On the right track
On the right track
Friday, 25 October
2013 - 4:49pm
Four New Zealand Army soldiers graduated from the inaugural specialist Military Working Dog Tracker Handlers’ course at the Police Dog Training Centre in Trentham yesterday. The graduates were Private Johan Breuer with Flick, Private Brooke Weber with Ari, Lance Corporal Kane Ritchie with Bolt and Private Alex Baddock with Ida.
The new tracking dogs were all bred by the Police Dog Training Centre and were initially destined for the frontline. If dogs in the Police programme don’t meet all the criteria for frontline patrol work the options include rehoming or retraining as detector dogs.
“We have been working closely with the Military over the past couple of years, mainly in the detector dog space” said Inspector Brendon Gibson, National Coordinator Police Dogs.
“Earlier this year we developed the programme to incorporate tracking dogs and this graduation is testament to its success.”
One of the success stories yesterday was ‘Ida’ who graduated with her new handler Private Alex Baddock.
“Ida was an ideal candidate as she had shown potential as an excellent tracker” said Brendon.
Among family and friends at the graduation yesterday was Ida’s former handler Constable Craig Moore from Christchurch.
“I had worked with Ida from November to August this year. She had just completed her immediate course when my training supervisor concluded that her apprehension work wasn’t at a level required for a frontline patrol dog work” said Craig.
“I was gutted as I knew she had such great potential."
“Ida joined my family around the time my daughter was born and became a central part of our family. Watching her reach her true capability by graduating from this course is just brilliant, I felt like a proud dad!”
“Its fantastic to know her skills aren’t going to waste and that she will help protect communities in New Zealand and abroad.”
Military working dogs work in various camps and bases throughout the country, and are deployed overseas on exercises or operations.