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Photo by Ross Richardson. Deputy Gerrod Visel, canine Karn and Brayden Visel.

Third-grader Brayden Visel recently gave a speech on police K-9 dogs and their training to his class at Wylie Elementary School.

And, he was quite knowledgable on the topic thanks to his father, Gerrod Visel, who is a Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office K-9 officer who brought his canine partner, Karn, to perform a demo.

Brayden’s speech was on training a canine tracking and drug sniffing dog, and he had his facts down perfectly with a poster with pictures that he’d designed.

Karn is a 3-year-old black German Shepard trained in both tracking and drug detection. This hard working canine lives with the Visel family and is just a regular family dog at home. But, once Deputy Visel starts getting ready for work, the dog gets excited, jumps around and can’t wait to start his day with his uniformed partner. The team is on call 24/7.

Brayden talked about the training and the other canine partners his father has had. He had great pictures and thoroughly explained the training process. After the speech, Visel demonstrated how Karn worked.

“Why do I want a dog for a partner?” Visel asked the class. For his nose. Dogs can smell 10 times better than humans.

Visel illustrated that fact by saying that humans can smell a bakery; but a dog can smell all the ingredients in the bakery.

Visel also asked the students, “Can dogs talk?”

All the kids said no, but Visel disagreed. He said that dogs talk in their own trained way. Karn could scratch or bark or even a do a passive indicator such as sitting to tell his human partner that he smells something important.

After demonstrating, Karn wanted to play and started to dig around in his partner’s pockets to find his favorite toy. The motto of the team is work before play so the K-9 deputy played a bit as a reward for Karn for a job well done.

Everyone got to pet Karn and some got an unexpected lick from the canine officer, too.

(Dexter Update would like to thank teacher Lisa Suomala and the Visel Family for allowing us to come into their classroom for the speech and demonstration.)


Photo by Ross Richardson. Deputy Gerrod Visel, Karn and Brayden Visel giving his report.

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