A photo of a K-9 officer training with the Vancouver Police Department has gone viral on Facebook.
In the photo, a K-9 officer by the name of Niko is undergoing rappelling training, WPXI reported. The dog is seen holding onto an officer’s leg.
The photo was shared more than 2,000 times and has received hundreds of comments.
“Beautiful dedication and loyalty and workmanship,” wrote one commenter. “I’ve never seen anything like this. (although would love to see if similar can happen with my 110 lb pooch!)”
“I want to be a cop now just for the dogs,” wrote another.
While the photo shows the powerful bond between dog and man, some people questioned Niko’s safety during the exercise. The Vancouver Police Department quickly responded to those concerns, stating that Niko was fully supported by a body sling during training.
They wrote in response:
“Our canine officers are well trained, well selected, and, most importantly, well loved by their handlers. We test dozens (if not hundreds) of prospective police dogs before finding the ones best suited for the VPD. The dogs we select are social and have high drive, and are very valued members of our department.
"As police tactics change, so must our training. Rappelling is a vital skill for our tactical teams to have, and it tests both handler and dog. In the training scenario in the photo, PSD Niko was introduced slowly to the task, and his handler rewarded him with praise and a game of tug-o-war afterwards (you can see the toy sticking out of the officer's back pocket).”