Army Dog Handlers, any here?

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Airman 1st Class
Dec 17, 2006

Hi All
Any Melton Mowbray turn outs here? For those that wouldn't know thats the home of the Army Veterinary corp in Britain. I trained there to be a Dog Handler while in the Royal Green Jackets, as you can see in a very over exposed pic of a 17 year old me and dog called Torn in 1974.
The College is now Tri service, I discover from an RAF Police Handler I know, and who is soon to go there.
Remember the N.A.A.F.I club called the The Witches Cauldron? I didn't know it was so appropriate but enough there.
We was famously the scruffiest soldier in our Battalion, and looking at the RAF Police I saw in Gibraltar doing the same job I think it might have beena trait?:twisted:
Over to anybody.....
Never served but because of my proffesion I've become interested in this little part of the military. Mostly from the US side.
my second choice was Army Dog Handler.
Yet it seems it's often like the Vehicle Mechanic..........more applicants than posts.
Note that in my first post i say I'm just seventeen.....that made it possible for me to be a Dog Handler.
I arrived at my Battalion from a Junior leaders shortly before it was sent on a tour in Ulster, the law of the day forbade me to serve there until I was eighteen.
They made use of the likes of me by using some of us to form a non permanent dog Section and so reduce the size of the Rear party a little, policy had a Dog replace a Human.
I was in the right place at the right time to have an earlier wish granted for nine months, the Battalions return didn't get the Dog section disbanded again, soon to be sent to Gibraltar it must have been expedient to leave us be.
If I hadn't been in such a hurry to up sticks to leave home at sixteen by joining up, I might have applied to join Veterinary Corps instead, but thinking about it, I'm not sure they had any Junior troops anyway, so it's very what if in my case.
Yet why is it attractive I don't know, it's a dead end job really, unless you are frightfully good few people get past Lance corporal in it.
Its no problem being a dog handler in the US Army. First you have to become a MP and that is your main job. Once you are an MP you apply to go to Dog Handler School and then you are an MP Dog Handler. It is not a dead end job because you are a Police Officer.

Like I said though I got what I really wanted and that was to fly Blackhawks.
It is not a dead end job because you are a Police Officer.

Like I said though I got what I really wanted and that was to fly Blackhawks.
If promotion isn't such an issue, point taken, but to aspire between Dog Handler and Pilot?
I can't remember seeing such a contrast in ambition before!!
Well, I've read about US Service dogs before and have a website saved as well, it's an involved job I can see, and Regimental Dog Handlers like myself had a rather routine appointment.
Not that some throughly memorable tails can emerge, my own Dog had an escape record a Colditz inmate would be proud of..............
Corporal RNZAF Police Dog Handler.

Cry Havoc Was the unit motto.

An interesting life as their was only 6 of us in the NZ Military at the time. We wore DPM for work dress (first unit in the Air Force to do so for work clothes.)

Did a lot of "Stuff" with some Army units.

In the end you have two choices for continued employment, stay a Handler in the Air Force or join Civi Police and go to be a Handler.

Qualification wise, for when you did your training, I would have been one of the DS teaching you tracking and manwork. Nothing beats a good chase and mauling.

Then it is the dogs turn. :p
Corporal RNZAF Police Dog Handler.

Cry Havoc Was the unit motto.

Nothing beats a good chase and mauling.

Then it is the dogs turn. :p
Reminds me, did you have those cloth armour Baiting suits? What worried me sick in those things was the suit was probably Bomb proof....but your head was protected by a sort of Bird cage tied on with some bits of string.
Did your Dogs attack the Ass :twisted: of a runner like ours did or grab the arm like British Police dogs?
The weapon if there was one, or whatever was hanging off, arms, legs, dangly bits if there was no weapon.

We had full suits for multiple dog attacks, bomb helmet head protection was worn then.

Most demos were put on with just the sleeve under a greatcoat.

Note for non Dog Handlers. The dogs HATE the sleeve. You get that split second where you have the dog hitting you at 30 to 40 kph where he tries to go under, around , or over the damn sleeve.

Your job in that split second is to move the sleeve into his mouth even when he tries to fake you out.

Oh, and get your arm horizontal to his mouth, a well trained German Shepard attack dog can generate up to 5,000 pound pressure over his jaws, so if your arm is sideways to the bite it will bend the arm bones inwards. You WILL carry those bruises for a couple of weeks.

It is doing this job when you realize adrenalin is brown, lumpy, and runs down your legs.

I got a bigger adrenalin rush from playing the criminal than doing Para drops (even night jumps).

As for tracking, what a mind job. Working the dog when wind drift, moisture content, surface etc must be taken into account, learning to read every move the dog makes with his body and what it means.

Now do it in the bush, middle of the night feeling all that down a 12 foot tracking lead where 1/2 the time you can only just make out where the dog is.

The trust and understanding with the dog is an amazing and humbling experience. The reward when you get your first operational job achieved is a highlight that stays with you for life.

Later on when I was working security patrols in a very hard part of the city I had another dog that I trained up.

12 on 12 off for 7 days, then 7 days off. When I got home the dog was sorted even before my boots came off, fed quick run and tucked into his kennel.

My live in girlfriend of the time accused me one morning "You love that dog more than me"

Well me and the dog had had a bad week with some down right scary moments, I was tired and sore. I replied simply...

"You save my @ss as much as that dog has and I will love you just as much."

When I woke up that afternoon she was gone.

Boy I miss that dog.
Hi Kiwi
Interesting post! The baiting suit I spoke of we used at the Veterinary Corp college during the Training course with guard dogs.
However, due to the amount of civilians I think it was, we were supplied with what was called Security Dogs ....they are supposed to circle and bark at the person they have been set on, that didn't last long however with dogs left in the able hands of teenagers!
But I saw Dogs bite baiter's at the Veterinary Corp too, they would be retrained to Guard dog, I'm sure that was easily done.
But the baiter for these dogs wore a stout coat and carried a stick.....with the result they hated anybody over the rank of Sergeant, they carried a swagger stick in our regiment!
Yup seen the result of that.

One guy in the security business had a damn huge Rotwieler, he would get his mate (in uniform) to bait the dog up before he went on patrol.

Until the night the three of us ended up at a multi story building with offenders on site.

Me and my dog went one way, the three of them went the other.

Result, when they saw the offender the plonker set the Rotti free, first thing it did was turn and chew the heck out of the idiot that had been baiting it for months.

Took a lot of stitches to keep the red stuff inside after that little effort.
Hi Kiwi
The worst case of maltraining I know of was by the Red Army.
They had trained dogs to go under Tanks to find food, the engine being the Dinner bell.
When it came to the real thing they would have an explosive pack on their backs with an antennae that would them and tank up.
Notice the way a family dog can tell when a family car is coming, or at least one of same model?
Obviously these Dogs trainers didn't, not to many private vehicles in Stalins Russia in their defence but even so.
These Dogs had been trained with T34's and thats what they chased when put to use, with a whole Soviet Armoured division I understand in retreat.
Anybody know more about this?

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