More than two dozen working-dog teams from the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Honolulu Police Department recently competed (nose-to-nose, you might say) in a weeklong competition testing the mental and physical stamina of both the handlers and the working dogs, driving the teams to give it their all each day.
The 2015 Hawaiian Islands Working Dog Skills Challenge was hosted by the 728th Military Police Battalion, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, July 27-31, as reported by www.army.mil this week.
“Each event was designed to push them past a level of training they may not have experienced before,” said Sgt. 1st Class Cory Lorenz, kennel master, 520th Military Working Dog, or MWD, Detachment, 728th MP Battalion. “We wanted to push them out of their comfort zone.”
Events ranged from a stress-shoot, to tactical and non-tactical detections, a written skills test, an obedience course, handler protection and even a hardest hitting dog event, in which the K-9s were scored based on the strength of their bite by a decoy wearing a bite suit.
Wrapping up the competition, handlers were required to negotiate an obedience/obstacle course, where hundreds of doggy toys were strewn, while maintaining positive control over their K-9 partners.
“It gave them the opportunity to see their strengths and weaknesses,” said Lorenz.
Taking first place and “Top Dog” in the competition was the team of Sgt. Daniel Jackson and his K-9 Bailey, 904th MWD Detachment, stationed at Fort Benning, Ga.
An impressive test of skills and stamina, from handlers and canines alike. How do you think you and your dog could perform in such a competition?
Top Photo: Military working dog handler Sgt. Veronica Pruhs, 520th Military Working Dog Detachment, 728th Military Police Battalion, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, pushes herself as she lifts and stands up with her K-9 partner, Jerry. Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Taresha Hill