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Drug Dogs: 6 Tips for Choosing a Canine Handler in Sacramento, CA

Published January 2nd, 2024 by 3DK9 LLC

Overdose deaths are on the rise in Sacramento County. Fentanyl, a particularly lethal narcotic, has been found in all types of street drugs, from cocaine to marijuana. As a result, even recreational drug users are at risk. Whether you’re trying to find drugs in your home, keep them out of school, or improve policing, drug-detecting dogs can help. For accurate results, you’ll need to partner with an experienced canine handler. Who can you turn to for the best drug-sniffing dogs in Sacramento? What qualities should you look for in a canine handler and what factors should you consider? Read on for six tips to find the right canine handler in Sacramento, CA.

1. Appropriate Detection Skills

While all dogs have the ability to detect scents that are undetectable to humans, they won't all react to the scents that indicate danger. In order to become a drug-detection or security canine, working dogs must be trained to alert their handler to specific scents. Many of our clients do partner with us to search for drugs, specifically. They're looking for dogs who can detect everything from marijuana to heroin and fentanyl. Other clients are looking for dogs that have more robust detection skills and can also detect things like weapons or perform search and rescue services. Make sure you know what kind of security measures you're looking to put in place before you partner with a canine handler. Otherwise, you may find that you believe your event, home, or workplace is more secure than it actually is. 

2. Location-Based Training

If you've ever had a dog of your own, you know that there's a big difference between training dogs to respond to commands in a secure environment versus an environment with tons of distractions. The same is true for scent-detection dogs. While running foundational scent training drills in a facility is an important start, location-based training is a must for reliable results. For example, if you're hiring a canine handler to increase security at a big event, you need a dog that can do its job in large crowds with loud noises. If you're hiring a canine handler to look for drugs in a school, you need a dog that can stay on task around kids. Always make sure your canine handlers in Sacramento train their dogs in real-life scenarios in addition to running practice drills in a contained environment. 

3. Proper Education and Experience

K9 drug detection requires specialized training that goes far beyond the training your average dog owner can provide. You can't make your choice based on breed, temperament, and perceived skills, alone. The canine handler's education and experience is far more telling. All of our trainers and handlers undergo rigorous training before they begin working with our dogs. Many of them have prior experience in the military or police force, allowing us to provide K9 detection services to government organizations in addition to private companies and citizens. Our team is not only familiar with proper dog training tactics but also with a wide variety of security measures and needs.

4. Real Dog-Handler Relationships

Dogs can smell more than bombs and narcotics. Research shows they can also smell changes in human stress levels and that when their trusted owner or handler grows stressed, so do they. This can detract from their ability to focus and do their job to the best of their ability.  When you're hiring Sacramento drug dogs, you're asking those dogs and their handlers to confront potentially high-stress or dangerous situations. If the handler can't remain calm, it's unlikely that the dog will remain calm, which can compromise your safety and security. Drug dogs and their handlers work as a team. They need to have familiarity with and trust in one another to do their jobs well. It's crucial that you hire a canine handler who has built a real relationship with their working dog. 

5. Updated Techniques

When you're hiring a canine handler, it's because you need drug dog services but don't have the time, ability, or resources to train your own working dog. It should not be your responsibility to teach the dog updated scent detection techniques. The right canine handler knows that training doesn't stop when a dog learns the basics of scent detection. At 3DK9, we never stop training our drug dogs. They are always sharpening their skills, broadening their abilities, and working in new environments. For example, as fentanyl became increasingly present in Sacramento, we made sure that all of our Sacramento drug dogs could track and report the scent of fentanyl. As new threats arise, we prepare our dogs to stop them. 

6. Strong Track Record

You should never feel pressured to hire a canine handler who can't verify their track record. At 3DK9, we are happy to produce documentation and licensing for any of our clients.  For each of our clients, we craft a customized security plan. This includes assigning the most appropriate canine and canine handler to each case. Customization is key because we work with such a broad range of clients, including: - Homeowners - Drug rehab facilities - Event organizers - Hospitals - Amusement parks - Educational facilities - Government agencies

We’re always happy to provide referrals before you sign any contracts. We understand that the right dog and handler team can make the difference between true security and undue risk. We act with full transparency so that every client feels comfortable and confident in our care.

Call 3DK9 for the Best Sacramento Canine Handler

Unfortunately, Sacramento County is seeing a rise in deaths caused by overdoses along with a rise in fentanyl lacing. As a result, increasing security measures for your home, school, event, hospital, or other facility is a must. At 3DK9, we will always send the best dog and canine handler for the job. 3DK9 is proud to serve the entire United States. From Sacramento to Washington, D.C., we are some of the top trainers and handlers providing drug detection, bomb detection, search and rescue services, and more. Contact us to learn more about how we can increase your security today.

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