
All submissions must be completed by March 22, 2016. They can enter online at the RCMP website or can send their entry to:Attn: "Name the Puppy Contest"Police Dog Service Training Centre, Box 6120,Innisfail, AB T4G 1S8
Make sure to include the child's name, age, telephone number and address in addition to the name suggestion. The RCMP would love to see kids get creative, so encourage them to include drawing, paintings or a letter to the puppy. Don't despair if your name isn't chosen, because the RCMP will keep all submissions for consideration for future puppies who join the program. The winners will be announced on April 26, 2016.
2 Get Talking!
You can talk about these pups via social media using either #namethepuppy or #nommelechiot. So for those of us who aren't kids, but would like to throw some suggestions around anyway, we can hashtag away!
For more information please contact Sgt. Eric Stebenne or Insp. Akrum Ghadban at the RCMP Police Dog Service Training Centre by phone at 403-227-3346.
1 Good luck to all the contestants and remember: you're naming a future hero!
What would you name these pups? Comment below!