BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Copper, the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office's tracking bloodhound K-9, and his partner, Deputy Donny Patterson, just went through some challenging training and have earned a special national certification.
Here are the details in a release Wednesday from sheriff's Sgt. Jayson Janes:
K-9 “Copper” (named by the residents of Deschutes County) was donated to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office in 2019 by Tamaron Ranch Bloodhound Kennels in Chowchilla, California.
This amazing donation was coordinated by Bob Cameron, a resident of Deschutes County who has a lengthy history of working bloodhounds for law enforcement agencies and search and rescue.
Bob has confidence in the bloodhound breed, and he knows the value and benefits of a well- trained Bloodhound for law enforcement agencies. Bob has arranged and coordinated several other bloodhound K-9 donations to other Law Enforcement agencies, and as an experienced bloodhound handler himself he knows what qualities to look for when selecting a good working dog.
On Feb. 22, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office bloodhound K-9, “Copper,” and his handler, Deputy Donny Patterson, attended the West Coast National Police Bloodhound Association (NPBA) working dog training seminar, hosted by Goldstone K-9 in Riverside County California.
The annual training seminar was coordinated by recently retired Riverside County Sheriff’s Office Captain, Dr. Coby Webb. Webb is a NPBA K9 Master Trainer, a board member of the NPBA, and she has a close connection to Deschutes County, with family members residing in this area. Webb has devoted her own personal time to help train and prepare K-9 Copper and his handler in this career.
K-9 Copper is the only known bloodhound K-9 to be employed, NPBA-certified and working bloodhound for a law enforcement agency in Oregon. Webb, whom herself started the use of bloodhounds in Southern California, basically took K-9 Copper under her wing by guiding this new team through various training exercises to become a successful and established working bloodhound K-9 team.
Several certified NPBA K-9 master trainers from the East Coast, including Georgia and Virginia, flew to the training seminar to assist with training. Each K-9 handler and their K-9 partner were accompanied by a NPBA master trainer for each trail that was followed by each bloodhound K-9 team.
The working dog training started out with a lengthy classroom day that covered recent case law, K-9 field medical treatment, record-keeping and a number of other training areas solely based on the bloodhound breed, and their uses by law enforcement agencies. This training was followed by a written exam, which Deputy Patterson successfully passed.
The following training days were comprised of several training areas of which K-9 Copper and Deputy Patterson had to successfully complete to obtain the NPBA Man Trailing Certification.
Some of these challenges included working scent trails in various environments; trailing through a busy populated outdoor shopping mall with outdoor dining, trailing in the hot desert, trailing through rural communities, parking garages, swampy areas, forested areas, rolling hills, and parks.
Each trail that was laid had an estimated set time of 45 minutes to two hours, before a bloodhound team was allowed to begin working the trail.
Other areas of training included trailing from various scent articles, including an exterior car door handle, a car seat, a pocket knife, a soda can, an empty chip bag, gauze, and or whatever else the instructors would provide you with for your K-9 partner to scent from.
Each K-9 team also worked several confusing trails, where several decoys would cross the main trail layers’ trail, or pick up the trail layer in a vehicle at the end of the trail, or being provided a negative scent article where the scent item provided to the K9 was not affiliated with a person in the area, thus there was no trail matching the scent article provided.
K-9 Copper preformed each of these exercises, most of which he had never experienced before. After five days of training in the hot environment, K-9 Copper successfully completed and obtained his NPBA Man Trailing Certification.
Deputy Patterson and K9 Copper have returned to Deschutes County after certifying. The Sheriff’s Office is excited to have this valuable resource available to serve our community.