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Blue Line K9 Dog Training partners with Boise State’s Department of Criminal Justice to introduce a new K9 internship

Photo courtesy Marlon Orellana

Blue Line K9 Dog Training has partnered with Boise State’s Department of Criminal Justice to introduce K9 internships. 

Jacob Fowler, owner and head trainer of Blue Line K9 Dog Training, introduced the internship to Boise State to help educate students about how to train K9 dogs and learn about how dogs are used in law enforcement.

“Students will get to pick my brain or pick other people’s brains about how dogs are used within the law enforcement capacity,” Fowler said. “What kind of details go into it, how they’re used, when they’re used, kind of the nuts and bolts of a K9 program. That way they can be better prepared for a career in criminal justice of some kind.”

Students will shadow Fowler the entire time through the internship, get hands-on experience and learn everything from the fundamentals of dog training to specific law enforcement dog training.  

Blue Line K9 Dog Training will intern two students at a time during the internship period. Fowler is looking for students who are willing to learn, listen and apply their skills in the future.

“Obviously, we want somebody that’s interested in dogs, but I think, more importantly, we’re more interested in learning how and why to train a dog,” Fowler said. “We’re looking for somebody who’s willing to get in front of people and offer them some advice after what I’ve taught them so they can serve as a resource.”

Fowler introduced this program to Boise State to give more opportunities to students and increase community involvement.

“It’s really an opportunity for community outreach than it is a business opportunity. I’m not necessarily generating any revenue from this. This is really just, ‘how can Blue Line K9 help the community and partner with a university such as BSU that can help bring students along,’” Fowler said.

[Pictured from left to right: Jim Kerns, K9 Blue and Jacob Fowler.]
Photo courtesy Marlon Orellana

Jim Kerns, internship coordinator for Boise State’s Department of Criminal Justice, says he has several students interested in policing, and many of those students are interested in K9 training. 

“When Blue Line reached out to us, I thought, ‘this is a magnificent opportunity for Boise State,’” Kerns said. “I’m a retired police officer myself, so I like the fact that we can get as much real-life experience for our students as possible.”

Available in the summer, the K9 internship will be a 15-week course where students will complete 150 hours of work and receive three academic credits toward upper-division criminal justice requirements, according to Kerns.

“Any of those [criminal justice] majors that decide that that’s what they want to do an internship in, it gives them a great opportunity,” Kerns said. “Especially during the time of COVID, we’ve been really limited in what has been available to us. Now, with Jacob being as proactive as he has, he has a facility, and it’s gonna work out great for us to get interns assigned to him and have them working with him and the K9s.”

Students who are interested in the K9 internship will submit applications to Kerns, he will then review all applications and send them to Blue Line K9 Dog Training, where they will select the students to participate in the program. 

To be eligible for the internship, students must be pursuing a criminal justice major and have junior status. Before sending student applications to Blue Line K9, Kern reviews resumes and cover letters to look at leadership, problem-solving, time management and critical thinking skills to ultimately determine a student’s eligibility. 

Overall, Kerns is excited about more community outreach opportunities for Boise State students in the future.

“The thing that I’m most excited about is that we now have the community reaching out to us and asking us to provide interns for them,” Kerns said. “I would love for the community to reach out to us in any way possible because we’re always looking for opportunities to give our students the on-the-job training, so they have something to rely upon when it comes time to hit them in the job market.”For more information about Boise State’s criminal justice internships and applications, visit Boise State’s criminal justice internships and field work website.

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