Penticton police pups train for drug detection at YYF

K-9 cops train at airport

A lot goes into training police dogs, including making sure the canine cops are comfortable investigating in all environments. 

Last week, Penticton RCMP took a veteran drug-sniffer and an eager new puppy to the airport for some training in a real-world scenario.

"The puppy was out just for a familiarization session, just for a new environment that he's not used to," Cpl. Jason Goodfellow explained. "It's to get him familiar to different things. Every environment is important because the last thing you want is a fully trained dog that's never been in an environment before and is leery of it."

That's why trainers bring their new recruits to all kinds of locations, getting them used to everything from new noises and smells to new textures under their paws — ice at the rink, or slippery floors at the airport, for example. 

"Or just being in public with people around," Goodfellow said. "They are expected to work in all those environments."

Goodfellow's own dog Haro, a seasoned police dog, was also at the airport for drug-detection practice, because the it's a likely spot for those skills to come in handy.

"The airport could call us and say 'We have a suspicious package,'" Goodfellow said. "And for the dog, if he's familiar with the airport, then to search for drugs in there is second nature ... we don't want him to be more concerned with the environment than what he is tasked with doing."

Haro is a fully trained drug dog already so Goodfellow was brushing up his skills in a real-world environment, hiding drugs in places around the airport during a controlled exercise. 

"I could use a facility at my office, but they are sterile environments where there are no strange people, no strange packages and that," Goodfellow said. 

Both dogs will continue to undergo training throughout their careers. 

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