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Canine Unit

Purpose and Scope:

The sheriff's canine program was established to augment the sheriff's services to the community. Highly skilled and trained teams of handlers and sheriff's canines have evolved from the program and are used to supplement sheriff's operations to locate and apprehend criminal offenders, detect illegal controlled substances, locate evidence, and protect deputies and the public.


  • Provide a  valuable resource in keeping our community safe.  Assist other agencies on a “as needed” basis.
  • Enhance our mission to protect life and property through the use of a canine.

Contact Information:

The Canine Unit can be contacted by calling (651) 438-4750.

Meet Our Current Handlers:

Deputy Brian Smidt and "Cado"

"Cado" is a German Shepherd. He was born in October, 2012, in Slovakia and came to the United States in April, 2013. Deputy Smidt and Cado have been partners since April, 2013, when they attended the St. Paul Police Canine Academy together.

Cado has received training in the areas of building searches, tracking, evidence recovery, suspect apprehension, and handler protection. Deputy Smidt and Cado will go back to training this fall for detection of controlled substances.

When Cado is not working he enjoys playing with his toys and going for walks.



Deputy Matt Schuster and “Ace”

“Ace” is a cross between a German Shepherd and a Belgian Malinois.  He was born in March, 2006, in Slovakia and came to the United States in February, 2007.  He has a distinct “tiger striping” color to his coat called brindle.  Deputy Schuster and Ace have been partners since March, 2007, when they attended the St. Paul Police Canine Academy together.

Ace has received training in the areas of building searches, tracking, evidence recovery, suspect apprehension, and handler protection.  Ace has also become a member of the Dakota County MAAG Team with Deputy Schuster.

When Ace is off duty at home, he loves to spend time swimming, chasing his ball, and hanging out with Deputy Schuster and his family.




History of the Sheriff's Canine Unit:

Police dogs have been part of the Sheriff’s Office since 1960.  At that time, Deputy Duane Zimmerman had a German Shepherd named “Reich” and Deputy Robert Yokanovich had a German Shepherd named “Kota.”

Deputy Zimmerman named his dog “Reich” because in German the word meant government.  The dog may have come directly from Germany.  He was a very aggressive dog and one time bit a nine-year-old friend of Deputy Zimmerman’s son.  Deputy Zimmerman determined that, even after extensive training, the dog was not a good candidate for a police canine because he was too difficult to handle.  “Reich” was then given to a private company, where he became a security watch dog.

It would be 20 years before the Sheriff’s Office would bring back a canine to work the street.  In 1980, Deputy Don Baier and his canine partner, “Dutch,” a German Shepherd, went through the St. Paul Police Canine School.  Don and “Dutch” competed in the regional United States Police Canine Association trials for the first time in 1984 and won “Rookie Dog of the Year” honors.  That year they also went to the national competition in Lima, Ohio, and placed 11th overall in the nation.

In 1987, “Dutch” was retired to the Baier family and Don obtained a second German Shepherd, “Kato,” who was trained in Germany with German commands.  The dog was sent to California for additional training and then to Don.  For several months, Don carried a “cheat sheet” in his pocket of the German commands that they were converting to English and referred to them when the dog was not responding well to English.  In 1990, Don and “Kato” were the only canine in Minnesota to be certified nationally in PD-1, PD-2 Narcotics, and PD-2 Tracking.  In regional trails that year they were part of the first place team and in the national trials they placed 15th in the nation.  “Kato” was retired in 1994 after Deputy Baier was promoted to Sergeant.

In 1985, Deputy Steve Theriault and his canine partner, “Buddy,” went through the St. Paul Police Canine School.  “Buddy” was a 100 pound German Shepherd donated by a family from Proctor, Minnesota.  In 1986, this canine team obtained their PD-2 (narcotics detection) rating.  “Buddy” was retired in 1987 when Deputy Theriault was promoted to Detective.

Detective Daniel Scheuermann and his  Narcotics K-9 partner RAJAH worked the streets with the task force and for the patrol division for ten years, (1996-2006). During that time, this K-9 team detected over $1,000,000 in illegal controlled substances, was involved in the seizure of more than $200,000 in cash and assisted in more than 1000 search warrants.  Dan and Rajah were certified by the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) and was recognized as one of the top 10 teams in the country throughout their term. Rajah achieved Regional Top Dog and National Champion status in both team and individual competitions.  K-9 Rajah ended her tour in February 2010.


Pictured above: Canine "Rajah"




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