Cody Tallent has been training dogs to sniff out bombs and drugs, track missing people and attack suspects and enemy combatants for a decade.
"To me, it's the art of using my body and my mind to train dogs to build confidence," said Tallent, who started working with dogs when he was in the Marine Corps.
Today he works with Off The Leash K9 Training, a dog training business with 115 locations that focuses on everything from obedience to personal protection to service to therapy.
Nick White started the company in 2010, and considers Tallent and his partner Will Witting to be some of the best military and police dog trainers in the business.
"Their specialty is making dogs amazing police, military and bite dogs," White said. "Today we have who I consider to be two of the best decoys out there."
White believes that simulating as many potentially dangerous situations as possible for the dogs is what will train them to do the best job in the field.
"A lot of it's just exposing them and desensitizing them to as many situations and scenarios as possible, so that way when they're out on a street with a handler, there's not too much that they can be exposed to that they haven't already done hundreds of times in training," he said.
When the dogs are not properly trained, the consequences can be brutal, like when a San Diego police dog would not let go of a suspect's arm (who was already in handcuffs).
"There can definitely be problems with the dogs out in the field," White said. "The dog just isn't letting go. All that is is a breakdown in training somewhere, whether it's training on the handler's part or training on the dog's part."
Tallent said he is trying to train his dogs to be violent, but controlled.
"How do you teach an animal, a dog, a canine, to strike this, to strike flesh, to strike bone, to strike this spongy material? Well, it's got to go through training. It's got to hit these paper targets and get that mechanic and get that grip," Tallent said.
Off The Leash typically works with three breeds of dogs to be attack dogs:
When Daby Byrne goes to work, he pretends to have diarrhea.
Byrne is a standardized patient, hired to fake an ailment for a standardized test that prospective doctors take. It is like a real-life version of the SATs for medical students.