How can a tiny Chihuahua be used in police work you might ask and rightfully so. When we think of police dogs, we think of German Shepherds and other large and powerful dogs that can easily apprehend a criminal and take a bullet when necessary. They are loyal officers that give their lives in the line of duty. Or we think of bloodhounds and other dogs used for their powerful sense of smell. These dogs have been trained to find drugs or search out important clues at crime scenes. It now appears that the profile of a police dog is changing and a little Chihuahua, with a rat terrier mix is now on the scene to stay.
For the past seven years Brutus, the Canine Sheppard has been serving the state of Ohio in the sheriff's department in Geauga Country. The county has always used German shepherds and Labrador retrievers in the line of duty. Now there is a new top dog on the scene. Midge the miniature Chihuahua with a Rat Terrier mix is now on guard. She is 9 months old and weighs all but seven pounds, but she is all police dog. Currently she cruises the county jail in her cute little uniform, making sure that order is being kept.
Midge is tiny, cute and friendly. She is super vigilant and is alert to the coming and going of all who enter the country jail.
The canine trainer for that department of Geauga County believes she has a bright future ahead of her as a drug dog. Midge started with the force when she was three months old. She commenced her drug training about six months later. At present she is still in training to sniff out marijuana, so she is not yet certified. However, the department trainer says she is well on her way. She watches the larger dogs sniff out marijuana in cupboards, crawl spaces, vents and other places.
When not in training she frolics in the grass with big Brutus.
Sheriff Dan Mc Clelland has pondered the idea of using a small dog for drug detection for about two years. The idea came to him while watching the difficulty the larger German Shepherds had to manoeuvre their large bodies into small places. He saw the difficulty these large 120 pounds dogs had when they were inside a car and had to turn around. There was also the problem of the larger dogs damaging the cars and homes of suspects and these very suspects suing the police department because of it.
Mc Clelland's idea of using a small dog was reinforced when he saw American customs officers using beagles to sniff the luggage of vacationers.
Because of her size Midge will never be in position to defend a police officer or scare an assailant away, so she is trained to be a social dog and she is quite friendly even with children.
Mc Clelland says that there is no reason why a small dog cannot be as effective in police work as a big dog. Midge can search large rooms the same way and has the added advantage of being able to sniff in very small places.
Mc Clelland has absolutely no doubt that using Midge in police work is not a passing fancy and small dogs can have a valuable role to play in law enforcement.