Canada’s police dogs train in our fields and yards

RCMP service dogs have been on the job for 75 years and for much of that time, the dogs have been trained at the RCMP centre outside Innisfail.

RCMP Const. Brady Kyle of Rocky Mountain House takes his dog Barter through the agility course at the RCMP Police Dog Service Training Centre Wednesday: public demonstrations are available every Wednesday at 2 p.m.

RCMP Const. Brady Kyle of Rocky Mountain House takes his dog Barter through the agility course at the RCMP Police Dog Service Training Centre Wednesday: public demonstrations are available every Wednesday at 2 p.m.



RCMP service dogs have been on the job for 75 years and for much of that time, the dogs have been trained at the RCMP centre outside Innisfail.

RCMP Police Dog Service Training Centre, the only RCMP facility of its kind in Canada, has been in operation for 45 years.

Each year about 30 dogs, 12 to 16 months old, complete a one-on-one training program with their handlers.

Currently, there are about 130 general duty RCMP dogs trained to apprehend criminals, track and search, and another 25 specially trained dogs detect narcotics or explosives.

The centre’s German shepherd breeding program, established in 1999, produced 71 per cent of current general duty dogs.

Through the years, dogs and their handlers have used fields, backyards, businesses and pastures around Central Alberta during training.

RCMP Insp. Lawrence Aimoe, who was in charge of the training centre for several years, said the public support during training has been phenomenal.

“People have been watching us crawl through their backyards for years,” said Aimoe, who is now in charge of Hobbema RCMP detachment.

Sometimes it still surprises people, but they’re quick to realize the pair are in training, he said.

The public assistance is greatly appreciated. “By supporting us, I don’t think a lot of people really realize what they’re indirectly contributing to. They are part of something way bigger.”

Repetition during training is key for the dogs to graduate, he said.

Due to the RCMP training program’s high standards, there’s only a 17 per cent chance a dog will succeed.

Public demonstrations at the Innisfail centre, off Hwy 2, are conducted every Wednesday afternoon between Victoria Day and Labour Day.

The 45-minute demonstration starts at 2 p.m. Admission is free.

To reach the centre take Exit 365 off Hwy 2 at Innisfail, travel east and follow the signs.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com