You are currently viewing Successful K9 Drug Interdiction

Successful K9 Drug Interdiction

Good Job!  That’s a Great Drug Find!
Ever Thought of what you might have Missed?

As a K9 handler, being successful at drug interdiction is something that can take a lot of work and training.  Both you and your drug dog need to be as well trained as possible in a number of areas in order to be successful in the field.  It’s a known fact that drug smugglers are working harder every day to move illegal narcotics from point A to point B.  The packaging is getting craftier, the traps are getting better and professional drug smugglers perfect their craft with every run. In order to ensure that your K9 drug interdiction efforts are as effective as possible, there are a number of things that you will want to consider.

K9 Drug Interdiction – Effective Training is Paramount

Imprinting is the foundation for all detection dog training.  There is much debate about how drug dogs should be imprinted.  Some trainers prefer imprinting one odor at a time, while others prefer to utilize a “cocktail” type method to imprint all of the odors at once.  Regardless which method is used, the important part is to ensure that the dog has a solid understanding and adequate recognition of the relevant odors that should be detected.  In this same process, it is important to “proof” the dog off confounds or concomitant odors that are present in everyday situations. By taking our time to properly imprint and proof our drug detection dog, we will have established a solid foundation for success.

Large Hides in K9 Drug Interdiction

k9 drug interdiction large hidesDrug dogs should be exposed to and be able to accurately pinpoint large quantities of illegal drugs in both training and in the field.  The dog will have to be exposed to these odors throughout their normal training routines in order to ensure that they will accurately source them on the street.  When working K9 drug interdiction, you will likely encounter a variety of vehicles and situations where large or bulk quantities of drugs are concealed.  Just because you have the equipment and experience to catch fish from your local pond or lake, doesn’t make you a whale fisherman.

High and Deep Hides in K9 Drug Interdiction

k9 drug interdiction trunk searchIt is also important to ensure that your dog can accurately pinpoint “high hides” and “deep hides”.  High hides are drug odor hides that are placed well over the dogs head and deep hides are those that are concealed in a way that the dog will not be able to get close to them.  Working with these types of hides in training to ensure that the dog is proficient is extremely important as you will constantly encounter them in the field.  Tractor trailers and other commercial vehicles will often provide opportunities to be exposed to high hides.  Vehicles with “traps”, or hidden compartments will often challenge the K9 drug interdiction team with deep hides that are not easily exposed.

Handler Training for K9 Drug Interdiction

Drug dog handlers that regularly work drug interdiction or are looking to get into drug interdiction should ensure that they receive regular training to ensure that they are getting the most from their K9 partner.  Handlers should also be up-to-date on common concealment methods and “tricks of the trade” as it pertains to drug smuggling.  By having a well informed handler and a well trained and handled drug dog, you can ensure that your K9 drug interdiction efforts will be successful.

Highland Canine Training has trained numerous drug dog teams that have gone on to be extremely successful in their K9 drug interdiction efforts.  We offer a variety of programs and services for police k9 teams. We offer consulting, police dog sales and training, including seminars, handler training as well as Police K9 Instructor Courses for those wanting to learn more and hone their skills with the Police K9. We offer K9 Detection Problem Solving Seminars as well as Advanced Detection and Interdiction Seminars for teams wanting to further their training in K9 Drug Interdiction.  For more information about our programs and courses, feel free to contact us at or by calling 704.498.7907