diegoMADISONVILLE, Ky. (8/6/14) — Canine handler and Narcotics Detective Blake Carlisle and K-9 Unit Diego gave a demonstration at the Madisonville Lions Club luncheon Wednesday, July 30.

“I’ve had my dog Diego now for about a year,” said Carlisle. “He is a 3-year-old German shepherd from Czechoslovakia that was imported to a vendor in Scottsville, where we bought him.”

Carlisle said he went through an eight-week course to learn all the different commands to be able to direct Diego.

“I went through an eight-week course in Scottsville to learn how to handle him,” said Carlisle. “Diego is about 75 pounds, which is a medium size dog and responds to German commands.”

Before Carlisle was able to become Diego’s handler, he had to go through an interviewing process.

“We went through an interview process, just like you would do for a promotion,” said Carlisle. “I went in front of an interview board… I had two interviews. There wasn’t a written exam at all. They look at your personnel files and background and choose from that.”

Carlisle demonstrated a typical “drug sweep” with Diego, by hiding a locked tin can of marijuana in the facility.

“Just because the marijuana is in the metal tin doesn’t mean he knows what he is supposed to be finding,” said Carlisle. “He doesn’t know what that metal tin is just yet. He hardly ever sees those things and we normally train on vehicles or buildings and always go through an open door to search.”

Carlisle said that his form of “payment” to Diego is a tennis ball.

“I pay him with his ‘pride and joy,’ which is a tennis ball,” said Carlisle. “He goes absolutely crazy over it. That is what he does all his work for… a tennis ball. I have to show him excitement when he does his job; otherwise he gets bored and won’t want to do it anymore.”

Carlisle said Diego is an aggressive indication dog.

“Diego is an aggressive indication dog,” said Carlisle. “This just means that, when he finds what he is looking for, he will scratch at it or if he can’t scratch, he will bite at it. Passive indicator dogs, when they find what they are looking for, will sit and look at it.”

Diego is trained to search for marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and crack.

“His payment is everything to him,” said Carlisle. “So, the funny thing is… I could have put a bag of tennis balls and sit them in a trash can and he would pay no attention to them whatsoever. What it is, is the smell of the drug is synonymous with his tennis ball. So, when he smells the drug, he thinks ‘oh my tennis ball is in there.’”

Carlisle said Diego was a $15,000 dog and used for other purposes than just sniffing for drugs.

“Diego is a dual purpose canine, which is for the dog and training,” said Carlisle. “This means he also bites. So, if someone runs, we can send him to apprehend that person.”

Diego was mostly paid through community.

“The police department collected donations from businesses and individuals from the community,” said Carlisle. “This helped us out tremendously.”

Carlisle said there are only two drug dogs in the county.

“I and Joe Stratton from the Sheriff’s office are the only two in the county who have dogs,” said Carlisle. “We stay pretty busy. We get called a lot for search warrants. His nose is 10,000 more times better than ours and the chances of him finding something hidden in a house are a lot better than if we were to go in and look. We have also been called to traffic stops to search cars.”

Carlisle said that they do a routine drug sweep at the local schools.

“The schools like us to come every six months or so,” said Carlisle. “I have been to both high schools and the middle schools. I have to call for more help from other places… it’s just too much ground to cover for one dog. Diego wears out quick. When he gets so excited and comes down from that adrenaline… he just wears out fast.”

Carlisle said that Diego lives with him.

“I have a kennel in my backyard for him,” said Carlisle. “I feed and water him every day. He’s just like a pet. However, he only listens to me. My thinking behind this is I am the ‘pack leader’ and that’s how he sees me. I want him to protect me.”

Carlisle said overall, Diego has found 14 pounds of marijuana and over $2,000 worth of meth.

“He finds this stuff pretty easily,” said Carlisle. “We are really impressed by it. He’s only been out doing this for eight months.”

Amber Averitt
SurfKY Lead News Reporter
Photo by Amber Averitt

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Most Read This Week

April 28, 2015 4031

Search for Stolen Vehicle Ends with Woman Charged…

by SurfKY News
April 27, 2015 3390

Online Petition Seeking Re­opening of Shanice…

by Samantha Carver, SurfKY News
April 28, 2015 3234

Man Charged with Stalking Smoke Shop Clerk

by MPD
April 27, 2015 2770

Hopkins County Drug War ― Are We Winning?

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
April 30, 2015 2678

Family Says 'Goodbye' to Dog After It Allegedly…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

April 17, 2015 15194

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 23, 2015 8384

Man Charged with Sodomy, Incest/Victim under 12

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

May 02, 2015 889

Frymire’s Life Accomplishments, Dedication to MCC…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 01, 2015 752

Above and Beyond: Leighann Stroud

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
May 02, 2015 468

Don't Bet on Supreme Court Overturning Marriage…

by Richard Nelson
May 02, 2015 449

Homegrown by Heroes Receives Donation from…

by Ted Sloan
May 02, 2015 406

New Mather Metals to Expand in Franklin

by Office of the Governor
May 02, 2015 399

Weeknight activities the whole family can enjoy

by SurfKY News
May 02, 2015 376

Hooked on Science - 'Kentucky Derby Balloon Race'

by Jason Lindsey
May 02, 2015 333

Happenings, Meetings Listed for Following Week

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
May 02, 2015 298

Conquering the clutter: Cleanliness with kids is…

by SurfKY News