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Q & A with the K9 Unit’s Constable Allan Bridges

Whether they are apprehending suspected criminals, detecting narcotics or explosives, recovering evidence, or saving lives, the VPD’s Police Service Dogs respond to over 7,000 calls per year. With the help of our generous donors, the Vancouver Police Foundation is proud to support the VPD Canine Unit by providing funding that allows them to access Canada’s most advanced training opportunities, facilities, and safety equipment that are otherwise outside the VPD’s annual operating budget.

There are currently 16 Police Service Dogs (PSD) in the Unit – and each are paired with their human partner for the duration of their career. To get to know more about the unique partnership between handler and dog, we spoke with Constable Allan Bridges… and his canine, PSD Dak.

How long have you been with the VPD and what unit(s) were you in previous to K9?

I have been with the VPD for 15 years. I started in Patrol District 1, then did surveillance in Strike Force, before going back to patrol in District 4. From there I came to the K9 Unit.


What was the training process for you and Dak when you joined the Unit?

Our official training was four months long and it felt a little like going back to school as we both had to learn how to do everything starting at the most basic level. The training heavily revolved around tracking human odour and we spent many weeks learning how to track in large grass farm fields. After that, we moved to industrial areas then to the city/suburban environment as we both learnt how to work together to successfully track a person. After tracking each day, we would practice the other aspects of our work like obedience, building and area searches, and evidence/article searches.

What is one of the most memorable calls you and Dak have attended?

The most memorable has to be Dak’s first successful track. Dak and I had been working together for just over a month and had a domestic violence call where the suspect was a repeat offender and fled on foot when police arrived. Dak and I arrived and began tracking the suspect for several blocks. Dak’s intensity built and it seemed like we were getting closer to the suspect. When we caught up, the suspect continued to run, but Dak was able to catch him. Despite all the successful tracks in training, it was such a great moment to see Dak’s natural ability come through in a real scenario on such an important call.

Do you have any other family pets at home and how is that with Dak?

We had a three year old boxer named Taco when I joined the K9 unit and Dak joined our family. The two have always got along very well and have enjoyed running around in the backyard and playing together over the years. Even though they each have their own bed in the yard, they often end up sharing one and lounging together. Taco is starting to slow down now as she gets older, but Dak still tries to insist Taco play as much as she used too. Their relationship has changed a bit where Dak is now more like the annoying little brother, but they still enjoy each other.

What do your children think about living with a police K9? How is their relationship with Dak?

I have two very young children at home, 1.5 and 3.5 years old. Both kids have grown up with Dak and Taco since they were born so they don’t know life without dogs. They also don’t really know Dak as different than Taco, except that Dak goes to work with dad. They both like giving him treats and pats, but also love copying their dad and trying to boss Dak around. It’s surprising when he actually listens to them.


Describe what it is like for Dak when he switches to “work mode” vs “family mode” and vice-versa.

For Dak, and most of our police dogs, context is very important for them in switching between work mode and family mode. At home Dak loves to relax and rest in the yard or inside on his dog bed. He loves to play games, chase his kong, and has an obsession with snatching bees and flies out of the air. He also is very social and seeks affection and love from family and friends that visit. Despite enjoying his time at home, Dak always wants to get in the truck and head to work. At work, Dak will relax in the police truck between calls and training and often be snoring away as I drive around. But once we drive fast, talk on the radio, or the lights and sirens come on, Dak perks up and is excited to work (or play, as he sees it). Despite being a very social dog, while at work, Dak is mostly aloof to other people and isn’t the affectionate dog he is at home. His desire to work outweighs all the other positive experiences he has in family mode.

What does Dak enjoy doing on his days-off?

Dak is a dog with endless energy and an exuberance for whatever he is doing. Whether it’s playing in the yard or chasing a suspect, Dak goes full speed. At home, he still acts like a puppy and just likes to be around the family, often getting the zoomies when the family is in the yard working or playing. When alone, Dak is usually enjoying long naps on the dog hammock resting from busy work days. When we have time Dak loves going for a swim and chasing floating toys at a lake.


You are one of the leads of the VPD Canine Calendar – why did you want to get involved?

I had always enjoyed the calendar before joining the canine section and purchased one every year. I admired the great work done to support BC Children’s Hospital and the BC Cancer Foundation – two great charities. After the training with Dak was complete, the K9 was looking to have someone else join the Calendar team and I jumped at the opportunity to be able to contribute to such a great program.





ADOPT A KENNELThere are a number of ways you can join us in supporting the VPD’s canine heroes, including our brand new Adopt a Kennel Program! For an annual donation of $1,000, you can adopt a kennel in your name, or in memory of someone or a beloved pet, that houses a VPD canine hero. Think of a kennel as an at-work doggy bedroom – a safe and quiet place for each VPD canine to eat, rest, and relax between calls. Each VPD canine has its own dedicated kennel. In addition to helping the VPF support the Canine Unit, each kennel adoption also comes with a customizable plaque that will be affixed to the door of your chosen kennel.

ADOPT A K9 HERO – Symbolically adopt a member of the VPD Canine team

BECOME A MONTHLY DONOR – Monthly giving is an affordable way to support our canine heroes. Even $10/month will have a lasting impact.

JOIN THE PACK – Join the Canine Calendar email list to receive special Canine updates and 2025 Calendar pre-sale!

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