Retired German Shepherd Police Dog 'Cries' After Reunion With Handler
Jan 26, 2021 by apost team
Every person who has had the unconditional love and loyalty of a dog knows that there is nothing purer in the world. Being able to share your life with a dog means that you are always in the midst of dog kisses and hugs. For police dogs, however, their jobs are different. Being dedicated to public service like this means that these dogs have to fulfill certain expectations, of which having a happy-go-lucky character is not one. However, this doesn't mean that police dogs are not like normal dogs. This video from January 2021 shows that under the police dog persona, every pooch is a softie that loves its owner. Wangwang meets her handler after a long time and becomes extremely emotional to see him again, and we joined in with the tears as well.
Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-)
That was the story of Wangwang, an eight-year-old female German Shepherd who used to work as a sniffer dog at security checkpoints in Xichuan County, Henan province, central China. After retiring in June 2019, she had to separate from her handler to live in her forever home. Would she remember her handler?
It turns out she did, as her handler spontaneously decided to pay a surprise visit to the sweet furry former working partner. The handler did so with the help of Xichuan Police's Douyin account, the Chinese version of TikTok. While patrolling a neighborhood near her home, the police officer recorded a clip of him calling for his four-legged friend.
He didn't have to call for long before Wangwang ran out to greet him. She excitedly rushed through the front door and into his arms. With her head, she rubbed on his legs. As she laid down in front of the police officer, she looked as if she was shedding tears.
Indeed, still-shots show watery eyes full of emotion. She stays with him as long as possible, showing her happiness and affection towards him. Many dog lovers understand the belly-up gesture to be a sign of trust and love. They are no stranger to the gesture that needs no words to communicate what's being said, which was topped off with Wangwang's eyes flooding with tears.
According to Unilad, the caption for the video read, "Wangwang's hair is turning white but she is well fed, she is getting fat." Viewers can see she is plump and beautiful with glossy fur and good health. However, it is a big deal to leave a furry pal behind. "It is always hard to bid farewell to your buddy," Wangwang's handler wrote.
He wasn't the only one whose heart melted at Wangwang's touching behavior, either. A viewer wrote, "The dog is welling up. Dogs are really loyal companions, please treat her well!" A second commented, "You can tell how much Wangwang misses her handler. You can understand when the dog greets you belly up."
On the other hand, some viewers wanted to know why Wangwang was not allowed to live with her handler. Unilad reported that per Xichuan Police:
"Police dogs are generally well-fed at the training center but our officers could not dedicate their time to play or exercise with retired dogs. They will be better looked after in a suitable family than staying in the training center."
When you think about it, a training center is no place for a retired police dog. And the life of a police dog handler is too busy with the training of other dogs to devote to a retired police dog's sunshine years. All former police dogs should be able to live out the rest of their lives with leisure and love. It is as good a scenario as can be hoped for with Wangwang living with a family and getting to reunite with her handler.
Police Dog Training
The life of a police dog is incredibly busy according to Highland Canine. Most importantly are the three primary skills that all police dogs must-have: protection, attacking, and tracking. Personality-wise, the dogs are also screened. They must be obedient, calm, alert, and smart. Traits like shyness or anxiety are a liability towards their ability and safety.
All police dogs are trained from puppyhood from as young as 3 months of age to about 10 months. Their schedule over a minimum of 6 months is demanding. Not only are they taught to listen to commands with obedience training, but they are socialized with a variety of people and environments for several hours a day. Sniffer dogs at security checkpoints, like Wangwang, have a special position. They work to catch smugglers of drugs and illegal weapons, keeping people safe. They must be skilled at drug detection, crowd control and searching for evidence.
Why a German Shepherd?
Like other dog breeds, German Shepherds possess natural skills and tendencies. One of those skills is being a guard dog, regardless of whether they've received training or not. Personality-wise, German Shepherds have a perfect mix of strength and obedience. Plus, they are extremely loyal and adapt well to the handler-protection mentality required of them. The herding breed enjoys a close working relationship with humans and is very intelligent and trainable.
As for male vs. female dogs, Deutscher Schaeferhund reported that a male German Shepherd is more dominant, territorial, and protective, while a female German Shepherd is gentler and friendlier. A female such as Wangwang has unique traits to offer as a police dog dealing with a large number of people. A female is also a good choice for being more patient or for first-time dog owners, families with children, or anyone wanting a pet dog.
German Shepherds in particular have a fast and retentive memory as a result of their intelligence being key to herding and working according to The German Shepherder. The long-term or associative memory allows them to easily remember significant parts and people of their lives, especially very positive or very negative events and people. One of those people is their handler or owner, neither of which they can ever forget. It makes sense, then, that Wangwang would have such a reaction to seeing her handler again.
Do Dogs Really Cry?
As anyone who has seen Wangwang's reaction to reuniting with her handler wants to know, do dogs really cry? Of course, they feel emotions, but do they really shed tears? Rover reported that humans are the only animals, even compared to other primates, as being the only ones that cry emotional tears, and that while dogs do feel sadness and grief, they may vocalize their emotions but do not cry.
However, with stories like that of Wangwang just one among several, it is hard to believe that there must be some other explanation — such as eye irritation or infection — for the big, tear-filled eyes of joy. In any event, Wangwang's reunion showed people that police dogs are the best working partners anyone can have. Watching dogs seeing their special humans again really drives home the fact that they are truly man's best friend. Wangwang is having a great retirement and still gets to meet her handler every so often.
What did you think of this heartwarming story of a dog and her police handler? We'd love to know what you think about it in the comments below. If you enjoyed this story, be sure to tell your friends and family about it.