Pawsitively Trained, LLC

   Turn your "problem pooch" into a Pawsitively Trained Dog  

Pawsitively Trained Comfort K-9 Program

What is a Comfort K-9?

A Comfort K-9 is a facility dog that works at the police station. These dogs spend the day (and occasionally the night) at the station, working as a therapy dog for the police officers. The Comfort K-9 program is part of the Officer Wellness program and is utilized to reduce the stress and trauma that naturally goes along with the work that the officers handle on a daily basis. The dogs are on site to provide comfort, emotional support, and, often, comedic relief for the officers on duty. These dogs take their job of snuggling, playing, and settling with their officer handlers very seriously, and are extensively trained to be the best possible match for their work environment. 


The Comfort K-9s are paired with a primary handler in the station, who is responsible for the care and training of the puppy. The primary handler will often be the main person taking the puppy home after hours, and will work with the dog on and off site throughout the dog's career. Secondary handlers are also trained to work with the dogs, and can supervise the dog in the station, as well as take the dog out to work in other environments.  All  Comfort K-9 handlers must go through an in depth training program to make sure that the puppy is being raised to specific standards and to create a consistent working environment through the dog's adulthood and career. 


Check out this video interview with  Mila and KATU: 

katu.com/news/local/everyday-heroes-mila-the-comfort-k-9 


Training a Comfort K-9

Because Comfort K-9s are therapy dogs, they must go through a specialized training program to prepare them for their jobs. Pawsitively Trained partners with police stations, as well as breeders and rescues, to cater the Comfort K-9 training program to each department's individual needs. Often, the puppy will initially be raised part time with the trainer or puppy raiser and part time with the officers, in a modified Stay and Train program, until they are transferred to live with the officers full time. This allows the puppies to be raised in the station environment (which is very different than the standard home environment) while also getting the benefits of starting a training program out with the expertise of a certified, experienced trainer. Here is an overview of the different stages of training that a Comfort K-9 goes through before becoming therapy certified.

Puppy Training
Definition
 Focus
 Examples
 Age
Teaching the puppy how navigate the world successfully 
Building confidence, teaching manners, addressing “puppy” behaviors 
Socializing, potty training, appropriate play, puppy nipping, appropriate greetings, introducing the leash, crate training, etc. 
  0-5 months 
Basic Obedience
Definition
 Focus
 Examples
 Age
Teaching cues to increase responsiveness and handler control
  Teaching the puppy how to make good choices, giving the puppy replacement behaviors for common problem behaviors, teaching impulse control
  Sit, down, stay, wait at the door, loose leash walking, off, leave it, drop it, come, etc.
  3-8 months
Advanced Obedience
Definition
 Focus
 Examples
 Age
Refining cues and increasing reliability around distractions
  Adding duration, distance, and distraction to basic obedience, fine tuning gestures and verbal cues
  Stay for extended duration, heel past distractions, ignoring dogs in public, responding to cues the first time, making cues more subtle, etc.
  8-18 months
Public Access 
Definition
Focus
 Examples
 Age
Positively exposing the dog to stimuli found in public settings (different from home environment)
  Creating positive associations with new environments, teaching the dog how to relax in public places, practicing obedience in public
Riding in elevators, settling at a park, riding in the car, walking through crowds, passing bikes/strollers/shopping carts/ etc.
  3-24 months
Tasks and Job Skills
Definition
 Focus
 Examples
 Age
Teaching the dog how to perform the tasks needed for their job
Determining what, specifically, the dog will be used for
  Settling at someone’s feet, targeting with nose or paw, stabilizing a person, picking up items, etc.
  12-24 months

Tests and Certifications 

Definition
 Focus
 Examples
 Age
Dogs with job titles often need to pass tests to be certified
  Testing the dog’s skill set and making sure they behave appropriately for their job
 Canine Good Citizen, Therapy Certification, Service Certification, Etc.
  24 months

Check out the Puppy Raising Program for information on how to start training a puppy to be a Comfort K-9.

Active Comfort K-9s




Click Here to Meet Milagro (AKA Mila)

Breed: Black Labrador Retriever

DOB: August 2017

Sherwood Police Department, OR




Click Here to Meet Jocko 

Breed: Standard Schnauzer

DOB: November 2018

Portland Police Bureau, OR

Contact us for more info and/or if you would like to add a Comfort K-9 to your station!

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