Dog Trainers Hold Seminar

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Law enforcement gets a lot of help from dogs trained to tend to risky business. Some of those K9s are trained near the Omaha metro.

We looked in as Bella was learning the ropes on Thursday. Bella is being trained as part of the North American Search Dog Network.

A dog like Silas can come in handy tracking down a lost party. Silas is trained to help find missing persons like Alzheimer’s patients who can’t find their way to safety.

Mary Helinski is president of North American Search Dog Network and she says, “None of the states do things the same way and even within states, counties do things differently. But usually we are called by law enforcement to help them when they need it.”

Buddy is a multi-purpose dog. He does everything from finding people through scent to being a cadaver dog.

It takes time to train a dog to perform just one task.

Helinski said, “To get a discipline down solid depends on motivation of the dog, how quickly they pick things up. It takes anywhere from a year to a couple of years till your dog is solid and ready to certify.”

It takes a lot of time to train both handler and dog for this high-stakes hide-and-seek and the dog trainers do all of this just to help others.

“None of us get any money for this. All of our organizational equipment, gear, food for our dogs, comes out of our own pocket. We're a completely all-volunteer organization.”

All volunteers who hope to make a difference in times of need.

The North American Search Dog Network held its seminar at the YMCA’s Camp Kitaki, just outside of Louisville. They planned to wrap-up training on Friday.