With a national title, Indo, the police dog, earns a night inside _lowres

Photo provided by Capt. James Broussard -- Indo, a Belgian Malinois, and his handler, Capt. James Broussard of the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, took home numerous awards, including the "Top Dog" prize, from a national police canine competition held last week in North Carolina. ORG XMIT: URZcHke3dke-J0mVoAsf

Usually Indo the dog sleeps outside.

But after winning the top prize in a national competition for police patrol canines last week, Indo, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, earned the privilege of a night inside the home of his handler, Capt. James Broussard of the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.

“My wife said, ‘Look, he’s the national champion,’ ” Broussard said Tuesday. “ ‘He can sleep inside tonight.’ ”

In their first trip to the United States Police Canine Association’s National Police Dog Trials, Indo and Broussard won the “Top Dog” award. The pair also earned first place in the criminal apprehension, scent work and agility competitions, the Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday.

The tandem competed against more than 100 other dog-officer duos from law enforcement agencies across the country, including one other pair from the Sheriff’s Office. Lt. Steven Whitstine and his dog, Tigo, earned fifth place in the agility competition, the Sheriff’s Office said.

“All of our dogs are great dogs,” said Broussard, commander of the agency’s K-9 division. Any of the agency’s 11 dogs could win a national title with the proper amount of training, Broussard said.

The deputy felt nervous leading up to the competition. Broussard wanted to finish in the top 10, but he never expected to win.

Nevertheless, the countless hours of training paid off for him and his pooch, a dog he’s worked with for two years.

The USPCA, the event organizer, also holds a separate “detector” competition for dogs with narcotics and explosives detection training. In that competition, held annually just like its complement for patrol dogs, two dog-officer teams from the Sheriff’s Office won first and second place in the 2013 narcotics competition.

While Indo enjoyed the comfort of a night inside as his reward for this year’s win, Broussard was greeted by his family with a cake. On its surface was a picture of him and his prized pupil.

“It’s special,” Broussard said of the award. “I’m blessed.”

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