Dalton Police Department Joins Berkshire Comfort Dog Squad | Central Berkshires

DALTON – The Dalton Police Department may never have released so many APBs (i.e. Adorable Poodle Bulletins) in one night.

After passing a temperament test, the new member of the department arrived on Monday to meet his audience, walking through a door of the Dalton Senior Center in the arms of a child at a choir of oooh and awww.

“I’m so shocked that it’s such a big hit,” said Lee Kohlenberger, who runs Berkshire Poodles with his wife, Kaitlyn, with a smile. The couple will deliver the still unnamed 8-week-old black standard poodle to the department on Wednesday, the second of what they say could be a series of donations of comfort dogs to the Berkshire Public Safety Services.

The Pittsfield Police Department has already accepted their comfort dog, Winston, as a gift from the couple. Lee Kohlenberger said Monday the company was ready to provide a free comfort dog to all local departments.

“Obviously I can’t do this all this week,” he said.

As in Pittsfield, Dalton’s new recruit will not be used for traditional K-9 duties, but to help people, especially young and old, find a sense of calm and warmth in the simple affection of a dog.

The ministry invites people on its Facebook page to suggest names. Chief Deanna Strout said members of the department would pick a name, with Officer Tyler Miller possibly getting more than one vote, as he showed up to be the host, master and official tour of the dog.

This includes Miller’s plan for Thanksgiving Day. “We’re going to watch some football and spend the day together,” he said.

Agent Miller holds an 8 week old poodle puppy

Dalton Police Department Constable Tyler Miller holds an 8 week old male comfort dog. The puppy is from the same breeder who supplied Winston, another poodle, to the Pittsfield Police Department. The new dog Dalton was introduced to Miller and the Select Board on Monday night.

Miller said he already had a soft spot for the name Fenway, prompting Kohlenberger to warn that Berkshire Poodles could impose a preventative ban on the dog wearing Red Sox clothing.

The Kohlenbergers, who also run Berkshire Dogs Unleashed, make around 40 puppies available per year, normally selling them for $ 2,500 each. He is a former Pittsfield firefighter who retired after 10 years to continue the couple’s ranching activities; they selected poodles because Kaitlyn is allergic and the poodle fur does not trigger a reaction.

The welcoming crowd cleared Monday night as the board held a scheduled meeting across the boardroom. Strout walked over to Dalton Community Television’s camera to introduce the puppy. “You might find him asleep in my office,” she said.

“I think this will be a great asset to the police department,” said Robert W. Bishop Jr., board member.

Until this week, Dalton’s comfort dog was going to be one of two recent litter males. The choice came when the Kohlenbergers put the two dogs through what is known as the Volhard Puppy Aptitude Test, which helps reveal aspects of their underlying nature and indicate how they are likely to respond. , even when cultivated and trained, to an unfamiliar environment.

To be a comfort dog, after all, these Poodles can’t be stressed out. The Kohlenbergers strive to encourage this quality in the dogs they breed, moving towards what you might call the lovable end of the poodle spectrum and moving away from qualities that represent hunting instincts. of the race. Although some may think that poodles are pampered and ornamental, the breed is used for hunting; poodles have webbed legs that allow them to swim well.

But this is not the kind of poodle placed as a comfort dog. “These are black labs in poodle bodies,” Kohlenberger said of the hounds.

“If we can’t live with them, we don’t raise them,” he said.

Chef Strout holds a poodle puppy

Dalton Police Department Chief Deanna Strout holds the 8 week old male comfort dog. “You might find him asleep in my office,” she said.

Kaitlyn Kohlenberger said their goal, with comfort dogs, is to provide animals that slow people’s heartbeats, not to breed them, especially when associated with the work of police and firefighters. Dalton PD’s new dog will be a regular at community events and will travel with Miller to schools and gatherings.

“To help manage stress related to critical incidents,” she said.

Sgt. Bustin Buzzella said the puppy would be of great help at Nessacus Regional Middle School, where students have done more – as is the case at all colleges at this point in the pandemic.

One of the items in the aptitude test is whether a puppy will pick up a cotton ball of foil, which dogs normally resist picking up. This one did.

He also passed an even more difficult test: when an open umbrella fell near the puppy. It is considered acceptable, in a temperament test, for a puppy to resist flight. “This puppy got into the umbrella,” Kohlenberger said. “There’s not much that can put him in phase.”

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