Bismarck Police K9 Training - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Bismarck Police K9 Training

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Any new officer with the Bismarck Police Department undergoes a lot of training. Much of that training is done when they first start the job. The rest is ongoing. That's no different for the K9 police.

This is just part of the ongoing training Oscar goes through.

"There's always more to learn," says Officer Time Sass. "With K9 the adage is we not only have to train ourselves we also have to learn to read the dogs, watch their breathing, watch how they behave, how they react, how does he react with sirens or somebody's being loud by him."

Officer Sass trains constantly with Oscar, who has been working the streets in Bismarck for a few months.
This week, they and a few other dogs and handlers in the state are getting some outside help from outside trainers.

"It's a handler course and a dog course," says Dog Trainer, George Hickcox. "These are relatively new dogs, they're not seasoned dogs, so they're in the process of being trained so they can do their job and task well, and stay on task and do it the way they're supposed to do it."

That means doing more than just basic drug sniffs or searches.
These dogs are also learning their left from their right, so they can be directed to go to different doorways.

"It's a couple year process to prepare the dog for the world he's going to live in so he can do his job safely and correctly," says Hickcox.

Much of the training is reward based, using things like tennis balls, and helps these dogs take their skills to the next level.

"He's able to give us new techniques he's perfected over the years," says Officer Sass. "He's able to take Oscar to the point where, his obedience is already at a phenomenal level, and make it that much better."

That way, officers will know that when the time comes to be called into action, their dogs won't be distracted by the lights and sirens, and instead, will do exactly what they're supposed to.

The training also helps when a dog handler is called into a courtroom to testify about a case. Having the hours and certifications build up can show a jury that the team is competent in what they do.

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