In September, four new pairings completed their training to become qualified military police dog (MPD) teams.
CAPTION: Private Stephen Kennedy and Military Police Dog Razor demonstrating a muzzle strike as one of their capabilities. Story and photo by Captain Thomas Kaye.
During their initial Military Working Dog Handler Basic Course, which ran over 15 weeks at RAAF Base Amberley, the MPD teams learnt the fundamentals of dog handling.
To enhance their capability for Army environments, the four MPD teams then completed the MPD Handler Basic Course. The three-week course teaches handlers how to employ their dogs within a field and operational environment.
Course manager for the MPD Handler Basic Course, Corporal Amy Grant, said the extensive training not only honed critical skills, but also bonded the dog with its handler.
“The training for the handlers covers the fundamentals of dog handling, where the handlers learn everything from dog safety and husbandry to all of the theoretical components, including extensive dog psychology,” Corporal Grant said.
“MPD teams give the ability to undertake a vast range of capabilities, from urban clearances to tracking, vital asset protection and security.”
After completing their course, the MPD teams performed a demonstration of the detection, deterrence and apprehension capabilities that would be used in their roles.
This included muzzle strikes, front bites and send-offs to cover all angles in order to apprehend a target.
Private Joshua Rayner, a new graduate with his MPD Torki, said there were no downsides of working with MPD in Army.
“Working in a small team and working with other units as well is definitely a positive side to the role,” Private Rayner said.
“It’s definitely an experience and I’ve enjoyed it. When your dog does ace it, it’s the best feeling in the world and you get your own best friend at the end of the day.”