Utah Department of Public Safety

POST - In-Service Training

K-9 Program Frequently Asked Questions     Back to K-9 Program Web Page


How do I get a room reserved in the dormitory while I am enrolled in the 8-week K-9 class?


Telephone 801-256-2300 and ask to be transferred to the person who reserves dorm rooms.  You will need to supply your own bedding, pillow, towel, and washcloth.

Can a K-9 be trained to detect both Narcotics and Explosives?

Technically, a K-9 could be taught to detect a combination of Narcotics and Explosives, but it is extraordinarily dangerous to do so.  To explain, if this is done, it is then not possible for the Handler to determine which odor the K-9 is alerting to.  This could lead to catastrophic results.  For safety sake, this is never done.

Does the K-9 Program there teach "Find & Bark" or "Find & Bite" to the K-9's? 

The Utah POST K-9 Program teaches either or both protocols, according to the choice of the respective Agency/Handler.  There is a certification for "Find & Bark" protocol (aka Detaining) K-9's and a separate certification for "Find & Bite" protocol (aka Handler-Control) K-9's.

Refer to the Patrol Dog section of the Main Page of the POST K-9 Web page for further details.

What types of certifications are conducted and/or issued by the K-9 Program? 

The K-9 Program at the Division of Peace Officer Standards and Training is an official entity of Utah State Government.  The certifications issued therefrom are official State Government documents.  K-9's receive a certification as an "instrument" of law enforcement and Handlers receive a certification as a operator of that instrument.  It is likewise with K-9 Instructors and Judges.

These certifications are "licenses" and not merely declarations of competency. Each certificate has an expiration and is subject to review, investigation, or revocation, under certain conditions. 

I have heard the K-9 Manuals are quite large, several hundred pages even.  Is that so and does it cost extra for the Manual(s)? 

The K-9 Manuals are quite large.  For example, the Patrol Dog Manual is 825 pages, the Drug Dog Manual is 675 pages, and the Bomb Dog Manual is 650 pages.  These Manuals are no longer printed for the students.  The classroom lectures are conducted using laptop computers and on-screen projectors.  The Manuals are provided to the sstudents in digital format.  A laptop is needed for each student enrolling in a class.

Is there a dog kennel that I can house my K-9 at while I am in class for eight weeks? 

Yes.  A dog kennel with 10 individual runs is adjacent to the K-9 Building.  It has running water, cement runs, and an indoor sleeping chamber.  It has 3" insulation in the floor, walls, and ceiling.  This is to keep the interior as cool as possible in the summer and warm as possible in the winter.  Pea gravel surrounds the kennel building.  Vehicles can drive right up to the walk-through gate.  Combination locks are on all gates and the facility is patrolled by security personnel after-hours.

How many hours of In-Service Training does POST recommend for K-9's?

The Utah POST K-9 Program is often asked "How many hours of weekly K-9 training does POST recommend, once a K-9 is certified and working on the street?" The official position of the Utah POST K-9 Program is "The typical K-9 handled by the typical Handler needs an average of four hours per week per discipline to maintain the skill level the K-9 acquired during the respective POST K-9 class." This translates to four hours per week for Patrol Dogs, plus four hours per week for Narcotics Dogs (or Explosive Dogs, etc.). For example, a single-purpose Patrol Dog should average four hours weekly. A dual-purpose Patrol/Narcotics Dog should average eight hours weekly. For each discipline, four hours is necessary to "maintain" skill. To increase the skill level, more hours are usually necessary. The Utah POST K-9 Program official position is validated by the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Florida v. Harris (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/11-817_5if6.pdf). Further questions may be submitted to Sgt. Wendell Nope via phone 801-209-5790 or email wnope@utah.gov



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[Last Update - Saturday, 04-May-2013 03:23:46 MDT]