2 Onslow Co. high schools turn woodworking projects into canine training obstacles

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) -A new way to train police canines in Onslow County is the result of collaboration between students and law enforcement.

The ten obstacles were created over a month long period by students from Southwest and Dixon high schools in a woodworking class.

Thursday, students got to see the obstacles in action.

“I have dogs and I’ve always loved dogs,” Antonia Anhorn, an 11th grader at Southwest High School, said. “So for me, it’s like: Oh, this is really cool because we are doing this to help train animals.”

The new obstacles will help the K9 unit with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office train their dogs for agility and obedience.

“It kind of made me feel a little bit of pride in seeing what we made go to work,” Nick Sanders, 11th grader at Dixon High School, said. “It seemed good to see a dog actually go up and back down it, and it didn’t get hurt or anything. It did what it was supposed to do.”

The dogs serve a variety of important roles for the office. “These dogs find narcotics,” Sgt. Dawn Dora, with the K9 unit, said. “They track people. They find evidence.”

The donation from the students saves taxpayers dollars as well as giving students hands-on experience.

The various types of obstacles train the pups like Bonito and Blek to go over, under, and on top of them.

“Now we can teach our dogs to jump on command, to climb on command, to climb a ladder, and to crawl all on command,” Sgt. Dora said. “And not only that, but to run this entire course is agility. It’s going to keep our dogs’ endurance up.”

Before this obstacle course, the K9 unit used obstacles put in place by the local fire department to train for jumping.

The wood was donated by a local Lowes. The Sheriff’s Office says it is grateful to the community support.

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