News / Winnipeg

Pup patrol poll: True North seeks public’s help naming new security dog

The new in-house security dog team, which detects explosives, includes three eight-week-old puppies.

True North introduced a in-house security dog team this season, including three eight-week old puppies. The public is being asked to name one of puppies, who is joined by Grace and Ryp, and adult dogs Daisy and Dante. The team of dogs is led by True North’s dog handler and trainer Dave Bessason.

Jade Markus / Metro Order this photo

True North introduced a in-house security dog team this season, including three eight-week old puppies. The public is being asked to name one of puppies, who is joined by Grace and Ryp, and adult dogs Daisy and Dante. The team of dogs is led by True North’s dog handler and trainer Dave Bessason.

Bell MTS Place’s new security squad is fuzzier than a playoff beard.

True North Sport and Entertainment’s new explosive-sniffing security dog team includes three eight-week-old puppies, who are joining two working adult dogs Dante and Daisy.

Two of the Black Labrador Retriever puppies are already named—there’s Grace, named in honour of the late Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip's album Grace, Too. Ryp's namesake is from the late Manitoba Moose player Rick Rypien. The third puppy’s name is up to the public to decide.

Starting Wednesday, True North is asking Jets season seat holders to provide up to four names. From there, the public will vote, with the final name decision to be announced on Nov. 10.

The dogs will appear at all Winnipeg Jets games, following new protocol from the NHL, said Rob Wozny, True North vice-president, communications and community engagement.

He said security dogs are also something that promoters are asking for on an increasing basis in the concert industry.

“Since the arena opened, we have been working with security dogs on an event-by-event basis, so it was just a natural extension that given the requests that were put on us by another organization that it was time for us to invest in our own security dog team,” Wozny said.

Dave Bessason, True North’s dog handler and trainer and former Winnipeg Police Service canine officer, has been working on getting the puppies used to crowds and noises.  

“That’s why it’s very important to start young. It pays dividends down the road,” he said.

He added that the dogs are trained to detect about 14 main smells. The puppies will start learning to sniff out these scents.

For people who see the pups at hockey games or concerts, Bessason said it’s important to approach the handler first to ask if it’s alright to pet the dog.

“The majority of the time, when you see us here during the event, the work is done prior to,” he said.

“They’re kind of like ambassadors to the venue–welcome to the venue—it’s safe, and enjoy and have a good time.”

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