The next generation of tracking dogs trains in Tallahassee

An international K-9 training seminar wrapped up in Tallahassee Thursday afternoon.
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 8:47 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - An International K-9 training seminar wrapped up in Tallahassee on Thursday afternoon.

K-9 units from across Florida and South Georgia joined in on the opportunity to work with instructors from Europe to hone their tracking skills through a series of different training exercises.

“I had a couple of them scratching their heads saying, ‘Wow, that was tough,’ but this is where it needs to be tough,” said Paul Coley, the CEO and founder of Tallahassee-based Scent Evidence K-9. “When they’re back home somebody’s life is going to be on the line.”

The training had to be moved inside the Civic Center due to rainy and windy conditions from Tropical Storm Nicole. Each K-9 was provided with the scent of a person and then sent to recover that person who was hidden somewhere inside the large facility.

Coley said that developing the correct skill in the dog and confidence in the handler was a vital technique to cultivate.

More than 100 rescues over the past year alone had been completed between the twelve handlers in attendance. The rescues ranged from missing children to people that were a danger to the surrounding community.

The Scent Evidence team also gave out ‘Scent Preservation Kits’ to local agencies like the Tallahassee Police Department, the Hang Tough Foundation, and The Alzheimer’s Association. Coley encourages anyone in the community who may have someone that has a tendency to wander off to get one.