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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"US Canine Biathlon is our event company, we put on a race every year... It is known as the ultimate canine bonding experience..."

— Christie Dober

360 Canine Group &


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"Loki is a 1 year old GSD out of Diehl Police K9 Training Center. He is being trained as the demo dog for our veterans and first responders at K9 Heroes 4 Heroes as well as a future SAR dog."

— Joe Gionti & Loki

Trainer // SAR Training & Compan


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"Once I got him home it was obvious he wasn’t your standard pet Malinois. He wanted a job! He was super stable in any environment (even around gunfire)..."

— Tristan Townlet & Yagami

Disabled Dog Enthusiast // Service Dog &


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"Once I got him home it was obvious he wasn’t your standard pet Malinois. He wanted a job! He was super stable in any environment (even around gunfire)..."

— Toni Matthews & Bulleit

Civilian Police K9 Trainer // PSA Decoy Trainer


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"From a young age he had a passion for working dogs along with a hunger to learn. This passion put him on a path to assist with training police and protection dogs..."

— Howard Young (White Beard)

Civilian Police K9 Trainer


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"I recently got a new K9 partner, his name is ‘K9 Bolo’ he was generously donated by K9’s of Valor. He is an amazing partner.. he’s already saved my life on the street..."

— Worthless Handler

Owner and K9 Officer


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" Found out the "hard" way that someone had put a lot of training in him for bite/protection work. I was getting ready for Halloween when Radar was losing his mind in his crate..."

— Lisa Traxler & Radar

Dog Trainer // PSA K9


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" I was given my GSD (Mr Whispers) by my brother when I agreed to rent his house. Living alone and suffering from PTSD..."

— Jeffery Anderson & Mr Whispers

Federal Police // Companion & Therapy dog


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"...Since becoming a K9 officer, it's been the best and most rewarding position I've held in my many years of service. Django is a 95lb GSD, and is just as sweet as he is stubborn. Together we have participated in many live fire scenarios..."

— Kashea Estrada & Django

Police Officer // Police K9


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"...Our retirement began with long hikes, agility and lots of socialization. When I introduced Giggles to dog sports, she loved them all; but excelled at nose work and dock diving..."

— Lisa Pittarelli & Giggles

SAR Handler & Retired FBI // SAR & Remains Detection


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"...We eat, breath, and live K9.. When I first got my first dog it was life changing.. Immediately at once I started owrking a dog, I knew that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life..."

— Matt Nero and Joe Lutkowski

Joint owners of Blueline K9 Training // Law Enforcement


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"...All started In 1983 my first Pit Angel dangling from our maple tree out front. Old garage door spring and a shammy. She amazed all our neighbors to see her jump up and hang what seemed like forever, pulling and tugging, twisting in circles..."

— Ed Farac with Rogue & Neera

Content Creator, Owner & Trainer // Agility & Companion


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"...one day, went to Hill Country Dog Center and I received a text of a dog with a comment "Here is your new partner." A couple weeks later and I was attending training with the dog known as Vito. Our learning curve has had a wide arc..."

— Brian Peals & Vito

Sheriff Deputy & SRO // Tracking & Emotional Support


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"The best friend I ever had was Ace. After going through the roughest time in my life mentally, Ace was there to get me through. In my scariest time, full of anxiety, he would simply come and just place his head in my lap, letting me know it would be okay because..."

— Mike Lambert & Ace

Dog Enthusiast // Companion


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"Gavin and I both knew that Jas was a special dog and deserved to bear the name of an Airborne Ranger in the Sky. Jas was purchased by the Savannah Police Department in the summer of 2019, and became K9 Jas.. at only 3.5 years old, K9 Jas has an impressive career ahead of him, I am just happy to be along for the ride. Without a doubt, K9 Jas lives up to the name he was given..."

— Jon Lindsey & Jas

Police K9 Handler // Narcotics, Patrol and SPD SWAT Dog


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"I've been with mission K9 Rescue going on five years. I was a handler before and after Afghanistan they rescued me.. My job is to pair the animals with the adopters.. I started in the civilian world as a handler by accident. I had a dog that was tearing up my apartment so I had to give him a purpose..."

— Tony Villalobos

Pairing Dogs with Adopters for Mission K9 Rescue, Police K9 Trainer


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"I am a former Navy SEAL. It has been and honor and a privilege working with several organizations providing demonstration and raising awareness for Veterans. This unexpectedly started my journey in the K9 community and, ultimately why I started..."

— Dale McClellan & Storm

Former Navy Seal & Handler // Companion & MWD


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".. I thought of Shasta as a therapy dog. He was calm, rarely barked and loved people.” Denise is a nurse practitioner and very passionate about pets. When a volunteer director at Adventist Health heard about Denise’s passion, she reached out..."

— Andrew Hanus & Beni

Retired Air Force // Retired MW


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"Dez was born and raised for law enforcement. He started his police career with my brother in law at about 18 months. A few solid months into training , he made the difficult decision to wash Dez from training. He was a phenomenal tracker, but he wouldn’t bite..."

— Ed Abrahamson & Dez

Retired Law Enforcement // Service Dog


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"Military Working Dog Axel N677 was my first MWD when I was a handler in the US Navy. We had great times working together and I was thrilled to adopt him when he retired, and continue to get to spend my days with him..."

— Luke Timmons & Burt

K-9 Dog Handler // K-9


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"Military Working Dog Axel N677 was my first MWD when I was a handler in the US Navy. We had great times working together and I was thrilled to adopt him when he retired, and continue to get to spend my days with him..."

— Jake Stanley & Axel

Dog Handler // Military Working Dog


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"I got started by going to Europe.. met some friends and they asked me to catch dogs.. at nineteen years old they were like here put this suit on.. and they bring out this massive malinois and I thought I was gonna die..."

— Ted Summers

Co-host Working Dog Radio, Program and Training Director for HRD Police K9, and Owner of Torchlight K9


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"We rescued a 2 year old Australian Cattle Dog. From the local shelter the story they told me he was living in NC in someone’s garage for 2 years and he didn’t have much human..."

— Jonathan Laserinko & Coyote

Dog Enthusiast // Companion


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"..Karma and I work specifically at the Anamosa State Penitentiary, where we recently had 2 staff members murdered. Karma and I responded to the emergency and one of the suspects surrender to my partner. We are members of the USPCA..."

— Damon Van Bogart & Karma

K9 Handler // Dual Purpose K9


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"I was a Marine, and then a mechanic for 20 plus years, when I realized, I would rather be working with dogs, than cars. Don't get me wrong, I loved working on cranes...but it is much more rewarding to work with dogs. My goals are to continue training Search and rescue dogs..."

— Jon Bonnette & Izzy

Air Force Combat Controller // Bite Training


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"Not only is Hades trained in protection, he loves playing and hiking with our family. He has been training in bite work for the past two years, and we rely on Ray Allen harnesses during his training sessions. He instantly knows when his “work kit” goes on, it is time to go..."

— Rick Mallow & Hades

Air Froce Combat Controller // Bite Training


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"I've been a police officer for 20 years, was in K9 for 18, SWAT for 9. Those entire 9 years that I was on SWAT I was responsible for being the SWAT dog handler.. and then really kind of specializing in small unit tactics because we were a small agency..."

— Todd Thompson

Police Officer & K9 Handler // Patrol, Narcotics & SWAT Tactics K9


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"Not long ago I was serving as a Lieutenant in Crime Suppression; never thinking I'd be a K9 handler on patrol, but it's funny how life comes at you. Even with the little experience training my personal German Shepherd; when I was approached with the opportunity of taking on a new K9 (Hana) as a partner... "

— 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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"There is a reason that Matt Akenhead uses the moniker, The Jaded Dog Trainer. With over 40 years of experience..."

— Matt Akenhead

Trainer & Handler


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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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