LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - If you see a large number of search and rescue dogs in Louisa, do not be alarmed.

The Louisa County Sheriff's Office is training these special pooches to help communities across the country.

Twenty-six K-9 teams from central Virginia and beyond are taking part in the training. 

The bloodhounds are trained to help solve a number of crimes including breaking and entering, vandalism, lost persons and sexual assault cases.

Dogs are trained by the 'scent article' method, where they sniff something touched by the individual police are looking for.

Lieutenant Patrick Sheridan said, “Bloodhounds have the best I think noses for the job. They're a very friendly breed, a very loving breed, so when you're looking for an Alzheimer patient or lost child or dementia patient, you don't want a dog that's going to be aggressive."

The dogs make law enforcement's job easier.

"Breaking and entering, vandalism, I mean you name it, sexual assaults, they can be used for a lot of different things, really gotta think outside the box too,” said Ryan Brown, Orange County Sheriffs Office.

On Monday, police gave the dogs two training scenarios.

Ally, a nine-month-old bloodhound in training, is one of the many pups ready to help solve any crime.

 In the first experience, Ally followed a trail using a scent article to find a missing person.

"A scent article can be anything that's been touched by the person we're looking for," said Sheridan.

During the second trial, the first bloodhound team in Orange County, Detective Brown, and bloodhound, Blue, started their challenge.

 Blue was given a scent article and then was able to find where a person was taken.

“A lot of times, you know, people will go missing and nobody has any idea where they went. That's where we bring in the dogs,” said Brown.

Although training can sometimes be expensive, there's no price tag on saving lives.

Sheridan noted, "The dogs are priceless to their communities. They're out here day and night no matter what the weather conditions are, the handlers of the dogs are out here looking for people trying to bring loved ones home and getting criminals off the street that could do harm to the communities.”  

This is the seventh year of the training. K-9 dogs usually retire after 8 to 10 years of service.

Training will continue until Wednesday, March 6.