Regional Police Canine Association Training in Bowling Green

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"They're like partners. We spend more time with these dogs than we do our wives and children at home."

Richard Rogers is the chief judge at this week's United States Police Canine Association. This week dogs from around Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio are in Bowling Green getting certified.

"We do it as a combination certification, confidence building and also as a competition to show us how well the dog's doing."

One training focus is on agility. Agility teaches the dog to take on any obstacle in its way.

"We teach them to do the ladder. We teach it to go through windows. We teach the broad jump. The broad teaches them to jump across open areas. It does not look like boards to him. He sees something elevated and he wants to jump over that."

The dogs also go through obedience training. Most of the commands are given in German because many of the dogs are imported from overseas. They are trained to do these tasks through repetition and they are not given treats for their successes.

"We teach the dog to do one thing. He wants to do it for the handler and all he's looking for is praise and love and affection from the handler."

Judges from outside the region are brought in to maintain fairness. The judges use a point system to grade the dogs. If a particular task is not accomplished, that does not necessarily mean the dog will fail. He will just move on to the next task to be graded on it.

Each day there is a different focus of the training. Earlier this week the dogs were graded on detecting drugs and weapons. Today's focus was agility and obedience.

Canine Officer, Kevin Renfrow, says the dogs face a full agenda for the rest of the week.

Renfrow says: "Tomorrow we do the suspect search and the article search. Friday we do the suspect apprehension and then later that afternoon we do suspect apprehension with gunfire."

Thursday night at seven at Greenwood High School's football stadium the dogs will be showing off their skills. There is no entry fee and the police department will be giving away bicycles for kids.