New York Troopers - History
Preserving the Past for Those Who Follow



Bloodhounds were first utilized by the State Police in 1934, but were not recognized until 1937, when noted in the Troopers Annual Reports. Trooper William Horton aided by Trooper Robert Thompson operated the first training school for bloodhounds at Troop K", Hawthorne.  
Trooper William Horton
Bill Horton
Bill Horton
 Troopers Jim Lobur & David Schwartz
Tpr. N.C Thorne Troop B - 1963 - Corporal & Colonel
 Nick Gumhalteer- Dave Schwartz
Trooper David Schwartz
1970 - Trooper Leon Dywinski - Batavia Pup is Dutchess of York
   Tpr Scott Saunders
  Pedigree Document


The New York State Police obtained and have utilized “Bloodhounds” for the purpose of trailing the scent of human beings since 1934.

Troop “A” acquired three bloodhounds named “Olga”, “Bess” and “Molly” in 1937. Trooper Albert Perry volunteered as trainer and handler. Perry handled the dogs for several years, however no information regarding them could be found from WW II until 1964. Bloodhounds had been continually assigned at Hawthorne & Malone. Trooper William Horton and the “K” Troop dogs responded to any requests from Troop “A”.

In 1963, a kennel was established at Troop “D” Oneida to serve Central & Western N.Y.

In 1964, a kennel was re-established at Troop “A” Batavia. The Batavia dogs were successfully used in eight criminal and seven lost person searches that year. Trooper David Schwartz was the assigned handler. 

The bloodhound is lamblike in its gentleness although he does look sad eyed and ferocious. They are taught not to bay when following a scent, because it could frighten a small child or give a trailed criminal notice of the approach. While tracking, the dogs are held by a leash and seldom are more than two used on the same case. They follow body scent and if conditions allow, can follow a trail four or five days old. There is no smoking when on a trail, because a few whiffs would dull the dog’s senses. The scent of a human is stronger than any animal with no two people having the exact same scent. Human scent does not come from a person’s shoes, but actually rises from the top of your body and falls to the ground. A bloodhound could be 20 to 30 feet off of the actual trail due to blowing wind. 

 Bloodhound training starts at about age 18 months and lasts for up to six months. They are taught not to bay and always track while on a leash.
 Trooper William Horton of "K" Troop / Croton, NY Police Chief G. Dobbs.
William Horton
Troop B Malone - Tpr. George Rosbrook (Lobo) - Tpr. C.F. Sanderson (Lady)
Trooper Albert Perry on rt. Troop "A"
1945 - William Horton - search for 3 escapees from Bordertown, NJ prison farm.
 The blimp assisting was from the Lakehurst Naval Air Station.
Trooper Joe Hunt
1960s - Cpl Archie Green on the left holding Colonel of Red Stone on the right is Art Scarifile with Corporal of Red Stone.Both bloodhounds given to us by the state of Vermont. Data provided by Retired Trooper Frank Nichols
2-26-65 Scout Government Day- Scout Ashleigh Morris, Attica, NY w/ Tpr. David Schwarz & F/Sgt. Howard Smith meeting the bloodhounds.
1966 - Tpr. W.A. Thompson
 Troop A kennel - 1980
  Leon Dywinski - 1968
Trooper Donald Martineck & Angie
A happy ending


The dogs start to learn their trade, when they are 18 months old. Until then, they enjoy a normal puppy-hood. Training starts when a dog is taken out into a sizeable field and allowed to sniff a piece of liver in an assistant trainer’s hand. This gives the dog the idea that the assistant is a good man to keep his eye on during proceedings. The assistant runs about 50 feet while the dog strains at the leash thinking about the liver. He is then allowed to run to the assistant who gives him the meat. This procedure is repeated and distance lengthened at every try. A garment owned by the trainer is used to teach the dog to follow a given scent. He strains at the leash until he finds the assistant. Since the wind may blow the scent to one side of the actual trail, the dog is not expected to follow the actual trail, only go in the right direction. The assistant leaves a paper trail to show the trainer the actual trail. The dog is now learning to track with the assistant completely out of sight. No fooling around is allowed. The dog soon learns not to mix business with pleasure. When the dog finds the assistant, a big fuss is made over the dog and he is rewarded with a piece of liver. This type of training usually takes six months before a dog is placed into duty.    

Several basic rules are in place prior to using a bloodhound in a field search. Since a dog picks up the human scent from an article of clothing known to have been worn by the person to be trailed, it is absolutely imperative that any article of clothing known to be worn by the person “NOT BE TOUCHED” except by the dog handler. Keep the area clear of large groups of people. Bloodhounds usually work best when the trail is less than 24 hours old.