Name of Handler: Kyle Hoertsch
Dog: Rocky, Male German Shepherd Dog
- Branch of Law Enforcement/City: Sacramento County Sheriff's Department
- Age of dog: 3 years old
- How long have you been working with your dog? 2 years
- Type of police work dog does: Rocky is a patrol K9 who is also cross- trained and certified in the detection of narcotics.
- Where did you get him? Rocky originally came from Czechoslovakia.
- Has your dog won any awards? Rocky did not compete in any trials his first year but I expect him to win a few this year.
- Your dog's favorite people food: We try not to give the dogs any people food, however I can tell you he loves anything he can get.
All About Deputy K-9 Rocky
Rocky was purchased from a brocher/kennel in Indiana where we found him. Rocky had a long journey to get to Sacramento. His shipping address was mixed up at the airport in Indiana and he was mistakingly sent to the Denver Airport. My son and I eagerly awaited his arrival at the Sacramento Airport one late night. When we walked up to the kennel expecting to see a 60 pound German Shepherd name Cezar (now Rocky) we saw an 85 pound Belgian Malinois named Dajanlo 5. I am sure Rocky was just as startled as we were when he got off the plane in Denver as it was freezing there that night. I got ahold of the handler in Denver (who was expecting Dajanglo 5) where he asked if I wanted to trade dogs, I politely said "no thanks."
I often get asked what breed of dog Rocky is due to his light markings. I usually reply back that he is an American Wolf (unknown if there is such a thing). People look at me in amazement and say "That's cool."
One night we responded to a burglary in progress where the officers believed the suspect to be in the attic. The fire department was on scene and had a ladder set up in the garage leading to the attic access. Rocky was pretty pumped up since he had seen this scenario before so I had to told him tightly as we walked past several fire fighters in the house. Rocky cleared the attic and came down the ladder on his own. I walked him out to the living room where the firemen were. One of them asked what breed he was and I gave my typical "American Wolf" response. The fireman turned to his partner and said, "See I told you." I can"t remember if I came clean with him so he may still think that Rocky is a wolf.
Rocky has been injury-free thus far with the exception of a scare one morning. Working dogs often die from having a twisted stomach. This occurs when the canine drinks a good amount of water after working / playing hard and the stomach basically does one complete revolution twisting off circulation to the stomach. I came out to the kennel one morning and he had a bloated stomach which is the most common sign. I put him in my car and we rushed code 3 (lights and siren) to the vet, only to find that he was constipated, thank God.
Rocky is my partner and when we go to work we go as a team. It would not be uncommon to see me talking to him during the shift. I have had to draw the line when I started saying "Bless you" after he sneezed.
Rocky is also a great addition to my family as my 8-year-old loves to play fetch with him in the back yard. I still don't know who could outlast the other in that game as I am usually the one who tells them both to stop.
Rocky also has taught himself to open his own door. I usually let him out of his kennel on work days about a half hour before shift. I also keep my K9 car on the side of the house next to his kennel. One day I came out all ready for work and Rocky was gone. I have a completely fenced in yard and could not figure out where he was. I came around the corner and staring at me through the car was Rocky, in the back. I figured I had just left his door open the night before. The next day I did the same routine. This time when I was getting ready I heard what sounded like the door handles on my car being opened. I peaked around the corner and there was Rocky letting himself into the car. I thought that was a cool trick so I re-enforced it so he would do it on the command of "Load."
I thought this was a cool trick until several things happened. I keep one of Rocky's favorite toys in my patrol bag in the front seat, and he knows it. I had forgotten to lock my car doors one day so when I let him out of his kennel he went to his normal trick of opening his door. However, this time he went a step further. I looked out the back door and there was Rocky playing with his favorite toy. He had opened my door, went into the front seat, removed his toy from my bag and was having a good time in the back yard.
I also learned that my partners do not appreciate Rocky letting their K-9 partners out of their cars while we are at training. You can also imagine the look an the bad guy's face when I was walking Rocky back to our car for him to stop at the car they are sitting in and try to open the back door.
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Rocky and Kyle Hoertsch email us directly here or make a donation easily through PayPal here.