West Buechel officer offers training for family dogs to be drug-detecting K-9s
Most dogs can be trained to detect basic drugs.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- West Buechel Officer Dennis Clark’s K-9 partner, Dash, is quite the popular dog.
And if you're not a criminal, who wouldn't love the fierce, but adorable face of the 3-year-old Giant Schnauzer?
“Dash has about 5,000 followers on social media,” Clark said. “Really serious followers, about 75 percent are civilian and 25 percent are law enforcement."
Clark has trained numerous law enforcement dogs as President of Tactical Detection K9, but then he started to get an unorthodox request.
“People got to asking, because their kids have drug problems, if they could train the family dog,” Clark said.
And the answer, for the most part, is yes.
“If you have a dog that's in good shape, good health … and he either likes one certain toy real well or he has one certain treat, then you can train well enough to do what you need at home,” Clark said.
The basic drugs dogs can be trained on drugs including cocaine, heroin, meth, marijuana and prescription pills.
“When they're starting they think that the toy is with that odor, and when they find it, you give them the toy," Clark said. "So it's a game to them, merely a game. But you can't use your training aides in daily stuff with the dog. He has to know OK, this is special.”
The training agents are lab-created versions of the drug that have the same odor.
Because of the concerned parents, Clark made a DVD for them with methods used to train Dash.
“The kids don't like it, but it's a good deterrent to keep stuff out of the home," he said. "It's not going to get them to quit using drugs, but it's just another tool that the parents have."
And at a time when he said drug use starts in middle school, you can never be too prepared.
“It shows your child you're serious about it," Clark said. "The child's probably not going to like the family dog so much."
Clark also said a family dog can be trained to detect peanuts if someone in the family has a peanut allergy. The scent training is similar to detecting drugs.
For more information about the DVD or to purchase the DVD, click here.
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