Dogs have been used by humans to help perform necessary tasks for thousands of years. These special animals have helped us perform an almost endless number of essential jobs. People have trained dogs to pull carts, help rescue avalanche victims, safeguard property, protect children and detect the odor of potentially dangerous substances.
K9’s have proven themselves to be the best tool available for detecting the odor of explosives, narcotics, accelerants, human remains, and evidence containing human odor. They can also use their amazing sense of smell to track down and locate potentially dangerous suspects who have evaded capture by law enforcement as well as find missing persons. Once a dangerous suspect has been located, trained K9s can be used to apprehend the suspect if necessary. This use of K9’s greatly increases the safety of the officers on scene.
The dog breeds most commonly used in the fields of law enforcement/security include the German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, Dutch Shepherd, Doberman, Rottweiler, and bloodhound. All of these breeds possess qualities that make them very valuable tools to law enforcement/ security agencies. At Leviathan we currently utilize a German Shepherd named Max and a Belgian Malinois named Rocco.
Our K9’s are intelligent, obedient, athletic, brave, and reliable. They can detect the odor of explosives/narcotics, as well as track, locate and apprehend dangerous persons and defend their human partners against attacks from violent individuals.
Effective K9 training requires hundreds of hours of strategic drills and repetition. We take great pride in providing the best training available to K9 teams and in our utilization of top-quality K9s to help our clients accomplish their individual missions.
Here is a basic overview of the training that goes into every K9 team we work with:
After an initial three-month training program is completed by the K9 team, a weekly training regime is continued for the time the K9 is in service. This weekly training ensures the clarity of the commands, exposure to conditions and situations that are commonly encountered during a mission, and promotes bonding between the K9 and the handler, which is paramount to the success of the team.
During this weekly training, certain techniques are utilized to mold the K9’s natural instincts/traits and to channel them to obtain the required results that are needed in Law Enforcement/Security Work. The training is motivational to again ensure that the K9 is eager and willing to perform the task at hand. This also instills trust in his handler and again strengthens the bond between them.
The K9 team is either an Explosive Canine Team (ECT) or a Narcotics Canine Team (NCT).
Some of the specific types of training include:
-Manwork – suspect apprehension, handler/team protection, and principal protection. The K9 clarity of the commands for bitework and the release are critical in this training, this is stressed and trained at the weekly training.
-Tracking/Trailing- the K9 is taught to locate a particular person’s odor and to track/trail the odor to the source and locate the person.
-Area Searches – in which they are trained to utilize the wind to their advantage to help locate a subject or article.
-Control Work – on/off leash obedience, voice and hand signals, Working with various persons of the security detail/team, to familiarize the K9 to the team or in the K9’s eyes, the team is his pack.
-Scenarios/Exposure – Bringing the K9 to various areas to expose him to the area’s odors and sounds so as not to be distracted during an actual deployment. Exposure to gunfire is often instituted at this time. The scenarios can be tailored to the individual mission prior to deployment to ensure success.
-Detection – The K9 is exposed to the odors that it is trained to locate (i.e. narcotics, explosives), and upon locating the target odor, the K9 “alerts.” The alert is rewarded, thereby strengthening the conditioned response and diminishing any possible false alerts. The K9’s nose is so sensitive that it is trusted over modern technology that as of yet, cannot duplicate the K9’s olfactory abilities. Evidence recovery is also practiced. Various items are used (guns, used rounds, or cell phones, for example) and are thrown into an area, so the K9 can locate and alert the handler to their location.
Contact us today to learn more about our K9’s, and be sure to follow @DogsOfLeviathan to keep up with Max, Rocco, and our growing K9 family!