What I Learned Training To Be A Dog Handler

What I Learned Training To Be A Dog Handler

Jan 11, 2022

I remember it like it was yesterday. I sent my tactical explosive detection dog (T.E.D.D) out to search a vacant lot, full of empty semi trailers that we used for training. Tessa was her name and she was a beautiful, brown Belgian malinois. When I got her, I knew that she was the one because of how trained she was. She was obedient and responded to all of my commands easily and without distraction, unlike the dog that I was training with prior.  He was a pit bull mix that had an amazing nose and could find any of the training material, no matter where we hid it. Ceiling? Under the sofa? Inside cabinets or in the gas tank of a car? He found it. What I couldn’t get him to not do was try to retrieve it. He would jump on top of the beds, counters and try to dig up anything that we buried, and that’s the last thing you want your dog to do when you are looking for bombs. Tessa was not like that. When she found odor, her change of direction was so sharp that I would always know if she was on odor or lost track of the scent. She obeyed hand movements so that I wouldn’t have to yell for her to know…

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