How a police dog and its handler turn into a crack team — it’s the long, gruelling hours of training

When a dog sniffs out evidence of a crime, it barks out the discovery. Between the exploratory sniff and the exultant bark lies a story of rigorous training, stretching the limits of the canine and its handler. A day with a police dog squad, comprising 26 Dobermanns and one Labrador and their 43 handlers at Egmore in Chennai, and later during a special training on a hillock at Tirusulam in the city show what it takes to make a dog and its handler a successful crime-detection pair. The handler has to first win the dog’s trust by small acts of love. For the dog, it’s not so much about nabbing the criminal as it is about pleasing its handler. So, in this line of work, caring handlers produce more obedient and effective dogs.