MANDAN, N.D. (KXNET) — The Morton County Sheriff’s Office introduced its new therapy K-9, Major “Teddy” Hugz on Monday!
Major is a nine-week-old male Goldendoodle donated to the agency by Montana Goldendoodles and Labradoodles, a breeder in Great Falls, Montana whose owner has a family connection to law enforcement and is eager to be a part of bringing a Goldendoodle into public service.
Major will be used as another tool to enhance interactions within Morton County communities and with existing partnerships.
The breeder offered to donate the Major based on observation and temperament testing of the puppies.
Major scored high on touch tolerance, motivation and confidence.
Deputy David Tomlinson, MCSO Student Resource Officer, will be the therapy K-9’s handler and will primarily use the dog within Morton County schools to assist students who suffer from anxiety, trauma or those who may simply respond better to a situation with the presence of pet therapy.
“Obviously working with children and the Goldendoodles temperament with children being able to be loved on; we just thought that Major Hugz just came together and fit what his role would be in our department as well as our community,” said Tomlinson.
Although the therapy K-9 will primarily serve students in Morton County schools, MCSO will also deploy Major for partner agencies following traumatic incidents where he can assist victims and first responders.
Major will begin obedience training in August through Bismarck’s PetSmart dog trainers to obtain its American Kennel Club Good Citizen certification.
The handler and canine will move on to advanced obedience techniques in 2023 through accredited therapy K-9 programs.
Major and Tomlinson will learn advanced obedience techniques, behavioral observation training, investigative and interview techniques, as well we learn best practices from other therapy K-9 programs.