Dogs have long been a central part of Greg Kaschinske’s life, especially now that he is responsible for training police canines similar to those he used to handle.
The former Columbia County Sheriff’s deputy started work Monday at Jessiffany Canine Services in Iron Ridge after he resigned as a patrol officer and K-9 handler.
“I kind of wanted everything in my life to be dog-related,” Kaschinske said.
Kaschinske said he plans to tap into his own law enforcement experiences to help train dogs for local police departments.
Jessie Smith, who owns Jessiffany Canine Services with his wife, Tiffany, said Kaschinske’s experience will be valuable. Smith served as a K-9 handler and patrol officer in Georgia for several years prior to moving to Wisconsin.
He said having different perspectives and techniques among trainers will help deliver the best locally trained police dogs possible.
“I looked at it from a perspective of having another set of eyes,” Smith said. “We’re going to always expand our minds, expand our training and expand our expertise.”
Kaschinske said he met Smith when the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office began purchasing its K-9 units from the kennel in neighboring Dodge County.
Smith’s own law enforcement experience and his training style of pushing to keep dogs in good physical condition resonated with Kaschinske.
Kachinske served as a sheriff’s deputy for at least 15 years and handled two dogs — most recently K-9 Recon, now retired as a police dog.
Columbia County Sheriff Roger Brandner said he hopes to fill the vacant position and send a new K-9 officer to training sometime in the fall.
An upcoming Sept. 14 golf outing fundraiser at Kestrel Ridge in Columbus will help fund a new K-9 team, Brandner said.
Brandner added it will be difficult to replace Kaschinske’s skills in the department.
Kaschinske was a certified sniper and emergency response team member for many years, Brandner said. Columbia County has two other K-9 units available currently.
“He will be greatly missed,” Brandner said. “Having that third dog was very important to us.”
But Brandner added that his department supports Kaschinske, who will be able to sustain more consistent working hours, see his family more often and put his K-9 handling skills to use in a new way.