The bite is truly bigger than the bark when some of Texas’ top dogs hit Houston Oct. 23-25 for the Texas K9 Officers Conference & Trials. Held at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Training Facility at 2316 Atascocita Rd. in Humble; the inaugural event is produced by K9s4COPs, a non-profit that provides trained police dogs to law enforcement agencies around the country. K9s4COPs and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office is hosting the Texas K9 Officers Conference & Trials along with the help of the Houston Police Department, Pasadena Police Department and Harris County Constable’s Office Precincts 1, 4 and 8. Entries are capped at 50 officers and their K9 partners.
The hard-working and elite K9 officers and their human partners , who are available 24/7 for duty, will compete in categories including obstacle course, narcotics detection, explosive detection, and patrol.
Officers will also earn continuing education credits during the classes and training exercises offered throughout the conference. In addition, a Texas Hard Dog/Fast Dog competition, demonstrating how to bring down a “bad guy,” will be free and open to the public Friday morning, Oct. 25 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Thorne Stadium, 1865 Aldine Bender in Houston, TX 77032. Here the K9s will be judged on suspect impact as well as speed. Dogs are known to run as fast as 35 miles per hour during a hard and fast exercise.
Winners of the Texas K9 Officers Conference & Trials will receive special leashes and barking rights as top dogs of Texas.
One K9 officer and handler will be named per category along with an overall winner.
K9 officers arrive at law enforcement agencies trained in handler protection, but then go through a rigorous 14-week training course with their human partner to learn tracking, scouting, building searches, vehicle stops, and drug or bomb detection.
Most trained K9s used by law enforcement agencies are German Shepherds or Belgian Malinois, which cost $12,000 and retire after five to eight years of service. Specially trained K9s provide high performance detection duties as they host 125 million to 500 million scent cells in comparison to a human’s 5 million scent cells.
For more information about the Texas K9 Officers Conference & Trials, visit www.k9s4cops.org or call 713-523-COPS.
To assist the purchase of K9s for law enforcement agencies and schools, you can do your part by donating today at K9s4COPs.org.