Women in K9

Kenneth D Lichlider lg


Police and military K-9 sections are just one big “men’s” club, right? Wrong! What used to be a profession reserved for us men has now been infiltrated by women handlers across the board, both military and civilian, and I believe rightly so.

Men still lead numerically but women handlers, trainers, and kennel masters have stepped up to show gender doesn’t matter. To me a great handler is determined by drive and attitude. I have trained and have trained alongside some great women, a few we have highlighted in our latest magazine. All phases of our profession from the military to civilian police and government agencies have quality women working, setting standards in handling, training, and research. As I’ve stated in the past, true dog men and women are open-minded professionals always seeking to expand on the norm, creating new paradigms. I have worked with Marilee Van Tine for 2 years on a Cold Case K9 project and I’ll tell you, there is no one more dedicated, no one with more determination or a better work ethic, than she.

As we welcome new styles of training, great new areas of use such as mall security and personal security, we need to embrace the women rising up in our career field, accept and assist those willing to do the work. We at American Working Dogs say we welcome you with open arms. Our world is expanding, good trainers, good people within our career field will open their hearts and minds to change. I know we do!