Terms for a Police Canine – Dual Purpose Canine – Single Purpose Canine – Police Dog.
Canine Apache (Belchertown MA PD)
Terms for a Military Canine – MWD/Military Working Dog – CAD/Combat Action Dog – Multi-Purpose Canine – Single Purpose Canine.
Canine Astor (GRP 2 Plankowner)
There are a lot of misperceptions on the differences between the two types of animals. I hear often that military canines, specifically Special Forces i.e. Navy SEALs’ canines, are trained to attack the neck to kill. I have also been told stories of how military canines save their handler’s life by taking out the enemy one-by-one on command while being held captive and the ongoing exaggerated stories of the canine’s role in the Bin Laden operation. These stories you hear are misleading and inflated.
The military purchases their canines from the same vendors who sell to police agencies. Whatever a police canine costs, double it, and you have a military canine. It is the same canine trained with the sport dog concept in bite work with extreme prey drive that targets equipment. That is your military canine, an overpriced police canine whose foundation is built on the sport dog method, which in reality is not meant for military or police service work.
The only difference is the target set (mission). SWAT Team operations are the same (big picture) as military combat operations. It’s the military special forces and police canine handler’s individual shooter skills that are definitely on opposite ends of the spectrum. An example is how police handlers implement their canines during a deployment. Granted, the enemy isn’t waiting in the next room wearing suicide vests with an AK 47, but it wouldn’t surprise me in today’s world, and if departments would adhere to a non-sport dog model, i.e. certifications, canine selection and handler tactics, there would be fewer accidental bites and canine deaths.
In conclusion, I use my tactics experience to train canine handlers in my basic courses, advanced courses and seminars. I breed and train canines for police and military service work. I consult and mentor multiple law enforcement agencies and canine teams across the country. My point is this, I use my experience and hard lessons learned in combat as the underlying foundation that supports why the sport dog influence has no place in police or military canine service work, with great success.
Next Newsletter: Sport Dogs vs Working Dogs (part II)