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Frequently Asked Questions

This section outlines the bond between the police officer and his K9.  In addition, there’s additional information about the expenses of keeping our police officers and K9s safe with the training and equipment they need to be watchful and protective of our community.

What is a day in the life of a K9?

K9 Officer and Handler’s Perspective from Tonganoxie, Kansas

Our work day usually begins around 10:00 am when I (his handler) wake up and visit him in his kennel. I usually provide him with a small treat (dog biscuit) and we will take a short walk around our property where he plays fetch.  Sometimes Chief (K9) will run along side the horses outside of the fence.  Chief and my mini horses love racing each other up and down the fence line, and then he gets a morning brushing.

Every few hours, I let Chief out to use the bathroom until it’s time to get ready for work. At which time, Chief watches me get dressed in my body armor standing by his kennel door waiting for his turn. I then get him “dressed” by putting on his collars.

Once on patrol, we begin the day with some obedience training to help him get into the work mode. Throughout the work day we take breaks at this is when he uses the bathroom or randomly play a short game of fetch. Sometime during the night between call outs, we also conduct some sort of training whether it is a track, a drug search, or article search, etc. Sometimes I get other officers involved with the training so that they can experience working with a K9, and other times it’s just the two of us.

We end our night with Chief getting his evening meal at home. We will then go for another walk. He gets brushed again, and we spend time unwinding together in his kennel where I sit with him (sometimes laying down).  I will read a book while he chews on a toy as much as he wants. This lasts for usually 30 minutes to an hour. I always end the night saying “it’s time for me to go”.  This is when he starts laying across me, pushing me into the fencing, with his attempt of trying to keep me in the kennel. A few hours later, we repeat the process!

When your K9 is on the job, what is expected of him?

K9 Officer and Handler’s Perspective from Tonganoxie, Kansas

Chief, and all other K9s, must be proper, listen to commands, alert, and attentive with a high drive for work. In the City of Tonganoxie the K9 is also an ambassador. He is often requested for demonstrations and to make public appearances.


What success stories do you want to share?

K9 Officer and Handler’s Perspective from Tonganoxie, Kansas

My K9 and I are a relatively new team having worked together for 6 months now. We are still figuring each other out and learning each other’s quirks. However, I can proudly say that not only is he an impressive K9 to look at standing much taller than most Belgian Malinois, he is heavier (by roughly 25 pounds).  He is also much more reserved and nicer. He loves to have attention lavished on him by other Officers and loves to work.

The community generally loves him and other handlers have referred to him as being spoiled because of his living accommodations. His kennel is what is known as a K9 Castle. It’s roughly 7’ wide by 13’ long and has composite decking for floor boards with a deck area and a house attached. The house makes up a 3rd of the size of his kennel and contains a heater, an air conditioning unit as well as a fan. I often joke that when I come out to get him in the morning I find him in his bathrobe sipping tea on his deck. This castle was built for him by the local high school.

He also has the services of the local groomer who offers her facility free of charge which helps keep him clean and fresh smelling, hence the reason he always gets compliments on how “gorgeous” he is.


What would be on you K9's wish list if he/she could make one?

K9 Officer and Handler’s Perspective from Tonganoxie, Kansas

In general Chief is well taken care of. However, he runs low on milk bones and he LOVES pork rawhide sticks which he receives for a job well done time to time. So, anything he can chew on, rawhide wise, would be great for him.


What is the average cost to purchase a K9?

The average cost to acquire and train a K9 for both patrol and narcotics range from $10,000 to $12,000. 

How long does it take to train a K9?

It takes 10 to 12 weeks to train the handler and the K9

What does it cost to supply the K9 with the right equipment?

Equipping a K9 police car with an insert, temperature monitor, and door-popper costs approximately $2,000. 

What is the average time a K9 is on active duty?

The K9 serves an average from 5 to 7 years. 

Where does the K9 live once it retires from the police force?

Most the time, the K9 will live his “silver years” in the homes of the police officer/handler in which worked while on active duty.  In most cases, the handler incurs the expenses of acquiring the K9 and is part of the family budget for at least 3 years upon retirement.

What Our K9 Handlers Are Saying

Don’t just take it from us, let our K9 Handlers do the talking!

“Check back soon.  We’re in the process of interviewing, Chief but his schedule is crazy and it’s tough to catch him. ”


“Check back again.  Bella has been working long hours, but she hopes to give a testimony soon. ”


“Check back with us.  Tucker has been occupied and helping sniff out the bad stuff and getting wrapped up in his work.  His testimony is coming soon. ”


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