The Sheriff’s Office maintains eight K-9 Teams

  • A K-9 Team consists of a officer and a dog
  • The Rensselaer Sheriff’s Office has seven K-9 Teams assigned to Highway Patrol
  • The handler and dog must complete 360 hours of training before becoming certified by NYS DCJS; once certified they will train together on a weekly basis
  • When not working the canines live at home with their handler and their families
  • K-9’s have a working career of about eight to ten years, and a life expectancy of twelve

Certification and K-9 Skills

  • Police Tracking
  • Narcotics Detection (To alert their trainer these dogs respond aggressively, trying to get at the substance by scratching and pawing)
  • Protection
  • Explosive Detection (They will alert their handler by sitting next to suspected device)
  • Accelerant Detection
  • Canine’s have a keen sense of smell allowing them to:
    • Find someone who has become lost or disoriented.
    • Track and locate suspects hiding and secure suspects until a deputy safely enters and makes an arrest.
    • Search vehicles and buildings for suspects, narcotics, etc.