It wasn’t much of a surprise to see the refreshed 2016 Ford Explorer gain the police treatment in the form of the 2016 Ford Police Interceptor Utility. What did surprise us, however, was that it wasn’t a human being that actually unveiled the new standard-issue black-and-white vehicle at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. Instead, unveiling duty fell to Keegan, a Belgian Malinois Shepherd who is a specially-trained personal protection dog serving Emily Stoddard, Keegan’s professional trainer.
On command, Keegan ran up to the silk drop cloth covering the vehicle and began tugging away to reveal the shiny new police cruiser — no doubt, an impressive that surprised those who were in attendance.
Motor Trend had the chance to sit down with Keegan and ask her how she came to be so talented, and how it felt to be the star of Ford’s presentation in Chicago. As MT points out, Keegan was rather quiet… mostly because she didn’t speak English. Luckily, Emily Stoddagrd does speak English, and was able to answer a few questions about Keegan and her training.
“It only took about 24 hours to train her to pull off the cloth,” she said. “It’s basically two commands for her to do it, though it’s a complicated process because you have to prepare for all of the distractions.”
As mentioned, Keegan actually isn’t a police dog, but rather a personal protection dog. Her specific training is to make sure no one steals Stoddard’s car. In the event a foolish bystander does attempt a carjacking, Keegan is trained to bite at the arms and torso region. Ouch.
“One person did try,” said Stoddard, who lives in Chicago. “They got the door open about six inches, but I think regretted that decision.”
We’re sure Keegan enjoyed all of the extra attention she received during the show. And as for Stoddard, Keegan’s skills only exemplify how skilled of a trainer she is.