BENGALURU:They sniff out bombs, control unruly mobs and even nab militants in hostage situations. Belgian Shepherds (Malinois), trained in the city, are doing all this and more for the Central Reserve Police Force.
The para-military force has deployed 173 dogs trained at its Dog Breeding and Training School at Taralu on the city’s outskirts. On Friday, 14 dogs completed their 40-week training and will soon join the force in Naxal-affected areas.
“These dogs have special qualities and are highly capable. Those deployed in the operations are doing quite well,” DG of CRPF Prakash Mishra told Express.
“They help save lives by detecting Improvised Explosive Devices. You will always feel confident when such an aggressive dog is with you,” he added.
The para-military force is planning to expand the Bengaluru centre to meet the increasing requirement while improving the training. “We are ordering more dogs. However, the expansion will be done in a phased manner as sudden expansion may lead to compromising on quality,” he said.
“We are trying to have more connect between the operations on the field and training, which will make these dogs do even better,” he said.
The dogs are trained in two skills — tracking and infantry patrolling. They are capable of ground search to sniff out IEDs, do body search to look for explosives, perform vehicle search to detect explosives and are useful in carrying out raids and mob control.
They are also trained to attack hostage-takers. They can jump into buses through windows and within seconds attack the extremists. On Friday, they demonstrated this ability with ease.
An officer supervising the training said the dogs spend their time with handlers from the time they are three months old so that they can understand each other well.
“Normally, training starts at 5 am and goes on till 6.30 pm. In some cases, it may even extend beyond that,” the officer added.
56 canines still undergoing the drill
On Friday, 14 dogs and 26 handlers passed out from the training school. As many as 173 dogs and 350 handlers have been trained so far. Currently, 56 dogs are under training.