The Ogden Police K-9 Unit consists of four dogs and Handlers. Three of the dogs are dual purpose, meaning that they do both narcotic detection and apprehension, while one of is solely a narcotic detection dog. All four of them are Belgian Malinois’. ranging in age from 3-7 years old. All of the dogs were imported from Europe.
The dogs and handlers attend 16 weeks of training and then have to pass very rigorous and challenging certification exams. The dogs are re-certified each year. The dogs are “passive” narcotic detection dogs, which means that when they find the odor of narcotics they will stop and stare intently at the source of the odor. The dogs are rewarded with various types of toys when they find narcotics. They love to search for narcotics because they think they are searching for their toys. The single purpose and dual purpose dogs are assigned to various evening shifts in the patrol division.
The dual purpose dogs are trained to do building searches, area searches, tracking, evidence searches, handler defense, and suspect apprehension. These dogs are highly trained and courageous. They are used to search buildings during burglaries or alarms, track suspects that flee on foot, find evidence dropped by suspects, protect the handler if assaulted, and capture fugitives and felons.
The dogs live at home with the handlers and their families. They are taught to be social and interact with people. They are very obedient and the attend weekly training to maintain their skills.