NEW SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) — A family-run dog training business in New Springfield trains dogs to serve as police K-9s, and they offer dog training for personal protection as well.
TJ Dobbins retired from the Ohio State Highway Patrol after 14 years. He and wife Jennifer wanted a way to stay connected to law enforcement, so they started Alpha Pack K-9.
“My husband has been a trainer for many years, and we just have a love and a passion for law enforcement and police K-9s,” Jennifer Dobbins said. “We just decided it was something that we wanted to do.”
Jennifer Dobbins said they usually train shepherd breeds of dogs. She said it takes a lot of training to get a dog ready.
“It’s about a 12-week program depending on the dog and the handler, but they come with us and they train every day,” Jennifer Dobbins said.
In order to serve as a police dog, the canines have to be certified under Ohio state standards. A lot goes into selecting a dog.
“We just test the drives and the traits in the specific dog to ensure that they have what it takes to be a police K-9,” TJ Dobbins said. “That includes their hunt drive, which would be used for narcotics detection, tracking and then their fight drive, which would be used for the apprehension work.”
TJ Dobbins said they hide narcotics in cars, and the dogs are trained to find them in the vehicles. They are also used to find people on the run.
“Track suspects through any type of environment, as well as possibly apprehending suspects that are fleeing from law enforcement,” TJ Dobbins said.
They train dogs to be social and to only bite on command.
Jennifer Dobbins said the work is rewarding.
“In the last few years, we’ve rescued over 400 [Malinois] and [Dutch shepherds], so they definitely have a close place to our heart,” Jennifer Dobbins said. “When we can re-purpose them and give them a job and their best life, it’s pretty awesome.”