After a little more than three months of extensive training, Cain is ready and able to fight crime in Douglas County.

Cain, a dual purpose law dog, is a Belgian Malinois/German shepherd mix and the newest team member of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. He and his handler, Deputy Bob Peper, finished their 520 hours of training and graduated on May 19.

Cain is now trained in handler protection, criminal apprehension, building and area searches, evidence recovery, tracking and narcotics detection.

Bob Peper, a Douglas County Sheriff's deputy, trains with his new partner, Cain. The newly certified law dog is a Belgian Malinois/German shepherd mix. (Contributed photo)
Bob Peper, a Douglas County Sheriff's deputy, trains with his new partner, Cain. The newly certified law dog is a Belgian Malinois/German shepherd mix. (Contributed photo)

Then on May 21, Peper said the duo took part in the United States Police Canine Association’s patrol dog and narcotics detection certification in Wright County.

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“We passed with flying colors,” said Peper. “And now we are working the streets together.”

Because this was the second law dog Peper has trained with, he said he knew what to expect going into the training process. This helped him to be a little more comfortable and confident while training Cain.

Peper’s first law dog, Ozzy, was retired because of health issues and is the reason why the sheriff's office is getting a new dog.

“Cain is a different level of dog, but I felt under control,” he said. “And I relied on my training experience with Ozzy, which helped. Cain is a very strong dog and his search drive is through the roof.”

With the two of them working together on a regular basis, Peper said Cain is starting to feel more at home and that he understands that their police vehicle is his home while they are working.

Cain is an imported dog from Budapest, Hungary and spent much of the first part of his life traveling and training. But Peper said Cain now understands that being with Peper – not only in his vehicle while working but also at his house with his family – that he is home.

“I can tell he appreciates it. He’s settled in and knows we’re a team now,” said Peper. “He appreciates having a place to call home.”

Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Bob Peper is pictured with Cain, his new law dog. (Contributed photo)
Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Bob Peper is pictured with Cain, his new law dog. (Contributed photo)

With many COVID-19 restrictions lifted now, Peper and Cain, as well as Deputy Ben Jarvi and his dog, Hunter, will be doing more public appearances, including at the Douglas County Fair later this summer.

“We’ve had a lot of requests for public appearances and we’re excited to showcase our dogs and their abilities,” said Peper, who noted that Jarvi and Hunter will be participating in a regional competition this coming weekend in St. Cloud.

Peper is really looking forward to those in Douglas County meeting his new dog as numerous community members and business owners donated funds through the Lakes Area Law Dog Foundation to purchase Cain.

The nonprofit organization was formed in 2015 to help provide financial assistance for purchasing, training, National K-9 Certification, seminars and equipment for trained law dogs and their handlers.

“We had a lot of people fund for him and he is really the community’s dog,” said Peper.