Boston Police Puppy Cop ‘Tuco’ Captures the Hearts of Pretty Much Everyone

He’s cute now, but one day he’ll be a police officer, ready to serve.

Meet Tuco, a German Shepherd puppy who may one day become a K-9 unit for the Boston Police Department—that is, if he can handle it.

Owned by BPD dog handler Troy Caisey, a 22-year veteran of the force who has trained more than 350 canines at a facility in Jamaica Plain during the course of his career, Tuco captured people’s hearts online Monday when Massachusetts Vest-A-Dog, a non-profit organization, posted an image of the young pup on their Facebook page.

The image of the dog, seen standing in a bulletproof vest he will likely grow into, was also posted to Reddit, where it racked up nearly 1,000 comments.

The photo was being promoted by Vest-A-Dog so the organization could help sell their 2015 calendars, which contain a collection of pictures of other police canine units from around the state. The proceeds from those sales go toward equipping the K-9s with vests to wear while responding to calls, and other essential equipment.

When Vest-A-Dog posted the image, they said the dog was named “Batman,” but Caisey told Boston the dog’s name is really Tuco, after Mexican drug kingpin Tuco Salamanca, from the popular AMC series Breaking Bad.

“Tuco was the crazy drug dealer,” Caisey laughed. “It’s been Tuco since I’ve had him, since eight weeks ago.”

Tuco was nine weeks old when the picture was taken for the calendar, but now the dog is six months old.

Caisey said a friend gave the dog to him, and he is personally raising him to be his next “work dog,” as long as he is obedient enough to take on the task.

“It depends on the dog and how he matures. I’m doing foundation work with him now, and in a couple of months I’ll know if he will make it as a work dog, and when he will start his formal training,” said Caisey. “I’m doing little things with him now, but no formalized training will start until later.”

Dogs typically begin intensive training when they are one-and-a-half to two-years old. If things don’t work out, Caisey said he might also assign the dog to another officer.

Boston recently spent three months hanging out with Caisey and police recruits at the facility in Jamaica Plain, part of the Brandegee Estate that straddles Brookline, to find out how canines become officers of the law. To get certified, the dogs spend 14-weeks at the training grounds, five days a week, conducting drills.

“I’m always looking for another dog,” said Caisey.