Meet Olmsted County’s newest K9: Bruno

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(ABC 6 News) – For some jobs, you need a few days of training and for some, you need weeks. That’s the case for the newest member of the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, Bruno.

Just over a year old, Bruno came all the way from Hungary and is training to be a full-time K9. He and his handler, Deputy Nathan Heeren have been busy training full-time in the months-long program at the St. Paul Police K9 Academy. Learning a number of tasks like how to follow certain scents.

“Obviously dogs are just like humans,” said Heeren.

“We all learn at our own paces. He seems to be picking up on things pretty fast. Right up until the last couple of days, some detector work has been a bit frustrating. But, like I said, in the last few days, that switch has flipped and he’s starting to pick up really well on that too.”

Heeren has always had a goal of being a K9 handler. He said the hardest part of training is training an animal that can’t talk back to you.

Deputy Sheriff Kevin Schmidt, also with the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office is a K9 handler. He’s at the academy with Bruno and Heeren to learn a different task – how to train future K9s.

“Patience is a big thing in K9 training,” said Schmidt.

“Not all the dogs learn at the same pace. So some guys might look at one dog and say, ‘oh he’s just a great dog and I wish my dog could be like that.’ But each dog excels in their own events.”

Schmidt says being in training will help Bruno down the road. Because he will be able to help with his weaknesses and strengths.

Training runs through May. Bruno will specialize in patrol work and explosive detection. Getting Bruno to Olmsted County was possible thanks to donations from the Olmsted-Rochester Law Enforcement K-9 Foundation. If you would like to donate, you can click here.

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