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A Comparison of Working Dogs

Patrol vs. Detector

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Custom writing service can write essays on A Comparison of Working DogsPatrol vs. Detector

Tony W. Coleman


Writing II

DSPW 0800

Mr. Greg Camp

November 0, 00

1041 Words

There are two types of dogs on the planet, working dogs and worthless dogs. If you are a pet lover I should now have your attention. Yes, I know if you have a dog that is just a pet they can supply needed love or companionship but there is a class of dogs out there that can do this while earning their keep, working dogs. There are many uses for working dogs such as hunting, herding, guarding, rescue work, police work, and more. The two types of working dogs I wish to share some information about is Police Patrol Dogs and Police Detector Dogs.

In the high technology world we live in today you would think there would be some machine, computer, robot or other piece of equipment made to do anything that needs to be done. The fact is that something’s still must be done by humans, animals, or both. Take for example finding things such as people who are lost or hiding. No technology exists that is better at locating people than a Patrol, Scout, Tracking, or Rescue Dog. Detector Dogs are also king of their domain when it comes to finding substances like drug or explosives.

The principals that people use to train Military Police Dogs all revolve around the dogs basic needs. The needs people manipulate or the way in which they manipulate them differ greatly from patrol dogs to detector dogs.

Take for example patrol dogs the biggest need manipulated is pack inclusion. All dogs feel the need to belong to a pack. In pack terms the handler becomes the patrol dog’s alpha and the dog becomes the beta. In the pack love flows both ways from alpha to beta and back, but the alpha must always be obeyed. Keeping this concept in mind praise becomes the primary reward for the patrol dog. Prey kill is a need that is very often manipulated and used as a secondary reward. Dogs have a need to bite this is known as prey kill instinct. Creating a game in which the dog is to bite a person wearing a wrap suit the dogs prey kill needs are met. Pain or avoidance of, is the last need most often used in patrol dog training. The pain avoidance comes into play when the dog makes a mistake he gets a verbal correction, a choke chain snapping his neck or both. All patrol dogs are on a fixed ratio reward schedule. This means every time the dog does something right he gets praised or he gets a bite. On the other hand every time he does something wrong he gets a correction verbal or physical.

In contrast food or prey kill is most often used as the primary reward in detector work. As long as the dogs’ needs are met food can be a very good motivator. If a dog needs twenty ounces of food a day but I only give him ten ounces at meals I then have ten to work with while searching for substances. Prey kill is also widely used in detector work, unlike patrol training, the need is met by allowing the dog to bite a ball, kong, squeaky toy or pull wraps. Avoidance training is the same in both patrol and detector training. Detector dogs unlike patrol dogs are usually not on a fixed ratio reward schedule. Most drug dogs are on a variable ratio or a fixed time schedule. This means after an unset number of finds the dog receives his reward or after a set amount of time he receives his reward while working. Explosive dogs are usually on a variable ratio and variable time schedule. This allows the handler to decide when the dog needs a reward but saves time during an explosive search.

The actual duties of the patrol dog are very wide in scope. The main categories are tracking, scouting, searching and controlled aggression. In tracking the command “track” is given when there is a known start point. The dog uses the sent left on the ground to follow to a person. In scouting the command “find them” is used. The dog than uses the air currents to pickup a humans scent by walking in a set pattern down wind until the dog comes into the scent cone. Once in the cone the dog follows it to the person. Searching is used in buildings to find people. The same command is given as in scouting. The handler takes the dog in a set pattern and allows the dog to use air currents and scent left on floors and objects to find people. Controlled aggression can be used at the end of any afore mentioned duties, but can also be use in, riot control or dispersion, or in assailant apprehension. The reason is always the same though and that is to protect the handler.

When compared to patrol dogs the detector dogs’ duties are usually narrow in scope. The type of detector dog determines the substances they search for.

Most drug dogs are trained to detect at least four substances. Marijuana, cocaine, heroin and hashish other drugs may be included if they are prevalent in that area.

All explosive dogs are trained to detect at least nine odors Trinitrotoluene also known as TNT, dynamite both military and nitro, ammonia nitrate, potassium chlorate, sodium nitrate, C4, detonation cord and black powder.

Military explosive dogs all work the same way. After the handler gives the command “seek” the handler takes the canine through a set pattern until the area is clear. The dog uses both airborne and scent on objects to find substances.

This is a very simplistic view of Military Working Dogs but I hope it has shown that dogs can have meaningful purpose other than love. Do yourself a favor if you are a dog lover get a working dog and train it. Its not one sided the dogs love it because it is bred into them and the enjoyment you can get from watching a good dog work is indefinable not to mention the love and companionship.

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