Deputy dog changes out

It seemed so perfect, the partnership between Bosque County Sheriff’s Office Deputy and K9 handler Danny Ragsdale and the Dutch Sheppard Ace. But, sometimes things just don’t work out.

In Ace’s case, he had a fear for smooth surfaces. And with regular assignments sniffing for drugs at the county schools, where there are a lot of smooth, slippery floors, having that specific fear just didn’t work.

Fortunately for Ragsdale, somewhere in Texas, a deputy in was in a similar, unsatisfying situation. His two-year-old Sable German Shepherd Dante was just not working out. As it turns out Dante is a bit of an escape artist and the deputy felt he was spending too much time chasing his expensive service dog around town.

The canine training center Combat K9 in San Antonio brought the two dissatisfied deputies together, and it ended up in a fortunate trade for both the handlers and their dogs, without it costing either sheriff ’s department extra money.

After a few escapes from the family home, Ragsdale has found a way to deal with Dante’s escapism antics. Giving him the attention he needs, keeping him working hard and satisfied also helps curb the canine’s tendency to seek adventure outside the yard.

Like Ace, Dante is a dual service dog, trained to be a drug dog and serve as protection for his handler. He is trained to sniff out the most common drugs like marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine.

A German Shepherd Dog’s predominant sense is smell. Its olfactory glands easily detect odors well over 250 times that of a human. Additionally, the trained narcotics dog can easily trace the origin of the drugs whether it is in tunnels, vehicles, stairs, lockers, bags or boxes.

The most important asset of an narcotics detection K-9 team is the communication that happens between the dog and the handler and to that effect Dante and Ragsdale went through three days of training in August, mainly to get to know each other and go through the commands together - some of which are in Czech. They are now certified as a team.

Having a K9 division is beneficial to the BCSO. The drug sniffing at the schools raises awareness under the students about the BCSO. The department also collaborates with surrounding counties law enforcement agencies, which is good for the department’s general network.

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