K-9 Bravery: Dogs who are not just pets.

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Sophia Becker writes, At the Arapahoe County Fair, there was a demonstration of K-9 dogs and what they do.

At the Arapahoe County Fair, there was a demonstration of K-9 dogs and what they do. It featured Officer Carroll and Max, Officer Cook and Aragorn, and Officer Luton, the “villain”. Max is an 11-and-a-half year old Belgian Malinois; and Aragorn is an 8 and a half year old German Shepherd. They were both VERY enthusiastic about catching Officer Luton, who was in a bite suit to protect him from bites during the demonstration.Max and Aragorn each had a few turns demonstrating. They waited next to their handlers, straining forward, excited at the though of catching the “villain”. When they heard the command (in a different language), the K-9s sped ahead, making a beeline for Officer Luton. Then, they would either hold and bark, just scare the villain, or find and bite, to more forcefully make the villain surrender.When demonstrating, Officer Luton jerked his arm at Officer Carroll, like he was going to attack. Max jumped up in a flash, and was latched onto Officer Luton’s arm in a split second. Officer Carroll is definitely very well protected when he goes out to find and capture someone!BUT before becoming a fully-fledged K-9, the dogs must go through three months of training, and then they will have to be the rookie dog for a while afterwards. The Arapahoe K-9s are trained in two areas: tracking down drugs, and searching for villains. The abilities that are brought to life because of training are definitely worthwhile. The dogs can smell one SEED of marijuana from the outside of a car with all the windows closed!K-9s each have their own handler, and listen ONLY to that handler. No one else. They are supposed to do everything their handler says-except for if the villain tries to hurt their handler. THEN they can attack. Said Wendy Becker, “It must be hard to teach them that–obey me, do EVERYTHING I say–except for this,”The K-9 Unit has a big responsibility: keeping us safe. And because of them, we are. Thanks!