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Transcript of Police Dogs
A Famous Police Dog
One of the most famous police dogs was Mattie, a black lab retriever from the Connecticut State Police. Mattie started working in 1986. She was trained to detect potential proof of arson, illegal burning of property, with her powerful nose."Mattie could pick her way through the charred, dangerous ruins of a fire and point out a few small drops of gasoline, despite all the strong smells of a recent fire and all the fire and police officials walking around the scene.” (Grabianowski, 9) Mattie was one of the most unique police dogs in its entire history.
How Police Dogs are Trained
To start, all potential K-9s need to have basic obedience, endurance, and agility training. They will also will need to know how to leap over walls, climb stairs, and to be comfortable with people. Each dog will eventually receive specialized training to whatever type of K-9 they will be. The following is one way in which substance detectors are trained.
To begin the training, the handler simply plays with the dog and the towel, which has been carefully washed so that it has no scent of its own. Later, a bag of marijuana is rolled up inside the towel. After playing for a while, the dog starts to recognize the smell of marijuana as the smell of his favorite toy. The handler then hides the towel, with the drugs, in various places. Whenever the dog sniffs out the drugs, he digs and scratches, trying to get at his toy. He soon comes to learn that if he sniffs out the smell of drugs, as soon as he finds them he'll be rewarded with a game of tug-of-war. (Grabianowski, 5)
Other types of K-9s will probably be trained in similar ways but designed to whatever job they will perform.
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Police dogs were actually used in ancient Egypt by police officers! Egyptian police officers also used monkeys. The first specialized cadaver dog for the New York City Police Department was a yellow labrador named Pearl, and it started working in 1974.
Jobs and Duties
In the United States, police dogs are members of the K-9 police unit. These dogs are used because their sense of smell is 50 times better than humans! With this strong sense of smell, they can sniff out bombs, drugs, and criminals. The major types of K-9 dogs are tracking dogs, substance detectors, public enforcement dogs, and cadaver dogs. Tracking dogs track down criminals, substance detectors detect illegal substances, public enforcement dogs guard jails, and cadaver dogs detect dead bodies.