Courtesy: Cooleemee Fire Department
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- "It takes awhile to form a bond, but once you have it, it's a bond that can't be broken."
Those are the words of Corporal Travis Moser, an officer with the Guilford County Sheriff's Office's K9 unit talking about the relationship between an officer and their dog. His partner is a 3 1/2 year old Chet Shepard named Miki.
In light of the Davie County standoff this week where an officer was shot and his K9 died, WFMY News 2 spoke with Moser about the type of training the dogs go through and what goes into replacing them.
Most K9s are trained "in-house" by officers for narcotics detection, area and building searches, and aggression control. Moser says this costs about $7,000 to do this.
If a dog is trained "out of house" through a handling school or a kennel, Moser says this costs anywhere from $12,000 to $14,000.
The most important lesson for the dog and officer to learn however is something that isn't something one can learn. This is the bond formed between the officer and the dog.
Moser says the dog is like an officers' partner, you spend more time with them than you would with a spouse or family member. He says a lot of time is also spent working and bonding with the dogs on their days off.
Deputies work with the dogs every week for a minimum of 4 hours a day. Moser says it takes about 12 weeks to train a dog to go out on the road with the officers.
So when an officer loses his partner like Deputy Chris Fleming did with Gorky in Davie County this week, Moser says it's like the loss of a family member. With a lot of time going into trying to find the right dog and the training process, the fact that the dog was trained makes it hard to replace.
WFMY News 2