The Vancouver City Police Canine Unit has a rich and proud history. Operational since 1957, Vancouver’s police dog unit is the oldest in Canada.
A few years after the unit was first created, Chief Constable George Archer reported to the mayor that,
“It is my considered opinion, based on our experience to date, that the four dogs now on duty are each equal to a second police constable and, in some instances, better. It is my intention to recommend to the Board of Police Commissioners an increase in our dog strength and consideration to the employment of a professional dog trainer.”
Since this early success, the program has flourished. Today, the canine unit is made up of 15 dog teams. These teams work hard to protect and serve. They’re on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The canines in the unit are trained in a wide variety of police disciplines including tracking, criminal apprehension, evidence recovery, narcotics, firearms and explosives detection.
The invaluable services these dogs provide are in high demand. The canine unit answers over 10,000 calls for service a year in the city of Vancouver and assists Lower Mainland police agencies when needed as well.
With such high stakes, the selection and training of police dogs is a rigorous process. The dogs selected are taken through a 14 to 17-week dog handler course before specializing depending on the unit’s needs. Once their training is complete, dogs will serve until they’re around 8 to 10 years old.
At Northwest, we’re proud to support the Vancouver City Police Canine Unit. We believe in the work they do to protect our families and our communities, and we are very grateful for their service. To show our gratitude, we have donated both land and funds to raising canines for service.
In fact, for a long time now, we have partnered with the West Coast German Shepherd Schutzhund Club, an organization that trains canines for service. Our hope is that the dogs they raise contribute to the police force and help make our communities a safer place!
If you would like to support the Vancouver City Police Canine Unit, you can donate here.