Page 14 - Chiron Calling Spring 2021
P. 14

                 Life as newly qualified dog handler
by Pte Wray 102 MWD Sqn
After serving in the Royal Marines as a musician for 6 years I decided to transfer to the RAVC as a Dog Handler. Having spent most of this time travelling and performing at numerous engagements around the world and representing the Royal Marines/ Royal Navy at athletics and cross country I decided it was a time for
a change. Having a passion for dogs and enjoying the military lifestyle
I decided to transfer and was fortunate enough to be accepted into the Phase 2 Dog Handler course at the DATR, Melton Mowbray.
After completion of Phase 2 training, I was posted to 102 MWD Squadron. My time has been enjoyable so far and I literally hit the ground running on the first day,
Dog training consolidated training
by Pte Tompkins 104 MWD Sqn
During November 2020, the newly formed Regimental Military Working Dog
(MWD) Training Team spent four weeks with 104 MWD Squadron.
The period of consolidated dog training saw Patrol, Vehicle Search and Arms Explosive Search Sections develop their knowledge and skills. The aim of the training was to
bring everyone in each capability to a standard baseline level. The Patrol Section package was led by Sgt Shaw. The package began with briefings and lessons on the theory behind being a good decoy. It was then time to run through some dry drills. We started with just a bite sleeve before moving onto using a full decoy suit. This practice was crucial to ensure correct technique and muscle memory was developed by all handlers.
After pretending to be a dog and getting sweaty in a suit for a few
taking part in a canine biathlon which for me, as a keen runner,
was a great start to my time in Squadron. It has been great learning new dog training techniques
and going on exercise in order to consolidate everything learned
and put it to use in operational scenarios. Most recently I have taken part in a dog training exercise in Swynnerton which ended with me licensing with my Military Working Dog, Duco.
I enjoy keeping fit, especially swimming and when restrictions allow, I hope to get back in the sea and spend hours swimming with my dog Charlie, as I used to when I was in the Royal marines based in Cornwall. One of my ambitions in the Regiment is to become a PTI so
Pte Agnew with MWD Luca
days, it was time to get the Patrol dogs involved. The next few days included testing the dogs’ drive
– both prey and defensive – and progressed to practising several different decoy scenarios, this time with the dogs.
Although we all receive a basic grounding in decoy techniques during our Phase 2 training, spending time with Sgt Shaw and his vast experience improved Patrol Section’s decoy skills considerably. The Training Team’s knowledge enabled us to put our theory work into practise and helped us move forward with confidence and a range of new techniques.
Everyone attending the course agreed that it was highly beneficial, and we all gained a lot of experience. Speaking to other members of my section about the training, I received the following feedback:
MWD Duco
I can have the opportunity to run physical training sessions and get qualifications in postural alignment and hopefully pass this knowledge on in order to benefit others in the Regiment.
What has made this such an appealing job is the combination of being a soldier and working with dogs daily, discovering their immense capabilities. I am looking forward to the oncoming years in the Regiment and to the opportunities they may bring.
Pte Braithwaite with MWD Luca
Pte Procter: “It would be very beneficial to receive ongoing review sessions with Sgt Shaw in order
to consolidate the vast amounts
we have learned. This would help handlers develop appropriate training plans, tailored to both
our own skills as decoys and our individual dog’s needs.”
Pte Dooley: “Whether you were already confident or not so much, everyone improved their decoy skill set which will improve our future man-work sessions”.
In summary, although a physically challenging few weeks, the
Section agrees this training will be extremely beneficial to both our own careers and our dogs’ performance moving forward.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the whole Training Team on behalf of 104 Squadron’s Patrol Section.
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