Like their companions, the four-legged dogs are also called “four-legged” ‘deputy dogs’They must keep their skills sharp
(Update: Adding video, comments by Lieutenant William Bailey and K-9 deputy Jeremiah Johnson
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ). K-9 dogs follow scents to catch suspects and solve cases. The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit stages monthly training for its K-9s, and it’s paying off.
“With my first dog K-9, Ezel, we were able to track the kid about two miles away from the camp, and find him out in the woods and save him,” K-9 Deputy Jeremiah Johnson said at this week’s training session.
And it wouldn’t have happened without the help of the scent and tracking-trained K-9.
These dogs are always working or training for situations that could sometimes prove to be life-or death.
The department has been training dogs since the ’70s. K-9s and their handlers train throughout the year with two formal trainings each month. Dogs and handlers become close friends, working together and building a strong bond.
Right now, it’s working with five dogs, including German shepherds and Belgian Malinois.
Many criminal suspects have been caught by the dogs, who refuse to obey commands or hide from authorities.
The department travels up and down the West Coast in search of the right breed of dog. Lt. William Bailey stated that many dogs are from California.
“We’ll test a number of dogs that have the right attributes that we’re looking for in a patrol K-9 and then we’ll bring the dog back, and we’ll spend some time with it after the initial testing,”Bailey said. “And start working through some of the basic obedience stuff, and some of the initial things that a patrol dog will need to do in the field.”
The sheriff’s office works with both “green” dogs and those who’ve had some level of training.
“A green dog has no training — they don’t know how to do anything,”Johnson stated. “They have no obedience. They don’t really know how to do anything, and then we have to teach them.”
Trained dogs are more controlled in different settings.
“They’re obedient around every situation — loud noises, crowds, suspects that are threatening,” Johnson said.
After 240 hours of training, they get certified and earn a place in the patrol car, ready to help enforce the law and keep residents safe.