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NZDF And NZ Police Host All-of-government Working Dogs Seminar In Wellington

Whether it’s detecting improvised explosive devices, keeping Kiwi soldiers safe while out on patrols or for reconnaissance and security missions, Military Working Dogs (MWD) are critical to New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) operations.

A large part of their success comes down to the years of dedication and hard training put in by their handlers.

Next week, the NZDF and New Zealand Police Dog Training Centre are excited to host internationally renowned Dutch dog trainer Dick Staal for one of the largest working dog seminars of its kind to be held in New Zealand.

The NZDF, with support from NZ Police, has organised the event and invited other government agencies and Non Government Organisations to attend and benefit from the training, which will take place alongside military personnel at Trentham, Upper Hutt.

New Zealand Defence Force’s Working Military Dogs provide vital support to personnel in the field (Photo supplied)

Around 170 people, from more than a dozen different organisations are expected to attend the training seminars over nine days.

Attendees will come from a variety of backgrounds including various NZDF units, NZ Police, members of the Australian Defence Force, Western Australia and Victoria Police, New Zealand Customs, the Department of Conservation, Department of Corrections, Ministry for Primary Industries, Aviation Security, LANDSAR, Avalanche, Blind Low Vision and Assistance dogs.

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Alan Inkpen, who is the NZDF’s Military Working Dog (MWD) Capability Manager, said this event was unlike anything that’s been hosted in New Zealand before.

“Dick Staal is one of the world’s leading police and working dog trainers, and the opportunity to have him come and give us a glimpse into his training methodologies is invaluable.

“We considered the benefits of sending NZDF personnel to one of his overseas courses, but realised it would be even more valuable to spread that training across multiple people and organisations by bringing Mr Staal here.”

The training is broken down into three separate seminars covering Detection, Tracking and Puppy Development sessions, which will tailor for the wide variety of organisations and government agencies attending to maximise all-of-government benefits.

“Bringing all these organisations together hasn’t been done before, so it will be an incredible opportunity to network and will be extremely valuable for all of us,” Mr Inkpen said.

Across the three seminars, Mr Inkpen said there was something for all attendees to take away and consider when training up their working dogs.

“The amount of time and effort that goes into breeding, the development and training of working dogs is astounding and is a real testament to those that dedicate their time to carry out this work.

“The diversity of the types of dogs that are trained in New Zealand varies from those trained by the Department of Conservation to locate Argentine Ants, Blind Low Vison dogs to support the visually impaired, NZDF Military Working Dogs trained to detect explosives and secure critical assets, to name but a few.”

Mr Inkpen said New Zealanders were among the world’s best at training working dogs, but there was always room to learn and benchmark training against international standards.

The seminars will be held at Trentham from Monday April 8 until Wednesday April 17.

© Scoop Media

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