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North Carolina K9 Welcomed into Morris County Workforce

By metrowriter on
Morris County

In honor of returning from the Labor Day holiday weekend, Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon is excited to announce a new team member of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office workforce.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon is pleased to share that we have received a generous donation of a Black Labrador Retriever puppy, our newest Sheriff’s “rookie”.

Morris County officials say the yet-to-be-named pup (currently known as Puppy #3) will be trained to serve our community as a Search and Rescue (SAR) K9 partner and as an explosive detection dog. He will be assigned to Morris County Sheriff’s Detective Mike Smith.

One of America’s Top Dog trainers, Detective Corporal Mike McMahon (winner of A&E’s “America’s Top-Dog”), will lead the training and assist Detective Marc Adamsky.

The five-month-old puppy was gifted to the K9 Section by the owner of Lost Highway Kennels, a breeder and dog training company based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This is the second canine received from Lost Highway Kennels.

Morris County Sheriff’s K9 Chip was obtained on August 3rd, 2017, and still serves the agency as a Search and Rescue and Explosives Detection dog. K9 Chip was initially certified on May 10th, 2018, in Explosive Detection.

He is part of the New Jersey State Police Detect and Render Safe Task Force. K9 Chip is partnered with his handler, Detective David Marshall.

Sheriff James M. Gannon said of the contribution, “We are excited to be getting a new addition to the K9 Section. This K9 will be used to protect the community by detecting explosives, but that’s not all. He will also assist in reuniting loved ones with their families as a search and rescue trained K9.”

Detective Corporal McMahon stated, “Beginning the training process at such a young age has major benefits and will strengthen the dog’s performance and bond with the handler. Grayson Guyer hand-selected this puppy for us based on our needs, and we are very excited to begin the training process.”

“We are tremendously devoted to high training standards throughout the agency, and that is plainly evidenced by the many honors that our K9 Section has been awarded,” said Sheriff Gannon. 

Officials said the owner of Lost Highway Kennels is Grayson Guyer. Grayson grew up in North Carolina around bird dogs and dog handlers. In 1999, while serving as a US Navy Corpsman, he was allowed to assist the military working dog handlers aboard Camp LeJeune, NC, with routine training.

This sparked an enduring interest in working dogs, and he has been actively training ever since. After separating from the Navy, Grayson went to work for a police dog vendor in Winston Salem, NC, where he remained until moving to Boone, NC, in 2005 to attend college at Appalachian State University.

Upon graduating, he pursued a career in the health-care industry while continuing to supplement his income with pet obedience, hunting, detection, and patrol dog training and competing at the highest levels in various dog sports. In 2011 he took a leap of faith and turned his passion for training dogs into his career.

Grayson has spent much of his adult life in austere environments, training and supervising dog/handler teams. He’s deployed twice to Afghanistan in support of the US Marine Corps IDD (IED Detection Dog) program and twice to Africa in support of Invictus K9’s anti-poaching canine program. He is a seasoned instructor of dog trainers and handlers.

Sheriff Gannon said, “We are so very fortunate to receive an extraordinary gift from this great American, who served his country honorably, and who continues to have a tremendous impact on his brothers and sisters in the military as well as his friends in law enforcement!”

Grayson supports local service dog/handler teams through one-on-one coaching. He is the founding president of the Carolinas Epagneul Breton Gun Dog Club and a board member of the CEB-US (a national club for the French Brittany Spaniel).

He actively competes in walking pointing dog field trials and retriever hunt tests. In addition, he continues to train dogs for the public and acts as an advocate for disabled service dog handlers from around the country.

He not only finds this type of work rewarding but that it is a perfect fit for his training style, and among the dog world’s most versatile workers, Labrador Retrievers can do almost anything.

Thanks to their intelligence, eagerness to please, and willingness to work hard, Labrador Retrievers are invaluable workers in a variety of fields. They’re among the most popular choices for service dog work, search and rescue, bomb and drug detection, and therapy dog work.

The newest addition to the K9 Section will be named by the latest law enforcement officers currently training at the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy.

The recruits will have the opportunity to develop a lifelong connection with this new K9 that will subsequently support them on the road.