From Service to Retirement: The Story of Bartles, A True K9 Hero

Meet K9 Bartles the Dutch Shepherd, born Jan 11, 2014. He's been with Sgt S. Christian since 2017. Since his 1st handler was former military, he was also trained as a Service Dog, which makes him very gentle with people and other animals off duty. He enjoys fetch, playing with other dogs, and cuddling with people in general.

While Bartles and his handler are not traditional police officers, their roles in the private security sector are no less vital. Deployed primarily to apartment complexes and college dormitories, their duties extend to riot control, natural disaster response, and assisting in apprehending violent felons. His keen instincts and rigorous training have played pivotal roles in maintaining public safety and combating crime in diverse environments.

Dogs in the private sector undergo the same training as police dogs by instructors from certified schools. The difference is how they're allowed to be used. Bartles was trained to detect marijuana, heroin, cocaine and meth. His team can search for drugs, but cannot take possession of them. Once they have a positive alert, they either report it to the client or turn the information over to police for further investigation. Their reports assist with building legal cases when working towards a drug free community. 

Though Bartles' career is filled with countless acts of bravery and service, certain moments stand out as testament to his remarkable abilities. One such instance involved apprehending a suspect armed with an AK47, where Bartles' presence and training averted a potentially dangerous situation. The Captain later told Sgt. Christian he received a call from the police stating they made a five figure drug bust thanks to their arrest.

Another such instance is a day Sgt. Christian will never forget: "I was sitting in my patrol car catching up on reports. Bartles is generally very quiet, but he's been trained to alert when people are approaching the patrol car. He suddenly spun around barking and jumping, shaking the car looking out the back window. I looked up from my laptop and saw someone in a hoodie wearing a mask crouched trying to sneak up on me. He had a gun with an extended magazine in his hand. I jumped out of the car drawing my sidearm and he ran away. Bartles likely saved my life that day."

Sgt. Christian tell us that one of Bartles greatest contributions is helping improve public relations, because he has such an amazing balance to his personality. He was trained for PTSD with his prior handler so he's a big teddy bear off duty. Once released from "work mode" he almost immediately demands cuddles. Kids can pet him without his handler having to worry he'd bite them. This has really dispelled the fear and belief that police dogs are just vicious animals.

As Bartles enters his golden years, his well-being remains a top priority. Recognizing the importance of comfort and joint support, his handler invested in a Big Barker bed, ensuring his faithful companion's continued comfort and happiness. As you can see, it's already a big hit:


Bartles' story underscores the importance of understanding a dog's breed and providing a lifestyle that aligns with their inherent traits. By catering to their natural instincts and behaviors, owners can ensure their companions lead fulfilling and happy lives.

Additionally, Bartles' retirement exemplifies the significance of maintaining a sense of purpose and engagement for aging dogs. Despite stepping back from active duty, he continues to thrive through companionship, activity, and a lovingly curated routine.

Lastly, Bartles' handler shares a poignant reminder of the fleeting nature of time and the importance of cherishing every moment spent with our beloved pets. "Enjoy the time you have and never miss a moment to save the memory." - Sgt. Christian

A BIG thank you to Bartles and Sgt. Christian for all the work you are doing to make our communities safer each and every day.

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