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Local Group Trains Pooches To Protect And Serve

By: Garin Flowers Email
By: Garin Flowers Email

Chris Race and his partners run Royal Police Dogs out of Crawfordville in Wakulla County.

The dogs they train eventually serve in law enforcement.

"I got into it more as a sport and a hobby. It was just like an instant addiction to the training of the dog and the understanding," Race said.

He has been training dogs for about 13 years and so has Ken Hungerford, one of his partners.

Hungerford showed us 12-month-old Rix, a Belgian Malinois, doing an obedience exercise.

"They don't understand language, so you have to teach them everything. It's kind of like a spiritual experience," Hungerford said.

Kristina Carlisle and her husband, Cameron, showed us 10-year-old Gator, also a Belgian Malinois. For his drill, Gator looks for drugs inside a truck.

"We both adore doing it, we love working with every single dog and the process of it," Carlisle said.

The most action is when Race shows the dogs attacking.

I even suited up myself to see what it feels like for a dog to attack an intruder. Luckily, I'm doing okay.

Race said one of the best kicks he gets is when a dog is ready for service.

"It's a way of life. You don't clock out at 5 'o clock. It's an around-the-clock deal and I love it. There's nothing else I'd rather be doing than training dogs and getting them ready for police departments," Race said.

The group mostly trains Belgian Malinois and sometimes German Shepherds.

They try to have the dogs they train ready for purchase after about ten to 12 months.


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