Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Copper is now certified by the National Police Police Bloodhound Association after a rigorous week-long training program in California.
In February, Copper and his handler, Deputy Donny Patterson attended the West-Coast National Police Bloodhound Association (NPBA) working dog training seminar hosted by Goldstone K9 in Riverside County California.
This annual training seminar was coordinated by the recently retired Riverside County Sheriff’s Office Captain, Dr. Coby Webb.
Dr. Webb is an NPBA K-9 Master Trainer, a board member of the NPBA, and she has a close connection to Deschutes County with family members residing in this area.
Dr. Webb has devoted her own personal time to help train and prepare K-9 Copper and his handler in this career.
K-9 Copper is the only known Bloodhound K-9 to be employed, NPBA certified and working Bloodhound for a law enforcement agency in Oregon.
Dr. Webb, whom herself started the use of Bloodhounds in southern California basically took K-9 Copper under her wing by guiding this new team through various training exercises to become a successful and established working Bloodhound K9 team.
The working dog training started out with a lengthy classroom day that covered recent case law, K-9 field medical treatment, record keeping, and a number of other training areas solely based on the bloodhound breed, and their uses by law enforcement agencies.
This training was followed by a written exam which Deputy Patterson successfully passed.
The following training days were comprised of several training areas of which K-9 Copper and Deputy Patterson had to successfully complete to obtain the NPBA Man Trailing Certification.
Some of these challenges included working scent trails in various environments; Trailing through a busy populated outdoor shopping mall with outdoor dining, trailing in the hot desert, trailing through rural communities, parking garages, swampy areas, forested areas, rolling hills, and parks.
Each trail that was laid had an estimated set time of 45-minutes -2 hours, before a Bloodhound team was allowed to begin working the trail.
Other areas of training included trailing from various scent articles to include; An exterior car door handle, a car seat, a pocket knife, a soda can, an empty chip bag, gauze, and or whatever else the instructors would provide you with for your K-9 partner to scent from.
Each K-9 team also worked several confusing trails were several decoys would cross the main trail layers’ trail, or pick up the trail layer in a vehicle at the end of the trail, or being provided a negative scent article where the scent item provided to the K-9 was not affiliated with a person in the area, thus there was no trail matching the scent article provided.
K-9 Copper performed each of these exercises, most of which he had never experienced before.
After 5-days of training in the hot environment, K-9 Copper successfully completed and obtained his NPBA Man Trailing Certification.