Paige may soon be on full-time paw patrol in the Tri-Cities.
The Coquitlam RCMP welcomed the eight-week-old dog this week its newest member and is set to undergo multiple training regiments in the months ahead.
Const. John Graham tells the Tri-City News she's also the youngest of its police dogs currently at the detachment.
"The Coquitlam RCMP currently have two police service dogs in training; Paige (eight weeks of age) and Nessel (12 months of age)," he explains.
"The Lower Mainland is serviced by the Integrated Police Dog Service (IPDS) which provides 24/7 coverage from Hope to Pemberton, covering all cities and municipalities (with the exception of Vancouver City and West Vancouver)."
Paige was born at the Police Dog Services Training Centre (PDSTC) in Innisfail, Alta. as part of Canada's RCMP Police Dog Breeding Program.
Graham explains RCMP Police Dog Services only uses purebred German Shepherds for General Duty teams, while other breeds may be used for Specialty Detection teams like those that sniff for drugs or explosives at airports.
She has a long way to go before officially earning a Coquitlam badge but while in the region, she's set to take part in an imprinting course.
Graham says imprinting includes early neurological stimulation and continues until a dog reaches as old as 16 months, all while with a volunteer handler who takes time to raise the puppy, house them and care for them.
"Once Paige’s imprinting training has been completed she will return to Alberta for further training," Graham added, noting Const. Wright will be her imprinter/trainer.
"It is hoped she will pass all of her training and become a fully-fledged Police Service Dog within the RCMP."
Police dogs have been on RCMP's frontline for years in keeping communities safe, playing an important role across a number of scenarios, Graham said.
"They support many areas of policing, including searches for missing or lost children and adults, tracking and apprehension of criminals, removal of illicit drugs from the streets, detection of explosives, searches for evidence used in crimes, building searches and assist in high-risk arrests (armed and/or barricaded suspects)."
For more information about RCMP dog services, you're encouraged to visit the depot division page of the PDSTC website.
Editor's Note: While Paige may not appear to be a German Shepherd to some, Graham explained Paige’s ears haven’t formed yet. They're likely to become more pointed and her fur coat will lighten as she grows into an adult.