K9 Spotlight | True Stories about Handlers and Their K9s

K9 Spotlight

K9 Spotlight

Here you can share and find true stories about the handlers and their partners putting our gear to work.

Check back every Saturday for a new winner!

Tactical K9 being lifted

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"Submit your story below for a chance to be featured here! You can submit one K9 Spotlight per month, and we'll choose a new story to feature every week! Plus we'll add 1,000 points to your account for sharing your own story! Even better, weekly winners will receive an additional 3,000 points to redeem for sweet discounts or new gear!"

— Your Name & Your K9

K9 Handler, Dog Enthusiast


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"There is a reason that Matt Akenhead uses the moniker, The Jaded Dog Trainer. With over 40 years of experience working with dogs, in some capacity, Matt came to realize that the majority of problems that dog owners face is caused by a misunderstanding of the breed. Instead of "correcting" behaviors of the dog, Matt explains to owners that the behaviors are often..."

— Matt Akenhead

Trainer & Handler


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"I became a K9 handler September 2019; and Hana was my first K9. We have battled through COVID-19 and still... "




— R. Jay Phelps & Hana

K9 Handler // Drug Detection K9


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"I started volunteering at a young age, in scouts and 4H, so it's been a part of me for a long time. I've also always had and loved animals. After graduating college with a degree in equine management (and training), I spent several years... "

— Melissa Kindt & Hawk

K9 Trainer // Human Remains Scent Detection K9


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"... I’ve always been drawn to helping others. Working in the District Attorneys office I learned more about the prosecution side of crimes and had the opportunity to work with our court dog who helped child victims of sex crimes testify in court. I saw the power and safety dogs gave those victims and my heart knew I had to get more involved in becoming a handler..."

— Jancy Thompson & Hera

K9 Handler // Explosives Detection K9


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" Xena and I work fulltime Interdiction for The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics. I also serve as our Sr trainer and instruct our OKC tarining group made up of over a dozen other agencies. I have trained animals in some form or another for most of my life. When I was chosen for the K9 division it was a dream come true. I'm fortunate to work several dogs at any given time..."

— Anthony Moore & Xena

Sr Agent/Sr Trainer Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Interdiction // Narcotics K9


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" I started working K9 Military Working Dogs (MWD) in The USAF in 2001. Fell in love with it and after retiring from the military went right back into K9 explosive detection for The Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Viper was bounced around from 2 previous handlers who could not properly work or handle an 80lb Belgian Malinois...."

— Damian Phillips & Viper

Explosive Detection Canine Handler for Department of Homeland Security // DHS K9


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" Jester and I were paired up in July of 2019. This is the first time In my career of over 20 years to have a K9 partner. What I didn’t know at the time is how lucky I was he came into my life...."

— Thomas Spicer & Jester

Lieutenant // K9 Officer


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" K9 Vader is my dual purpose narcotics and patrol dog. We help educate other officers and the public. We strive to be better every day in our training and job. My husband and his K9 Kaiser that we lost to cancer was my...."

— Julia Storey & Vader

SRO Officer // Narcotics & K9 Patrol


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" I have been wanting to get Malinois for years. Finding a breeder was the hard part. I found Ivan Balabanov breeder of the Ot Vitosha Belgian Malinois. I placed my order and it took 2 years before I got the call to pick up Sierra. I studied the breed for 5 years and still didn't know what I was really getting into. Thank god I was fit and retired. I have been training her using the..."

— Michael A Caragio & Sierra

Trainer & Handler // Search & Rescue


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"I rescued Jack a from the Agoura animal shelter who had been transferred over from the Palmdale Dog shelter/pound. I think we both needed each other more than we knew. As I trained jack to be my service to perform his tasks for me finished his training we then also started into the sport world of Shutzhund/IPO/IGP gaining our titles. Jack is also my personal protection dog and advanced trick dog..."

— Emily Yost & Jack

Trainer & Handler // Schutzhund, IPO, IGP


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"West Chicago Fire K9 Thor and handler Baseggio as well as Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Fire K9 Irie and handler Mike Vitale started their search at about 11:30pm... After trailing about a mile in darkness through a neighborhood, through a park, crossing a pedestrian bridge... A police officer then located the victim in the brush in this area near Salt Creek suffering from hypothermia..."

— Todd Baseggio & Thor

Firefighter // Search & Rescue


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"Avalanche search is very different than a lot of disciplines. We’re air scenting for very generic human scent. I almost never have a scent article from you (the missing person), to give my dog. So, we teach the dogs to hunt. And, they hunt for scent. And, when they get scent, they alert..."

— Jake Hutchinson

Trainer & Handler // Search & Rescue


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"Marsoc is my service dog who saved me from a very dark situation/ place in my life. The dark time I went through inspired me to start my non profit "Paws Against Domestic Violence". Our mission is to save and rescue dogs, train them, certify them, and rehome them with a victim or survivor of domestic violence. We want to put light back in peoples lives. Helping people and helpings dogs...."

— Kathryn Schreiner & Marsoc

Trainer // Protection & Domestic Violence Support


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"I wanted a tough dog that could be my partner when I was in the mountains and one that could withstand the elements. And a Siberian Husky fit that... My favorite piece of Ray Allen gear is the Ultimate Padded Leather Collar. I got it for him over three years ago and it has proved it’s worth. In fact, I am certain..."

— Cam Buford & Ragnar

Mountain Dweller // Protection


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" I acquired a malinois puppy (Ace) and him and I do everything together. Like Nuke, Ace is extremely well trained in various disciplines, including protection. Ace is fairly unique because he has floppy ears, which I have grown to love. He is truly a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but most of all, he is my best friend..."

— Steve Miriani & Ace

Retired K9 Cop // Trainer


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"Everybody thinks about the war and stuff, but it's not the killing that matters, it's the saving lives... The life and combat areas of trying to change hearts and minds, but protect and heal kids and women who've been traumatized by ISIS. That's what we're very good at, and ISIS hates it."

— Victor Marx

Humanitarian, Trainer, Author, Filmmaker, Public Speaker, Philanthropist


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"I grew up with a father that was an officer. I finally got to start my career in 2017. I decided before my career was over in law enforcement I wanted to be a K9 handler. In July 2020 I chose to leave the sheriffs office and join a local PD. I met my K9 partner Luna in September we got along so well her former handler..."

— Christian Walsh & Lunatic-Winters

K9 Officer


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"I was working as a veterinary technician out in New Jersey when I first got introduced to the world of K9. I started working with an IPO trainer, and fell in love with the sport. But I knew I wanted to do more, I wanted to be a handler..."

— Veronica Lees & Wolfo

Private Contract EOD // Patrol K9 Handler


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"The gear that we use is extremely important. That's 90% of the stuff we're going to be doing... The bite sleeves that we use, the sleeves have to be good ones; safe for the dogs and also safe for the decoy. The suit as well, I mean one misstep or you have a shitty suit you know you're kind of screwed... or not kind of, you are screwed..."

— Mike Jones with Primal Canine

Owner & Head Trainer


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