Livingston County Sheriff’s Department reports Officer Nicholas Leadbetter and K-9 Zaki attended a national conference.
The Handler Instruction and Training Seminar K-9 Conference in Chicago, Illinois is designed and provided by K-9 handlers for K-9 handlers of different skill levels and sizes of agencies.
Leadbetter attended multiple training classes on various topics taught by experts in their fields. Some of those topics included the nutritional needs of dual-purpose dogs and how to harness their full potential, operant conditioning techniques and relationship building, common problems handlers deal with in detection dogs, K-9 record-keeping and court testimony, what happens in a dog’s nose and brain to allow it to detect and identify odors and locate their source, and odor on a molecular level in relation to the detection of a target.
Other classes covered the relationship between traffic and criminal enforcement, legal updates pertaining to K-9 handlers, skills needed to build criminal cases and investigation requirements to testify in court, and how animals learn and how to apply it to K-9 training. Leadbetter also met the manufacturers of products the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office relies upon.
More than 1,300 K-9 handlers from the United States attended the HITS K-9 Conference.