Police dogs from all over the country compete to be 'Top Dog'

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Police K-9s and handlers from across the country are competing in the National Police Dog Trials. 87 teams from across the nation are battling to see who is top dog, according to WHNT.

"As far away as Minnesota, South Florida, New York, Maryland," said Joe Jenkins, the K-9 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 dogs will show off their obedience, agility and will perform fun skits for the whole family.