Regional certification tests put K-9 officers through their pace - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Regional certification tests put K-9 officers through their paces

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IDA GROVE, Iowa (KTIV) -

600,000 thousand dogs work in law enforcement according to the National Canine Police Association. They work in jobs as wide-ranging as search and rescue, and drug detection. Thousands of hours of training are required for K-9 units. The newest crop of K-9 officers were put through their paces in Ida Grove, Iowa.

It was time to sleeve up and head out.  With thousands of hours of training, these K-9's were ready to go through certification testing. 

"It doesn't matter where the apprehension takes place, some dogs are fastter than others so it happens pretty close to the starting line," said Jim Bauerly, President, United States Police K-9 Association, Region 21. 

And while their barks are pretty ferocious, their bite has to be much worse. 

"The depth of the bite, whether it is a shallow bite or a full mouth bite, they are also graded on whether they are stable on the search while the officer searches the suspect, they cannot move and they are graded on how fas they come off the bite," said Jim Bauerly, Woodbury County Sheriff's Department, President, United States Police K-9 Association, Region 21. 

32 K-9's in all went through certification. 

"This part of the training is called suspect apprehension, the dogs have to go through seven different phases of training to be certified," reports Danielle Davis. 

Obedience, agility and response to commands are some of the other areas the dogs were judged on. 

"I worked with dogs about 25 years and they can search buildings faster than officers, with less officers, the dogs noses are just a fantastic locating tool," said Mark Darnell, Chief Judge.

So much so that after the first day of training, this dynamic duo, Corey and Bayou sniffed out drugs in a car at their hotel and made an arrest. 

To get this far, they have to score 70% in both obedience and criminal apprehension.

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