Police K9s from across the country compete in Huntsville to be top dog

HUNTSVILLE Ala. -- Police K9s and handlers from across the country are in Huntsville for the National Police Dog Trials. Eighty-seven teams from across the nation are competing to see who is top dog.

"As far away as Minnesota, South Florida, New York, Maryland," said Joe Jenkins, the K9 Sergeant with the Huntsville Police Department. "To compete to be the top dog of the nation."

The dogs are judged on their obedience, agility, and criminal apprehension among other things.

"When the handler tells the dog to do something, he needs to do it," Jenkins said.

Each dog went through a series of tests, similar to what they do on the job. They test false starts and recalling the dogs.

"It's just a matter of training and how much time you put into it and your dedication," Jenkins said. "It's just a long process, takes a long time. Takes a lot of discipline to get here."

He said the dogs are trained for about five to eight years to get to this level.

"We have ten dogs at the Huntsville Police Department. Used for a variety of things; narcotics searches, building searches, tracking. We can find lost kids with them, and we also have two bomb dogs, two explosive detections dogs," he said.

The National Police Dog Trials have been going on all week and will culminate with a public demonstration Thursday night.

The Huntsville Police Department is encouraging the public to check out the demonstration tomorrow night. It will be held at Milton Frank Stadium in Huntsville at 6:30 pm. Police say the K9s will show off their obedience, agility and will perform fun skits for the whole family.