Concept of the Program M-1

Written By: Jim russell - Jul• 16•13

Like other highly specialized pieces of equipment, MWD’s supplement and enhance the capabilities of security police personnel. When integrated into existing security forces, MWD  teams enable those forces to perform their mission more effectively and, in many cases, with significant savings in manpower, time, and money. Also, MWD teams provide a powerful psychological deterrent to potential offenders.

Unlike the sentry dog of the past, the patrol dogs of today are tolerant of people and can be used in almost any area of a base or civilian population including housing, shopping, industrial, and flight line areas.

Patrol dog teams can be used not only for routine sentry duties but also to scout, track, search, and observe from listening posts or observation posts.

 Detector dog teams have the added capabilities of detecting drugs, other controlled substances, or explosives that a human, working alone, would otherwise miss.

 These specialized capabilities make the MWD team one of the most effective tools to the security police commander. When used as an integral part of the security police team, the potential success of the entire security police effort is significantly increased. 

UNDERSTANDING MILITARY WORKING DOGS

ADVANTAGES OF DOGS OVER PEOPLE. Most of us think the only advantage dogs have over people are their superior senses of smell and hearing, and their superior ability to visually detect motion. While these beliefs are true, they are not complete. A more important advantage is that a dog can be trained to react consistently to certain sensory stimuli in a way that immediately alerts the handler. Unlike people who quickly adapt to changes in their environment, MWD’s are trained to react to changes, particularly those beyond the detection capabilities of people. The dog’s reactions to these stimuli are always rewarded by the handler, and the reward reinforces the dog’s behavior and motivates the dog to repeat the actions. People react to what they think a stimulus means. MWD’s simply react to the stimulus and let their handlers decide what it means.

SUPERIORITY OF SENSES. The degree of superiority of a dog’s sense of smell, hearing, and visual motion detection over those of people cannot be accurately quantified. Some dogs can detect odor concentrations smaller than can be reliably measured or detect sound levels registering on the bottom of the scales of some of our best sound  equipment. Even if those abilities could be accurately quantified, the resulting figures would be relatively useless because they would have to be used with such terms as “under ideal conditions” and “if all factors are perfect.”  These situations simply don’t exist outside a laboratory. Therefore, the only statement that should be considered when exploring the possibility of using MWD teams is that under almost any given set of circumstances, a trained dog can smell, hear, and visually detect motion better than any person and, when trained to do so, reacts to certain stimuli in a way that alerts the handler to the presence of those stimuli.

It is important to remember that dogs, like people, are never completely consistent in their actions. Dogs have their good and bad days, and this must be considered when evaluating a dog’s performance.

EVALUATION OF DESIRED TASKS.

  The task you wish to perform, the  time of day the team will be used, and the environment of  the post. Of the three considerations, the desired task is the most important. If the desired task is to deter unauthorized intrusion, vandalism, attacks on personnel, etc, the team must be used on a post and at a time of day when the dog can be seen by those you wish to deter. Having a team work in the open in a high crime area during daylight hours or at night when personnel traffic is present is an example of proper use of a MWD team whose task is to deter. If the desired task is to detect unauthorized individuals, the team should be worked on a post at a time of day when visual, audible, and odor distractions are at a minimum. Tasks the MWDs are particularly suited to perform are tracking personnel who have left the scene, apprehending suspects at the scene or stopping those escaping from it, and protecting their handlers.

Now that you understand the concept of the MWD program, we can now get into the training. I will break it up into small steps so you can learn each command individually, and once you feel the dog is proficient in the command, you can move on to the next one.  To get all the training currently published just choose the Military Dog Training category at the bottom of the post and you will see the whole system all at together. I have also labeled each module in this series with a Module label ( M-1, M-2, M-3, etc ) so the reader can separate the training section from my random dog ramblings. Hope this helps.

 

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