Postmedia Calgary reporter Zach Laing fought the law and the law won! Laing got to experience first hand what it’s like when a trained K9 takes a bite out of crime.
Last Wednesday I got to experience something criminals have for decades — what it feels like to be on the receiving end of a police dog bite.
Thankfully, my experience was held in a controlled environment with padding on my arm.
It was at the RCMP dog service training facility outside of Innisfail, where Cpl. Daniel Block, an RCMP dog unit member, let his six-year-old German Shepherd Eve loose on me.
Wanted for “inappropriate media reporting,” I was challenged by the dog and I wasn’t going to stand down.
Knowing for a few hours ahead of time the experience would be a go, I had a lot of time to prepare myself for what was to come.
Besides feeling a little queasy due to butterflies in the time ahead, I was doing great — but as I stood behind a six-foot-tall training ramp, seconds away from being bit, there was only one thing on my mind.
“I’m sick to my stomach,” I groaned.
“I was fine until now, but now it’s real!”
I stepped out from behind the ramp and stepped towards the dog.
Taunting Block and his dog, telling them that if they wanted to take me in for the aforementioned charge he would have to let her loose on me.
The decision was simple, and off Eve went.
After a 1.5-metre sprint, she launched herself clamping down onto my padded forearm — she yanked as hard as she could, but she couldn’t take my 275-lb. frame to the ground. If I didn’t have that pad on, you could bet I would be down screaming bloody murder.
Block called Eve off and she darted back to her handler like the incredibly well-trained dog she was.
Postmedia Calgary reporter Zach Laing tests out a K9 Unit bite arm during a demonstration at the RCMP Police Dog Service Training Centre in Innisfail, AB, north of Calgary on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. Jim Wells/Postmedia
She got a congratulatory treat, and then off she was running circles around me like any other dog would on a sunny afternoon.
For the sake of good footage, Eve got a second chance to take me down only this time, the butterflies were all gone.
Again, she tried as hard as she could, but couldn’t take me down.
I learned a lot that day — first of all, never run from a police dog. It may sound straightforward, but for some reason, people think they can outrun a dog.
Having watched an agility event the dogs were run through prior to my scheduled dog bite, the athleticism in the on-duty German Shepherds is incredible, and I guarantee you won’t get away.
Second … never run from a police dog. If this thing were to clamp down on you without the luxurious padding I had, it would do serious damage.
You can run, and you can hide, but a K9 police dog is going to find you and take you down.
On Twitter: @zjlaing