Bomb training in Glendale, ATF certifies K-9 teams from several - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Bomb training in Glendale, ATF certifies K-9 teams from several states

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - With the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl in 2015, the valley is set to host some major events in the near future.

That is one reason that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms has brought in bomb sniffing dogs from across the Western U.S. to train in Glendale.

Each year the ATF's dogs have to pass a series of tests.

You will not see these dogs clawing at what could be a bomb, they are trained to just sit if they find something suspicious.

Each year the ATF's bomb detection dogs have to be re-certified, and that means a few days worth of testing; including sniffing out various bomb making chemicals.

"Our dogs are expected to find 20 different explosives in 60 samples. They have to score 100 percent to pass that," said Cody Monday.

And that is just one portion of the test. The dogs will also have to find bombs hidden in the arena.

"You get called to different arenas for different bombs threats. It is always good to prepare yourself and become familiar with these types of environments," he said.

ATF trainers are constantly keeping the dogs up to date with the latest trends in explosives.

"It is a pretty face in front of a very ugly business," said Bernard Zapor.

Bernard Zapor is the special agent in charge of the ATF's Phoenix office.

"The dogs in order to eat they have to work, and they get rewarded in the form of food and that makes them super-tuned to these chemical signatures they are looking for, and it makes them really effective," hs said.

The dogs are all labrador retrievers; the ATF gets them from guide dog foundations.

"They were set on a path to become a guide dog but for whatever reason that didn't work out, maybe they like to investigate things, or didn't want to listen too well, and those are usually the things we like in a detector dog," said Monday.

The trainers say they prefer labrador retrievers for many reasons but one is their appetite. The dogs always seem to be hungry which means they have no problem working.
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