Here I am with my first K9, MWD Drake/T697. I could not have asked for a better first dog. Obedient, loyal, smart as hell, easy going but on command aggressive AF. I will have this dog when he retires, i’m counting down the days! He’s 8 and average retirement for a MWD is about 10 years old if they are in good health.
I’ll talk about Drake more in later post (or all the time) but im gonna talk about my experience and training i got at K9 school down in Texas. So you get orders and go at your assigned class date. Mine was in Aug 13 and it last for 11 weeks. For the Air Force, we get a training RIP, which just an email saying when you’re going, what school you’re going to, how much it cost, etc. Pretty boring so moving on! I get there with only knowing where my hotel room is and check in. They had my reporting instructions for the course. I got there like 6 days early!! So I hung out and was bored ha. So first we meet at this big ass brick building with no windows, think of the build from Men In Black but brick, cool go in and sit in a hall with 10 other random service men and women. First day is just paperwork and a course overview then we leave at like lunch. I’m gonna move ahead to when we start doing training outside the classroom.
So you get assigned a MWD that failed some part of its training and they decide to keep them for training aids for students. DTS (dog training school) houses about 800 dogs at any given time and its a mix of dogs waiting to go to the field, in training, are for training or waiting to be adopted. So my first dog there was names Llyka, double letters note the dog was breed by us at Lackland and most of these dogs are batshit insane, she was calm and knew the game but before you can work or training with them we got to practice on ammo cans!!
BAM! look at this nerd… HA jk we all had to do this, i felt stupid as hell. Softer this during our first patrol training, my dog ripped out a tooth! She’s gone. Lost her and got assign the oldest dog i’ve ever seen! MWD Bear, this dog was 14 yrs old, Jesus! Besides being old as shit, she was a good dog. Though i lost a dog and got an old one, the whole course was fun even the classroom part. Classroom covered everything from our commands to vet care in combat situations. Anyway, fast forwarding a few weeks to our patrol certifications. During mine, with old ass Bear at my side, I sent Bear for a running bite. She bites the decoy, I run up and get my leash together and tell her “out”(basically let go of whatever you have in your mouth), she doesn’t listen, so as we’re taught, I brought the heat down on her. I gave this dog such a hard physical correct that she passed out. I thought I kill her!! I froze then picked her up and ran her to the shade, mid Aug in Texas=hot as balls, cooled her down and she woke up, thank god! She was out of training after that but i passed and moved on to the next phase of training.
I had SO much fun during this part of training and met alot of people that i’ve been stationed with in Japan, Turkey and Colorado. Its a small world in the K9 career field. Only like 1400 of us DoD wide.
Next was detection training at the main training site for DTS. Honestly, nothing special. A lot of hurry up and wait, a lot of helping the staff take dogs to the vet. Still fun learning what those dogs can do and are capable of. You really don’t learn that until you get to the field and get your first real working dog.
That’s pretty much my experience at K9 school and learning the bare basics of k9. Thanks for reading and leave a comment, ask me a question and i’ll respond as soon as i can.