The Metropolitan Civil Guard Kennel (GCM) in Ribeirão Preto (SP) gains reinforcements with the birth of eight Malinois Belgian Shepherd puppies. At least two of the dogs will undergo training to fit into the team.
At one month old, the puppies undergo an evaluation process where only the fittest are selected to join the sniff team, that is, to act in the search for narcotics. The rest must be donated to other public security institutions.
According to the operational coordinator of the GCM, Mário Eduardo Luchetti, the animals are trained progressively for more than a year until they are actually introduced into operations. According to him, work is seen as play for the dogs.
“It’s a kind of exchange, he finds the odor that we presented and wins the game. In his mind, he’s not working”, he says.
Throughout this report, understand more details about dog training by following the following topics:
- How does training work?
- Is there a specific breed?
- What is the dogs routine inside the kennel?
- Are these dogs docile or aggressive?
- How does the animal retirement process work?
Member of the Metropolitan Civil Guard (CGM) kennel in Ribeirão Preto (SP) — Photo: Publicity/Metropolitan Civil Guard
How does training work?
The first step for dogs to be part of the kennel team, in cases of puppies, is to take care of the animals’ health. Being up to date with vaccinations and deworming is one of the basic requirements for training to continue.
After this stage, the animals go through a selection process, where the fittest are chosen to receive training in adaptation and socialization.
Acclimatization and socialization training is understood to mean the period in which the animals will be taken to different locations and will have access to people and animals outside the kennel.
“We go through this routine of presenting places, taking them to squares, on the banks of rivers, fairs, to present everything before they actually start working. The idea is to present all the possible places where they will work so that when they fact is requested, they do not find these environments strange”, explains Luchetti.
With the acclimatization and socialization processes completed, the animals begin the final phase of training before heading to the streets. This phase boils down to promoting the association between the odor of the sought after drugs and the dogs’ favorite toys.
“The association is made so that when he locates the odor of THC from marijuana and cocaine hydrochloride, which are the most common drugs, marijuana, cocaine and crack. We insert these odors for them and they have no contact , this is a legend that we get dogs addicted, that doesn’t happen. What we do is this connection between the toy and the odor. He finding the odor is the trigger for the toy he likes so much”, says the coordinator .
Black Dog, member of the Metropolitan Civil Guard (CGM) kennel in Ribeirão Preto (SP) — Photo: Publicity/Metropolitan Civil Guard
Is there a specific breed for training?
According to Luchetti, there is no specific breed of dog that can be used in the kennel. He also points out that puppies, but also adults, can become able to perform the functions performed by the teams.
Also according to him, the Belgian Shepherd Malinois breed, the majority within the city’s kennel, is usually chosen for its flexibility in acting in different areas, such as searching for missing people, protection and also in therapeutic processes.
“Any breed can be worked on, but we choose the Belgian Malinois Shepherd because of his disposition. We usually say that the shepherd is the Ferrari of dogs. nose, search for people, for therapy dog, so it is a dog with a lot of flexibility”, he says.
Hope dog, member of the Metropolitan Civil Guard (CGM) kennel in Ribeirão Preto (SP) — Photo: Reproduction/EPTV
What is the dogs routine inside the kennel?
Regulated food, training and time for games. The routine of a dog inside the kennel is defined by the coordinator as ‘totally different from a pet dog’.
It is because inside the kennel, the animals are submitted to the training of their handlers, that is, technical professionals in dogs and trainers who create a routine of activities that must be followed by the animal.
This routine consists of a balanced diet, physical training, dressage and the moment when the animal goes through games aiming at good performance during operations.
“In his mind, he’s not working, he’s playing and it can be at the dump, at the bus station, it doesn’t matter, because he’ll get to know all these environments and know that at any time we can call him to play”, he says.
Dog during training at the Metropolitan Civil Guard Kennel (CGM) in Ribeirão Preto (SP) — Photo: Disclosure / Metropolitan Civil Guard
Are these dogs docile or aggressive?
The operational coordinator highlights that due to the socialization training, the animals in the kennel show a friendly behavior in different situations.
According to Luchetti, it is common for animals to be taken for visits to schools, for example. In these places, contact with children and adults is encouraged. However, he believes that the word that best defines the dogs already trained is ‘controlled’.
That’s because the animals offer the team a stability and concentration during operations that allows commands to be given and executed accurately.
“We give a command and he is already aware that at that time he has to support the team, he has to be alert that he can be used at any time”, he points out.
Operational coordinator of the Ribeirão Preto GCM, Mário Eduardo Luchetti during training — Photo: Disclosure/Metropolitan Civil Guard
How does animal retirement work?
There is no set age for dogs to retire, but, according to Luchetti, the process usually happens when the animal reaches the age group between eight and nine years of age.
“We even value justice with the dog. He has lived his whole life inside the kennel, with this routine. So the handler himself sees, when he starts to show signs of fatigue in the searches, looking for shade, the handler starts to realize that he has already given what he had to give”, he says.
Away from work, the animals are usually adopted by the drivers themselves. In specific cases where the handler is not able to take care of the dog, they can still be adopted by other members of the kennel or other corporations, or even by the external public.
Watch the BDC report:
Puppies begin to be adapted to work for GCM in Ribeirão Preto
* Under supervision of Thaisa Figueiredo
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