North Dakota handlers learn Dutch police canine techniques

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What do Dutch police departments and the Dickinson police department have in common? Their canines.

The department is hosting a week long training seminar that teaches handlers Dutch canine techniques.

A suspect barricading himself at the top of a stairwell may not be something that happens often in North Dakota but officers still want to be prepared.

"It's all about getting the training in so that we may never see this again, but that one time we do see it, the dogs will remember," says Sgt. Tim Sass, Bismarck Police Department.

Trainers from Arizona and Aruba are working with handlers from all over the state and their canines during a week long seminar.

They're learning street worthy techniques that Dutch police have developed.

The training puts the dogs in street scenarios. For example, a person resisting arrest may jump on top of a car instead of simply running through the street.

"Sometimes you hear that canines are doing a great job in demonstrations, public demonstrations and trials but then you hear that they fail on the street," says Commander Dick Van Leenen, Aruba Ministry of Justice.

The dogs and their handlers will be learning about deployments in water, building searches, tracking and bite work.

"The dogs have to be proficient in difficult situations. For instance, it's easy for a dog to apprehend a subject in a grass field with known bite equipment, but that's not often encountered on the street, says Greg Thomas, Gilbert, Ariz. Police Department Canine Trainer.

The dogs will be re-certified at the completion of the seminar.

Most of the dogs involved in the seminar are Belgian Malinois and have Dutch origins. ​