International K-9 Training Company Moves Headquarters to Reno - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

International K-9 Training Company Moves Headquarters to Reno

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An international K-9 training organization is relocating its headquarters to Reno. Vigilant Canine Services International trains canines and their owners from all over the world. They decided to come to Reno to make their services more accessible to agencies across the United States.

Jorge Perez works as a deputy sheriff for the Monterey County Sheriff's Department K-9 Unit. He and his dog Kilo, have been training in Reno with three other dog teams for the past five weeks. The teams have been learning how to subdue suspects and sniff out drugs. "It can be from methamphetamine to marijuana, heroine, cocaine and so forth," said Perez.

On Friday, I got to put on a safety suit and play the bad guy. "They're trained to protect their handler and the officers that work with them on a daily basis," said CEO Buck Dikes.

Buck is the owner of Vigilant Canine Services International. He says these dogs provide operations in the United States, Afghanistan, South Africa, Iraq and the Philippines. They can be used for drug and bomb detection, protection and work as security dogs.

"We train dogs to detect explosives and narcotics and provide protection to military units and us and foreign troops," Dikes. "We use a sophisticated game of fetch. It's all play. It's positive reinforcement," said Dikes.

With dogs - the drugs are found much faster. "We teach them how to sit down and stare at the box and he gets rewarded with a ball," said Perez.

Trainers say Reno is a great location for training with a climate similar to the middle east. "We get the dogs over here and they have the ability to acclimate in different climates to where they may be used around the world," said Dikes.

As for Jorge and his dog Kilo, they're ready to return home to California fully trained to fight crime, take down suspects and also provide search and rescue services. "It's very critical to have dogs in your department. It's another tool and the more tools you have the better it is," said Perez. "There are times it's too dangerous for a deputy or an officer to go into a building and its better to have a dog go in there."  

So far Vigilant Canine Services International has trained close to 1,000 dogs and owners since they started operating back in 2008 in Afghanistan. They're hoping to double services and expand their location after they get more settled into the area.

    The group will also start providing civilian dog training courses sometime this fall. For sign-up information CLICK HERE.

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