NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Hundreds of police officers and their K-9 partners from all over the U.S. are joining together in Charleston, starting Saturday through next Thursday, going through national K-9 training and certification.

It takes a lot of time and hard work to become a K-9 officer.

“We want to make sure all of our teams are hitting all of our standards,” Vice President of International Police Work Dog Association, Brian Fleig said.

Both the handler, and the dog have to prove themselves.

Fleig said, “Ensuring they’re responsible, that their location tools go out to the highest level.”

This week, over 100 handler, K-9 teams are doing just that.

The International Police Work Dog Association is hosting teams all the way from Montanna to local agencies from the Lowcountry.

“We have teams from all over the country to be here and work on some professional development,” Fleig said.

They’re certifying the teams in explosives, narcotics and firearms detection, search and rescue, tracking, building searches and aggression control.

“Just be exposed to different area. Environmental exposure is key for these K-9 teams,” Fleig said.

Leaders say this training just validates how important K-9’s are to law enforcement.

Fleig said, “Their ability to go out and protect the communities they serve is of the highest level.”