To get to Howard Hodges, hiding behind a tree at the Kentucky Horse Park, Judge just follows his nose.
Leading Officer Denny Broyles across the zigzagged trail, Judge finally locates Sgt. Hodges and gets his reward, a rolled towel and playtime with his handler. The tracking dogs are not trained to attack.
Judge, a chocolate Labrador, is one of six dogs to join the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Division of Law Enforcement K-9 unit.
The Labrador Retrievers were all donated, according to Hodges, one of the two veteran K-9 officers. "Not any Lab will do," he said. "They need a lot of play drive. They're not afraid of people. They're not afraid of loud noises."
The Labs in the program need to be full of energy. "The more hyper, the better," he said.
For more on this story, see today's State Journal.