by Alice P
In a world where terrorist acts, cyber hacks, and violent threats are becoming ever imminent, the challenges faced by security teams are becoming increasingly complex and difficult. Security dogs, detection dogs, and their handlers and trainers play an increasingly vital role in the multitude of security issues, ranging from deterring criminals from large infrastructure sites to fighting organized crime and terrorist acts.
A security dog is vital to a team, as unlike any security camera or device, which can be disabled and cut off, a security dog is a constant physical presence, that can sense threats and act in real-time. In the security sector, there are currently over 5,000 dogs in service, here are 5 of the reasons why so many companies choose to include a dog on their security team.
1. Heightened Senses:
Security dogs can be extremely useful to any security team, as they are able to smell, see and hear a hidden intruder much quicker than any human. These K9s have around 200 million sensitive cells in their nose, which makes their sense roughly 40 times more sensitive than the human nose.
A little-known fact is that dogs can actually taste their smells, so professionally trained dogs can easily detect smells from the source of the intruder, or from residual smells of the area where an intruder once was. It is said that a security dog and its handler have the ability and strength equivalent to 8 security guards.
2. Rigorous Training:
In order to successfully train a security dog, the handler must tap into their ‘internal play drive’, which means that they must reward the animal for any successful completion of a task. Dogs respond well to positive reinforcement and this must remain a constant throughout the process to instill loyalty and obedience into their being.
Repetitive exercises between the dog and the handler may seem like a simple task to complete and may seem unnecessary when in reality, the dog is being trained on how to successfully sniff/ detect a bomb in an instant, which could potentially save hundreds of lives.
Whether you own a shop, nightclub, infrastructure site or nightclub, some level of security is vital. For example, if you’re a nightclub owner, it is necessary to have a security guard at the door, drug detection dogs and potentially security guards dotted around the club.
For infrastructure sites, owners may have K9 protection units put into place. However effective these dogs may be in a real-time situation, it is believed that 74% of criminal acts can be prevented by the threat of the repercussion itself. So if a vandal tries to enter an infrastructure site, they are more likely to turn back if they see a guard dog at the gates. The appearance of threat is essentially just http://web.archive.org/web/20170606142647/http://www.global-support.org/what-we-do/protection-dogs/as effective as the actual threat.
4. Drug and Explosive Detection:
Canines are particularly useful for the detection of abnormal or illegal loads. Their heightened senses and the training they receive have resulted in the detection of illegal drugs, immigrants and other objects being transported either in the back of vans, in baggage at the airport or even across the border in cars.
When it comes to high-profile events, organizers need to conduct thorough explosive searches before during and after the event, which means that there can be no room for error or miscalculation.
Security dogs are essentially the initial contact or detection with bombs or illegal substances. The initial detection by a security dog is supplemented by an extensive confirmation process, but without them on a security team, many fatalities could have occurred.
5. Loyalty and Obedience:
Guard dogs get pleasure and positive reinforcement from patrolling and defending their territory. Their rigorous training means that they will be alert, quick, strong and highly territorial, but will not be aggressive until instructed to be so.
The standard for dog handling and training have recently been revised, on how dog handlers should professionally look after their dog on a day to day basis. This best practice and advice means that a security dog will have all of the correct training and obedience, to ensure safety and safe practice for the security team and those in the operating area.
Security dogs are a vital addition to any security team, they offer a new perspective and set of skills on the ongoing issues of the 21st century. The threat of violent acts and terrorism may never go away, so new solutions need to be added into the mix to ensure the safeguarding of businesses and of potential victims.
- The Koehler Method of Guard Dog Training; An Effective & Authoritative Guide for Selecting, Training & Maintaining Dogs in Home Protection, Plant Security, Police, & Military Work
- Manstopper!: Training a Canine Guardian
- U.S. Military Working Dog Training Handbook
- M.D. Creekmore’s Defensive Strategies for Home and Retreat Defense after the SHTF