LYNN HAVEN, Fla. - Bloodhounds, Labradors, German Shepherds, and more all had their noses to the ground at the Bay County Sheriff's Office, testing the skills of their scent, as the county held it's annual K-9 Certification.
"Today is a day that we spend with the master trainer that comes down with the association. We'll go through as much stuff as we can get done today. We do things on his schedule. Whatever he wants to do," said Bay County Sheriff's Office Canine Team's Nick Hall.
The certification is granted through the National Police Dog Association. On Monday's schedule - narcotics detection.
"The master trainer puts out the narcotics aids that he uses for certification. Then, he hides them. Handlers don't know where they are. Dogs have to go find them. They call their alerts, and then they reward them from there," said Hall.
The dogs are constantly training throughout the year to make sure they stay in top shape.
"It's always about this time because that's when the certification is about to come up. We keep our dogs certified all year long. I have 3 teams with the Sheriff's Office that certify here and another 2 teams that go at the end of the year. They go out of town to certify so that we overlap each other so we have dog coverage here inside the county while we're training to get certified," said Hall.
Hall, who runs the Canine Team at the Bay County Sheriff's Office, says earning your certification is just like taking any other test.
"It's nerve-wracking because it's a test. It's just like you are in school. When you go take a test, you're a nervous test taker or you're not a nervous test taker. But you need to calm yourself because, if you're anxious and it goes down the leash, and the dog is anxious. He can feel it from you," said Hall.
Four dogs from Hall's agency got certified today.
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