Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit keeps trained for ‘paw patrol’ duties


The four-legged companions are just like the two they share with. ‘deputy dogs’They must keep their skills sharp

(Update: Adding video and comments from Lieutenant William Bailey. K-9 deputy Jeremiah Johnson.

BEND, Ore. KTVZ-K-9 dogs follow scents to catch suspects and solve cases. This is the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit stages monthly training for its K-9s, and it’s paying off.

“With my first dog K-9, Ezel, we were able to track the kid about two miles away from the camp, and find him out in the woods and save him,” K-9 Deputy Jeremiah Johnson said at this week’s training session.

And it wouldn’t have happened without the help of the scent and tracking-trained K-9.

Dogs are trained to work in stressful situations.

The department has been training dogs since the ’70s. K-9s are trained throughout the year by their handlers, who hold two training sessions per month. They become close friends and are constantly in contact with their handlers, creating strong bonds and a solid partnership.

Right now, it’s working with five dogs, including German shepherds and Belgian Malinois.

Dogs have captured many criminal suspects running from police, refusing to follow orders or trying to hide.

The department travels up and down West Coast in search of the perfect dog. According to Lt. William Bailey, many of the dogs are from California.

“We’ll test a number of dogs that have the right attributes that we’re looking for in a patrol K-9 and then we’ll bring the dog back, and we’ll spend some time with it after the initial testing,”Bailey stated. “And start working through some of the basic obedience stuff, and some of the initial things that a patrol dog will need to do in the field.”

The sheriff’s office works with both “green” dogs and those who’ve had some level of training.

“A green dog has no training — they don’t know how to do anything,”Johnson spoke. “They have no obedience. They don’t really know how to do anything, and then we have to teach them.”

Trained dogs are more controlled in different settings.

“They’re obedient around every situation — loud noises, crowds, suspects that are threatening,” Johnson said.

After 240 hours of training, they get certified and earn a place in the patrol car, ready to help enforce the law and keep residents safe.

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