Red Dog Rising by Jeff Schettler, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Red Dog Rising

Red Dog Rising

by Jeff Schettler

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Red Dog Rising is the story of a policeman and his snack-loving, slobbery, courageous, and loyal K-9 trailing friend and companion, Ronin.


Red Dog Rising is the story of a policeman and his snack-loving, slobbery, courageous, and loyal K-9 trailing friend and companion, Ronin.

Editorial Reviews

Ranny Green
Looking for adventure? Then grab a copy of this brisk-moving portrait of a guy and his dog. This isn't just any guy or any dog. One's a dedicated cop and the other is his incredible K9 partner Ronin, a bloodhound.

Schettler richly details all facets of each case and leaves you feeling like you're along for the ride, walk or run, depending how hard Ronin is pushing the accelerator.
Susan Bulanda
Every once in a while a spectacular book comes along that is fun to read, riveting and informative. This is one such book. I personally have not been as excited about a book in a long time. Jeff Schettler is a retired police Bloodhound handler who tells us about the training and use of his first Bloodhound, Ronin.

...Everyone who is interested in police K9 work should read this book....It is one of the best accounts that I have read thus far.

Product Details

Alpine Publications, Incorporated
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Bank Robbery
IT WAS OCTOBER 1997, and I was at home on one of my days off. I had
plans to train Ronin that day, but everything changed at ten that morning. I received a call from dispatch telling me that there had been a bank robbery on Park Street in downtown Alameda. Apparently, two armed suspects had robbed the bank at gunpoint shortly after it opened. The suspects had not thought out this robbery too well, because if they had, they probably would have picked another bank in another
city. Alameda is an island connected to the East Bay city of Oakland by three bridges and a tunnel, all of which can be easily blocked off if something serious hits the fan. They might have also picked a better day, because everything seemed to work against them on this one.
The suspects were a male and female team who, after robbing the bank, fled on foot to a car that they had parked around the corner. Unbeknownst to them, there was an Alameda motorcycle cop right in the vicinity of the bank when the whole thing went down. The two were separated when they encountered the knee-booted officer riding his Harley. The male half decided that the better part of valor was to start throwing money behind him as he ran, hoping that the ensuing confusion created by the masses chasing floating Benjamins would get in the way of the pursuing officer. It didn't work, because there really weren't that many pedestrians in the area at the time.
The female half was chased around the corner onto Park Avenue one block to the east of the bank by a concerned citizen. The citizen was reportedly heedless of the gun-toting woman and her threat to shoot. He cornered her near a brick building, and, instead ofshooting the man, the woman threw her gun onto the building rooftop and then tried to scale an eight-foot chain link fence in a parking lot just to the south of the office's brick walls. This was the start of our trail.
The crime scene investigators in my department were well versed in maintaining the scene for Ronin. We had only been on board for a short while, but they seemed to immediately understand how to protect scent evidence. This is the beauty of having evidence technicians whose only job is to investigate crime scenes for trace evidence. They are well trained and have many tools at their disposal. As far as they were concerned, Ronin was just another tool for them to utilize. The CSI techs discovered the pistol by observing it through a window that overlooked the rooftop where the gun was lying. The area was then cordoned off for my arrival and dog work. The key to any trail, especially an urban one, was to protect the scene and scent evidence from contamination of any sort. Contamination in this case would be considered anyone walking in around the area where the suspect was last known to have been and handling the scent article on which I needed to start Ronin. The scene was the small parking lot with the chain-link fence, and the most logical scent article was the handgun. Everything was secured and left alone until we arrived at 11:15 A.M. I can't tell you how relieved I was to have a relatively uncontaminated
scene that was being protected the entire time. This was a huge case for me, because it was the first time that Ronin and I had been called out by my own department for anything really meaningful. A bank robbery was a high crime with state and federal implications. Everyone was involved in this case, including our local agency, regional task forces, and the FBI. It was a big deal, and again, all eyes were on me-especially the chief's. My chief took the ultimate responsibility for taking
Ronin on. People were looking his direction, too. I was nervous about this case, because I knew that everything we had accomplished before was nothing if we didn't pull a rabbit out of the hat with this one. And pulling a rabbit out of the hat it truly could be.
The problems facing us were large. The incident had occurred a couple of hours prior to our arrival. We were going to be working in a naturally contaminated, inner-city area. The suspect could have easily run to a waiting vehicle or simply left the city, because she had ample time to do so. I was also nervous. It was time to "put up or shut up." I had done a lot of talking over the months, trying to gain the approval
of not only staff members, but also of my fellow officers working their beats. I had done a fair amount of bragging, and I knew that this would nip me in the butt if we didn't come up with something here.
I pulled up to the scene in my red Dodge Ram pickup truck in time to see the media arriving. Thankfully, the reporter and photographer were people with whom I had already worked, and I felt comfortable with them. I was still a little self-conscious, because I had no time to change into a uniform. I was wearing jeans, a gray T-shirt, tennis shoes, and a ball cap. I also had a big wad of chewing tobacco in my mouth.
Looking back on it now, I can't imagine what people must have thought when they saw me show up: pickup, jeans, a hat, chew, and a bloodhound-priceless. I went immediately to work and canvassed the scene.
My evidence technician showed me the undisturbed gun and the general
location where the woman was suspected of trying to climb the fence. She apparently didn't make it over, and some witness accounts had her fleeing around the block instead. I collected the gun into a paper bag and tossed a sterile four-by-four-inch gauze pad in with it for a few minutes. I extracted the pad and placed it into a freezer-type Zip-Lock bag. I was going to keep a small scent article for use later just in case I needed it. I pulled Ronin out of the truck and let him canvass the area also, but with his nose. He'd peed a lot, too. Ronin was a ham for attention. He loved to have people watch him, and it just added to his already huge prey drive. I knew I could count on him to give me a run for the money now. I harnessed him up in the general vicinity from which the woman had run and snapped his long lead
into the D-ring, giving it a little tug in the process. I whispered a few sweet nothings into his ears that sounded something like this: "OK, it's all or nothing, because everyone is watching. Are you ready to go to work?" It was really the last words that fired up Ronin. You could immediately sense his body tensing as soon as I said ". . . you ready . . .," because he knew I was about to show him the bag with his prey scent. He was straining into the lead and I was holding him back with everything I had. Ronin almost leaped at the scent article as soon as I opened the bag with the
gun, making me think that he may have not have gotten a good scent, because
it all happened so fast. But he had it-his nose and body language told me so. He immediately began to sniff the area furiously up to the fence and back, up to the brick wall on the north end of the lot and back.
He circled twice as if trying to confirm a sense of direction, then ran out
onto Park Avenue on the east sidewalk, heading south. Ronin's nose was hovering about ten inches off of the pavement, and his head was swiveling slightly to the left and to the right. I could tell that he had a good scent trail because he was moving so well.
Paved trails are difficult, because the scent doesn't have much to stick to. It seems to blow with the wind and collect in little pockets here and there. In many ways, instead of having a continuous trail, it is more like connecting a bunch of imperceptible dots that only the dog can recognize. I expected this to be the case on this day, but not so. Ronin seemed to have a continuous trail almost as if it were on grass. I didn't understand this very well back then, but now that I have a little experience under my belt, I see what happened very clearly.
The female bank robber had just committed a crime that could put her away for much of her adult life. She had been chased down by a fearless citizen, had been separated from her male counterpart, was running for her life in a city that held few if any friends, and had the entire Alameda Police Department looking for her. She had picked the wrong bank to rob, and now she was scared to death. It was this fear that provided the glue for her scent to stick to the pavement. I know now that fear scent is the ultimate trigger for canids hunting prey. It tells them that the prey is weakening and that the pursuit could be over very soon. It is the scent of fear that gives the wolf the last bit of energy necessary to culminate a long chase with a deadly lunge for the throat. I believe that all domestic dogs feel this genetic memory at some point in their lives.
Those that know it more often than others thrive on the feeling and grow
powerful because of it Ronin was on a powerful scent that only he could detect. He ran this concrete trail with almost a righteous purpose, negotiating obstacles without hardly a glance. I had to keep a tight lead out to about fifteen feet, though. It was a busy weekday morning and traffic was starting to heat up. Not only that, a lot of people were starting to simply stand and stare, and Ronin had to work through them. The beauty of a scent-discriminating dog that is on an actual scent trail is that he can work through all of these other human odors with little or no distraction. A well-trained
dog just ignores these humans unless they physically get in the way or
do something to disturb him.

What People are saying about this

Kat Albrecht
"Red Dog Rising is a riveting account of one man and one bloodhound who shared a passion for one thing-following the scent trail of criminals. Join Jeff and Ronin through a mix of heart breaking, amusing, and seedy investigations and you'll experience justice from the end of the leash. This is a page-turner that you won't want to put down!"--(Kat Albrecht - author of The Lost Pet Chronicles: Adventures of a K-9 Cop Turned Pet Detective and Dog Detectives; Train Your Dog to Find Lost Pets)

Meet the Author

Jeff Schettler’s police canine training methods have been featured on CNN, ABC, Unsolved Mysteries and Mythbusters. Jeff is a retired police K9 handler, attached to the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Teams’ K-9 Assistance Program. Jeff has worked hundreds of trailing dog cases across the United States and is a specialist in tactical trailing applications and a law-enforcement expert witness in the areas of scent evidence and use of trailing dogs. He has trained under many well-known manhunters, including Jerry Yelk, Glenn Rimbey, John Lutenberg and Jerry Nichols.

After leaving the police K-9 force, Jeff founded TacticalTrackerTeams, that he later integrated with the Georgia K-9 Training Center, LLC, specializing in a variety of training services to fit the needs of civilian, law enforcement, search and rescue dog trainers and handlers. Recently Schettler has expanded services to include training bomb and explosive detections dogs and narcotic detection dogs. He also provides service dog training for autistic children and those with special needs. Royalties from Red Dog Rising go to provide service dogs for special needs children.

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