JCSO SAR recently participated in a training for K9’s to better locate drowning victims in area lakes and rivers. Officials say dogs have the ability to narrow down search areas, resulting in less risk to rescue divers. The less time a diver spends underwater, the safer that diver will be.
First step is for the K9s to discover that people can be underwater. Soon after comes the realization that the divers are surfacing with favorite toys or hot dogs. The handlers learn to recognize and interpret K9 body language and behavior as the dog passes in and out of odor. The dogs learn to use the boat, instead of their legs, as a means of locomotion to narrow in on the scent location. In reality, the dogs are learning to direct the boat to the location where they know they will receive their reward.
Overall there were 10 handlers and 11 K9s participating (4 Jackson County, 2 WA, 2 CA, 1 NV, and a handler from Albany).
This was the first of four 3-day seminars that will continue throughout the summer. The goal is to pass Oregon State Sheriff’s Association certification testing in July.
Courtesy of JCSO