Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Henry County Sheriff's Deputy Scott Bell and K-9 Axel are now a working duo as the two have completed training together.
The two each had to complete individual training before coming together.
"Axel was with the master trainer for a little while," Bell said. "He kind of gets started there, and then we team up. We both kind of have a little knowledge of what's going to happen and what we need to do. It's so we both don't go in blind."
The dynamic duo had to train for four weeks until they could be certified to work together.
For Bell, it was an opportunity that presented itself, and he jumped on it.
"The sheriff's office wants to keep two dogs," Bell said. "They offered up the opportunity, and I went for it."
To keep up on each other's skills, Bell and Axel train regularly.
Bell says just like humans train to refine skills, dogs are the same.
Axel specializes in two areas. He is trained in both narcotics and tracking. Bell said sometimes service dogs will be trained in only one.
One of the crucial aspects of working together is learning to differentiate being at home and out on duty, something Bell says they will get better at over time.
"This is from my experience being so new with it, but what I've seen with other veteran officers and dogs is that the dog knows when it's go time and when it's time to be a home dog," Bell said. "I think Axel knows the difference, but that's just something as we grow older and are together longer, we’ll have to figure out."