Recently we hosted training for 50 K-9 dogs on the museum lake. Buckeye Search and Rescue and United K-9 provided instruction on water recovery for the dogs, 35 of which were pups new to K-9 work. The Boone County Dive Team made divers available for the exercise. We’ve had several opportunities to watch dogs in training using our lake or obstacle course, and it’s always impressive to see how they just seem to be made for the job.
Dogs really are super sniffers, which is just one of the skills that make them suited to assist in police work. The best man-made device that has been developed for detecting scents can pick up a scent at a concentration of 1 part per million. Dogs have been tested, and their sniffing ability is at least as sensitive as our tests can measure, which is 1 part per trillion! That means dogs can detect whatever they are looking for from a greater distance and more effectively than any device. Add that ability to the fact that they are mobile, and dogs are definitely the sensible choice for finding people, bombs, drugs, and more.
To the dogs, work is a game. The pups were so excited to see the divers go under the water that several of them went for a swim as well! Some had never seen a person dive before, so they seemed quite amazed that humans can disappear under the water. While a rescue or recovery operation is very serious in nature, to the dog it is like a big game of hide and seek. Of course play comes very naturally to the dogs, so they are very effective in game mode.
Through our Public Safety department we host several K-9 training events each year for dogs from Ohio and Kentucky.