Cass County K-9 Team takes 1st place in “Tough Dog” competition


October 18th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Deputy Kyle Quist and his K-9 partner “Kane,” recently were awarded First Place in the “Tough Dog” portion of a K-9

Deputy Kent Gries & "Harry" (left), Deputy Kyle Quist & "Kane" (right)

certification and competition event held last week, in Urbandale.  And, Audubon County Sheriff’s Office K-9 team, Deputy Kent Gries and his K-9 partner “Harry,” took Third-Place honors in the “Detector Dog” competition.

Twenty-two K-9 teams from around Iowa, Kansas and Missouri took part in the yearly competition and certification event, which was held October 9th through the 14th.  The certification is run through an accredited organization,  the Heart of America Police Dog Association (HAPDA).

In the “Tough Dog” event, judges pick a scenario that could happen at any time “out on the streets.”  The team is then put in the scenario and has to react. The judges picked a scenario of multiple non-compliant subjects.  The K9 was sent to apprehend (bite) the first subject.  While the K9 apprehended the first subject, a second subject with a weapon appeared from a hiding spot.  The K9 had to be called to release the first subject and directed to apprehend the second subject.  The handler had a to be back away from the area, so everything had to be done with voice and hand signal commands.  The K9 was then called back to the handler after the apprehensions.  Some of the things the judges look for during the scenario are how hard the K9 engages the subjects, if the K9 releases properly and how fast on command, if the K9 demonstrates no fear or hesitation, and if the K9 follows all the orders given by the handler.  The judges selected Deputy Quist and K9 Kane of the Cass County Sheriff’s Office for the 1st place spot in this competition.

The “Detector Dog” competition,  is open for narcotic and arson dogs to compete.  Since there is one accelerant dog team in the organization, they run against the narcotic K9 teams to try to claim one of the top spots. The judges of the competition set up a scenario of narcotic and accelerant finds in a building depending on what odor the K9 team is trained to locate.  The K9 teams are not told how many “finds” are present.  They are given multiple rooms to search with a maximum of a five minute time for the entire building.  The K9 teams that complete the search with the fastest time and the most correct finds places in the competition.

Only three dogs are selected for placing.  Deputy Gries and K9 Harry of the Audubon County Sheriff’s Office took the honors of 3rd place for their performance in the detector dog portion of the competition.

Quist said “We have two local dogs that certified then walked away from competitions with top honors, beating out numerous good K9 teams from around the Midwest States.  That’s something to be proud of.  It’s something that our area communities should know and feel good about.  K9 handlers everywhere have to spend many hours training for anything they may encounter. Support from the communities makes the handlers try even harder to be the best in what they do.  I think we have proven that.”