Top dog on job a pussy cat in the yard

HE spends his days chasing criminals, sniffing out trails and bringing down crooks.

On his downtime, he loves hanging out with his best mate, a sausage dog.

If you happen to be on the wrong end of the lead when Senior Constable Nick Donald and police dog Hondo are on your trail, you'd see the snarl, the teeth and most certainly hear the bark.

He's trained his whole life to get here, starting out in the puppy development program with the Queensland Police, training for 12 months before getting into the 16-week police dog training program.

Senior Constable Nick Donald with his reliable partner PD Hondo. Picture: Jerad Williams
Senior Constable Nick Donald with his reliable partner PD Hondo. Picture: Jerad Williams

PD Hondo has been a huge asset to the service, tracking down armed robbers, apprehending criminals and helping to find missing people.

But it is the relationship between PD Hondo and Harvey the sausage dog that makes him such an asset to the Queensland Police Service and his family.

Sen-Con Donald has been working with and taking care of Hondo for 6½ years, developing a strong bond that goes beyond just a working dog.

"They live at home with the family and they become part of the family," he said.

"Harvey thinks he's a German shepherd. They're like chalk and cheese, but they're best mates at the same time.

PD Hondo and his best buddy Harvey the sausage dog.
PD Hondo and his best buddy Harvey the sausage dog.

"At home he (Hondo) spends his time relaxing, sleeping and recovering.

"You play with them, you work with them, you feed them. As much as I rely on him, he relies on me to supply his life necessities. He works and I look after him. If he's injured I take care of him. They are cared for very well."

He says PD Hondo knows when to turn it on; as soon as he is in the police car, it is go time.

"At home he's just a lovely dog, just like any other backyard dog. He's quite energetic, but when he goes to work he puts his work hat on and does his job.

"They get used to being in the car. They know that when they go into the work car, when you put them in the back, they generally start to switch. Quite a lot of the dogs start to get excited when they go to work.

Crooks would be fortunate not to cross paths with Senior Constable Nick Donald and PD Hondo. Picture: Jerad Williams
Crooks would be fortunate not to cross paths with Senior Constable Nick Donald and PD Hondo. Picture: Jerad Williams

"They live for it, that's their purpose, they know when they go to work, they have a job to do."

Sen-Con Donald said Hondo had looked after him in a number of hairy situations.

"The dog is trained to defend you and Hondo has defended me multiple times against offenders who are threatening violence against me or they've attempted to enact violence.

"He's been involved in any type of job you could imagine. He's located armed offenders, offenders who have assaulted people, missing people and pretty much any type of job you could think of."

He said the work Hondo and he did was hard and he would make sure that when he retired, he did so comfortably.

PD Hondo (back) relaxing with his mate Harvey.
PD Hondo (back) relaxing with his mate Harvey.

"The dog squad is a career and job where you spend a lot of time with your partner. You go home and they're living with you. You go to work and they're with you. Most of the handlers would spend more time with their dog than what they would with any other family member, due to that fact they do a 10-hour shift with them, then you go home and care for and maintain them on a 24-hour basis.

"The whole time you work with your dog, you're their leader. They work with you and they recognise the partnership. Even when they retire they still stay at home with us.

"He's been my partner for a long time and when they retire you want to make sure they live a comfortable life and enjoy their retirement."


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