SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU)- In Siouxland, 41 officers and their K-9’s participated in obedience training and agility courses this afternoon.
Woodbury County hosted the event this year and neighboring counties and states came in to participate.
The obedience course is the first and most important course of the day. If a K-9 fails to earn 70 percent or better, it can’t be certified.
“We’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to train eight hours per week,” said Dustin Yager an officer in Fort Madison at the Iowa State penitentiary.
Yager and his K-9 Maverick training started four years ago.
“The day we picked him up from the kennel me and Maverick have been together and he lives with me and works with me every day,” said Yager.
Maverick is one of 40 K-9’s working to get certified under Police Dog One Certification.
“We happen to think that the United States Police K-9 Association is the best certification that we get we take turns hosting these events and we’re happy to host it this year,” said Sergeant Jim Bauerly with the Woodbury County Sheriff Department.
The K-9’s are tested on obedience, agility, suspect search, evidence search, and criminal apprehension during the courses.
“We use several of those things everyday obedience, and obviously we don’t use apprehension every day, but when we do need to use that skill set, it’s important that we are on point and well-practiced in it,” said Yager.
Each K-9 serving the department is just like every other officer.
“These dogs are a tool, their a locating tool and these dogs may be called on to locate a person and maybe give their life instead of the officers life,” said Bauerly.
Monday was day one of testing for the K-9’s. They will continue their training into Tuesday and Wednesday focusing on criminal apprehension as well as tracking certification.
The public is invited to attend the K-9 certification course. It takes place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Chautauqua Park. For more information visit Woodbury County Sheriffs Facebook Page.