Indiana police dog training site ready for TV stardom

DENVER, Ind. - An Indiana police dog training facility is preparing for its moment in the national spotlight with a reality television show that will begin airing next month.

 "Alpha Dogs" features Vohne Liche Kennels founder Ken Licklider and his trainers as they prepare dogs and handlers to participate in police operations around the world.
The 16-episode show will begin airing Feb. 8 on the Nat Geo Wild cable channel.

The series is the brainchild of Jack Osbourne, son of rocker Ozzy Osbourne. Licklider said Osbourne visited the kennel near Peru to buy a dog and that the two became friends.

He said Osbourne was starting a production company called Schweet Entertainment and wanted his first TV show to be about Licklider and his crew.

Licklider told the Kokomo Tribune he was hesitant at first.

"We didn't see what the big deal was. It was just filming the stuff that we do every day," he said. "We're just five knuckle-draggers from Indiana, you know? We're not actors by any stretch of the imagination."

But Osbourne talked Licklider into doing the series, and Licklider said he's glad he did.

"We're just crazy excited," he said.

Filming began in May 2012 and ended in October, Licklider said. Crews followed the trainers six days a week to capture what it takes to train a dog for law enforcement work.

"It was a lot more intense than any of us thought it would be," he said. "The process was arduous."

He said some episodes will feature the dogs working with police departments in Kokomo, Peru and Logansport and the Miami County Sheriff Department. There also will be footage from Hawaii, Los Angeles and Arizona.

Vohne Liche Kennels trains about 600 professional-level canines a year. Its dogs work in police departments, security offices and military units in nearly every major metropolitan area in the U.S. and in more than 30 countries, according to Licklider.

All of its trainers have either served in the military or worked in law enforcement officer, the kennel's website says.

Now those trainers are gearing up for a national media blitz to promote the show.  Licklider and his crew will appear on "The Late Show with David Letterman" Feb. 6, and other national media appearances are scheduled.

Indiana residents can get a sneak peak of the series Feb. 4 at the Roxy Theater in Peru, which will have the trainers present and show the first episode.
Licklider said it's hard to believe the show is about to air.

"I've always been excited," he said. "But now that I saw the first commercial for the show, it's really starting to hit me."

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