Proper Maintenance Training requires...

Proper maintenance training requires planning, preparation, and execution

Planning is deciding what your dog needs, along with training that will develop the desired result. In real Law Enforcement canine deployments, teams never know what challenges their next call for service will contain.. Every deployment will include different combinations of time of day, weather, landscape, tactical issues, actions by suspects and civilians, legal issues, distractions, packaging (Detector Dogs), and the number of things to search. Learning is a process where scenarios are deliberately presented to the team producing obstacles or distractions for the handler to solve and the dog to overcome. Progress depends on the canine team’s ability to complete the exercise.

The majority of Law Enforcement work involves the use of canines in some scent-driven tasks. Tracking, Building Search, Area Search, Evidence Recovery, Narcotics, Explosives, Arson, and Game detection are some of the ways we use the super-sensitive noses of our canine partners. Proficiency in all areas is necessary for operational readiness. Accuracy determines how fast the canine should work. Training doesn’t stop when the team becomes certified; that’s just the beginning. Functional training is the next level of achievement and is based on possible scenarios you could see at work.

Operational training involves more than sending the dog to search for scent or odor. Every scenario requires the handler to decide on how or if to deploy the canine. Once implemented you guide the dog on how you want the search conducted. Once the dog has sniffed (behavior change) the scent or odor they take over and bring you to the source.

Preparation is finding the building, vehicles or field that will give you the challenge you need for the correct scenario. Remember, your dog must be able to complete the difficulties of the training exercise. If not, you may have to use a set of steps that eventually will get your canine to the desired end. 

Execution is running the scenario, with you or someone else honestly evaluating the performance of the team.

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