New K-9 dog, officer complete trainingAndy Thoms readily admits on the first day of K-9 training, “Viper” was in control.
By: Jason Schulte, Pierce County Herald
Andy Thoms readily admits on the first day of K-9 training, “Viper” was in control.
By the end of the 14-week session, Thoms established dominance and how Viper adjusted pleased his handler.
“The neatest thing was seeing the progress from beginning to end,” the Pierce County Sheriff’s deputy said. “Viper was more feasible, obedient and we started to bond.”
The pair graduated from basic training last month, which was held at the Blaine, Minn., airport. The training consisted of everything from basic obedience, agility work, tracking, bite and narcotic work and article (clothing, gun) searching.
Thoms was named the new K-9 officer at the beginning of the year. Since this was his first crack at K-9, it was decided they wanted a dog more people-friendly and easier to work with. Connections led the Sheriff’s Department to a suburb of Prague, Czechoslovakia to a breeder for military and police dogs for 15 years.
Thoms met Viper, the 18-month-old, German shepherd, for the first time in March a week before training began. “The first three nights at home were a little rough as he was unfamiliar with the sights and sounds, but after that he adjusted very well,” Thoms continued.
The training session, which was expected to test Viper, also tested Thoms as well.
For more please read the July 4 print version of the Herald.