Royal Canadian Mounted Police Dog Breeding Program and Management Techniques

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have used police dogs since 1935. Profiles include: tracking, criminal apprehension, explosive or narcotics detection, article searching, and avalanche search and rescue. Since 1999 the program has evolved into breeding, imprinting, and training. The imprinting program is both an avenue for selection of new dog handler candidates and development of puppies into operational service dogs.  Puppy testing and performance evaluation at 4, 8 and 12 months of age are used to determine which dogs will enter training or be selected as breeding females. In order to achieve the goal, of a supply of dogs for training, several ongoing Breeding Management Techniques have been used.  Intra-uterine artificial insemination using both surgical and trans-cervical methods in conjunction with frozen semen collection and storage are the pillars of the program. LH and progesterone blood assays are used to assist in predicting optimal breeding time to achieve maximum litter size. Ultrasound and x-rays have been used for pregnancy diagnosis and monitoring. Dual sire litter testing has been used to provide information related to optimal insemination timing.

Authors: Brenda Sawyer, Dr Ken Hubbard DVM, Sgt Curtis Shull