Military dog trainers are in charge of the care and basic military dog training, which are often used for drug control, missing or wanted location, or bomb-tracking missions. They use a military working dog assigned to perform specialized duties in law enforcement, physical security, counterterrorism operations, explosives and / or illicit drug detection in the military community.
The Armed Forces members should complete basic military dog training, which includes theoretical and practical classes, and covers tactical and survival skills, physical training, military life and customs, and weapons training. Military dog trainers of the Armed Forces will acquire skills through theoretical classes and on-the-job experience.
Useful attributes for military dog training
To train your dog to have the obedience of a military dog, you must have high standards not only for your dog, but also for yourself as a trainer. Here are some things that the military takes very seriously when it comes to training their dogs.
Patience for military dog is the perseverance and endurance which help your dog develop the ability to perform a task correctly. A handler must remain calm and self-controlled while working with the dog on each task.
Some dogs, like people, are better at some tasks than others. Differences in behaviour and personality also determine a dog’s capabilities. Having patience, as well as an understanding of your dogs’ strengths and weaknesses, will contribute to the success of your dog training. Frustration, anger, and impatience, on the other hand, will not.
Practice, practice, and practice. The amount of training that dog needs, of course, depends on several factors, such as the dog’s capabilities and behaviour. For example, the US Army recommends handlers train their dogs a minimum of 4 hours per week. By dividing it into a 7-day schedule, handlers should practice with their dogs for at least 30 minutes a day.
Praise is vital for military dog training; it is how they discover that they are doing something «right» and it is what motivates them to offer the behaviour again in the future. The Armed Forces note that how you praise your dog is also important. They advise manipulators not to depreciate the value of high-value rewards by giving them freely. That´s why, if your dog is sticking with freeze-dried liver bananas, you should only give your dog freeze-dried liver when he has executed a command correctly. Give the reward freely can often depreciate the value of the reward.
- Air Force
Timing is also important when it comes to praising your dog correctly. The reward should be given immediately after your dog makes the required response. Any delay between the required response and the reward can confuse your dog as to what they are praising him for.
- Socialize your dog
Socializing your dog helps build your dog’s confidence, and it also teaches him to work in a variety of settings. Socialization is also critical to helping your dog work well with strangers and other dogs.
Teach the following commands of obedience: SIT, DOWN, HEEL and STAY. The Armed Forces require their dogs to learn commands with a verbal cue, as well as a visual cue, such as a hand signal.
- Generalize commands for military dog training
Generalizing a command means teaching your dog to execute a command in a variety of settings and / or under different circumstances. Take, for example, one of our dogs who has generalized the behavior of holding an object over his head. Because the command has become widespread, he can hold a variety of objects on his head, in a variety of different locations.
Generalization can be difficult for dogs (some more than others). Sometimes it takes more time than just practicing the command in a variety of places (such as fully reteaching the command).
- Practice with distractions
After your dog has become proficient at a command, throw a few distractions into the mix. Distractions can be sounds, smells or a stimulus (such as another dog, a human or his favorite ball / toy).
- Practice on an obedience course
While you are on an obedience course, your dog is navigating many little puzzles and challenges. Not only you are stimulating your dog’s brain, however you also encouraging him to think through difficult situations.