(EL PASO COUNTY, Colo.) — On Wednesday, March 15, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) introduced their newest K9, K9 Styx, to the public, and shared more about his personality and training.
K9 Styx is a 17-month-old Belgian Malinois, and will be working alongside Deputy Ronnie Hancock, K9 Jinx’s former handler. K9 Jinx was shot and killed in the line of duty on April 11, 2022 in Manitou Springs.
The addition of K9 Styx was previously announced by EPSO in March, and the presentation on March 15 provided additional details on Styx’s personality, which his handler said is not a quiet one.
“Styx is a high-drive Malinois… in some instances he is a little pushy. He’s kind of full of himself, so he tries to push you around and be the boss,” said Deputy Hancock.
And Styx has the size to back up his massive personality. Deputy Hancock said Belgian Malinois typically grow to around 70 pounds, but at his current weight, Styx is around 90 pounds. He is also taller than the typical Malinois, with legs that look like sticks, hence his name. Though the inspiration for that name came from Deputy Hancock’s wife, who is a fan of 80s rock band Styx.
“Styx had a lot of attributes that we needed for this job, so we kind of overlooked the size for the attributes that he had to do the job that we asked of him,” said Deputy Hancock.
Among those attributes, Deputy Hancock said Styx has a high hunt drive, loves to chase and find his ball, and strives for reward when he finds what he’s looking for. And while those attributes will help him in his law enforcement career, Styx still has some pretty big paw prints to fill.
“Last April, K9 Jinx was killed in the line of duty, trying to apprehend a suspect. That night, he allowed four officers to go home to their families,” Deputy Hancock said. “Jinx is a big part of our family, and he’s a big part of what’s going on, so hopefully Styx can live up to those paw prints.”
As far as the timeline for filling those paw prints, K9 Styx will undergo approximately four months of training before he can be certified and start being deployed for enforcement.
Deputy Hancock is excited to start his new partnership, which he says is the best job in the Sheriff’s Office.
“I say it all the time… it’s the best job in the office. I mean, who wouldn’t want to ride around with him [K9 Styx] in a car all day long?” said Deputy Hancock. “It’s just an honor to work with these [dogs], they do so much for us, they are 100% loyal.”