Officials say Lake County Sheriff’s Canine Dax has been awarded the “2023 Hero Dog” by a national canine club just a week after he received multiple first-place finishes in a competition.
Dax on Saturday received the German Shepherd Dog Club of America’s 2023 Hero Dog Award, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said in an announcement, adding “Dax does it again!”
Deputy John Forlenza and Dax traveled downstate to the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield to accept the award.
They also performed a canine demonstration at the German Shepherd Dog Club of America National Specialty Show, the sheriff’s office said.
The National Specialty Show had 335 German Shepherd dogs entered in the competition this year.
The sheriff’s office said Dax won the award for his career accomplishments and for “characterizing the best attributes of a working German Shepherd Dog.”
Alex Rothacker from TOPS Kennels in Grayslake also attended and performed in the demonstration with Dax.
Dax received the award just one week after he scored multiple first-place awards during a multi-state competition in Michigan.
Forlenza and Dax along with Deputy Kevin Harris and Canine Zeus traveled to Port Huron, Michigan.
The two sheriff’s canine teams participated in the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) Region #19 Police Dog and Detector Dog Trial.
Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said an intense evaluation and competition took place and consisted of 32 dogs from across several states.
The competition involved tracking, narcotics searching, cadaver detection, obedience, scent work, apprehension and apprehension with gunfire.
Forlenza and Dax placed first in obedience, article search, suspect search, tracking and cadaver detection.
The two also placed third in criminal apprehension, Covelli said.
Harris and Zeus placed second in article search, suspect search, tracking and cadaver detection.