MCSO K9 deputy training changed to help prevent dogs from deadly drugs

Dec 1, 2016, 5:41 AM | Updated: 8:22 am

(Matt Kling/KTAR News)...

(Matt Kling/KTAR News)

(Matt Kling/KTAR News)

PHOENIX — Many opiates and narcotics can certainly harm not only humans but also dogs, especially the canines used to protect and serve our community.

To help prevent dogs from contact with the drugs, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is training its K9 deputies in a safer way.

“There’s a lot of dangerous drugs out there,” MCSO Deputy Mario Gonzalez explained, “and we want minimal contact between our canine and the narcotic.”

One of the main training techniques changed by the MSCO is a less aggressive action upon the initial finding of the drugs, as seen in this video from K9 Deputy Yaz.

In the old technique, the dog would scratch its paws around any substance. The new technique taught has the dogs freeze when they find a substance, as seen in the video from K9 Deputy Zeus.

“He’s basically telling the canine handler, ‘Hey, it’s right here!’ but he’s just staring at it,” Gonzalez said, “without scratching, without touching, just freezing up.”

MSCO canine deputies, however, are not used in any situation that could be life-threatening to a human officer.

KTAR’s Corbin Carson contributed to this story.

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MCSO K9 deputy training changed to help prevent dogs from deadly drugs