Tag Archives: working dogs

Here’s to 2017…

Dawn is excited for a new year and new opportunities to work with K9 Units and Military Working Dogs all across the country.  Any working dogs are always welcome to grace the front of her lens as well!

Dawn offers on-location photography anywhere, anytime.  Pricing is based on a job’s location, use of photography, and the time required for production.  Reach out today with details on what you are looking for and we can discuss how Dawn can delivery working dog photography that works for you. Private commissions and business commissions are always welcome.

K9 Guardians The Movie FREE for a Limited Time…

Simply click on the GET  OFFER button below and type in THINBLUELINE at checkout.  Limited time offer and stream/download the ENTIRE documentary for free!  My images were used throughout the production of this educational movie. Thank you to Irondog K9 for making Tracer, my Malinois, and I a part of the team!


Mt. Major with a Malinois…

Tracer and I hiked Mt. Major’s Orange trail (aka The Boulder Loop Trail) Tuesday, July 26, 2016.  The weather was perfect and we enjoyed the challenge of this short hike and an AMAZING view at the summit!

Great weather, a fabulous hike and my dog by my side = happy lady!

Great weather, a fabulous hike and my dog by my side = happy lady!

Getting there :: I used Waze app on my iPhone and typed in Mt. Major and it gave me the trail head as an option.  The drive took a little over an hour and was easy peasy.  Plenty of parking and there were 4 port-a-potties in the lot.  Keep in mind, we did this hike on a Tuesday morning in the summer so there were fewer people there than will likely be on a weekend during the Summer months.

Signage and orange markers were plenty and easy to follow along this trail.

We encountered some rock climbing, nothing requiring ropes and harnesses, but not for those who aren’t physically fit (including your dogs).  This is a great hike for working dogs, my Malinois served as my sherpa with a light and capable pack from Good2Go which we picked up on our way to the hike at a local Petco.  I purchased the large Good2Go in Yellow/Green ($29)- Tracer is approximately 75 pounds.  I was able to pack one standard size water bottle in each pouch (one on each side), a collapsable dog water/food bowl, a payday bar, trail mix, band-aids, Neosporin, car key, USB/iPhone charging cord, a power pack for my iPhone, id cards, dog treats, and my cell phone.  There was a little room for more but I wanted to also keep the pack light for Tracer.  I made sure that each side was balanced so it didn’t tilt and sit awkwardly from lack of balance and equally distribute the weight in the pack.  Adjustments for size were easy to make and Trace wore it with no problems for his first time with a pack.  I should state that prior to this hike, he was used to wearing a working dog harness so that made it an easy transition to a hiking pack for him.

Good2Go pack on Tracer the Malinois. Purchased at Petco.

Good2Go pack on Tracer the Malinois. Purchased at Petco.

Tracer in his Good2Go pack at the summit of Mt. Major

Tracer in his Good2Go pack at the summit of Mt. Major

The hike was intense in certain portions and climbing for Trace was easy for him but again, he’s used to climbing rocks and other obstacles.  Fit dogs with agile builds and capabilities are best suited for this hiking route up Mt Major.

Tracer and I just before the Summit. – Selfie thanks to a nearby tree with good branches 😉

Daring greatly is not about winning or losing. It’s about courage. In a world where scarcity and shame dominate and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability becomes subversive. Uncomfortable. It’s even a little dangerous at times. And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there’s a far greater risk of feeling hurt. But as I look back on my own life and what Daring Greatly has meant to me, I can honestly say that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as believing that I am standing on the outside of my life looking in and wondering what it would be like if I had the courage to show up and let myself be seen. -Brene Brown, Daring Greatly


Taking a moment to feel the sun on my face and say Thank You from my soul for this day and this journey in life!!

Taking a moment to feel the sun on my face and say Thank You from my soul for this day and this journey in life!!

We reached a wide flat area that had lots of wild blueberries and trees which I thought was the summit.

Wide flat area before the summit, good shade and wild blueberries were abundant.

Wide flat area before the summit, good shade and wild blueberries were abundant.

Video from just before the summit (we thought we had reached the top but had a lil’ further to go yet!) Finally we reached the summit!

Enjoy our review and reach out to the companies who have products that made this hike much more enjoyable!
Swell Bottles
Good2Go Dog Backpack
Payday (YUMMY)
Ranger Up (T shirts that say it all!)
E-Collar Technologies (for control off leash and training)

The things that made this hike even more awesome...

The things that made this hike even more awesome…

Then I saw the orange trail band markers (paint strips) and we continued to follow those to what was clearly THE SUMMIT.  Wide open rock and views upon views upon views!  Here is a video of that actual summit – too windy to hear what I’m saying – but you can see how gorgeous the scenery is and the perma-grin on my face is proof positive that we had reached the top ;). The windy warm air offered us a refreshing recharge but makes it hard to hear my summit “commentary”…

The SUMMIT - Mt. Major Alton, NH

The SUMMIT – Mt. Major Alton, NH

Keeping on…

SWAT training scenario

SWAT training scenario. ©Dawn Norris, Canines on Duty.

I am blessed to have the opportunity to show how hard these teams train year round to keep our communities and country safe.  Then something else occurred to me – I even get to see and share things that their own families and friends never see.  At a recent training, I photographed in Fort AP Hill, Virginia I was on the hip of a special operations soldier who allowed me to document a building search in the dark of night to experience the adrenaline and skills required to find a suspect in a large building with his dog.  It was a unique experience to be sure.  It was also “just” a training exercise and I witnessed something that even his closest family and friends will never see.  To say that this was special doesn’t cover it.  It was scary, intense, and inspiring.  These soldiers and law enforcement officers go into places with their dogs and it is life or death.  They are the real deal heroes and my dream is to continue to bring those stories into the light to show the world how unique and incredibly brave these teams/units are and they do it with humility and strength and dedication…
It is not the critic who counts;
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly;
who errs and comes short again and again;
who knows great enthusiasms,
the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly
so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. -Theodore Roosevelt
Being briefed to track a suspect at Fort AP Hill, Virginia

Being briefed to track a suspect at Fort AP Hill, Virginia.  ©Dawn Norris, Canines on Duty

To continue to do the work and show these amazing team in photographs I have a Booster campaign where you can purchase a t-shirt and fund the overhead costs of donating my time to photograph these heroes.  Go here to purchase your t-shirt today!  My goal is to sell 100 t-shirts by August 7th.
With tons of gratitude,
Dawn Norris
Canines on Duty

Canines on Duty Donates Tuition in Contest for K9 Handler Team

Canines on Duty is sponsoring a tuition scholarship to attend IrondogK9 Street Tactics Seminar May 5-8 2015! Submit nominations to dawn@caninesonduty.com with Name of Handler, K9, Unit, Email and Mailing Address by April 27th. Tuition covers $440 fee to attend. We will cover the seminar cost and winner will provide transportation to and from event and lodging costs. Hope we can get a deserving team a great training spot!! https://vimeo.com/116346594




Roll Tape…

K9 Guardians the movie is set to release in July 2015.  During the filming I have been documenting the work of these amazing k9s and their handlers in stills to show the intensity and drive these police teams have to work the streets every day.

George Quinlan, owner of It’s All About the Dogs Training, is a host of a weekly television show in Biddeford, ME sharing training philosophies, dog sports and more.  I was featured on an episode for my work on K9 Guardians and my animal photography in general.  Here is a little clip the K9 Guardians team sent out to social media…

We want to thank Dawn Norris from Canines on Duty and George Quinlan for speaking about our upcoming documentary, set to release in July. Dawn currently works with us capturing amazing pictures of our dogs in action. Dawn is becoming the Ansel Adams of the working K9 world :)Please follow the link to watch the full interview “It’s All About the Dogs” with George Quinlan. https://youtu.be/_ZM9qhA_JDY Or go to;www.facebook.com/caninesonduty to see her amazing work

Posted by K9Guardians on Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Facebook screenshot from K9 Guardians page.

Facebook screenshot from K9 Guardians page.



Train Hard…

2015 is bringing lots of opportunities to the world of working dogs.  Particularly to MWDs and K-9s from all divisions (bomb dogs, man-trailing, HRDs, tracking, and more).  However, we are also upon trial season for French Ring, PSA, Dock Dogs, and a slew of other dog sports.  Despite the purpose and the locations, the people and dogs that work together to learn and compete or certify train hard.  This is their life.  Day in.  Day out.  I’ve recently viewed posts on social media feeds where mondio competitors (some of the most diehard handler/canine teams out there IMHO) practice their positions (sit, down, stand in one spot without creeping) on any available surface at Lowe’s, Home Depot, on a dumpster while they wait in a parking lot, you name it.  The world becomes a training ground.  The more variety the better.  The more exposure the better.

Facebook has become a leading resource for finding out about these training seminars due to the up-to-date posts in specialized groups that focus on speciality training for dogs.  Recently I’ve found a few good contenders I wanted to share with you here via links ::

K-9/MWDs (click on image for jump to details and to register)




Monandnock Working Dog Spring PSA Trial

Trial location: Club Field as the National Guard Armory, Armory Rd Milford NH
Date: April 24th-26th, 2015 USCA Judge Robert Johantgen
Various IPO titles being offered.  Click here for entry form and to see titles offered. 

International Rescue Dog Trial IPO-R May 29-31 2015


Dock Dogs
Cabela’s Presents Dock Dogs

2015 Dockdogs Mid Atlantic Regional Championship Beach Bash

For All Official DockDogs events go here http://dockdogs.com/events/events-list/


K9 Guardians

This past month I was given the opportunity to join the team filming an independent documentary called :: K9 Guardians.

As an official photographer for the film I’m seeing the amazing and intensely hard work that goes into training a K9 unit. Paul Ludwig, Sam Edmonds, and Drew Barrow are moving mountains to help educate the general public about the exposure and training that is necessary for the working dogs of America’s K9 divisions.  Drew Barrows, filmmaker, is privately raising funds to produce this film.  DONATE HERE BY CLICKING HERE:: http://bit.ly/k9guardiansdonation

You can also buy a tshirt to help raise funds as well ::

I’m gifting my photography towards this film to help show the hard work, the intensity, and the power of these working dog teams.  Stay tuned for updates as production continues.

The movie is slated to release on July 1, 2014.

Follow the film on Facebook here :: https://www.facebook.com/k9guardians