EATON – Two-year-old Shadow is the newest member of the Eaton Police Division.
Shadow, a German Shepherd, has been in service since Aug. 12. He was brought in as a replacement for the EPD’s previous dog, Argo, who was returned due to not meeting expectations, according to K-9 Officer Craig Jones.
“It’s going well. He’s still got a lot of puppy in him,” Jones said of adapting to Shadow. “For the most part he is doing really well. His work with drugs has been going great. He shows a lot of interest in that. His bite work through certification was looking really good.”
Jones said the replacement of Argo was under warranty, and the move was necessary. It was an even swap with the vendor for Shadow.
“Argo, unfortunately, was not living up to expectations as far as what we were supposed to be getting out of dog,” Jones said. “He had some issues with his bite work, protection-wise and we were under the impression that we would be able to work through the problem. He just would never come out of it. He just didn’t have the desire to bite anybody.”
Having a K-9 unit has become necessary due to the county’s drug problem.
“Right now, one of the biggest things that a dog brings to the table — with as bad as the drug problem has gotten in Preble County — that’s actually the main thing a dog will be used for,” Jones said. “It gives us another tool in our belt to help combat the drug problem we’ve got here.”
Jones said the department should get approximately six years of service from a K-9.
Jones said he went through an extensive training with Argo, but Argo just wasn’t working out.
“Every dog is different, just like every person is different. For the most part, all the dogs in the training group (Preble, Butler, Shelby and other counties) are well rounded.
“It’s like dealing with kids,” Jones said. “They all have their different personalities.”
Every once in a while Shadow just decides he wants to play instead of work, but he just has to be gotten back on task.
“Shadow just acts like he wants to do anything to please me,” Jones said. “He really gets worked up and wants to get his toy, which is his reward.”
“When he’s searching a vehicle, he’s very slow and methodical, he doesn’t want to miss anything,” Jones said of Shadow. “When you have a dog which really wants to please the handler, he really is able to go above and beyond.”
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.