Using Chihuahuas in Police Work

You might wonder how a tiny Chihuahua can be used in police work, because when we think about police dogs, our mind pictures German Shepherds and other large, powerful dog breeds that can easily take down a criminal. These dogs are loyal officers and not afraid to offer their life in the line of duty. Or we may think about bloodhounds or other types of dogs that police officers use for their powerful smelling abilities. These dogs are trained to seek out drugs or find important crime scene clues. It now appears that the profile of police dogs is changing and a Chihuahua, with a rat terrier mix is now being regularly used.

For the past seven years, Brutus, a Canine Shepherd has been working for the state of Ohio, in the sherriffs department of Geauga County. The county has always been fond of using German Shepherds and Labs in the line of duty. Now there is a new dog being used, Midge a Chihuahua/Rat Terrier mix. Midge is nine months old and only weights seven pounds, however she has the heart of a police dog. She currently cruises the jail in a little uniform and maintains order.

Midge is a tiny, cute, friendly dog and she is super vigilant and aware of everything that goes on in and around the jail.

A canine trainer for the department of Geauga County thinks she has a big future ahead of her as a drug dog. Midge began with the police force when she was only three months old, and she commenced drug training approximately six months later. Currently, she is being trained to sniff out marijuana, though she has not yet been certified. However, the department trainer states she is well on her way as she observes her larger counterparts sniff out marijuana in cabinets, crawl spaces, air vents and other hiding places.

When she is not being trained, Midge loves to frolic around with Brutus, her Shepherd counterpart.

Sheriff Dan McClelland has thought about the possibility of using a smaller dog for drug detection for about two years. The thought came to him when he watched how hard it was for larger German Shepherds, when trying to maneuver themselves into small spaces. He saw how hard it was for a 120 pound dog when they were in a car and had to turn around. This also resulted in the larger dogs damaging the cars and homes of suspects and then the suspects turning around and sue the police department for recovery of damages.

Sheriff McClellands idea about using a smaller dog was reinforced when he saw American customs agents using beagles to check luggages for drugs.

McClelland states there is no reason why a little dog cannot be used just as effectively as a big dog. Midge can search larger rooms the same way as a bigger dog and has the added advantage of being able to go into smaller places to sniff around.

McClelland has no doubt in his mind that using Midge in police work is not something that will fall out of favor and smaller dogs have proven to be a valuable asset to law enforcement.



Source by John P Jackson

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