NZDF hosts first conference on international military working dogs

The New Zealand Defence Force is hosting its first conference on international military working dogs this week at Trentham in Wellington.

CAPTIONAttendees at the international military working dogs conference at Trentham in Wellington. NZDF photo.

Attending are personnel from six nations, representing 25 organisations that use working dogs in a professional capability.

New Zealand Army Military Working Dog Capability lead and conference organiser Alan Inkpen said the conference provided a structured learning environment for the NZDF, the New Zealand government and overseas canine teams and trainers to exchange knowledge.

“The opportunity to come together enables all the participants to enhance their organisations’ working dog capabilities by discussing best practice, new developments in the profession and comparing how training is conducted,” Mr Inkpen said.

“This is the first time the NZDF has hosted the conference and we hope it will strengthen the relationships we have with others in the profession.

“We all use our working dogs in different ways and situations, but there is a lot to be gained by having these networks as the numbers of service dogs continue to grow.”

The conference includes presentations on search and rescue, explosive detection, street tracking, dog breeding and puppy development, contraband mobile phone detection, and case studies from the United States, United Kingdom and Singaporean defence forces.

The conference started on Monday and ends on Thursday this week.

Attendees include representatives from New Zealand Police, Department of Corrections, Aviation Security Services, New Zealand Land Search and Rescue, Department of Conservation, New Zealand Customs Service, Indian National Security Guard K9 Division, Singapore Armed Forces, United States Defence Forces, Australian Defence Force, United Kingdom Royal Air Force Police and United Kingdom Defence Animal Training Regiment.

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Brian Hartigan

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