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K-9 Deputy Oso (means bear in Spanish) is a black and tan German Shepherd from Czechoslovakia . He was born in December 2009, became an LCSO K-9 deputy in June 2011 and retired due to injuries in June 2015. He has 1,500 hours of training in patrol and narcotics.

Oso Retired Larimer County K9

According to his handler “Dad”, Oso’s personality is extremely high energy and focused. He loves his work and is always ready to catch the bad guy or sniff out narcotics to keep our streets safe. Oso has a very intimidating presence and a growl that tends to back people down without him having to bite them. In fact, during his active service, he never had a bite apprehension. During a large disturbance outside a bar, rival gangs were fighting, and it was difficult to get people to leave the area. Corporal Smith brought K9 Oso out and walked down the center of the parking lot where the troublemakers had gathered. Oso simply stared some of the subjects down and walked through the crowd like he was parting the Red Sea. Comments from the troublemakers were – “Hell no” and “I’m outta here”.

During a training deployment, Oso observed a very large buffalo standing several hundred yards from him. Oso puffed out his chest and started pulling to charge the buffalo. Fortunately, his handler told him he wouldn’t win this one and walked him in the opposite direction. Oso is not the type to back down from anything.

Oso was supposed to be demonstrating a narcotics sniff of a vehicle, but observed one of the decoys putting on the bite suit for a different demonstration. Oso took off out of the vehicle and chased down the bad guy in the bite suit. The decoy barely had enough time to get the suit jacket on before Oso was on top of him.

Although, Oso didn’t have any bite apprehensions during his service, he did find lots of narcotics over the years. On his last shift of active duty, he was called to do a vehicle sniff for our criminal impact unit. He located over 118 grams (quarter pound) of methamphetamine and $2,700 if drug money being transported for distribution. Needless to say, Corporal Smith was a very proud Dad!

Oso's retirement -

His handler says,

“Retirement was definitely an adjustment for Oso. He would start running in circles in the kennel when he saw me in uniform and would bark non-stop once I was gone without him. One time when I let him out of the kennel, when I was in uniform and preparing to leave for work, Oso ran to the truck, climbed under it and would not come out. Needless to say, this broke my heart. Things are different now. Oso has settled into retirement quite well now and sometimes won’t bother getting up to say bye.

Oso was the ultimate protector when he was active and this has not changed with retirement. Oso makes sure we are aware whenever our neighbors get home, when they are getting the mail, when they are opening their garage door or if there is a suspicious plastic bag in the area. On a serious note, Oso has protected my wife on several occasions. Once, a pit bull got loose and charged her. Oso quickly placed himself between her and the other dog and stood his ground. The other dog saw this and immediately changed his mind. Another time a coyote came running out of some bushes while they were on a walk. Oso has a bark that can rattle you to the bone. The coyote never took a second look and high tailed it the opposite direction.

K9 Oso and Corporal Smith’s current partner, K9 Deputy Cash, are a sight to see. They are a gang of two and rule the neighborhood. They are best friends but this does not stop the occasional challenge for who is higher in the pecking order. In the beginning, Cash could not stand up to Oso but the roles have changed with Cash’s experience and Oso injuries becoming more pronounced. K9 Oso found a dear friend in his little sister Emma (our 6 lbs Chihuahua). Emma will constantly nibble at Oso’s ears, bite and hang from his jowls and lay between his front paws in the back yard. Oso has never nipped or been aggressive with Emma and he shows a great amount of patience with her puppy like demeanor.

Oso is still a very needy dog and will do whatever it takes to get attention. It can be a rhythmic deep bark, turning on the outside faucet or chewing on anything that makes noise. Recently Oso has learned that the 2X2 wood slats on the interior garage kennel are no match for his powerful jaws.

Since retirement, Oso has slowly become my wife’s dog. I must say I get a little jealous when we let him out of the dog run and he goes straight to my wife instead of me. But she does spend more time with him on walks and playing in the backyard than I do now a day.

Oso was forced to retire at the age of 5 due to injuries he received during training and some issues that are believed to be hereditary. Since retirement these injuries have become more pronounced and Oso is very aware of his limitations. Oso was diagnosed with arthritis in his lower spine and two damaged vertebrae in his neck. Oso is still a happy go lucky guy but has begun to slow down and is more cautious in his activities.”

Oso has since crossed the rainbow bridge as of March 2020.