The Nigerian Army Dog Section recently inaugurated the first working dog center in all of West Africa in order to provide an asset to their country’s counter terrorism efforts. The Nigerian Army currently has an array of detection, trailing, patrol and search and rescue dogs. A majority of the dogs are trained to detect explosives and bomb making materials. The dog center is located in Lagos, Nigeria with a smaller group of dogs and handlers working in the capital city of Abuja, Nigeria. During the inauguration ceremony, the Chief of Defense Staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin said, “Explosives can be packaged like any other luggage and you and I might not know because our senses are not well developed like dogs. But when we introduce dogs to the equation, we will be able to detect such packages even when they are hidden” The patrol and explosives detection dogs are expected to be critical in combating terrorist activities and bombings carried out by the Boko Haram throughout Nigeria. The urban search and rescue dogs and cadaver dogs will also be on hand to respond to natural and man-made disasters throughout the country.
Over 60 military personnel from the Nigerian Army attended a three month trainers course at Highland Canine Training, LLC in Harmony, North Carolina. The soldiers reported from the Military Police Section, Engineer Corps and Intelligence Section. Three separate groups of soldiers traveled to the United States over a span of eleven months.
During the course at Highland Canine Training, each handler was paired with a dog, which they were responsible for working with, training and caring for. All aspects of handling and training were covered during the course which finished with scenario based problems and certifications. Dogs were trained in on and off-leash obedience, scent discrimination trailing, police patrol, search and rescue and detection of narcotics, cadaver and explosives. The dogs chosen for the Army varied in breeds, from German Shepherds, to Belgian Malinois, and Retrievers.
The training was challenging for many of the soldiers as most of them had never previously worked with dogs. Many of them had never even encountered dogs as pets.
During the 12-week course the handlers received extensive training in areas such as record keeping, search techniques, proper handling, first aid and CPR, nighttime K9 operations, detection and interdiction techniques and explosives recognition. “The training was very thorough and we achieved a great deal of success with the dogs and soldiers” stated Lt. Colonel Armstrong Bitiyong of the Military Police. At the end of each course the finished dogs traveled back to Nigeria with their respective handlers to begin their work in the Nigerian Army Military K9 Section.
Highland Canine Training teaches progressive and innovative methods of training and handling working dogs during our trainers course as well as in our working dog handlers courses. Highland Canine Training offers a School for Dog Trainers which is offered four times per year. We also offer customized training courses for Military and Law enforcement agencies throughout the world. If you are interested in our school or working dog sales, please contact us at 866.200.2207 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org