the dogs are selected in Europe (we have had dogs from
Holland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary), most
of the dogs have a background in "Schutzhund" which
is a dog training sport commonly practiced in Europe.
The dogs usually have a basic understanding of tracking,
obedience, and handler protection. Once they are imported
and arrive here, they are matched to a handler.
What follows is an eight-week training period where the handler bonds with his dog and the teams are trained to effectively work together.
this training period, the teams are taught to perform
(industrial yards, orchards, cotton fields, etc.). They
will also be trained to effectively search the interior
of buildings. The teams will also be trained to "clear" felony
vehicle stops. During this activity, the K-9 will check
the interior of a vehicle during a "high risk" stop to make sure
there are no potentially dangerous suspects attempting
to conceal themselves inside the vehicle.
skills will also be reinforced, as will the emphasis
on handler protection. The K-9 teams will also
be trained to locate and "alert" or "indicate" the
presence of certain controlled substances. At the
conclusion of this training, the dog teams are
certified to their competence. However, they must
still complete a two-week field training period
with another experienced K-9 team.
All the teams train together twice a month and the handlers will often individually train daily to reinforce the skills that have been previously taught.