K9 Officer Kubo Casto

Richmond Heights police K-9 Kubo takes first in obedience at Top Dog K-9 Competition

JX9400520CMay 20, 2010 NEWS – Officer Tim Casto stands with his K9 partner Kubo before the Top Dog K9 Competition held at Padua High School on Saturday. Kubo won first place in obedience and third place in apprehension at the competition.RICHMOND HEIGHTS — The police department’s K-9 Kubo took first place in obedience and third place in apprehension at the Top Dog K-9 Competition in Parma.

Kubo’s handler, Officer Tim Casto, said Kubo won top dog in the first Top Dog K-9 Competition last year.

This year’s competition took place Saturday at Padua High School in Parma.

Fourteen K-9s competed in narcotics detection tests, obedience tests and apprehension tests.

At this year’s event, several cars were set up with a suitcase of narcotics in the middle that the K-9s had to run and find. The K-9 with the best time won.

JX9600520CRichmond Heights K9 Kubo apprehends Independence Police Officer Shane Bates during the apprehension test of the Top Dog K9 Competition Saturday. Kubo had to jump over several obstacles to get to his target.During the obedience test, the K-9s are put in a 300-foot obstacle course with multiple distractions. The handlers were tested on the obedience and control of their K9 partner.

And during the apprehension test, a person in a protective bite suit confronted the K-9 team. The handler then gave three commands to the decoy to stop or give up. The handler then released the K-9 to apprehend the decoy.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Casto said. “People don’t know how much time we spend training with our dogs. It’s supposed to be 16 hours a month, but every day you are doing something with your dog.”

He said he likes going to the competitions to see what other dogs do.

“You’re always learning something,” he said. “Something another handler does that might be beneficial to your training.”

He said Kubo is trained in six different types of narcotics, controlled criminal apprehension, track and trailing and article finds.


Casto said he doesn’t change anything in his training to get Kubo ready for the competition and he did very well this year.

Kubo is a German Shepherd who will turn nine years old in November. He was shipped from Germany.

Thirteen other K-9s from Independence, Streetsboro, Seven Hills, Strongsville, Brunswick, Valley View, Brunswick Hills, Kettering, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources participated in the event.


Richmond Heights canine is the Top Dog

2July 23, 2009 –

At home, Kubo is a playful and loving pet, but at work he is the Top Dog.

The Richmond Heights police dog and his owner, officer Tim Casto, earned that honor July 18 during the Top Dog competition sponsored by the Ohio Law Enforcement K-9 Association at Padua High School in Parma.

They were one of eight teams from Northeast Ohio in the first-time contest. The dogs vied in three categories: narcotics, obedience and apprehension.

In the narcotics test, the dogs had to search six vehicles and six suitcases for four drug “hides.” The results were based on time and accuracy. Kubo accomplished the task in 3 minutes 47 seconds.

“He did very well. He does that all the time,” Casto said.

For the next test, the officers commanded the dogs to walk in a U shape, making two left turns, then back. Along the way there were two protective sleeves, used in training the K-9s, lying on the ground. The dogs were not allowed to even acknowledge the sleeves were there.

Even more difficult to ignore was the bowl full of hot dogs placed between the two turns. Kubo didn’t even look.

“You don’t want your dog eating anything but the food you give him. The bad guys put narcotics and stuff in food and it could kill your dog if he eats it,” Casto said. “Kubu was outstanding, but some dogs stopped and had a snack.”

Kubo really shown in the last category, where two eight-foot barriers were put up in the middle of a football field, with a four-foot wall in between. A decoy stepped out from behind one of the barriers.

The dog had to wait for his officer to command the decoy to stop three times, then go after the “suspect.”

“Kubo was the only dog who hurdled the wall. The crowd just went crazy,” Casto said. “He is 8 going on 2. He acts like a puppy.”…

By Susan Ketchum sketchum@sunnews.com