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12-09-08, 10:06 PM #1
Military Working Dog Handlers Course
this thread is for for any poolees or Marines interested in becoming a MWD handler. A few of the requirments to become a handler are as follows:
Job Description: A military working dog handler is a military policeman who is additionally trained to properly employ a military working dog to conduct vehicle searches, searches of open areas, buildings, vehicles, etc., for the detection of explosives or illegal drugs and who also has the ability to search for lost or wanted persons.
(1) Must currently hold MOS 5811.
(2) Possess no fear of dogs.
(3) Must be a volunteer. (4) Complete the Military Working Dog Basic Handler Course and the Detector Dog Handler Course, Lackland Air Force Base.
My story to becoming a MWD Handler started when i decided to join the Marine Corps. I knew without a doubt that i wanted to be a dog handler the first day i stepped into the recruiting office. At the time i thought it was an infantry secondary MOS I told the recruiter " I want infantry and i want to be a dog handler" he told me that it was in fact a Military Police secondary MOS and that he could not gaurntee me MP let alone Dog Handler that it would have to come from me.
After Bootcamp i reported to Camp Geige for MCT.While there near the end of our stay at Camp DevilDog we recieved our MOS and orders, I got lucky and got MP (5811) and was given orders to report to fort leonardwood,MO (an army basic training base). Remember, unless you are a reservist you are not guarnteed to get field MP, we had 9 MP hopefuls in my MCT platoon 2 of them got 5831 (corrections specialist) basically,prison guards.there training is actually at lackland AFB where K9 goes as well.While at MP school we where asked who wanted K9,3/4's of the platoon raised there hands! I was a bit shocked,I thought i was the only one who wanted it and now i had that much more competition. 40 of us applied and where told that we would have to submit an essay about why we think we should be a Working Dog Handler. Some of us didn't even write one,I wrote a 5 page essay and was lucky enough to get help from members of these forums (thank you again guys,it means the world to me) while we out in the field portion of our Mp training we where put in a classroom after doing a 24 hour MOUT operation.Dog tired,hungry and sore i sat down and heard our platoon SGT "ok guys and gals, the moment you have all been waiting for" he then put a powerpoint MC EXCEL thing up on the screen showing a list of east coast,west coast,overseas,HMX-1 and K9. i didn't see my name on the EC or WC list,i didn't apply for OS and i know i didnt get HMX,what the hell is going on?! my plt sgt came up to me "whats the matter walling?" "well SSGT, my name isn't on any of the lists,where am i going?" "you wanted K9 didn't ya? you wouldn't shutup about it!" "yes SSGT" he then told our other SGT to scroll down 1 more on the screen,they had hidden my name which was last on the list of K9.out of 40....... SIX of us where selected. Needless to say i was overjoyed.
Normally you would stand a board with other canditates and they would pick the most qualified based on an inspection and your records. for whatever reason this was not the case with us and we where selected on our personal training record
your rifle score
your pft score (must be 1st class)
reserve status (reservists cannot be dog handlers)
any NJP's or pg 11's
recommendations from your instructors
they won't take just anyone.K9 is a small elite group and they want squared away Marines,not ****bags. I have no NJP's or page 11's and i always put out 110% in everything I did bootcamp,MCT and MP school. This has to come from YOU it's all in how hard your willing to work to get it.
to be an MP you must be physically fit, it is not uncommon to run 6,8,12 miles while at school and by the end of MP training i had legs like a horse!
I reported to Lackland AFB San Antonio TX after graduation. I went home on recruiters assistance while waiting for my class to pickup. I just picked up yesterday and started training.
your class is a interservice class.meaning it's not just Marines.your instructors and fellow students can be Navy,Army and Airforce. I have a Navy chief as my chief instructor and 2 Airforce SGT's. the other services do not pick there dog handlers out of Mp school,you must prove yourself as an Mp first before getting this chance. The Marine Corps does it different and picks it's handlers our of Mp school, though Marine Corps NCO's can still do SSD (specialized search dog) or K9 from the fleet if chosen.
Today we got our "buckets". Basically your given an ammo can and that is your "dog". you have to name it,give it commands,correct it and put a leash and collar on it. it sounds ridicilous and trust me,it is. but it is a valuable training tool,if they just gave us dogs off the bat we would probably get bit. you need to establish raporte with the dog,a relationship and bond that proves that you two can work together.these dogs know the commands and are trained,it's all in if they respect you and are willing to listen to YOU and you have to establish that dominance.
we practiced our "praise voices" today. This is the most high pitched,stupid sounding voice you can come up with.think of how women talk to babies,kinda like that. your dog LIVES for this voice,it's what he works for,hearing that voice and getting a pat on the head or scratch behind the ear makes it all worthwhile for him/her. your command voice and correction voice are short crisp and loud and dominant respectfully. this helps the dog distinguish between "ok i ****ed up" and "ok i did it right".
These dogs are considered assets. "equipment" by the Marine Corps.they have there own serial numbers tattooed in there ears.but to a Handler they are so much more. they are a friend,a comrade in arms and a security blanket. The relationship between a Handler and his dog is like that of brothers. You will eat,sleep,fight and if necessary die for your brother, and he will do the same.
I will update this thread as my training progresses,I want to give poolees/Marines the information that i so desperatly wanted when i was in the DEP but i could never find. Any questions you have please post them here,I check this site everyday after work and will anwser any questions as best I can or refer you to a site or another person if need be.
for stories and some info on MWD's downrange and here in the states visit www.k9pride.wordpress.com
Semper Fidelis, PFC Walling
12-09-08, 10:27 PM #2
All the best.
12-12-08, 05:51 PM #3
so i met my dog yesterday.she is a 72 LB german shepard named Fany.she is extremely intelligent and eager to please her handler (myself) this is known as "beta socialization" where the dog learns that the handler is the alpha and develops the motivation to please the handler and recieve praise,so they work hard for it. this is much more effective than working out of fear of discipline.
we practiced basic obdience course today,she performed flawlessly and we work extremely well together.she obeyed all my commands and seemed completely at ease with me.some of the other students have a few problems with there dogs,and i have no doubts that some will probably arise with Fany but for now,where good to go and feeling each other out. i'm excited to start bite work next week,then move onto controlled aggression,thats all those videos you see of those dogs biting the sleeve of a guy running away known as the "decoy".
thats it for now,im off to enjoy libo,i'll update next week.
have a safe weekend all!
12-12-08, 06:04 PM #4
That's awesome. Do you know how old she is?
12-12-08, 09:33 PM #5
Damn Walling, didn't know you were on here dude. Try not to stick your head out any more car windows while it's going 75 mph and it's raining. I heard it doesn't feel too good!
Anywho, good luck at the Dog Handler school man!
12-12-08, 11:38 PM #6
of course i'm on here!
and i'll be back home the 22nd to the 3rd..maybe i'll stop by a PT session and make an appearance
she is 5 years old according to her records.
12-13-08, 03:20 AM #7
Really? no page 11s or NJPs and you don't even rate a GWOT yet? lol, wait till at least your 1st 96 in the fleet and then brag about it.
However, I do wish you all the best.
12-13-08, 04:54 PM #8
well considering half my platoon had one or both by the time they reached MOS school is pretty pathetic. I go out and have fun,I'm just smart about it and who I do it with.
12-13-08, 09:55 PM #9
its crazy that you are posting this info right now. i've been looking for info on k-9 school all over the web and haven't been able to find much of anything.
I graduate MP school this friday and im heading to Lackland for k-9 school as well. any info as far as what the detachment at Lackland is like? also, when do the next classes pick up and is there any chance of going home for christmas?
12-14-08, 12:46 AM #10
well then i'll see you in a few days.
as it is right now MGYSGT is getting everyone out of here for christmas,leave is dec 22 to jan 4th. PTAD or leave,take your pick.
12-14-08, 09:24 AM #11
Enjoy your leave, but tell me, your dog, do you have to start over with the training?
12-14-08, 11:01 AM #12
Thanks for all these updates CWalling, I think it is very interesting to hear about this field and how you are training for it as not a lot of people are involved in it. I am not heading into it, but I still enjoy reading your posts.
12-14-08, 02:21 PM #13
how do you mean corporal? the dogs are actually already trained,most of these dogs have already been deployed or for whatever reason cannot be fleet dogs.so they bring them to lackland to be used as training aids. you could say she is actually training me. She knows what to do as far as commands and detection,it's just a matter of me using the right commands and telling her where I want her to go and what to do. Thats why rapport is so important,If the dog doesn't respect your position as as an alpha and handler they won't listen to your commands.
12-14-08, 02:54 PM #14
12-14-08, 05:06 PM #15
once i get to my unit i'll be assigned a dog,then it's just up to the needs of the Marine Corps whether I stay with just that dog or move around and work with other dogs.
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