K9 dog Nuggetz recently achieved internet fame after uncovering $10 million worth of cocaine in a truck of tomatoes! He can be seen following his big bust with a happy smile and a cool pair of sunglasses.
Nuggetz is just one of many K9 dogs around the world who serve as backup to police officers. They can do anything from attack dangerous suspects, hold a suspect hostage, find drugs, search for and rescue missing persons, detect cadavers, and more.
If your dog is only good at detecting treats, you may wonder what separates your pup from these elite police dogs. The key is K9 training.
In this article, we’ll be giving you a crash course in dog training, so read on to learn all about it!
Basic Obedience Training
The beginning of training any successful police dog is obedience training. The dog must obey their handler in every situation, no matter how stressful it is.
The dog must also go through rigorous physical training including agility and endurance courses. Most police dogs are used in urban settings, so the dog must be able to navigate stairs and walls to pursue a suspect.
Once basic obedience has been established, the police dog is able to go through specialized training. This depends on the purpose of the K9 unit. So, if the dog is going to be in a search and rescue unit their training will look different than if they will be in a drug detection unit.
Most scent detection is conducted with the dog’s favorite toy. First, the handler will play with the dog and establish a play toy. Often they use a white towel as it has no inherent scent and is versatile.
Then, the handler rolls marijuana or another illegal substance into the towel. The dog soon begins to recognize that their towel smells like a specific drug. Eventually, they learn that if they sniff out a drug, they’ll get their favorite toy as a reward.
Finally, the dog learns either a passive or an active alert.
An active alert is when the dog digs at the location of the detection. This is often used for drug detection at airports. Upon detection, the dog will paw at the identified bag.
A passive alert is when the dog sits down to identify a detection. This is generally used when the dog is identifying illegal agriculture because digging at the produce may be problematic.
Handlers use slightly different training for bomb or missing person detection.
Alternative to K9 Training
K9 training takes years and works best when it starts with a puppy. Some breeds work better too because they’re more responsive to training and they have a sensitive sense of smell. German shepherds, bloodhounds, and beagles are some of the most common police dogs.
So, if you’re looking for the protection and detection services that a K9 dog offers, you’re probably not going to be able to train your family dog to do it. It’s best to hire a narcotics detection dog for periodic sweeps to keep your school or home safe.
Experience the Power of K9 Dogs
K9 dogs are real-life animal superheroes. They can detect even a whiff of illegal substances, find missing people, and even detain suspects.
The training required is extensive and takes considerable time, effort, and money. So if you’re looking for K9 services, it might be better to hire a trained dog rather than do the training yourself!
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