Virginia Tech K9 officer earns new elite training certification

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - When touring a college campus, parents and students typically have a lot of questions. One of the most frequent ones has to do with safety.

But that's where Officer Ogle and his sidekick Toro come in to play. They are ready to answer that question, and headed into a new school year, they're more prepared than ever before.

"The first thing we look for is a change of behavior, it's just an uncontrolled change the dog has whether its breathing heavy, whether its a head turn," described Officer Ogle about what Toro is able to do when smelling dynamite.

Ogle, one of three K9 handlers at Virginia Tech, is now certified to train law enforcement teams across the region. Last month, he came back from a 3-month internship of sorts where he and Toro picked up some new tricks.

Inside a training locker, there are several sticks of dynamite. While there is a strong smell, it's hard to detect unless the locker is open and you're close to it. Once he finds it, Toro immediately lets Ogle know. And Toro gets fed.

"I usually generally feed him throughout the day while I'm working," said Ogle.

Toro is a food reward dog, which means he only eats from a pouch that Ogle has to wear everyday.

"When I put his pouch on, he knows its time to go to work, he ceases the playing and he knows the difference of when I'm just playing around with him and when I'm at a situation where I need him to perform," said Ogle.

And that performance is needed.

'We definitely need them for the number of public events we have here on campus, with football games, concerts, graduations, so they're definitely an asset to us," said Ogle.

Going forward, Ogle's hope is to have the training at VT and hopefully get more officers campus officers involved.