Canines with Careers—Panzer, Police Service Dogby Lee McKenzie
I doubt very much you’ll ever find a human who’s as dedicated to his job or his partner as Police Service Dog Panzer is. Panzer is a three-year-old German shepherd general duty dog who is currently being trained for a speciality in detecting drugs. What most impressed me were his boundless energy and his unwavering devotion to his handler, Sgt. Glen MacKenzie of the Saanich Police Department.
Breed: German shepherd
Age (in human years): 3
Weight: 70 pounds
Food: 4 cups of kibble mixed with water, once a day
Treats: no treats
Favorite Toy: ball on a rope (see photos)
Favorite Activity: tracking bad guys; chasing the spray from a garden hose
One Word That Best Describes Panzer: dedicated
The Canine Unit with this police department has four teams of dogs and handlers. The dogs and humans are carefully matched because the bond between the two is so critical to the work they do, and the teams are trained on site. The department has an impressive minimal force program—of 87 canine arrests last year, there were only three bites.
Panzer has been on the job since he was 18 months old. I was a little disappointed to learn that he doesn’t have his own ID badge—I really think he should, don’t you?—but he does have a bulletproof jacket, a harness with a 30-foot lead, and a tactical harness for being lowered from a helicopter. I didn’t get to see a helicopter demonstration, but you can bet I’d like to.
Panzer is very sociable, enjoys being around people, and loves to play. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting him and while he happily tolerated me, he really only has eyes for his handler. It was immediately clear to me that this dog will do anything for Sgt. MacKenzie, and that feeling is mutual.
To stay in shape, Panzer and his handler run six to eight miles every other day. Panzer’s favourite toy is a yellow ball on a rope. You can see him here with the ball resting on his snout. As much as he wants to play, he won’t grab the ball until he’s given the command, “break.” Then a vigorous game of tug-of-war ensues, or Glen throws the ball and Panzer races after it.
Panzer even has his own collector card. How cool is that?
After seeing this dog’s incredible strength, speed and dedication to the job, I can say one thing for sure—I’m very glad he and I are on the same side of the law!
To meet more canines with careers, please join me and guide dog Kimo at The Writer Side of Life, and me and office dog Tipper with the Harlequin American Romance Authors.
Until next time,