FC: K-9 Officers
1: K-9 officer Scrapbook by: Paul Cipriani Special Thanks to: Steven Wagoner and the Cabarrus County Sheriff's Department
3: On the first day I was shown how a dog is trained to search in an open field. Officer Wagoner had me rub an old phone with my hands for about a minute to help make it smell like me. The K-9 waits for the command patiently.
5: The dogs are kept inside the patrol car. This is where the dog spends most of his day if they are on the roads. If not, the dog and the trainer are working either outside or inside on the techniques that keep a dog sharp and aware of its daily job.
7: The trunk of the patrol car may seem congested but all the items inside are essential to a K-9 officers career. Some items are components of bombs so the dog can train with the actual scent. The trunk also includes a shotgun and a spike strip.
9: To train a dog how to track the trainer would walk a certain path anywhere in the woods to leave his scent behind. The officer in this example left an object behind, hidden in a bush, so the dog could try and find it. If a dog is not able to use its eyes to search it must use its nose as a back up.
11: During the track, a dog zig-zags back and forth in order to cover as much ground as possible. This technique helps the dog know that he has already searched one area and there is no need to search there again.
15: When the dog has found something it should always receive a reward of some kind. Most of the dogs love to play. The typical reward is a game of tug-of-war of a game of fetch. These games make the dog happy and motivate the dog to want to continue working.
17: The dogs are also able to search inside buildings. In these photos, the trainer was hiding the scented bomb items in certain areas to test the dog. During the search the trainer will guide the dog in the general area of what needs to be searched.
19: In these pictures the dog alerts the trainer that it has found something by taking a seat and not budging. This helps indicate to the trainer that the job is done. The dog takes a seat as a passive alert because it wouldn't be smart for a bomb dog to scratch at an area where it thinks a bomb is located.
21: The dogs will search anywhere their trainer allows them to. The dogs may even search in higher places than the ground if an area seems like a potential threat.
23: The way a dog is trained is based off the relationship between the trainer and the dog. If the dog is treated correctly and trained properly the two officers can become a great duo.