Meet the Disneyland K-9 that protect the magic everyday at Disneyland!
Every morning, the security team stands at the gates and patrol the entrances to ensure guest have the most magical and safest day at the happiest place on earth. This security team is made up of multiple units, including one that stands up the most, the canines that also considered cast members! Want to meet them and their handlers?
DEXTER AND KA$H
Dexter started working at Disney California Adventure as a construction security officer. A year after working in security including a stint with the motor unit and patrolling the park with a vehicle, he met the Disneyland k-9 unit and began assisting with vehicle checks, eventually leading him to a job opening on the team where he has been working every since!
“Technically, it was one of those unplanned things” mentioned Dexter. “I went to Disney thinking, okay this is gonna be a summer job, temporarily. And then it becomes fun. The interaction with our guests and the other cast members is cool, especially after i joined the Disneyland K-9 team. It’s totally different because you have a partner that you can actually work with everyday.”
What a fun job for sure! Dexter said his favorite thing about working with Ka$h, a Belgian Malinois, is the connection he feels to him. “It’s a partnership between you and an animal to go through all the process in training, and then to trust your life for his ability to keep everybody safe, you and our guests.” He tried to explain his job better by saying “It’s basically like a dance partner for you. You try to perform a duty, or a specific job and you are a team: your dog and the handler.”
Dexter also mentioned that going to work everyday is like playtime for Ka$h, who perform searches as guests pass by during the security screening. “He can do that all day. As the guests pass by us, he’s basically searching the people looking for “the toy” and that’s his reward toy. It’s kind of like his paycheck.”
We are happy to hear that Dexter and Ka$h enjoy their job so much and share their love for the Disneyland Resort! In fact, Dexter is now the lead and trainer for the Disneyland K-9 team! Way to go!
SHANNON AND GUS GUS
Shannon has been working different jobs since she joined the Disneyland Resort, from host/hostess, motor officer, hotel officer, bike patrol and security. In fact, her friends were the ones that encouraged her to apply for a job at the Disneyland K-9 unit as soon as there was an opening since she loves dogs and animals in general. Little did she know, just a few weeks after applying, she will get the role, and in her own words she has “been happy ever since.”
Gus Gus is the lovely yellow lab that has been working with Shannon for about seven years! “I’m happy that i get to work with a dog. Someone that doesn’t give me a hard time. It seems like he looks up to me; we’re learning something new every day. I get to learn something different from him, from either his alert or his personality characteristics or whatnot. I just enjoy working with a dog, having that partner and that partnership with someone else that’s not a person, but four legs.” mentioned Shannon.
But not everything is fun and games, this is actually serious work. You have to train and built a bond with your dog, as well as, passing the yearly certification required to work on the Disneyland K-9 team and keep your partner.
Shannon mentioned that Gus Gus loves being a cast member and he has a happy attitude with guests but also looks forward for his reward after a hard day at work. “He absolutely loves the guest interaction. Being pet by a few people here and there. Bu he enjoys the work, he enjoys to get his ‘toy’… being able to get that toy at the end of his shift, or during training, or when he find something coming into the resort. All these dogs work hard to go for that ‘paycheck’ so to say.”
She also mentioned that just as Gus Gus, the interactions with the guests are also her favorite part of the job. “At the end of the day, making sure that the guests are safe. The cast members are safe. Making sure that you can come in, do your job to the fullest, and go home knowing that you what you had to do in order to keep the resort safe.”
We are extremely grateful for Dexter, Shannon, Ka$h, Gus Gus and the rest of the Disneyland K-9 team for keeping safe every day we visit the parks!
Credit: Disney Parks
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