I had the pleasure of instructing, along with Shawn Edwards of Baltimore City PD, a Police K9 Decoy school which was graciously hosted by the Anne Arundel County police K9 unit. Brian Fleig and Mike Edmundson and Sgt. Grover of the K9 unit set everything up perfectly, from the classroom area to the training areas.
We had quite a few people new to decoying, and we worked for most of the first day on sleeve mechanics, targeting, prey drive development, and drive channeling exercises. All of the dogs we had to work with were strong biters, and this gave the new decoys a good sense of what to expect, and they were able to fully implement the techniques that were taught. In the afternoon we moved to the bite suit, and worked on frontal catches, and drive mechanics in the suit.
The second day was spent discussing civil agitation, passive decoy work, and further drive channeling work. We then shifted to skills training – Inour decoy seminars we work on mechanics, but more importantly we set the students up so that they can learn to decoy the skills: Out, redirects, builoding searches, area searches, transports, and very importantly the call-off exercise.
The third day was spent doing building searches, and teaching the decoys how to break down the search exercises for dogs of different training levels, and how to incorporate skills like maintaining the out and tactical liftoff during scenario training. The afternoon was spend discussing and doing muzzle work, and we ended the day woth some area searches and more suit time.
We had representatives from Montgomery County Police, AA County Police, AA County Sheriff, and Annapolis PD. Dave Pappalardo from K9 Unlimited and Katrina Kardiasmenos from Metropolitan K9 were also there to provide training assistance, dogs for the decoys to train on, and Katrina also shot over 2000 photos of the 3 day event. I hope to post a few of these shots in the coming days. Thanks to both of them for their participation and assistance with the seminar. A special thank you to Shawn Edwards of BPD VCID for co-teaching this seminar with me. Shawn’s enthusiasm is inspiring to everyone around him, and he clearly had an impact on our class of decoys.