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    Dogs Bombs and Drugs ... K-9 Training

    Dogs Bombs and Drugs ... K-9 Training

    Photo By Carlos Guerra | Officer Joe Nino and K-9 partner, Ricsi, search for simulated narcotics and explosives...... read more read more



    Story by Laurie Pearson  

    Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow

    BARSTOW, Calif. - Law enforcement K-9s and their handlers from the Marine Corps Police Department K-9 Section on MCLB Barstow engaged in training to detect explosives and narcotics, Sept. 2.

    The training included simulations of real world scenarios, encountered locally and internationally, in which K-9 teams have been called out for detection of various types of narcotics and explosives.

    “The teams are not in real world situations all the time,” said Sgt. Steven Goss, K-9 trainer on MCLB Barstow. “We take a call out and simulate it as closely as possible … in the event of a real world incident the dog and handler are prepared.”

    “The more repetition and training you do, the better you are as a team,” explained Cpl. Christopher Dixon, K-9 handler on MCLB Barstow.

    “(In the world of law enforcement) a K-9 team is one dog and one handler,” said Goss.

    When asked about the most important aspect of the team and their ability to respond together on incidents, the trainer and all of the handlers responded the same, "it’s the bond."

    “If it’s not a good bond, you’re not a good team,” said Cpl. Tony Seirafi K-9 handler on MCLB Barstow.

    This bond is apparent in the communication observed between handlers and K-9s. The K-9 teams undergo extensive training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas where they learn various types of signal indicators.

    “(The K-9 teams are trained to use a full range of) voice, hand, eye and full body commands,” explained Goss.

    Those commands impart myriad instructions within the team. The K-9 teams engage in patrol, as well as respond to call outs on base.

    “They also provide support to other agencies both locally and overseas,” said Goss.

    “Last year, we sent one team to India (in support of another federal agency).”

    The "prey drive," a natural instinct in most dogs, is the primary drive for training K-9s. “If you think of a coyote, they see a rabbit, they chase, they bite,” explained Goss.

    It is a natural instinct which trainers and handlers exploit to ensure desired results. For detection, the dog is trained so if they find particular odors, their handlers will throw their favorite toy and then they will get to bite it and receive praise.

    Within the detection training, the K-9 teams engage in scan and presentation drills to enhance their abilities to respond to incidents involving a wide range of devices and substances. The handlers watch for changes in the K-9’s demeanor.

    For their safety, especially as relates to explosives, the K-9s are trained to respond with a ‘passive response,’ explained Goss. The dog will sit, indicating that they have found odors they are trained to detect. The K-9s then eagerly await their reward.

    Overall the training went well to benefit the unit and the safety of the base as a whole.



    Date Taken: 09.02.2014
    Date Posted: 09.10.2014 14:55
    Story ID: 141692
    Location: BARSTOW, CA, US

    Web Views: 141
    Downloads: 0