Dogs are known as man’s best friend, but in the case of Igor the K-9 police officer, he’s a friend to all. Igor has been an employee of Lufkin ISD since November 1, 2018 when he joined the Lufkin ISD Police force. He has a very important job to do by ensuring that our campuses are safe and free from drugs.
Igor is a mixed German Shepherd Belgian Malinois and was born in an Eastern European country on December 25th. He got to Texas as quick as he could through a program in Nacogdoches that trains dogs to be K-9 Officers. The trainers travel overseas and test the dogs to see if they have the aptitude to be a police dog. His handler, Officer Paul Jackson, is trained to work with dogs like these and has had another dog before when he worked for the Lufkin Police Department. He’s constantly training Igor so that he’s ready to work.
Officer Jackson said, “He’s a very smart dog and takes commands in four languages: French, German, Czech, and Dutch. He’s smart enough to be a patrol dog or a security dog but he’s not trained like that.”
According to Officer Jackson, police dogs are trained to do commands in other languages so that people won’t call the dog away from his handler and control him. Igor is trained to sniff out drugs and/or contraband. Some of the drugs he can locate are cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, opioids, heroine, ecstasy and any of the ingredients of those drugs.
When Igor wakes up, he’s ready to go to work. He likes to ride in the police car.
Officer Jackson said, “He’s waiting on me when I get up. The neighbors get him stirred up when they start getting out and start moving. It’s about a quarter till 7 a.m. I let him out and he runs right to the car, right to the door. He’s ready to ride. Let’s go!”
- A paycheck is normally received for a job well done, but Igor works to get to play with his toy ball. That’s all the reward he wants. It’s a solid rubber Kong ball. He would easily rip a tennis ball apart. He’s not motivated by food and won’t even take food from anyone’s hand or get food out of a backpack he’s inspecting. He only eats once a day at the end of the day when he gets home from work. He loves to play tug-of-war with his handler. In his free time or on weekends, he likes to go on walks either behind the zoo or behind Lufkin Middle School. Officer Jackson likes to get him out so he can just be a dog and not on duty.
Officer Jackson said, “He won’t let me out of his sight. When we go and walk on the other side of the zoo, he’ll run and always looks back for me.”
Igor has a nice set up at Officer Jackson’s house. He has a kennel and a big dog house built by the Lufkin High School students in Mrs. Lamb’s Ag Mechanics class, Horticulture class, and other student volunteers. Officer Jackson said it’s big enough for him to even stand up in it.
Officer Jackson said, “He’s a good worker. He likes to work.”
He doesn’t like a lot of noise or commotion and will walk the halls with his ears down to shield the noise. Igor will turn three years old on December 25th and don’t tell him, but he has a well animal appointment today at Southwood Drive Animal Clinic where he will receive his yearly shots and checkup.
Officer Jackson said that Igor will work about 6 to 7 years with the district and then retire. Dogs of his breed are known to get hip dysplasia and have joint problems.
Although he has a passport to travel abroad, Igor seems very well-adjusted to living and working in East Texas.
Thanks, Igor, for always showing up to work with a smile on your chops and motivation in your eyes. We appreciate all you do to keep our campuses safe and drug-free.