K-9 Riki

Black German Shepard, K-9 Riki is posing by the US flagName: K-9 “RIKI”

Breed: German Shepherd Dog (Male)

DOB: March 1, 2004

Agency: Ft. McCoy Police Department, US Army, Ft. McCoy, WI (Dogs for Defense Inc. contract provider); U.S. State Department WPPS, Kabul, Afghanistan (Blackwater contract provider)

Discipline: Single Purpose Explosives Detection

Formal Schooling and Certifications: K-9 RIKI attended initial training in Moyock, NC, at the Blackwater Training Academy. He has been certified by the U.S. State Department, The North American Police Working Dog Association and the United States Army.

Career Stats: K-9 RIKI had a long storied career that lasted over ten years. He worked in Afghanistan for over seven years, providing support to numerous United States dignitaries and embassy personnel. RIKI transferred to the Ft. McCoy Police Department, while still providing services for Dogs for Defense Inc. at events around the Midwest.

Additional Information: K-9 RIKI was imported from Europe and trained at the Blackwater Training Facility in Moyock, NC, where he subsequently deployed to Afghanistan in 2005. It is likely that RIKI conducted over 1,400 missions in Afghanistan prior to his return to the United States in 2012.

One of RIKI’s most remarkable accomplishments was his ability to beat a diagnosis of terminal cancer. In 2014, he was diagnosed by his local veterinarian and the specialists at the University of Minnesota with a large cancerous tumor. RIKI was given less than 3 months to live. It was decided to provide pain killers and make his remaining days comfortable. Prayer requests for RIKI went out nationwide and only a miracle can explain his ability to completely recover from his illness. He continued to work until December 2015, despite his bout with cancer.

RIKI had proven to be one of the most driven working dogs willing to work with any handler, no matter their personality or ability. RIKI was not big on cuddling or praise but worked for something deeper, a primal behavior to hunt. His reward was a Kong toy and he would often opt to bat it around a bit, prior to grabbing and squeezing it.

RIKI now spends his time as part of a big family living in St. Cloud, MN. He still enjoys long off leash walks and trying to see how many Kong’s he can fit in his mouth. One of the most impressive things about RIKI was his ability to transition from what most would call an aggressive dog to a dog that finds himself living peacefully amongst four other working dogs and 5 young children.

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