Local K9 units from the Knox and North Judson Police Departments, as well as the Starke County Sheriff’s Department, joined 140 other teams from all over the country and around the world during Vohne Liche Kennels’ Annual Olympics last month.
Knox Sergeant Chad Dulin said his K9 partner O’Neill ended up being ranked third out of 87 participating dogs in the Fast Dog/Hard Dog competition which tested agility, speed and apprehension skills.
Dulin said the first run was 100 yards and the dogs were timed and judged on their commitment and how they apprehended a subject. O’Neill made it into the top 5 and from there went onto the second run, which was 50 yards. That’s where he ended up winning third place overall.
The Sergeant shared that he has been a K9 handler for the past nine years and this month marks his third year with O’Neill.
He mentioned one exciting thing about the event was being able to train alongside K9 handlers from Special Forces and the Department of Defense.
He also noted that he appreciated having the opportunity to work closely with other local handlers and witness how they’re advancing.
However, the idea of training together isn’t so far fetched. Sergeant Dulin noted that local K9 units meet up on a monthly basis in order to take care of required training hours.
Dulin indicated that there is no such thing as a perfect dog or handler so it takes continuous hard work to ensure the units are working cohesively.
He explained that he thinks it’s important for citizens to be aware of that collaboration and ongoing training since a lot of public donations help many departments with funding for the purchase of a K9 and the subsequent costs related to maintenance and upkeep.
Sergeant Dulin added that he was incredibly humbled by this year’s event and has already reserved a room to return to the Vohne Liche Olympics next year.
More photos from O’Neill’s run in the Fast Dog/Hard Dog competition can be found below:
Photo Source: Photographer Nicollette Wilkes; provided by Sergeant Chad Dulin