Friday August 22, 2014

Name the puppy contest returns


The RCMP is once again calling on Canadian children to help them name a new batch of potential police dogs.

Ten German Shepherd puppies were recently born at the Police Dog Service Training Centre (PDSTC) in Innisfail, Alberta. Children 16 and under are eligible to submit a name. The winners will each receive a laminated 8 by10-inch photo of the pup they name, a plush dog named Justice and an RCMP cap.

There are three ways to enter: online at; by email to; or by snail mail to Name the Puppy Contest, Police Dog Service Training Centre, Box 6120, Innisfail, AB, T4G 1S8.

There is a limit of one entry per child. The name may be for a male or female (there are five of each), must start with the letter G and be no more than nine letters and no more than two syllables.

The deadline for entries is March 5 and the winners will be announced April 15.

Last year, Columbia School’s Caleb Mysko was one of the lucky winners for his suggestion of Fraser.

Once the pups reach about two months of age, they are turned over to a handler and arduous two-year process of training begins.

Only about a third of the 10 new ‘recruits’ will ever see service as a police dog, however. Only one in three puppies from the wind up having “the right stuff.”

Sgt. Eric Stebenne said that is a very good ratio. Before the Mounties started their own breeding program, only about one in nine dogs made it through the strenuous training program.

Of the dogs that don’t make it to constable, another two out of 10 do become working dogs, such as search and rescue. The rest become available for adoption and make great well-trained pets, Stebenne said.

People interested in purchasing almost police dogs can visit the website mentioned above.

The training centre also welcomes guests. Demonstrations are held Wednesday afternoons between Victoria Day and Labour Day.



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