Police-car-backPolice dogs and their partners from Iowa and Minnesota completed training to become certified in Sioux City Wednesday. Sergeant Jim Bauerly of the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Department helped judge the dogs in five areas at the USPCA Regional Trials.

“Obedience, agility, suspect search, evidence search and criminal apprehension,” Bauerly says. Bauerly says the dogs prove they are ready to take to the streets by passing the testing. “They have to score 70 percent of their obedience phase before they can go on to the rest of the phases. They also have to score 70 percent in their apprehension, which means these dogs have to be controllable before they can work the street,” Bauerly says. “So, this is their certification, this is what they rely on for court.”

Bauerly has trained several dogs and says there’s a bond process that takes place with the handler and the dog. “Getting the dog to respond to you for his love for you, not because you are making him do it,” Bauerly says. He says it take around 30 days for that bonding and almost a year before the dog can take to the streets and you can depend on him.

Twenty-six dogs participated, including those from West Des Moines, Plymouth County and Clay County, and Rochester, Minnesota.

(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)