GOODYEAR, Ariz. - Police and military K9 teams from across the southwest United States took part in the Desert Dogs Regional K9 Police Trials in Goodyear this weekend.

The police canines took part in seven different exercises and events at Goodyear Ballpark to showcase the skills and abilities of the K9 teams.

Sunday’s competition was called Handler Protection and tested the dogs' ability to take down suspects and protect their partners.

While these events are fun for the dogs, it also shows just how ready these K9s are to do their job.

“Because they do go into very dangerous situations,” said K9 Officer Scott Callender with the Mesa Police Department. “We usually send dogs into situations that, quite honestly, we don’t want to go into as human officers.”

Other events had K9 units searching buildings and open spaces for hidden suspects and running obstacle courses.

Police tell us this competition is a way for K9 units to interact with the community they serve. The competition was open to the public and folks got the chance to meet these dogs and learn more about what they do on a day-to-day basis.