A new dog in town

After nearly seven years of service, Clemson’s bomb-sniffing dog, Doc, has retired.

Doc began his work at Clemson in 2010, aiding the Clemson University Police Department (CUPD) in their efforts to keep campus safe. The black Labrador retriever has investigated bomb threats at Clemson and also helped sweep such major venues as Memorial Stadium before events. The CUPD was one of the first University police departments in the region to acquire a bomb-sniffing dog.

Doc and his handler, officer Zachary Owen, worked long hours to ensure student and visitor safety at Clemson. The pair typically spent 12 hours at Memorial Stadium each game day, with Doc sniffing out the stadium and continuing to monitor for threats. Doc’s final task before retiring was to sweep the area at a Clemson baseball game against Florida State.

Now there’s a new dog in town. After a rigorous 12-week training program, Woodrow, a 2-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever, has taken over Doc’s duties. He got an opportunity to show his skills during his training, when Owen hid a fake bomb in the stadium. Woodrow searched enthusiastically, sniffing thoroughly until he caught a whiff of the acidic scent. Once the dog located the trigger scent, he sat down in what is known as a passive alert. The reward for detecting the target is a tennis ball and a game of fetch with Owen.

Woodrow has big paws to fill, but he’s on the job, keeping Clemson safe.

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