‘The ultimate working dog’: Montgomery Co. K9s with Czech heritage make embassy appearance

Local canines of Czech origin put on an exciting show at the Czech Republic embassy in D.C. on Saturday.

Montgomery Co. K9s with Czech heritage make embassy appearance

Rey is a member of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit. K9 Bolo is with the Rockville City Police Department. They were born in Europe, but trained here.

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputy Zach Buttrey, who has been a member of the K9 unit for 14 years, said the dogs have been part of the embassy open house for the past few years.

On Saturday, Rey and Bolo, both a Belgian Malinois-German Shepherd mix, showed off how they track and even how they attack on command.

“The dogs are great. They’re very smart, very loyal, very protective, and they are the ultimate working dog because they want to work,” Buttrey said.

Buttrey led off the demonstration by having someone from the crowd toss a flashlight onto the grassy hillside outside the embassy. It didn’t take Rey long to sniff it out.

“Right now she’s looking for human odor,” Rey’s handler said.

Then it was time for Bolo’s appearance. He sat, patiently waiting for the order to attack the padded sleeve Buttrey had slid onto his arm. The dog whined and tugged — and only stopped once Buttrey pulled his arm out of the sleeve. The crowd applauded the K9 as it shook its target back and forth with its mouth.

Deputy Zach Buttrey speaks to the crowd as Bolo’s and his handler (right), Rockville City police Cpl. Ali Zeighani, prepare to show what a police K9 with Czech heritage is capable of. (WTOP / Sandy Kozel)

Buttrey said a demonstration like this one “shows the public how helpful the K9s are, whether it’s to locate a suspect, locate a missing person, find some evidence, (or) search a building for someone.” He calls the K9s a great resource for assisting law enforcement.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office has five K9 dogs and two therapy dogs. They live with their human partners and are ”family dogs when they’re not working,” Buttrey told the crowd.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated from a prior version that incorrectly stated Bolo’s place works with Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. The canine is a member of Rockville City police.

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Sandy Kozel

Sandy Kozel is an anchor at WTOP. She came to WTOP after a long career as an anchor/correspondent with the Associated Press. She also worked in local radio in the Cleveland area — and in Buffalo, where she was an award-winning anchor and reporter with WGR Radio and entertainment reporter at WGRZ-TV.

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