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DEAL - The borough police department will be getting it's first four-legged member this summer after the 14-month-old Belgian Malinois completes training, officials said.

Patrolman Dan Lokerson was selected among three officers who expressed interest in becoming a handler and started training with his new partner, Atok, at the Morris County Police Academy, Chief Ronen Neuman said.

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Rudy Drexler, proprietor of Rudy Drexler’s School for Dogs in Elkhart, has been working with dogs for over 50 years. For much of that time, he specialized in training dogs for perhaps the most disciplined canine calling of all: law enforcement.

Now, he uses that expertise to import and train protection dogs for private homes and businesses.

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Diana Marahrens, a certified pet dog trainer, is joining forces with groomers and veterinarians in the Williamsburg area to provide behavior modification and training solutions for families and their pets in the New Year.

Marahrens has 10 years of experience working with pet dogs, cats, and their owners. Her services include seminars, private lessons, small group classes and in-home training, and says the new partnership with groomers and veterinarians will serve as another educational opportunity.

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They scramble down narrow tunnels, clamber up metal stairs in the dark and negotiate tricky spaces to get the job done.

For their effort, they always get the same reward: a slobbery toy.

Tennis balls, jute ropes and plastic bones were more visible than handcuffs or guns at police dog and handler training last week in Brooks and Stayton.

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